Barry Melancon, CPA, CGMA
President and CEO
American Institute of CPAs and CEO, Association of International Certified Professional Accountants
Barry C. Melancon is the President and CEO of the American Institute of CPAs, and CEO of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, the most influential body of professional accountants in the world with more than 657,000 members and students. Formed in 2017, the Association combines the strengths of The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and the AICPA.
During his 40-year career, Melancon has served as an advocate for the accounting profession. He has built extensive relationships with governments around the world, extending the reach of the public and management accounting profession to new regions and opportunities.
Melancon joined the AICPA in 1995. He is now the longest serving CEO in the organization’s 131-year history. Under his tenure, the AICPA has grown to become the largest membership body of CPAs in the world and has directed numerous initiatives to benefit not only the profession, but also investors, business owners, lenders and the general public. These include audit quality centers, private company reporting standards, the computerized CPA exam, and two consumer financial literacy education programs.
Under Melancon’s leadership in 2011, the AICPA formed a joint venture with CIMA to elevate management accounting globally. Together, the organizations created the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation for those professionals who meet the highest benchmark of rigor and quality. Today, approximately 150,000 professionals hold the CGMA designation worldwide. Then, in 2016, Melancon led a process for members of the AICPA and CIMA to combine and form the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants. The effort was supported by more than 85% of the members voting. The combined entity has 34 offices in 23 countries, all under Melancon’s direction.
Melancon has led the Association in the release of two integrated reports that share a holistic view of how the AICPA, CIMA and Association come together to create value in the short- and long-term. This complements his service as chair of the Board of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), a global coalition of stakeholders that promotes integrated reporting as the next step in the evolution of corporate reporting.
Additionally, Melancon serves as chairman of the Board of CPA.com, a for-profit subsidiary of the AICPA which was his brainchild in 1998. In a unique approach, he raised more than $70 million to fund an organization controlled by the AICPA but with minority owners. CPA.com today provides leading-edge technology services to tens of thousands of small CPA firms in the United States. Further, under his direction, the AICPA has been awarded the .cpa domain, which will help CPAs promote themselves online through a clear connection with the CPA profession. The new domain will only be available to the CPA community.
Melancon is also chairman of eXtensible Business Reporting Language-US (XBRL), and a founding and current board member of both the Global Accounting Alliance (GAA) and the Center for Audit Quality (CAQ). He serves on the board of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness and is a member of the delegation to the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC). During 2007-2008, Melancon served on the U.S. Department of the Treasury Advisory Committee on the Auditing Profession. He has also testified for the profession before Congress numerous times.
His extensive experience also includes spearheading the development of a new cybersecurity assurance service in 2017, the professionalization of a cloud-based client accounting service in 2007, the next generation of leadership academies, the computerization of the US-CPA exam, the global CGMA exam, uniform licensure for CPAs throughout the country, and has helped elevate CPA and CGMA skills globally for technology and business service. He is also leading a renewed commitment to diversity in the profession and countless legislative and regulatory approaches to benefit businesses and the profession. On the international stage, he has spoken on business, technology and change management issues to professional accountants and business leaders throughout the world, and met with government leaders, regulators, and stock exchanges focusing on the future of business and business information.
Prior to joining the AICPA, Melancon served for eight years as executive director of the Society of Louisiana CPAs. He began his accounting career in 1979 at a small CPA firm in Louisiana. In 1984, he was elected a firm partner. Melancon graduated in 1978 from Nicholls State University in Louisiana, majoring in accounting with a minor in government. He also earned an MBA in 1983 from Nicholls State University and subsequently served as an adjunct professor of accounting at his alma mater for four years. He was also awarded his alma mater’s first and only Honorary Doctorate of Commerce in 2008.
He has been honored with many awards, including the 2011 National Association Executive of the Year award. He presents to profession and business leaders more than 100 times per year.