Question: How big of a deal was the 2012 edition of CPA Day in Annapolis?
Answer: A year ago, more than 150 MACPA members attended the annual legislative event — 20 percent more than the previous record. This year, we pulled in about 170 members. That's about 13 percent than last year's record.
We've been saying it for years, but here it is again: The more CPAs who make their voices heard, the louder our message becomes.
This year, we were absolutely deafening.
“CPAs have enormous credibility, and what you're doing is absolutely crucial,” said Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot, who stopped by the event to talk with those attending. “There's an old saying in politics: If you're not at the table, you can often end up on the menu. Maryland CPAs should have a place at the table. They should have a higher visibility on fiscal responsibility and fiscal discipline and why those things leads to social responsibility and the ability to pay for the things we want. The fact that you're here in Annapolis is very commendable, and all of your members should support that.”
They did that in record numbers this year, including more than 60 first-time attendees who offered this plea to those who weren't there:
“Absolutely get involved,” said Kelly Bugg of Bieger and Waller in Columbia. “Understand the impact that we're making and what would happen if we didn't do this. If we weren't here, the result would be things the CPA community wouldn't be happy about.”
Scary thought, indeed. But the word is getting out. CPAs are learning a huge lesson: In a changing and complex world, collaboration is usually the answer. During legislative season in Maryland, that means collaborating with lawmakers. That's what happened on Jan. 18, and it may have made all the difference.
We'll be following the progress of CPA-related bills throughout the 2012 session of Maryland's General Assembly at our sister blog, Legislative Insider. Be sure to follow along.
And be sure to check out the Maryland Chamber Action Network as well. Run by the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, the blog tracks important legislation at both the state and federal levels.
Happy reading. As always, it's going to be an interesting session.