The American Institute of CPAs business and industry executive committee (BIEC) professional development subcommittee published an invitation to comment, the AICPA Competency Model for the New Finance Professional (final beta version 1.2). Designed to help CPAs in business and industry assume more strategic roles in their organizations, the document lists competencies in four basic categories: personal attributes, leadership qualities, broad business perspective and functional expertise.
The document emphasizes the broad approach to competencies, Sandra E. Sloyer, a member of the BIEC professional development subcommittee, told the Journal . It highlights many different competencies expected from CPAs. In fact, it says, As finance professionals we have placed far too much emphasis on the technical proficiencies of the CPA rather than on the well-rounded individual with people skills. Most of the document is organized as a table, with descriptions of skills for CPAs at different levels. For example, in the competency area of best practices, the skill a manager would be expected to have would be to develop and implement appropriate finance best practices throughout the organization.
Flexibility is key
This is not going to be the final model, because as society changes, business changes and thus competencies change as well. Well have to keep the document fresh continually, said Sloyer. It already has gone through several versions. With this particular version, said Sloyer, the BIEC wants to make sure its simple to usea document the members are comfortable with. This summer, the AICPA plans to announce an implementation rollout of the document, with an assessment tool and competency training.
Copies of the invitation to comment (without the skills identified) can be downloaded from AICPA Online (http://www.aicpa.org), or a complete copy can be ordered by calling Emanuela LiMandri at 212-596-6157. The comment period originally ended January 31 but has been extended to February 28.