Tom Hood, the longtime CEO of the Maryland Association of CPAs in the US, has joined the leadership team of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (the Association). As executive vice-president of business growth and engagement, Hood will report to Barry Melancon, CPA, CGMA, FCMA, the Association’s CEO.
Hood has served as CEO of the Maryland Association of CPAs (MACPA) since 1997. Prior to MACPA, Hood, CPA/CITP, CGMA, worked as a CFO. He has been a longtime thought leader and driver of change among state CPA societies.
Jackie Brown, MACPA’s COO for the past 23 years, will take the helm of the state society.
The Association also has acquired the Business Learning Institute (BLI) from MACPA. The acquisition of BLI’s learning programmes will enhance the Association’s offerings to corporate employers in upskilling and reskilling their employees so they continue to meet ever-changing marketplace demands. Together, the Association and BLI will accelerate the introduction of new content for accounting and finance professionals globally. Hood will continue to provide leadership in supporting BLI’s clients, products, and services throughout BLI’s integration with the Association.
“Tom’s vision and mission to help finance and accounting professionals grow in a changing business environment is well aligned with the Association’s goals of powering trust, opportunity, and prosperity for members, students, the profession, and those they serve. He brings energy, insight, enthusiasm, and a unique ability to facilitate connections,” Melancon said. “Tom will add value to our engagement with businesses and the accounting and finance professions, increasing our understanding of the challenges they face and how to best meet their needs.”
Melancon added, “We are proud of our reputation as a key source for accounting and finance professionals’ learning needs. BLI’s content complements and enriches our current learning tools, further deepens our global offerings, and helps expand our value proposition. This development is an important step in the Association’s commitment to creating a strong and vibrant future for the profession and those it serves.”
One focus of Hood’s role will be partnering with Andrew Harding, FCMA, CGMA, the Association’s chief executive–Management Accounting, to further professionalise management accounting and support professionals in obtaining their Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation in the Americas. This includes the Finance Leadership Program, an online learning programme that teaches candidates the finance, business, people, and leadership skills needed to succeed in finance teams of the future.
The pace of change
Hood said his Association role and the BLI acquisition are opportunities to quicken and expand work to prepare businesses and their advisers for change and disruption. The pandemic has heightened the need for future-focused skills.
“This pandemic truly has been the biggest disruption that I’ve ever seen, and when I talk to members, they would agree with that,” Hood said. “On the other hand, I think it’s also the biggest opportunity for our profession globally. If you think about what’s happened, the relief packages that are coming out from pretty much all over the world … and every one of those relief packages is being implemented through accounting, tax, and payroll systems, which are the wheelhouse of our entire profession.”
Accountants have rallied amid uncertainty to help businesses survive whenever possible during the economic downturn caused by the pandemic, Hood said. Increasingly, businesses are seeking to forecast and strategise beyond COVID-19.
“This is our opportunity now, as we look through the fog of COVID, we see the vaccines are on the horizon. No one knows exactly when we’ll be able to get through it,” Hood said. But now is the time for accountants and finance professionals to move from “essential to indispensable”.
— Kim Nilsen (Kim.Nilsen@aicpa-cima.com) is FM magazine’s publisher.