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Evangel U. grad Eric Hansen elected chair of American Institute of CPAs — AICPA

Published on Oct 26, 2017 by Paul K. Logsdon

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, which wraps up its annual fall meeting today. 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.

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.

“Eric’s appointment as chairman of the AICPA board is the highest of honors,” said Becky Rhoades, associate professor of accounting at Evangel who remembers him as a student. “Eric has had an outstanding career in public accounting, and his new role tells you he has the highest respect of his professional peers. We in the Business Department are beyond proud of him.” 

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.’”

Nov. 2017 cover story — Evangel University graduate rises to top of accounting field. // (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

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.

“Eric’s election provides inspiration and an example for our Evangel University students and alumni who are committed to impact their communities through excellence of character, integrity, and leadership,” said Bernie Dana, professor emeritus at Evangel and long-time friend of Hansen.

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


  1. Another feature story on this topic from BKD:
  2. This story — EU quotes added 10.25.2017 to announcement first published here: