American Institute of Public Accountants (AICPA) – Definition

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American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Definition

Founded in 1887, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) is the non-profit organization of certified public accountants in the country. Initially, called the American Association of Public Accountants, the organization was created to ensure that accountancy was referred to as a profession and practiced by qualified personnel. With more than 370,000 members, the AICPA provides valuable resources, training, and certifications to provide the best possible CPA services in the best form.

A Little More on What is the American Certified Public Accountants

This association has offices in Washington D.C., New York City., Durham, N.C., New Jersey, and Texas. It members usually work in the business industry, government institutions, public practices, and in the education sector. This association serves as a patron for legislative groups and public interest bodies related to the CPA profession. It also sets a standard of operation, which all members are to adhere by.

For a practitioner to be a Certified Public Accountant, he or she is required to pass a series of test and accountancy-related examinations as well as meet other experience requirements set by the association. Knowing that the accounting industry is self-regulated, the AICPA sets golden standards for gaining this certification as well as make sure that each member is acting competently and under guidelines in their respective workplaces.

Reference for “American Institute Of Certified Public Accountants” › Investing › Financial Analysis › … › Member Organizations & Country Profiles › Resources › Careers › Jobs

Academics research on “American Institute Of Certified Public Accountants”

Corporate financial statements, a product of the market and political processes, Watts, R. L. (1977). Corporate financial statements, a product of the market and political processes. Australian journal of management2(1), 53-75. An outline for a theory of financial statements is presented. Financial statements are viewed as products of both markets and political processes and the interactions among individuals and groups in these processes. Individuals are assumed to maximize their self-interests. Various hypotheses and data are provided to illustrate the theory. It relies heavily on theories of agency, economic regulation and public choice. At this stage, the theory has great promise in explaining the form and contents of financial statements. The theory contrasts with earlier “normative” theories of financial statements and offers an explanation for the forms they take.

International knowledge, skills, and abilities of auditors/accountants: Evidence from recent competency studies, Palmer, K. N., Ziegenfuss, D. E., & Pinsker, R. E. (2004). International knowledge, skills, and abilities of auditors/accountants: Evidence from recent competency studies. Managerial Auditing Journal19(7), 889-896. A domain independent perspective compares international competency studies from The Big 8 White Paper in 1989 to recent studies by the Institute of Management Accountants, Institute of Internal Auditors, International Federation of Accountants, and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Educators can use these common and specialized competencies to design accounting curricula to prepare students for entry into auditing careers. Practitioners can also use them to design hiring and evaluation criteria. The job market for accounting graduates is no longer dominated by public accounting. A more generalized skill set may be taught across accounting curriculums that was previously deemed necessary. Also recent international accounting scandals have put the accounting profession under public and regulatory scrutiny. New regulation and auditing standards may regain public trust. The knowledge, skills, and abilities for entry‐level accountants are: communication skills, interpersonal skills, general business knowledge, accounting knowledge, problem‐solving skills, information technology, personal attitudes and capabilities, and computer skills.

Certified public accountants: Ethical perception skills and attitudes on ethics education, Ward, S. P., Ward, D. R., & Deck, A. B. (1993). Certified public accountants: Ethical perception skills and attitudes on ethics education. Journal of Business Ethics12(8), 601-610. This study investigated the proficiency of CPAs in recognizing and evaluating ethical and unethical situations. In addition, CPAs provided attitudes on ethics education. Respondents were asked to evaluate the ethical acceptability of CPA behavior as presented in six vignettes involving a variety of ethical dilemmas from questions of conflict of interest to questions of personal honor. The results tend to signify that CPAs can, to a degree, distinguish ethical and unethical behaviors. It appears that ethical behaviors and very specific unethical behaviors were more easily identified by practitioners. This may reveal uncertainty and apprehension as to exactly what constitutes unethical behavior since, in many circumstances, this resolution is made on a case-specific basis rather that via a universal rule. In addition, it is interesting to note that CPAs tend to picture themselves as more ethically-oriented than their peers.

The value of corporate accounting reports: arguments for a political economy of accounting, Cooper, D. J., & Sherer, M. J. (1984). The value of corporate accounting reports: arguments for a political economy of accounting. Accounting, Organizations and Society9(3-4), 207-232. Existing research on the choice of accounting methods for corporate reports emphasizes private interests. In particular, shareholders’ interests predominate in studies of the effects of accounting information on individual users. Attempts at assessing the social value of accounting reports, using the approach of marginal economics to information or the analysis of economic consequences also exhibit, in their execution, a pronounced shareholder orientation. This paper suggests that an alternative approach, the Political Economy of Accounting, may be fruitful. This approach seeks to understand and evaluate the functions of accounting within the context of the economic, social and political environment in which it operates. Research within this framework is identified as having normative, descriptive and critical qualities, and the paper concludes with some illustrations of potential research areas.

Marketing by CPAs: Issues with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Markham, S., Cangelosi, J., & Carson, M. (2005). Marketing by CPAs: Issues with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Services Marketing Quarterly26(3), 71-82. Until the late 1970s, the AICPA discouraged commercial advertising and some other marketing tactics by practicing accountants. This study contacted 600 CPAs in the U.S. in an attempt to discover what kinds of marketing they employ, how useful they think it is, and how appropriate do they feel the AICPA’s rules and regulations are in regard to marketing an individual CPA’s services. Most thought the AICPA was fair. Accountants doing the most marketing tend to be younger males. “Conflict of Interest” was the area of most current concern in light of the ongoing problems of public accounting firms doing both auditing and consulting for the same client. “Newspaper” was the preferred advertising medium. Most of those surveyed were pleased the AICPA relaxed its restrictions on marketing and advertising, even though many CPAs still do not market their services to any great extent. This may change as younger accountants fill leadership positions in U.S. accounting firms.

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