Anoop Natwar Mehta, chief strategist of the aerospace firm Analytical Mechanical Associates (AMA), is the new chair of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), the world’s largest member organization representing the CPA profession. He also will serve as chair of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, which combines the strengths of the AICPA and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).
Mehta, a CPA who also holds the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation, was elected to the one-year AICPA volunteer post by the organization’s governing Council, which concluded its Spring Council session today. Okorie Ramsey, CPA, CGMA, vice president of Sarbanes-Oxley compliance for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, was voted in as the AICPA’s vice chair.
Mehta’s family immigrated to the United States when he was 12. Initially drawn to the profession by the example of his father, a chartered accountant whose work took him to three different continents, Mehta’s enthusiasm was further bolstered by a high school teacher who mentored him in accounting studies.
“The CPA is a foundation to open doors, broaden horizons and build career journeys,” Mehta said in his acceptance speech. “It was true when I passed the exam in 1991, and it’s just as true now, if not more.”
FICPA leaders with new AICPA Chair Anoop Mehta during the Spring Council meeting in Austin, Texas
Mehta listed three areas of focus for his term:
- Helping others to grow professionally and personally. The profession must adopt a people-first approach that encourages mutual support, lifelong learning and personal development. “People should be at the center of our practices and decisions, large and small, the chief focus for where we want the profession to go,” he said.
- Diversifying the pipeline of new accountants. Projects such as CPA Evolution, a new model for licensure, and new apprenticeships for CGMA candidates, will help. But the profession also must set and track progress toward DEI goals to ensure accountability, he said. He vowed to visit as many high schools and colleges as he can during his tenure to talk up the profession.
- Preserving trust in the profession. Mehta cited the profession’s recent role in economic recovery and business relief and described how that’s built trust with clients and the public. He also pointed to new areas where CPAs can serve, such as assurance and advisory work related to environmental, social and governance (ESG) topics. “I’ve spent my entire career working with organizations that conduct research on our planet’s natural systems,” he said. “This is one of the places the profession will be looked at in 10, 50, or even 100 years from now as having instilled confidence and consistency in the production of this data.”
Before taking his current position with AMA, Mehta spent more than four decades at Science Systems and Applications, Inc., eventually rising to president. During his time there, the company grew from a two-person firm to an organization with more than 1,000 employees. Mehta actively supported NASA and NOAA programs in his executive management capacity at SSAI.
Mehta served for the past year as the AICPA’s vice chair and has held several other volunteer posts, including roles as a member of the AICPA Board of Directors, the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants Board of Directors, the AICPA Business and Industry Executive Committee, the AICPA Political Action Committee and AICPA Council. He is a previous chair of the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants (MACPA), and a former board member and past president of the Maryland Space Business Roundtable.
He is also a seventh-degree Master Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do and has been teaching martial arts and operating a karate school for the past 35 years.
Mehta earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Maryland, College Park. He and his wife, Bina, live in Clarksville, Md., and have two daughters and two grandchildren.