A Wake-Up Call for CPAs

BY JOSEPH VAP

In “ Truth and Transparency: The Federal Government’s Financial Condition and Fiscal Outlook ” ( JofA , Apr.04, page 26), David M. Walker, Comptroller General of the United States, sounded an alarming wake-up call indeed. He correctly noted that not only is our federal government’s financial condition poor, but it is getting worse. Furthermore, he stated that budgetary trickery and inadequate reporting practices mask the true seriousness of the situation. Most striking was his statement of fact that the federal accumulated deficit totals more than $24,000 for every man, woman and child in the United States.

Clearly, in an environment where only incomplete information is available, uninformed or misinformed voters cannot properly evaluate prospective candidates or their policy proposals. I cannot imagine a politician successfully campaigning for office if the public at large realized such a candidate’s policies would result in our government’s borrowing almost $100,000 for every family of four in this country. However, this is precisely the position in which we find our federal government today.

We as CPAs possess a unique skill set that enables us to interpret and understand the situation to which our government representatives have led us. Mr. Walker correctly noted that the issue is not about political affiliation but about the financial future of our nation and our children. We must be the ones to answer Mr. Walker’s call to action by educating and leading the public to demand better from our representatives. Future generations are depending upon us.

Joseph Vap, CPA
Louisville, Kentucky

RESOURCES

Keeping you informed and prepared amid the coronavirus outbreak

We’re gathering the latest news stories along with relevant columns, tips, podcasts, and videos on this page, along with curated items from our archives to help with uncertainty and disruption.

VIDEO

Excel walk-through: Sparklines

Want to liven up your spreadsheets with some color and graphical elements? Kelly L. Williams, CPA, Ph.D., shows how to use Excel sparklines, which illustrate data trends and patterns via small charts that fit in a single Excel cell.