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From Where We Sit

I am a CPA, a nation builder

Jun Cuaresma

“A dynamic force toward national prosperity and excellence with a global perspective.” That was the vision set when the Roadmap for the Accountancy Profession was adopted in 2007. A strong, dynamic force of more than 175,000 Certified Public Accountants (CPA) currently registered with the Philippine Regulatory Commission (PRC) – Board of Accountancy (BOA) aspire to be an active partner in nation-building through the profession’s four sectors: commerce and industry, public practice, education and government.

The profession has been an active partner in nation-building through the role of CPAs in Commerce and Industry by providing financial reports on the operating results and financial conditions of companies, which become the businessman’s basis for making economic decisions to enhance their competitiveness. With the attest functions of CPAs in public practice, such financial reports are given greater reliability and credibility when used by players in the capital markets, which in turn, help build the country’s competitiveness.

CPAs in the government contribute to creating greater people confidence in government institutions through transparent financial reporting of the sources and uses of government funds and accountabilities. Before all these CPAs obtained their professional licenses, they were trained and developed by CPAs in education as part of meeting the country’s CPA needs. More importantly, the financial reports produced by CPAs are the primary basis of companies in paying their taxes. The prompt collection of these taxes contributes and accelerates national development, which benefits both the government and the people.

Prominent CPAs have stepped up and gone beyond their role through their direct involvement in nation-building by joining government service. To name a few, we have Cesar Virata, former prime minister and minister of the Department of Finance; Alberto Romulo, former secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs; the late Rizalino Navarro, former secretary of the Department of Trade and Industries; Corazon dela Paz-Bernardo, former president and CEO of the Social Security System; Jaime Laya, former governor of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas; Manny Villar, former speaker of the House of Representatives and Senate president; and Antonietta Ibe, SEC commissioner and former chair of PRC and BOA.

Given the critical and significant role of CPAs in nation-building, the BOA and the Philippine Institute of CPAs (or PICPA, the national association of CPAs) adopted the provisions of Presidential Executive Order No. 22, “Adopting the Code of Good Governance for the Profession.” The BOA and PICPA believe that instilling good governance in the profession and among CPAs is essential to achieving its vision of contributing to national development. Both institutions then implemented a governance framework called the Performance Governance System (PGS), upon which the PGS Committee was created to work into the institutionalization of the PGS in the accountancy profession. The Roadmap for the Institutionalization of PGS in the accountancy profession was then drawn. The roadmap embodies its vision of “a dynamic force toward national prosperity and excellence with a global perspective” and mission of “the accountancy profession, being in the forefront of all activities related to economic growth and development of the country and attainment of national growth and objectives, commits to implement the Code of Good Governance for the Professions in the Philippines.” Recognizing the relevance of the PGS in pursuing the Profession’s vision and mission, PICPA has extended its full support to the PGS Committee.

It took over 10 years for the Accountancy Profession to institutionalize the PGS, starting from the issuance of Executive Order No.22 in 2003. On March 29, 2016, the Institute for Solidarity in Asia (ISA) finally awarded the PGS Institutionalized Award; Gold Trailblazer Award; and Islands of Good Governance Award to the accountancy profession. ISA is a non-stock, non-profit, non-government organization that advocates good corporate governance reforms and believes in making governance a shared responsibility.

The awards were indeed significant, as they made the accountancy profession the first among the 42 professions in the Philippines to be awarded such. The PGS Committee has institutionalized the profession’s plans, strategies, and targets. Now the challenge is how to sustain what the PGS Committee has started for the profession and how to ensure the adherence of all CPAs to the PGS. More importantly, the institutionalization of the PGS means a cultural transformation in the professional practice and sustainable good governance for all CPAs as a dynamic force in nation-building.

With all these happening within my profession, I am more confident than ever to say: I am a CPA. I am accountable to the public. I serve my country with integrity. I am a nation builder.

Jun Cuaresma is the COO and managing partner, as well as the division head of Audit & Assurance of P&A Grant Thornton. P&A Grant Thornton is one of the leading audit, tax, advisory and outsourcing firms in the Philippines, with 21 partners and more than 850 staff members. We’d like to hear from you! Tweet us: @PAGrantThornton, like us on Facebook: P&A Grant Thornton, and email your comments to or For more information, visit our website:


As published in The Manila Times, dated 20 September 2017