S. Scott Voynich assumed the AICPA chairmanship at council’s fall meeting ( ). He is managing partner of Robinson, Grimes & Co. in Columbus, Georgia. Last month, Voynich sat for an interview with the JofA ( ).

The AICPA is presenting a series of Web-based programs on the computerized Uniform CPA Examination. Prepared in cooperation with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy and Prometric, a developer of technology-based testing services, the webcasts inform candidates, students, educators and CPA employers about the new exam format, which makes its debut in April 2004. Each presentation takes place from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (eastern standard time) ( ). The January 14 webcast will provide information on registering for the exam, and the February 17 webcast will supply an overview of the computer-based test experience. (At press time two installments of the four-part series had yet to be webcast). Earlier presentations on October 15 and November 12 focused, respectively, on helping candidates prepare for the exam and on educating employers about how it differs from the paper-based test. To participate, viewers should register at the CPA exam Web site, . Following the live webcasts, each presentation is archived and will be available for repeated viewing at that site.

James P. Wesberry, CPA, received the highest honor of the “Western Hemisphere’s accountancy profession” at the 25th Interamerican Accounting Conference in Panama in September. The award recognized Wesberry’s professional merits, ethical values and enthusiastic efforts in the service of the profession. Only 22 CPAs—three from the United States—have won the award since it was established 52 years ago. A member of the AICPA for 46 years, Wesberry chaired its delegation to the conference for 6 years.

The IRS named Bennett E. Shifman of Braintree, Massachusetts, the 2003 Exemplary Electronic Return Originator National Champion. In granting the award, the service commended Shifman for his “excellent performance” in meeting all IRS expectations of tax firms that file income tax returns electronically.

The SEC seeks to fill four professional accounting fellow positions in the Office of the Chief Accountant. During their two-year terms, which will commence in June 2004, successful candidates will study and develop rule proposals under federal securities laws, interact with professional accounting standard setters and advise registrants on accounting and financial reporting issues. Applications are due by December 19, 2003 ( ).


What’s next for potential CPA licensure changes

A new model proposed by NASBA and the AICPA is designed with an eye on the future for newly licensed CPAs. The AICPA's Carl Mayes, CPA, provides background on the project and a look ahead to 2020.


What RPA is and how it works

Robotic process automation is like an Excel macro that can work on multiple applications, says Danielle Supkis Cheek, CPA. RPA can complete routine, repetitive tasks such as data entry, freeing up employee time from lower-level chores.