Secaucus, N.J. (May 21, 2004) - A “full audit mindset” is one of the barriers between the leadership of the American Institute of CPAs and small firms, Jim Metzler, the AICPA’s vice president for small firm interests, told listeners at this week’s New Jersey CPA Business & Technology Show.


“We tend to discuss things in committees in terms of full audits,” says Metzler. “Attest, compilation and review get dragged along with it.” Metzler, who joined the institute nine months ago after 32 years in public practice, says that mindset may be responsible for what some small practitioners believe is a big firm bias on the part of the institute. The mindset, he said, stems from the big firm background of many of the high-level officials.


While Metzler believes the AICPA does take notice of small firm issues, he says that many firms tell him that, “The AICPA needs to be more in touch with small firms and to be more relevant,” and that, “We do not see the world only as a full audit like you seem to do.”


Metzler emphasized his belief that the AICPA leadership is working to better understand small firms. Under the Small Firms Initiative, he continued, “Small firms have a front row seat at every table inside the AICPA.”


-- Bob Scott

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