In a year of historic success in the legislature, one piece of legislation stood out – “Safe Harbor” legislation for Maryland CPAs.
This legislation was complicated in that it dealt with the very specific inner-workings of our Profession – Peer Review, Audits, Compliations, and Reviews. Stuff that gets messy when you only have a few minutes to explain to 188 legislators.
That is where Delegate Brian Feldman comes in. Delegate Feldman (pictured in middle with Allen DeLeon on the right and yours truly on the left) was instrumental in helping us pass this legislation as our sponsor and as a member of the key House Committee that hears accounting legislation in Annapolis – the House Economic Matters Committee.
Brian is a tax lawyer and CPA and has a great way of communicating the intricacies of our Profession in a way that his fellow legislators can understand. He is also a well known leader in Annapolis as chair the Montgomery County House delegation and sponsor of numerous successful bills. He was also the key sponsor in our mobility legislation in 2008.
Allen DeLeon, Chair of MACPA and I were proud to have the opportunity to recognize Brian for his efforts in passing the “Safe Harbor” legislation and his significant contributions to the CPA Profession in Maryland.
This moment was even more meaningful as Brian is Allen's representative and they both met for the first time at our CPA Day in Annapolis when Brian entered the General Assembly as a freshman delegate in 2002. Allen was also a “freshman” as it was his first CPA Day. Who would have thought?
Brian, thanks for your leadership and support!
Remember, CPA Day in Annapolis is January 18, 2012 – register here.
Here is the background on this important legislation:
This year, the MACPA worked hand in hand with the state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, the State Board of Public Accountancy and even the Maryland Society of Accountants to pass the groundbreaking “safe harbor” legislation. The bills in question –- Senate Bill 370 and House Bill 328 -– make it clear that only CPAs may perform audits and reviews in Maryland. It also stipulates that non-CPAs who perform compilations (a) must not use SSARS / AICPA language in their reports, and (b) must emphasize they are not required to undergo peer review.
“This protects the public -– small businesses, banks and people who rely on financial statements,” said Hood. “It certainly protects our small practitioners, who are the mainstays in issuing compilations and reviews.
“Beyond that, it was grossly unfair that a licensed CPA who was doing a compilation and review for a small company had to undergo peer review and all of the scrutiny that comes with it, and yet a non-licensed accountant could do the same service and avoid peer review -– and potentially mislead the public. This legislation corrects that.”
More on our legislative agenda over at CPA Success: