AICPA Spring Council Meeting

The AICPA had its traditional Spring council meeting in Washington at the beginning of a new Congress, this time the 113th Congress.  We now have 10 CPAs in Congress with two more added to the mix in the 2012 election. We got to hear from these two newest CPA members of Congress at the Council meeting.  As you would expect from CPAs they are looking for ways to get the financial mismanagement of the Federal Government back under control and accomplish some of those basic things like actually passing a budget and brining attention to the long-term structural issues that we have to deal with if we are to truly put the Federal Government on a sound financial path forward.  It was actually heartening to see that one was a Democrat and one was a Republican.  Our fiscal crisis is a crisis caused by both parties and it must be solved by both parties.  Listening to their down to earth problem solving analysis one has to wonder if we would even be in this mess if instead of having 10 CPAs and 225 Lawyers, we had 225 CPAs and only 10 Lawyers in Congress.

Members of Council from every state “went to the Hill” to meet with their Congressmen and Senators and ask for their support for three pieces of legislation.

  1. The Employee Mobility Act to set a safe harbor period of 30 days before an employee working in another state becomes subject to that state’s income tax withholding and reporting requirements.
  2. The Tax Return Due Dates Act which changes dues dates for several forms and puts them in a logical order so that forms that are needed to file subsequent forms, such as K-1s are due before the subsequent forms are required.
  3. The Municipal Advisor Act which would exempt CPAs doing normal CPA work such as compilations and assurance work would not be considered advisors to municipalities issuing bonds.

We also offered our help on tax reform with a number of common sense suggestions like bringing together the 15 different education credits and the many different deductions and exemptions into one coherent system.

We did take care of some business at the meeting too.  The council voted to authorize the issuance of AICPA credentials such as CFF, PFS, ABV and CITP outside of the United States (the CGMA is already offered across the world).  We will work with our partner CIMA and other national accounting organizations that have comparable ethics, education and other requirements to the AICPA.  This is a way to increase the value of these credentials for all of our members by making them valued around the world.

Finally I had the privilege of being part of a panel that discussed the CGMA credential.  What it means, what it is worth and what CGMAs bring to a business that is different from other “accountants.”  Serving on the panel reminded me of the great career I have had because I joined a profession that is willing to look to the future and make the changes to stay relevant in this ever changing world.

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