The Top People in Public Accounting – 2016

Each year as part of our Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting list, we ask candidates for the list to name who they think are the most influential people in the field, and here they are, ranked by the number of votes they received from the 125 candidates.

You can see a slideshow version of this list here, and you can see the official Top 100 People report here (registration required).

13. The next president

Whether it’s Clinton or Trump, candidates for the Top 100 expect the 45th president of the United States to have a major impact.

Votes (of 125 responses): 6


13. Gary Boomer
Founder, visionary and strategist, Boomer Consulting
Boomer was formally named the “visionary” at his eponymous technology consulting group this year, but in reality he has been a visionary for many years, demonstrating the value of future technologies to the profession for decades.
Votes (of 125 responses): 6


13. Erik Asgeirsson
With new products, a growing slate of events and an emphasis on thought leadership, Asgeirsson and are making the case for a forward-thinking, tech-savvy profession — and they’re providing the tools and education accountants need to make the move.
Votes (of 125 responses): 6


11. James Doty
Chairman, PCAOB
While he’s been known to wear cowboy boots to the office, Doty is no cowboy — he’s more of a questing knight, protecting the integrity of the public markets even as he pursues the Holy Grail of high-quality audits and auditors.
Votes (of 125 responses): 7


11. John Koskinen
IRS commissioner
Koskinen has striven to make the best of things in his tenure at the IRS, desperately searching for funding for the agency, while facing significant congressional scrutiny — and regular calls for his removal.
Votes (of 125 responses): 7


9. Jennifer Wilson
Co-founder and owner, ConvergenceCoaching
Already influential from her work inside firms as a consultant, Wilson continues to expand her influence with new surveys and programs on issues that are crucial to the profession, as well as frequent speaking engagements and webinars.
Votes (of 125 responses): 8


9. Allan Koltin
CEO, Koltin Consulting Group
According to one firm MP who would know, it isn’t just the sheer number of accounting firm mergers that Koltin has helped midwife that matters, so much as the quality of the transactions, and the unrivaled knowledge of people and of firm dynamics that he brings to the table each time.
Votes (of 125 responses): 8


8. Rod Drury
CEO, Xero
Drury’s New Zealand-based online accounting software has played a major role in heating up the market for cloud-based solutions in the U.S. – and spurred many local developers to up their game.
Votes (of 125 responses): 9


7. Brad Smith
Chairman and CEO, Intuit
Given the dominance of his flagship solution QuickBooks, Smith would be influential no matter what — but he’s not resting on Intuit’s laurels; instead, he’s leading a strong push into the cloud that will bring along millions of small businesses (and their trusted advisors, too).
Votes (of 125 responses): 10


5. Mark Koziel
Vice president of firm services & global alliances, AICPA
Koziel is welcome everywhere he goes (and that’s pretty much everywhere) because of the wit, intelligence and deep expertise he brings to solving the profession’s problems and helping lay out its roadmap to the future.
Votes (of 125 responses): 12


5. Ron Baker
Founder, VeraSage Institute
When it comes to his long-time crusade against the billable hour, Baker is finally a prophet with honor in his own land, as more and more firms explore value pricing. So he’s added another, broader challenge: convincing the profession to focus on the threats to its relevance.
Votes (of 125 responses): 12


4. Russell Golden
Chairman, FASB
The position itself — head of the most important standard-setter in the country, if not the world — brings a certain amount of automatic influence, but Golden earns his own influence on top of that as he charts a steady course for U.S. GAAP in the post-convergence era.
Votes (of 125 responses): 14


3. Mary Jo White
Chair, Securities and Exchange Commission
White’s no-nonsense approach to regulation continues, with strong warnings about “creative” accounting and non-GAAP numbers, but at the same time, her commission is working to streamline reporting.
Votes (of 125 responses): 16


2. Tom Hood
CEO and executive director, Maryland Association of CPAs
Hood combines an exceptionally clear vision of the future and a strong passion for the profession with an unparalleled ability to communicate that vision and engender a similar passion in his fellow accountants.
Votes (of 125 responses): 26


1. Barry Melancon
President and CEO, AICPA
Melancon sees deeper into the profession’s current state than anyone else, and also looks further into its future. With this year’s membership vote in favor of a new association with CIMA, he’s one major step closer to seeing his long-term vision for that future realized.
Votes (of 125 responses): 66

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