I have been an accountant for many years and the accounting profession is important to me. About 10 years ago, I was reading a newspaper and the commentary about accountants was terrible. The news stories were filled with reports of fraud and embezzlement. It was very disheartening.
The things the people did were awful, and I was troubled because these news reports were negatively impacting the public’s perception of the profession. That bothered me because I work in this profession, and my colleagues would never do the types of things I was seeing in the news, but I didn’t see anyone sharing that story. No one was sharing the good news about the majority of professionals who are acting ethically and doing business the right way.
When David Costello presented the concept for the NASBA Center for the Public Trust (CPT), it was a dream come true for me. I jumped up to pledge the first declaration of support because we needed to fight back, not just for accounting, but for all professions that value ethics and integrity.
To see how far the organization has come over the last 10 years is incredible. When I think about the CPT’s greatest impact, the first thing that comes to mind is the establishment of StudentCPT chapters on college campuses throughout the U.S. StudentCPT programming has afforded entire classes of students to obtain their certification in ethical leadership. To be able to reach these students before they launch into corporate America is a great opportunity to help them understand the importance of handling business the right way. When I see these students learning about ethics, then taking what they learn and applying it in their careers, it’s just incredible.
Watching the CPT grow is somewhat like having children and grandchildren. Nothing makes parents more proud than seeing someone they’ve nurtured, grow up and be successful. For me to be able to serve as a life director and continue to watch the CPT grow is especially rewarding and uplifting.
Over the next 10 years, I look forward to seeing continued growth in membership, fundraising, strategic partnerships and professional conferences. I also welcome the opportunity to meet with leaders from professions outside of accounting, including lawyers, architects, engineers and others that face ethical dilemmas. I’d like to share the story of why and how the CPT was established, how the organization has made a positive and lasting impact in corporate and academic arenas, and be able to work with these individuals to make the same impact in their respective professions and industries.
Whether people get involved financially, verbally or physically, they won’t regret supporting the CPT. It’s such a worthwhile investment. I feel privileged to be a part of this notable and much needed organization and salute the CPT on achieving 10 years of leading with integrity.
Milton Brown, PA
Life Director, CPT