By Nancy A. Bagranoff and Stephanie Peters
The financial statements of the federal government are pretty complex documents and likely indecipherable to politicians and citizens, perhaps with the exception of the 10 congressional leaders who are CPAs. So far, experts in the profession say the score looks bleak. In fact, they suggest if the federal government was a business, it would fail.
Certified public accountants are trusted advisors for all things financial, making them uniquely qualified to be scorekeepers for legislators and policymakers charged with balancing the country’s budget. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants celebrated its 125th anniversary last month at a meeting in Washington, D.C. Leaders in the profession took some time out from the festivities to report some scores to Capitol Hill.
Bagranoff is dean of Robins School of Business at the University of Richmond. Peters is president and CEO of the Virginia Society of CPAs. They are members of the AICPA Council.