Town Hall recap: Moving forward in uncertain times…together

Written on Jun 11, 2020

By Nicole Fracasso, OSCPA communications intern 

AICPA President and CEO Barry Melancon, CPA, CGMA, said having difficult conversations are a key to improving diversity + inclusion in the accounting profession. 

“We still have a journey to go as a profession to become more diverse,” Melancon said at OSCPA’s June 4 Town Hall presentation. “Certainly, into leadership positions but also into entry levels of the profession.” 

His comments came June 4 at OSCPA’s Town Hall presentation, hosted by Society President & CEO Scott Wiley, CAE. Melancon also discussed the advancement of “CPA Evolution,” an approach that positions the profession authoritatively in the core skills of accounting, auditing, tax and technology, plus a discipline such as tax compliance and planning, business reporting and analysis, or information systems and controls. 

Wiley said the profession has an important role to play in improving D+I in business. 

“Now is an important time to reaffirm our commitment to diversity + inclusion and to denounce racism,” said Wiley. “It's important for me to do so as the leader of this organization here today as well.” 

Wiley was also joined by Society member Mike Fritz, CPA, retired senior partner at Deloitte and NASBA Vice Chair Nominee. 

Fritz discussed three priorities he has as he enters a leadership role with NASBA: quality, diversity and increasing the pipeline. He said he wants to ensure professionals are doing what’s right and following standards. As it relates to diversity, Fritz wants to ensure the profession has more diverse candidates in leadership roles. And to increase the pipeline, Fritz said the profession must continue to challenge individuals from day one. 

“I think the way we can do that is by reaching out to people who weren’t accounting majors,” he said. “Somebody that might have had a liberal arts background, someone that has an information and technology background that can add value to the audit team. 

“I hope to serve Ohio proud and make sure that the profession is one that continues to remain relevant for many years after I’ve left the role.” 


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