More than 200 people were on hand Nov. 10 as over 40 of Maryland’s newest CPAs were sworn into the profession as part of the Maryland Association of CPAs’ annual Newly Licensed CPA Swearing-In Ceremony, sponsored by the MACPA Foundation.
Held at the Maryland Live! Hotel in Hanover, Md., the event brought together young professionals who became CPAs during the past year to take an oath that reaffirms their commitment to their clients, their profession, the state of Maryland, and the publics they serve. The oath reads:
I solemnly swear that I will assume the responsibilities and obligations as a certified public accountant in the state of Maryland and in the United States of America.
I will support the laws and regulations and perform my professional duties to the best of my ability in an ethical, professional, and objective manner.
As a CPA, I will uphold the honor and dignity of the accounting profession and abide by the rules of professional conduct.
The oath is strictly ceremonial. New CPAs don’t have to take the oath before launching their careers.
Even so, the ceremony plays an important role in a CPA’s early career for a couple of key reasons:
Not only does the ceremony give new CPAs and their families an opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments, but it forces those attending to actually verbalize their commitment to serving the public. Passing the exam and earning your license is one thing. Standing in front of state and federal regulators, raising your right hand and promising to do the right thing is a much more powerful step, and one the new CPAs will remember when faced with professionally and morally difficult decisions.
When you talk to the new CPAs, you quickly realize how much the event means to them. Previous “Swearing-In” participants have called the event “the exclamation point” on their years of studying and exam preparation, and “the most important experience” of their lives.
This year’s event included remarks from:
Tiffany Robinson, secretary of Maryland’s Department of Labor.
James Marshall, chair of Maryland’s State Board of Public Accountancy.
Anoop Mehta, chair of the American Institute of CPAs and a former chair of the MACPA’s Board of Directors.
Current MACPA Board Chair Herb Geary.
Kimberly Ellison-Taylor, a former AICPA and MACPA chair who currently chairs the AICPA’s National Commission on Diversity and Inclusion and the MACPA Foundation.
MACPA CEO Rebekah Brown.
“As someone who sat in their seats just 11 years ago, I am a testament that while the grueling exam is finished, this is just the beginning for these new CPAs,” said Brown. “There are endless opportunities before them to use their knowledge and experience to improve not only their organizations, but the community and our world as well.”
“I want to welcome you to a great profession,” Mehta told the new CPAs. “I want you to take a look around you. The people in this room are your support system. I would go so far as to say they are your life support system. I would not be where I am today without the support of the people around me.”
That support comes with a responsibility to extend similar support to the future CPAs still to come, said Ellison-Taylor. “If you are here today and took that oath, you have an obligation to pay it forward,” she said.
The Swearing-In Ceremony was sponsored by CliftonLarsonAllen; Garbelman Winslow, CPAs; and SEK, CPAs and Advisors.