Greetings, fellow CPAs. If you allow me a personal moment, I’m very excited to refer to you all as “fellow CPAs.” Of course, I’ve been licensed by a state down south since the mid-1990s, but now I am proud to also be a recently licensed New York State CPA!

With my New York State CPA license in mind, I will admit that that I have a personal connection to the topics of this issue of The CPA Journal: ethics, government audits, and not-for-profit (NFP) accounting. I began my career providing governmental audits at Arthur Andersen; from that Andersen experience, I realized I had a passion for working in the NFP space, first as a senior accountant, then controller, and then various experiences as a chief financial officer. And, of course, ethics and serving the public trust are foundations of our profession.

Yes, this issue is one that hits very close to home. In a landscape where financial transactions are increasingly scrutinized, understanding the role these elements play in shaping the practices and perceptions of accounting is essential. We delve into the importance of ethics in accounting, the significance of government audits, and the unique aspects of NFP GAAP, shedding light on their interconnectedness and impact on the accounting profession.

In the area of ethics, our cover story is the “Fraud Diamond.” Many of us will remember the “fraud triangle,” and The CPA Journal published a seminal article on this fourth aspect of fraud 20 years ago. The authors revisit the “shape” of fraud to see if the fraud diamond approach has withstood the test of time. Other ethics-related topics include insights from academia on cheating in the profession, as well as a deeper look at how the relationships between client advisory services and attest services are once again raising potential conflicts that need to be considered.

In our government-focused sections, the Journal discusses various misconceptions of single audits, as well as ways to improve the quality and effectiveness of larger entity audits. Our NFP articles touch on the importance of leadership and effective visual communication in NFP accounting departments.

Lastly, this issue of the Journal includes a new column on sustainability written by NYSSCPA member Tracey Niemotko, a professor at Marist College. I can assure you that sustainability, especially as part of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) concepts, is something that CPAs need to pay attention to. I realize that various perspectives may exist on these topics, but there are important considerations we must consider, including the business case and business opportunities for sustainability.

Based on our data, I understand that various members may have limited exposure to governmental and NFP concepts, at least on an ongoing basis. This is why I’m quite excited for your Society to share these areas that are admittedly near and dear to me.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this issue, especially on the topics mentioned above, as well as the ways the Society can continue being relevant to the profession’s needs. Until then, please enjoy.

Ever Upward!

Calvin Harris, CPA. NYSSCPA CEO.