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The Voice of the Profession

Richard H. Kravitz, MBA, CPA

Last month, in my first column as CPA Journal Editor-in-Chief, I highlighted some of the unique aspects of this publication, including the fact that its articles provide in-depth coverage, expert content, meaningful analysis, and insight and guidance on both accounting and tax issues as well as other key problems that face our CPA community. It distinguishes itself from other media—the dailies, hourlies, weeklies; the 250-plus accounting blogs; the tweets and social media chatter that appear, and often disappear, instantaneously—focused on the American accounting, business, and financial landscape. There is a permanence to The CPA Journal. It mirrors who we are, as a profession and as a community, and it has emphasized service to its readers and NYSSCPA members throughout its 85-year history. It helps us become better at supporting the needs of our clients, as well as reinforce our raison d'être: to serve and protect the public interest.

In the coming months, The CPA Journal will begin to present our voice—the voice of the profession. Our mandate as editors is to positively represent the CPA community as the gold standard among business and financial professionals.

Who We Ate

Our readers are among the most sophisticated tax and accounting professionals and industry financial executives in the world. There are a number of CPAs who manage trusts and estates of high-net-worth individuals. They handle basic tax issues for the “middle affluent” and more sophisticated ones for the largest clients. CPAs donate time and money to advising the less fortunate, and many do community outreach or serve on school boards and not-for-profit organizations. Our readers help other CPAs in transition.

Furthermore, our readers provide expert accounting and tax services for local businesses and serve as their most trusted business and financial advisors. They offer advice to hedge funds, banks, and financial service enterprises and insurers. They provide assurance to capital markets, structure mergers, organize emerging tech industries, and secure financing to help innovators and new businesses grow. They structure private equity and corporate entities. Statistics confirm the CPA's place as the most trusted professional advisors among all of the “learned professions.”

We will not shy away from controversy, but we will strive to balance public opinion.

Ethical Community

It is undeniable that the overwhelming majority of CPAs rate highly in ethics, integrity, and social responsibility. They serve the public with dedication, as their namesake implies: Certified ‘Public’ Accountants. And it might surprise some that the majority of our readers work for local and regional mid-sized tax and accounting firms as principals, partners, and staff members. Approximately 20% work in industry—from CEOs, CFOs, and financial executives to trusted in-house business advisors and financial managers.

The vast majority of CPAs do not appear as daily statistics in the business press for receiving failing grades by the PCAOB. They are not called out in the media for their high level of financial restatements (which are indicators of financial fraud, according to John Coffee, a distinguished Columbia University law and corporate governance professor). They do not appear in the blogs of armchair pundits and critics as failing in their role to serve the public. They are not the target of the criticism delivered through financial analysts' presentations or universities' “centers on ethics,” and they are not the outliers among all professionals.

Now and in the future, The CPA Journal will be your voice. Our publication will reflect your interests. We will not shy away from controversy, but we will strive to balance public opinion. We will aim to communicate that the vast majority of our profession does their job very well.

What's Past Is Prologue

In the coming months, there will be noticeable changes to the Journal. Our editorial coverage will reflect the composition of our readers—a journal written for and by our readers and experts in the field. Look for new columns, new departments, new features, and best practices in the areas of financial planning, wealth management, practice management, tax practice and procedure, and state and local taxation. One new column, “CFO Corner,” will include many of the industry's best practices, from metric management and financial closes to balanced scorecards and key performance indicators (KPI). And look for us to offer balanced opinion and credible response to the critics who have not met our community of CPAs—the true voices of our profession.

The opinions expressed here are my own and do not reflect those of the NYSSCPA, its management, or its staff.

Richard H. Kravitz, MBA, CPA. Editor-in-Chief.

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