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AICPA Is All About Making the CGMA Legit

This week, I'm back in my old stomping grounds of Washington, DC for AICPA Spring Council and while I really wanted to come into this looking for plenty to mock, it's actually been an interesting session, including a great speech by Bob Schieffer of CBS and a panel on "Diversity & Inclusion" that didn't leave me wondering why the profession thinks it's wise to require X number of minorities just to feel good about itself. I'm working on catching up with one panelist — Ralph Thomas of the New Jersey Society of CPAs — when I'm in Atlantic City next month for the NJSCPA Convention & Expo.

Anyhoo, of the many notable items from this year's meeting, one in particular stood out considering how liberal we here at Going Concern have been about mocking the CGMA designation. It appears the AICPA has considered our many criticisms and is ready – at last – to make the CGMA legit. This may or may not have to do with the fact that Council also considered globalization of AICPA credentials, hard to say.

Beginning January 2015, prospective future CGMAs will have to take a 3 hour exam on top of meeting experience and continuing education requirements. As most of you know, this is a major departure from the CGMA's previous requirement of "show up and, uh, know stuff or something" or, more specifically, ANY one of the following:

  • Three years of financial (including internal audit)  or management accounting experience in business, industry, or government, or
  • Two years of financial or management accounting experience plus one year in public accounting, or
  • Three years of financial/management accounting experience on a consulting basis, or
  • Three years in a management accounting role focused on the management and operation of an accounting firm.

Whether or not this is related to the AICPA's push to encourage international "credential-sharing" with similarly-minded accounting bodies that won't dilute the US CPA brand is beyond me. Thoughts?

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