President & CEO
AICPA (that's us)
New York, NY
Barry Melancon has a number for anyone just starting their career: 15.
“People entering the work force over the next decade will have, on average, 15 different jobs over the course of their work life,” he explains. “Being a CPA gives you more of the skills and advantages you need to be successful in every one of those 15 jobs than any other profession.”
Barry should know. As the President and CEO of the American Institute of CPAs, he works for about 370,000 CPAs. “It’s the best group of people that you’ll find anywhere,” he says. “They bring competence, ethics, caring and expertise to have a real impact on our society and economy. It’s a real privilege to work with them.”
Today Barry travels most of the year, delivering more than 100 speeches around the world, and managing a staff of more than 600 people. But he started his career just like many CPAs: at a small firm in his hometown. By 25, he was a partner in the small South Louisiana firm. And from there, he rose through the ranks of professional CPA organizations before taking the helm of the AICPA.
Does he have any other advice for anyone embarking on a career? “Change is a constant,” he says. “Embrace it.”
“Change is a constant. Embrace it.”
Years as a CPA: 34
Best job: CEO at the AICPA
Worst job: Little league umpire
Hobbies outside of work: Golf, boating, watching sports
Words to live by: "The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago – but don't let that stop you from doing something now."