Time to Think Differently

Ernie Almonte, new AICPA chairman committed to approaching challenges from broad perspective.

November 2008
by Kim Nilsen/Journal of Accountancy

Ernie Almonte, the 2008 – 2009 AICPA board chairman, believes that thinking and acting differently is critical to success in our rapidly changing world. As Almonte begins his one-year term, he is stressing the importance of the profession remaining open to shifting perspectives and different voices. Almonte brings to the chairman's role his own varied history. He is a martial arts aficionado and a voracious reader. He studied accounting at the urging of his father, an Italian immigrant who ran an ice cream distribution business in his adopted state of Rhode Island. Almonte launched his own accounting firm in Rhode Island and went on to become the state's auditor general.

His term begins Oct. 21 against a backdrop of economic uncertainty. Over the coming year, the profession is expected to face major issues, such as movement toward the acceptance of IFRS. At the same time, the AICPA is addressing issues including recruiting, succession planning and mobility provisions. While advocating for members on those issues, Almonte also brings to the chairman's office the goal of developing a diverse group of future leaders through a targeted coaching and mentoring effort.

"I know we can accomplish great things," he says of the year ahead.

This article has been excerpted from the Journal of Accountancy. Read the full article here.