Eric Hansen Elected Next Chair of AICPA

Eric Hansen, CPA, CGMA, chief operating officer of BKD CPAs & Advisors, will be the next chair of the American Institute of CPAs, the world’s largest member organization representing the CPA profession.

Hansen, 56, was elected to the volunteer post by the AICPA governing Council. Bill Reeb, chief executive of the management consulting firm Succession Institute, LLC, was voted in as vice chair. Both men will assume their duties on Feb. 1, 2018, and serve until May 20, 2019.

In his acceptance speech, Hansen – an Eagle Scout – extolled the virtues of preparation and anticipation.

“The future is uncertain, and change is accelerating,” he said. “But if we’re early – if we have the courage to be bold and a bias for action – we’ll be prepared. As Harry Truman said, ‘Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.’”

Hansen’s priorities for his term include:

  • Harnessing technology to create more value for clients and businesses. The profession is already moving forward in such areas as blockchain, audit analytics and opportunities in cybersecurity risk assessment, Hansen noted, but more needs to be done. “Technology isn’t only about data,” he said. “It’s about making connections. It’s about empowering individuals and businesses to expand their scope of possibilities.”
  • Extending the profession’s influence in a connected, global society. To protect the public interest and maintain the profession’s relevancy, it is essential for today’s leaders to look beyond definitions, demographics and geographic dimensions that once constrained the scope and reach of professional accountancy.
  • Evolving professional skills, advancing learning opportunities and creating future leaders. It all comes down to one goal – investing in people. “We have to keep stepping up our game,” he said.

Hansen is a CPA and holds the CGMA designation. As COO at BKD, a Top 12 U.S. accounting firm, Hansen oversees firm-wide operations and acts as a liaison between BKD’s national office and its four regions. He previously served as managing partner of the firm’s offices in Oklahoma. Throughout his career, Hansen has provided audit, tax and consulting services to companies in the manufacturing, health care, construction, transportation and financial services industries.

As a board member for the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, Hansen played a critical role in the successful launch of that organization over the past year. He currently serves as the AICPA’s vice chair and was previously chair of the institute’s finance committee and a member of the compensation and audit committees. In addition, he was part of the AICPA Task Force on the Future of Learning and serves as a member of the institute’s Major Firms Group.

He also has been active as a member of the Missouri Society of CPAs, serving as an ex-officio member of its board of directors.

Hansen received a bachelor's degree in accounting from Evangel University. He completed business and leadership training at the Stanford Graduate School of Business Executive Education program and a dynamic leadership development program sponsored by Harvard University.

He and his wife, Jana, live in Springfield, Mo. They have three children, Todd, Elise and Luke.


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