The AICPA is going through some interesting times and there seems to be some needed self-evaluation. There is that task force being appointed to evaluate the AICPA Council's effectiveness. There also is a review of the AICPA credential programs, which might result in the discontinuance of the accredited business valuation designation as well as the personal financial specialist, and certified information technology professional now being offered by the Institute.
Self-evaluation is nice, but I think the AICPA could use some help from its members. So, how about grading the AICPA? No I don't want a visceral gut reaction. Give the AICPA, in each of the following categories, letter grades and then come up with an overall grade.
Give a grade for initiatives (Web Trust, XYZ/Cognitor, CPA2Biz, Center for Investment Advisory Services, Systrust, eldercare, shared services, etc.), peer review, specialty certifications, CPE, insurance, standard setting, legislative and regulatory lobbying, leadership, practice enhancement, representing CPAs in public practice, working with volunteer membership, student recruitment, public advertising campaigns, and possible business affiliation for CPA firms.
Okay, once you come up with an overall grade, compare that to the one that AICPA gives itself. Hopefully, they will be the same, but I rather doubt it. If they differ, the reason might be that there is an easier grader among the two of you.
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