The SEC announced in April its unanimous selection of William J. McDonough to be the chairperson of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board ( ). McDonough’s career spans three decades in banking—the last as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

The PCAOB selected Douglas R. Carmichael, CPA, as its chief auditor and director of professional standards in April ( ). At the time, Carmichael was director of the Center for Financial Integrity at Baruch College of the City University of New York. Until 1983, as the AICPA’s vice-president of auditing, he directly participated in the development of accounting and auditing standards.

A new AICPA publication, Promoting Your Talent, sheds light on the gap between the number of women who’ve entered the accounting profession over the last 20 years (representing 56% of the total in 2002) and those who’ve become firm partners, shareholders or principals (14%). To address this disparity, the book offers women practical tips on how to capitalize on their skills, project the right image, develop and maintain productive relationships and identify advancement opportunities. It also describes how successful firms manage training, mentoring, flexible work arrangements, leadership development and communication ( ). Nancy Baldiga, the book’s author, is an associate professor of accounting at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.

The AICPA, the AICPA Foundation, the American Red Cross and the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) in April released Disaster Recovery: A Guide to Financial Issues, which contains practical economic advice for catastrophe victims ( ). The publication, jointly developed by the AICPA and NEFE, is available free of charge in local Red Cross chapters nationwide.

Jackson M. Day, the SEC’s acting chief accountant, in April announced his intention to return to the private sector as soon as the commission, which is conducting a nationwide search, fills the position permanently ( ).

The AICPA seeks CPAs willing to serve as volunteers in the development of case-based problems for the first computerized uniform CPA examination, which is scheduled for April 2004. Participants must be knowledgeable in one of the following subjects: financial accounting and reporting, auditing and attestation, taxation and the business environment (including information technology). Details are available from AICPA technical manager Joseph A. Dutz at 201-938-3387 or .


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.