The Indiana CPA Society’s Distinguished Service Award honors a member who has made significant contributions to the profession and Society throughout their career.
This award is the highest honor given by the Society, and we are pleased to announce the 2020 recipient is Jake Dunton, CPA-retired!
Jake joined the Society in 1971 and has been volunteering for almost 40 years. After obtaining his CPA license in 1974, he became credentialed as a Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) and Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE). He also has been a member of the AICPA, Association of Certified Fraud Examiners and the Indiana University Alumni Association.
He began his career with Ernst and Young and then served as an audit partner with a regional Indiana-based firm before starting his own company—Dunton & Co., P.C. His firm offered a full range of accounting, auditing, financial reporting and tax services to for-profit and individual tax clients, but he primarily performed single audits and monitored service providers for not-for-profit organizations.
Throughout this time, Jake cultivated an expertise in audit and readily put that knowledge to work for the CPA profession.
“Jake was always a willing participant when we had exposure drafts and other special projects that needed volunteer support,” said INCPAS VP – Finance Jenny Norris, CPA, CGMA, CAE.
He also jumped in on initiatives that helped fellow members quickly understand and work through change.
In 2006, he was presented with the INCPAS Chair’s award from past chair Susi Willis, CPA, for his work on the Quality Review Rule which became effective in 2004.
“Change itself is rarely easy,” Willis said in her award presentation to Jake. “Firms seeking to qualify under the new Rule—numbering more than 100—were required to complete their peer review by June 30. We all know CPAs never wait until the last minute to get started! And, unfortunately, a peer review cannot be completed by pulling an ‘all-nighter.’ Once again, we asked Jake to assist us and our members. Once again, he spent countless volunteer hours reaching out to new registrants by contacting them personally to offer advice, answer questions, and help them get started.”
I hope my legacy will be that I was known for making contributions to the profession and helping educate professionals.
During his service on the INCPAS Peer Review Committee, he was the go-to person for effectively communicating the value of Quality Review to the Board of Accountancy, legislators, CPAs and other key stakeholders.
“Peer Review provided me many opportunities to assist colleagues and firms,” Jake said. “At various times I have been a mentor, a consultant and an advisor. I hope my legacy will be that I was known for making contributions to the profession and helping educate professionals.”
For his service on the INCPAS Government Relations Advisory Committee, he was instrumental in drafting legislation, writing rules, advocacy policies and responses to exposure drafts.
He regularly attended Board of Accountancy meetings and worked with board members and the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency staff on a number of initiatives.
Although he’s now retired and lives in Fort Wayne with his wife, Norma, he still stresses the importance of advocacy for the profession and encourages INCPAS members to get involved.
“For the last 30 plus years, there have been threats by various departments of the federal government to oversee and control our profession,” Jake said. “Volunteer and devote the time to preserve, protect and enhance the profession while looking out for the best interests of your clients.”