Remember the Billy Crystal movie, City Slickers where the oldtime cowboy, Curley asks, What’s the #1 Thing?

There is one thing that we do for CPAs and CPA Firms that nobody else does.

Advocacy.

We have been doing it since 1900 when we passed the Maryland CPA Law.

Legislative advocacy to protect the interests of the CPA Profession in Maryland (and nationally with the AICPA). 

Our legislative strategy is pretty simple – we play both sides of the ball. On offense we try to pass proactive bills that make the practice environment and CPA licensing friendly and current with the times. In fact, Senator Brian Feldman, a CPA and MACPA Member, says that Maryland CPAs enjoy one of the best practice environments in the nation around flexible CPE policies, form of practice (mobility, non-CPA ownership, low licensing fees, fair regulatory environment and more. 

Add to that the expensive bills we have defeated like comparative fault that would have caused liability insurance increases, sales taxes on services, and unnecessary addtiional license fees (Tax Preparer, Debt Counselor, State Police Private Investigator) and that makes for a very good ROI on your membership and PAC investments with MACPA.

But don’t take my word for it, here are what a group of our major firm managing partners have said,

  • We can get CPE from anywhere, but only MACPA is protecting our interests in the legislature and with the State Board of Accounatncy.
  • One bad bill like comparative fault or sales taxes on services could cost us thousands of dollars, supporting MACPA with membership and PAC money is cheap insurance.
  • MACPA has one of the most effective grassroots advocacy organizations in Maryland.
  • If we support MACPA, we won’t have to spend money developing the systems and people to deal with legislative and regulatory issues.

 Here is a brief video that covers why you should care about legislative advocacy.

And a slide deck that covers MACPA’s legislative advocacy efforts:

Here are some examples of our successes ove the past ten years or so:

Offense – building and maintaining the CPA infrastructure

  • Separate funding for the State Board 2006 – HB 103
  • Experience requirement to make Maryland CPAs compatible with UAA (Uniform Accountancy Act) 2001 -MD COMAR 09.24.03.1  
  • Ethics requirement for CPE 2006 -MD COMAR 09.24.02.02 Prevent SOX Cascade
  • Mandatory peer review and practice quality 2005 – HB 1223
  • Exemption for CPAs from Maryland (and federal) tax preparer regulation 2008 – SB 817
  • Passed Practice mobility 2008 – HB 1296
  • Expanding acceptable CPE methods  2009 – HB 69
  • 120/150 CPA exam legislation 2011 – SB 287
  • Restricted audits, reviews, and compilations to CPAs and added safe harbor for compilations  2011 – HB 328
  • State Board of Public Accountancy reauthorization 2013 – SB 238

Defense – preventing legislation that would adversely effect CPAs

  • Sales tax on accounting and tax services (defeated several times) 1997 – HB 580 ,2001 HB 1337, 2004 HB 1364,  2007 – HB 448 , 2012 HB 1051
  • Maryland corporate accountability (SOX and 404 for private companies and non-profits) 2003 – SB 560
  • Defeated Debt counseling registration by CPAs  2011 – SB 741
  • Amended Maryland Tax Preparers 2007 – HB 998 to exempt CPAs from registration requirements and required disclosure by non-CPA Tax Preparers.
  • Defeated Comparative fault (several times) 1998 SB 618 , 2000 – SB 779, 2001 SB 483 ,  2007 – HB 110
  • Elimination of audit requirements for Maryland cemeteries  2011 – SB 352
  • Passed AG opinion allowing CPAs to include Social Security numbers on documents for tax services from Privacy Act – 8/30/2011
  • Got Exemption from Maryland State Police Private Investigator Registration requirement for CPAs doing fraud and forensic work
So we close with the question, If not you, who? and if not now when?
 

 

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