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During the National Future Forum, sponsored by the AICPA in January as part of its ongoing Vision Project, delegates from all the states reviewed the summary results from their Future Forums held in the fall of 1997 and ranked, in order of desirability and likelihood, the top five values, services, competencies, and issues for the CPA profession in the 21st century. Results include the following, which delegates feel will shape the profession:


    * The future success relies on public perceptions.

    * CPAs must become market driven.

    * The market demands less auditing and more value-added consulting services.

    * Specialization is critical for future survival.

    * CPAs must be conversant in global business practices and strategies.


    * Continued education and lifelong learning

    * Competence

    * Integrity

    * Attunement to broad business issues

    * Objectivity


    * Assurance

    * Technology services

    * Management consulting

    * Financial planning

    * International services


    * Communications

    * Strategic and critical thinking

    * Focus on market

    * Interpretation of converging

    * Technologically adept

Delegates at the National Future Forum used this information, developed with input from over 3,400 CPAs who attended the hundreds of Future Forums held across the country in 1997, to draft the following Core Purpose and Vision Statement:

Draft Core Purpose: CPAs...Making sense out of a changing and complex world.

Draft Vision Statement: CPAs are the trusted professionals who enable people and organizations to shape their future. Combining insight with integrity, CPAs deliver value by--

    * communicating a clear picture of what is,

    * translating complex information into critical knowledge,

    * anticipating and creating opportunities, and

    * designing pathways to transform vision into reality.

At its May 18-19 meeting, the AICPA Council will discuss the results and recommendations of the project and provide guidance into a draft vision report that will be presented to state societies and a wide range of individuals and groups this summer. For more information, or to comment on the results so far, see the project's website at http://www.cpavision.org. *

The CPA Journal is broadly recognized as an outstanding, technical-refereed publication aimed at public practitioners, management, educators, and other accounting professionals. It is edited by CPAs for CPAs. Our goal is to provide CPAs and other accounting professionals with the information and news to enable them to be successful accountants, managers, and executives in today's practice environments.

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