AICPA endorses key STEM legislation


The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) has voiced its strong support for bipartisan, bicameral legislation establishing the accounting profession as a STEM career pathway and supporting long-standing efforts to diversify the future accounting workforce.

In the House of Representatives, H.R. 3541, the Accounting STEM Pursuit Act of 2023 was introduced by Representatives Haley Stevens (D-MI) and Young Kim (R-CA); in the Senate, Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jacky Rosen (D-NV) introduced S. 1705, the STEM Education in Accounting Act.

These bills, which would allow federal grant funding to be used for K-12 accounting education, highlight the clear and logical integration between accounting and technology and note the value of accounting professionals, including CPAs, as technological leaders.

Technology has reshaped the day-to-day responsibilities of accountants so much so that professionals are not just learning and leveraging cutting-edge technology, but developing and innovating technology to help clients make informed decisions and improve services.

Accounting professionals have considered it their duty to master the requisite technology and seek innovative solutions throughout their careers, ensuring they meet and surpass the demands of our global economy, now and in the future.

Recognizing the increased need for technology in accounting, the AICPA, together with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) developed CPA Evolution—a new license model that focuses on building core competencies in accounting, auditing, tax, and technology while developing deeper expertise in one of three disciplines: information systems and controls; tax compliance and planning; or business analysis and reporting.

STEM recognition for accounting at the K-12 level, coupled with the potential for existing STEM K-12 federal funding to be used for accounting awareness and education, will affirm that the accounting profession is qualified to assess the technological world businesses are in today and expose diverse students to potential careers in accounting, growing the profession’s pipeline.

As the profession works to create a sustainable and robust future, finding and retaining qualified staff are consistently among the top issues facing CPA firms of every size segment and among businesses that employ accounting professionals. The profession believes that accountants who are reflective and inclusive of the communities they serve are better positioned to solve complex issues facing clients and respond to the evolving public interest.

Susan Coffey, CPA, CGMA, CEO of Public Accounting at the AICPA, says the bills reinforce our digital-first efforts to educate and reskill the profession so the public’s, client’s and employer’s needs are met. “This legislation recognizes the importance of expanding the pipeline of accountants and CPAs that support industries and serve the public interest across the country. This legislation will promote greater diversity in the accounting profession as it continues to facilitate our country’s economic growth.”


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