Concerned about the direction of professional services

We’ve decided to dumb down* the CPA exam format and simultaneously reduce formal educational requirements. I’m called stodgy for saying that the amount of new information and professional knowledge requirements for a competent CPA indicates that we should be moving in the other direction.

Oregon is eliminating the requirement for new lawyers to take the bar exam. Call me old-fashioned, but I encouraged my son to do his legal internship before law school and the bar exam.

Where is it headed? I can only presume that the application of professional discretion will suffer. The gap between the performance of the best professional and the median professionals will likely widen. The good ones will spend more time saying things like “Don’t rely on what you read on social media or read in Chat GPT” or “Just because the accountants and attorneys for the promoter quote the law, does not mean it is safe for you”. Likewise, the gap between the worse performing professionals and the median will also widen, creating more problems.

*Of course, the term “dumb down” indicates my own perception and not the consensus of the professional community. I recognize that my view is seen as more typical of an older professional and not in tune with the thinking of younger peers and those charged with the task of bringing people into professional service roles.