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AICPA survey shows parents missing opportunities to teach children about personal finance  
November 2012

Three in 10 parents never talk to their children about money or have had just one big talk with their children on the subject, according to a U.S. telephone survey conducted for the AICPA by Harris Interactive.

On average, children are 10 years old when their mother or father has the first conversation with them about money, and mothers are more likely to talk with children about money at an earlier age than fathers, the survey showed. Just 13% of parents surveyed talk daily with their children about financial matters.

Sixty-seven percent of parents surveyed strongly agree that they know enough about personal finance to teach their children good habits. Yet parents participating in the survey were more likely to have talked to their children about other important topics, including:

  • The importance of good manners (95%).
  • The benefits of good eating habits (87%).
  • The importance of getting good grades (87%).
  • The dangers of drugs and alcohol (84%).
  • The risks of smoking (82%).

Only 81% of parents in the survey said they talked to their children about the value of money and managing it wisely.

The survey results also showed that 61% of parents pay their children an allowance, with 54% beginning by the time their child was 8 years old. The amount varies by age, with the average allowance totaling $65 per month. Forty-eight percent of parents with children in school pay them for good grades; the average rate for an A is $16.60.

For more information on financial education and responsibility, visit the AICPA’s 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy website at

Award recognizes early-career researcher's work on management accounting issues  
November 2012

Jasmijn C. Bol, Ph.D., associate professor of accounting at Tulane University’s Freeman School of Business in New Orleans, received the Best Early Career Researcher Award from the AICPA.

The $2,000 grant is given to the researcher with the best overall body of research in management accounting and whose research was completed within the first five years of joining a faculty.

Bol’s research deals with the use of accounting information for managerial decision-making, with a special focus on performance measurement and compensation systems.

The award is co-sponsored by the AICPA, the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), and the Society of Management Accountants of Canada (CMA) and is granted in collaboration with the Management Accounting Section of the American Accounting Association (AAA).

Scott Moore, AICPA senior manager–College & University Initiatives, presented the award at the AAA’s annual meeting.

Newly formed commission will focus on increasing diversity in the CPA profession  
November 2012

The Institute recently established the National Commission on Diversity & Inclusion—a group of representatives from minority professional advocacy groups, CPA firms, and state CPA societies as well as leaders from business and industry, government, and education—to promote diversity within the accounting profession.

The formation of the group reflects the AICPA’s renewed focus on diversity within the profession and the need to increase the retention and advancement of underrepresented minorities to better reflect the clients and communities that CPAs serve.

The commission will work toward proposing AICPA strategies to increase the number of minorities in the accounting profession. This process will involve investigating the barriers to the long-term success of minorities by analyzing recruitment and retention data. In addition, the commission will closely monitor population trends and analyze the effect of these trends on both the profession and the clients CPAs serve.

Ken Bouyer, Americas director of inclusiveness recruiting at Ernst & Young, is chairman of the commission, and Kim Drumgo, director–Diversity & Inclusion for the AICPA, is vice chair of the commission. Members of the commission are:

Jeff Chin—Ascend

Peggy Dzierzawski—Michigan Association of CPAs

Lena Ellis—City of Fort Worth

Manuel Espinoza—ALPFA

Eduardo Jordan—Nolet Spirits USA

George Krull—AICPA Foundation

Richard Levychin—KBL CPAs

Kenneth Macias—Macias, Gini & O’Connell LLP

Don McCleod—Don McCleod, CPA, PC

Lisa Ong—PwC

Gail Sparks Pitts—Oakland Community College

Ed Ramos—Dwyer, Pemberton & Coulson PC

Frank Ross—Howard University School of Business
Ralph Thomas—New Jersey Society of CPAs

More information on the commission is available at

Six minutes that will alter your view of history  
November 2012

To celebrate the AICPA’s 125th anniversary this year, CEO and President Barry Melancon, CPA, CGMA, challenged the Institute’s in-house Creative Services–MultiMedia Group to create a video highlighting key events in American and world history that hinged on the work of accountants and CPAs.

The result of that challenge is Evolution of a Profession, a sixminute video available at for free download. The video features two CPAs highlighting key contributions of accountants, beginning with the birth of commerce in ancient times through the establishment and growth of the CPA profession in the United States.

“This video truly captures the breadth and depth of CPAs, highlighting our profession’s involvement in some of the most significant moments in human history. The illumination of our past allows us to successfully plan our future,” said AICPA 2011–2012 Chairman Greg Anton. “This video captures the pride I feel as a CPA, and I think it’s a ‘must-play’ at any CPA gathering.”

Accounting historian Gary Previts, chair of the Department of Accountancy at Case Western Reserve University, served as lead consultant on the project’s research. The research team included Dale Flesher, associate dean of the Patterson School of Accountancy at the University of Mississippi, and AICPA senior staff.

“I come from a long line of professionals who’ve done some pretty amazing things,” says Steve Beguhn, CPA, one of the video’s two narrators, in the opening seconds.

“Without us, the merchants of Venice might not have known if they were making a profit,” narrator Noel Abdur- Rahim, CPA, later adds.

Key events in the Evolution of a Profession video include the Mayflower voyage, the U.S. Industrial Revolution, and the establishment of the SEC and the corresponding role of CPAs as auditors of U.S. public company financial statements.

“It’s eye-opening to consider the rich history of the profession,” Abdur-Rahim said of the video. “I learned some things about accounting and the CPA profession that I didn’t know.” Beguhn thinks others will come away from the video with new insights and a sense of pride.

“But I really think it can be more than that. I also think it’s a fantastic recruiting tool,” he said. “I would love for the video to be shown in college classrooms as students are making some of those career decisions and they’re deciding what major they’re going to choose—having something like that in front of them to say, ‘Hey, have you thought about accounting?’ It might be a lot sexier than they originally thought.”

Beguhn works in PwC’s Entertainment, Media & Communications (EMC) Sector Practice. He was a contestant on season 10 of American Idol. Abdur-Rahim is a CPA in PwC’s Core Assurance division in Atlanta. Both said it is significant that the video was narrated by CPAs rather than professional actors. Abdur-Rahim thought the selection of CPA narrators was a true representation of what it means to be a CPA today—blending technical knowledge with an ability to communicate on the world’s stage.

“We’re real people who are passionate about our careers and what we do,” Beguhn said, “and what this profession stands for and what the AICPA stands for.”

Members will also find eight additional videos that explore some of the major milestones in the profession’s history available at for free download.

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