New York (Oct. 10, 2003) -- The New York State Society of CPAs' board called on its national organization to focus on the group’s overall role and direction, seeking a serious dialogue with the American Institute of CPAs' "that may result in substantive changes in mission, focus and leadership."

Likening the AICPA's situation to the current problems at the New York Stock Exchange, the board members said in a letter to the Institute that it was time to review the organization's mission and goals, and to commit to emphasizing its role as a professional association, rather than a trade group.. "We believe the AICPA is at the same critical juncture (as the NYSE)," the letter, signed by 38 of the 41 board members stated.

Asked to elaborate on the letter, NYSSCPA president Jeffrey Hoops said the NYSE is currently wrestling with the issue of whether or not it's a regulator or trade organization, and whether the resignation of board members will help it regain the public's trust.

"I don't feel the letter is a no confidence vote on the current board," Hoops said. "But a number of our board members have felt from the beginning that the AICPA should look more closely at how it's governed and how the board and senior staff react to one another and the council.'

Hoops said the letter was prompted by a recent visit to the society by AICPA Chairman William Ezzell, who asked members whether they felt the AICPA was a profession or trade organization. "That question really struck a chord with our board and we felt that we wanted to go on record as stating that the AICPA should be a professional organization and ought to concentrate on ethics, enforcement, relationships with regulators, and continuing professional education, as opposed to initiatives like XYZ and CPA2Biz," Hoops said.

-- Tracey Miller-Segarra

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