NASBA and the AICPA Form Working Group to Fight Anti-Regulation Efforts
Over the last several years, the anti-regulatory environment has become increasingly hostile towards occupational licensing. The anti-regulatory legislation filed during the last two years, and the model bills that it has stemmed from, have sought to ease occupational licensing laws and impose bureaucratic oversight over state licensing boards. The accounting profession is concerned because the legislation has been overly broad in its approach, grouping all occupations and professions into the same bills without any consideration to public harm. In response to these growing concerns, NASBA and the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) have formed a Working Group to fight these Anti-Regulation efforts. The charge of the working group is to:
Better position the licensing of CPAs in the eyes of policy-makers and key influencers through the development of a robust communications platform that:
- details the rich history of the accounting profession,
- articulates the importance of remaining a state-regulated profession,
- explains the tremendous strides made to reduce barriers as the profession has evolved, and
- advocates for the profession's continued strength and integrity by preserving the licensing requirements set forth in the Uniform Accountancy Act.
The working group includes representation from various stakeholders, including NASBA, the AICPA, State CPA Societies, State Boards of Accountancy and The Accountants Coalition to ensure many points of view are considered on how to best educate lawmakers and their staffers about the profession and its need to be highly regulated and fulfill its public protection mandate. The working group consists of the following members:
- Jimmy Corley, CPA, Executive Director – Arkansas Board of Accountancy
- Ron Gitz, CPA, CEO – Society of Louisiana CPAs
- Niki Neilon, CPA, Nevada Board of Accountancy
- Tammy Velasquez, Director of State Relations – EY/TAC
- Emily Walker, CAE, Vice President Advocacy – Virginia Society of CPAs
Given that trust is at the core of financial markets, and market stability depends in large part on the work of the accounting profession, this is a critical time for the profession to begin asserting the value of the stakeholder groups' collective work, and to better position the licensing of CPAs in the eyes of policy-makers and key influencers.