AICPA’s New CEO on Being a Successful Leader


Susan Coffey, CPA, CGMA, has worked for the Association of Global Certified Expert Accountants (the Affiliation) for additional than 30 years, but she in no way gets bored. Coffey has held a lot of leadership roles at the Association over the many years, and her newest purpose is potentially a end result of her skills and working experience. In January 2021, Coffey was promoted to the new placement of CEO of public accounting for the Affiliation. Previously, she was govt vice president of public apply.

“It’s been a great practical experience due to the fact I have had so quite a few chances to expand and attempt diverse factors during the system of my career,” Coffey said. 

The Affiliation is potentially the most influential physique of qualified accountants, as it brings together the strengths of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), which represent just about 700,000 members, learners and experts in general public and management accounting. The Association’s mission is to aid a dynamic accounting profession that is organized to fulfill the demands of a consistently transforming environment. 

In her new job, Coffey sets technique for, strengthens and innovations the international accountancy occupation with a concentration on the price of community accounting. In spite of the newness of her situation and the worries of the COVID-19 pandemic, Coffey is building a coordinated effort to hook up with as numerous customers as achievable across the Association.  

“I pass up tremendously that in-particular person link, so I’m actually seeking ahead to obtaining back on the road. It’s not rather the same nearly,” Coffey claimed. 

For Coffey, building connections with colleagues is of paramount significance to being a effective chief. Each women and adult men who have aspirations of getting a leader in the subject must request out advocates who will support them, Coffey claimed. 

“We all need to have advocates, and we’re pretty fortunate if we get sponsors. Both of those adult men and ladies can be fantastic advocates and fantastic sponsors. Ladies never have to sponsor gals, and vice versa. Advocacy and sponsorship involve a fantastic offer of rely on, equally getting and trying to keep it,” Coffey explained.

Coffey also encouraged on the lookout for advancement alternatives and likely exterior of one’s convenience zone, as equally have served her very well along her career. When Coffey graduated from Fairfield College in Fairfield, Connecticut, with a diploma in accounting, she was not positive what she desired to do as a career, so she joined PricewaterhouseCoopers’ accounting and auditing observe ahead of inevitably landing a task at the Association.

“I realized I desired to function for a single of the major companies mainly because of the prospect it would manage me later on,” Coffey explained.

In fact, just after a couple years with PricewaterhouseCoopers, Coffey joined the Affiliation, exactly where she has been at any time given that. Coffey cherished her very first task with the Association, particularly her teammates, who she explained shown, “amazing enthusiasm for the occupation.” This, in transform, created her extra passionate about her work.

“When you few that with dedication and conscientiousness and inclusivity, individuals observe that, and that creates a pathway for leadership for yourself,” Coffey mentioned.

Even though Coffey has labored predominantly in a “man’s entire world,” she reported she has witnessed lots of incredible women of all ages emerge as leaders all over her occupation and that her experience has been very constructive. 

“I want to emphasize the significance of possessing passion and being aware of how to manage people today, simply because leaders are likely to discover that, both gentlemen and women of all ages, and they will advocate for you and help you be successful,” Coffey claimed. 

Irrespective of the obvious challenges of the pandemic, Coffey stated there might be a silver lining, as CPA companies and other enterprises are now enabling far more flexibility for workers, significantly those people who want to equilibrium their professions with elevating a household. 

“The point I am most very pleased of is I lifted two sons who are successful, and the purpose I was able to do that is I have versatility in my position and worked for men and women who inspired me to style and design that overall flexibility,” Coffey explained.


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