CPA Firm Consultant Urges Profession to Deepen Advisory Role
WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Bill Reeb, chief executive of the management consulting firm Succession
Institute, LLC, is the new chair of the American
Institute of CPAs, the world’s largest member organization
representing the CPA profession.
Reeb was elected to the one-year volunteer post by the AICPA governing
Council, which wraps up its annual spring meeting today. Tracey Golden,
CPA, CGMA, an audit partner with Deloitte, was voted in as vice chair.
In his acceptance speech, Reeb said the profession must take “leaps, not
steps” forward to take advantage of what will be a sea change in
accounting and finance.
“The role we play as trusted advisors has never been more important,” he
said. “Our clients and employers are challenged to stay ahead in a time
when rapid innovation and change is the new world order. They need us to
be with them, side-by-side, helping them navigate the complexity and
uncertainty that is the world we live in today.”
Reeb offered four pieces of advice for the profession:
Let go of what you think you know. A black belt in the tao wu
hsian hua system, Reeb said martial artists are “big on humility” –
and accountants should be, too. Part of that involves rigorously
reexamining past lessons and work methods to see if they still hold
true in a time of great change.
Accept that technical aptitude alone will not be enough. Familiarity
with technology and continued improvement in human skills – critical
thinking, judgment, leadership – will also define accounting
professionals in the future. “This powerful combination of our
technical expertise, technological understanding, and enhanced human
skills are foundational to positioning ourselves for a brighter
future,” he said.
Challenge what it means to be an ‘accountant.’ That means
providing higher-value strategic guidance in core service areas such
as audit, tax and finance, broadening tax practices to meet the
growing need for a more integrated life planning approach for
individuals, and extending assurance into emerging areas such as
cybersecurity risk management, sustainability and supply chain.
Embrace a disruptive mindset. “We need to shift our thinking
from what our profession is and what we do today to what our
profession should be and what we need to be doing tomorrow,” he said.
Reeb is a CPA and holds the Chartered Global Management Accountant
(CGMA) and CITP (Certified Information Technology Professional)
designations. As of June 1, he will also serve as vice chair of the
Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, the
unified voice of the AICPA and the Chartered Institute of Management
Accountants (CIMA), and will work closely with the Association’s
incoming chair, Amal Ratnayake, CFMA, CGMA.
Reeb has held several volunteer leadership positions at the AICPA,
having previously served as vice chair, a member of the Board of
Directors and governing Council, and secretary of the Political Action
Committee. In addition, he has chaired the Practice Monitoring of the
Future Steering Group and Management Consulting Services Executive
Currently the CEO of the Succession Institute, a management consulting
firm based in Austin, Tex., Reeb has had a lengthy career consulting for
businesses of all sizes, primarily in the areas of organizational
structure and governance, operations and accountability. He has founded
six small businesses, including a CPA firm, prior to starting the
He is a member of the both the Texas and Colorado State CPA Societies.
Reeb also serves as an advisory member on the board of the CPA Firm
Management Association (CPAFMA). He received his bachelor’s degree from
Southwest Texas State University.
About the American Institute of CPAs
The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) is the world’s largest member
association representing the CPA profession, with more than 429,000
members in the United States and worldwide, and a history of serving the
public interest since 1887. AICPA members represent many areas of
practice, including business and industry, public practice, government,
education and consulting. The AICPA sets ethical standards for its
members and U.S. auditing standards for private companies, nonprofit
organizations, federal, state and local governments. It develops and
grades the Uniform CPA Examination, offers specialized credentials,
builds the pipeline of future talent and drives professional competency
development to advance the vitality, relevance and quality of the
About the Association of International Certified Professional
The Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (the
Association) is the most influential body of professional accountants,
combining the strengths of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and
The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) to power
opportunity, trust and prosperity for people, businesses and economies
worldwide. It represents 657,000 members and students across 179
countries and territories in public and management accounting and
advocates for the public interest and business sustainability on current
and emerging issues. With broad reach, rigor and resources, the
Association advances the reputation, employability and quality of CPAs,
CGMAs and accounting and finance professionals globally.