The Professional Staff of the Center for Plain English Accounting
Robert Durak, CPA, CGMA
As Director of Private Company Financial Reporting and the CPEA, Bob is the AICPA’s lead staff person on accounting and attest matters affecting private companies. Bob led the AICPA's development of the Financial Reporting Framework for Small- and Medium-sized Entities and speaks frequently across the country about private company financial reporting. From 2007-2012 Bob staffed the Private Company Financial Reporting Committee, a joint effort by the Financial Accounting Standards Board and the AICPA to improve accounting standard setting for private companies. Related to that work, Bob helped staff the Blue Ribbon Panel on Private Company Financial Reporting, which ultimately led to the formation of the Private Company Council.
Earlier in Bob’s career at the AICPA, he was the Director of the Accounting and Auditing Publications group, responsible for the development and publishing of the AICPA’s audit and accounting guides, audit risk alerts and practice aids. In that role, Bob authored numerous publications aimed at helping practitioners understand and implement accounting, auditing, attest, review, compilation and other technical standards.
Prior to joining the AICPA, Bob was a manager in the audit practice of Deloitte & Touche where he served large and small clients primarily in the manufacturing industry. He received his B.S. in Accounting from Rutgers University and holds CPA licenses in New Jersey and New York.
Kristy L. Illuzzi, CPA, CGMA
Kristy Illuzzi moved to North Carolina and joined the AICPA in May 2007 as a Technical Manager for the Accounting and Audit Publications team. Kristy was responsible for writing, maintaining and updating Audit and Accounting Guides, Audit Risk Alerts, Checklists and Illustrative Financial Statements, and Financial Reporting Alerts. Kristy was also a project leader on the XBRL and FASB Codification projects, and has worked on several publications, training materials, and speeches focused on these topics. From July 2011 through November 2013, Kristy worked for the Accounting and Auditing Technical Hotline team, where in addition to answering over 100 member inquiries each week, she also worked on our Technical Practice Aids publication and spoke at AICPA national conferences. Kristy joined the Center for Plain English Accounting in November 2013, and in this role she assists in answering member questions, prepares monthly reports on hot topics and emerging issues, and speaks at quarterly webcasts and conferences on top compilation, review, audit and accounting issues.
Prior to joining the AICPA, Kristy was the Controller for Engender Health, an international not-for-profit organization focused on women’s reproductive health. In addition to overall financial management of the organization, she traveled to Ghana and Kenya to assist field staff in implementation of QuickBooks software. Kristy was an Experienced Manager for Grant Thornton, LLP in the Non-Profit Practice. During Kristy’s tenure with Grant Thornton, she worked in the New York City office, serving a variety of non-profit clients. Kristy started her career with Arthur Andersen in 1997, where she worked on audits of a variety of Fortune 500 clients.
Kristy received her Bachelors Degree in Accounting from SUNY- University at Albany in May 1998. She holds CPA licenses in North Carolina and New York, and is a member of the AICPA and the North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants.
Linda A. Volkert, CPA, MSLS
Linda has over 20 years of experience with the AICPA serving the needs of members from local and regional CPA firms. Currently, Linda is a Senior Technical Manager and AICPA staff liaison to the AICPA Private Companies Practice Section (PCPS) Technical Issues Committee (TIC), which provides standard setters with the unique perspective of local and regional CPA firms on accounting, auditing, attestation, governmental, compilation and review, and ethics proposals. Linda writes comment letters to standards-setters on behalf of TIC and supervises the preparation of the committee’s newsletter, The Technical Issues Alert.
With the knowledge gained from working with TIC, she serves as a staff member of the NAAATS Planning Committee, which develops the agenda for the National Advanced Accounting and Auditing Technical Symposium each year. This conference is the best source for up-to-date information on accounting, auditing, compilation and review, and ethics developments and is focused on the needs of practitioners who audit, review or compile financial statements for nonpublic entities.
In previous years, Linda supervised the AICPA’s Accounting and Auditing Technical Hotline, which provides free, non-authoritative technical advice to AICPA members on accounting, financial reporting, auditing, attestation, governmental and compilation and review standards.
Prior to joining the AICPA, Linda worked at Coopers & Lybrand (one of the predecessor firms of Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP). During her 12-year career, she performed research in the firm’s National Office Research Request Group and then transferred to the audit practice gaining experience in three different offices of the firm. Her accounting career began at a medium-sized CPA firm in Albany, NY.
Linda also has a Master of Science degree in Library Science
(MSLS) and has worked as a business reference librarian at Pennsylvania
State University in State College, PA.
Linda is a graduate of the State University of New York at Albany with a B.A. in English. She received her MSLS degree from Long Island University—Palmer Graduate Library School.
Thomas A. Ratcliffe Ph.D., CPA, CGMA (May 20, 1952 - March 23, 2014)
Dr. Tom’s spirit and legacy lives on at CPEA. The CPEA continues to build upon the foundation that he built with great member service, quality you can trust, communicating complicated principles in clear and concise terms , and a spirit of innovation.
Tom Ratcliffe was Technical Director of the Center for Plain English Accounting and an accounting and auditing thought leader, writer, and advisor helping CPAs throughout the country understand and appropriately-implement the accounting and attest engagement technical literature.
In 2012 and 2013, Tom worked with the AICPA staff in drafting the new Financial Reporting Framework for Small- and Medium-Sized Entities, and he served on the Task Force that worked toward finalizing that Framework. He served as a member of the Auditing Standards Board [ASB], the AICPA senior technical committee responsible for developing auditing, attestation, and quality control standards, during the development of the clarified and converged auditing and quality control standards. During his tenure with the ASB, Tom also served as a member of the Audit Issues Task Force [AITF].
Prior to joining the ASB, Tom served as Chair and as a member of the AICPA Accounting and Review Services Committee [ARSC], and he served on the AICPA Council. He also was the primary contributing author to the original AICPA Guide for Compilation and Review Engagements. He served as a founding member of the Private Company Financial Reporting Committee [PCFRC].
Tom served as an accounting and auditing technical advisor to six different associations of CPA firms. For 25 years, he authored the Bisk Education monthly Accounting and Auditing Report, the widely-used monthly update of accounting and auditing issues that is distributed nationally to CPAs in public practice and industry. Also, Tom was a regularly-featured speaker through web-based programs, including those offered through the Center for Plain English Accounting.
Tom earned his Ph.D. at The University of Alabama. He published more than 100 technical works in accounting and auditing, including several books and other documents that are widely-utilized in practice. In 2004, based on both the quality and the quantity of his publications, Tom was recognized as one of the most prolific authors in the accounting profession.
Tom received numerous research and teaching awards throughout his career, including the Alabama Society of CPAs Outstanding Professional Educator award. After winning that award for seven consecutive years, the Alabama Society of CPAs renamed the award in his honor.
Tom was Director Emeritus of the School of Accountancy at Troy University, and he was the Senior Accounting and Auditing Technical Advisor for Warren Averett, LLC.