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Supporting the CPAPAC: Why Your Contribution is Important

by Kimberly Scott, CAE | Oct 04, 2016
WA-Capitol-Building-Cupola-Columns-cars-blog-horizontal-400x250

When you contribute to the CPAPAC, you provide essential support to the WSCPA’s advocacy efforts. The WSCPA is the only professional association advocating for CPAs in Olympia. The CPAPAC provides contributions to the campaigns of legislators who sit on key committees, are CPAs or have shown support for the profession. Contributions are delivered in person so that local CPAs can build relationships with their legislators. These relationships are essential to ensuring that legislators understand the value of a CPA. It is important to understand that the CPAPAC is bipartisan, and does not endorse candidates.

Washington State Elections

In case you have missed the news, 2016 is a major election year. What that means in Washington State is that all House seats and half of the Senate seats are up for election. We also will be electing a Governor, Lieutenant Governor, State Auditor and State Treasurer, to name a few. The WSCPA is not expecting to bring any legislation forward this year; however, we expect, as in recent years, that the Society may want to weigh in on any proposed legislation related to taxes or issues affecting the profession. This summer dozens of WSCPA members and advocacy staff are visiting with legislators to get a better understanding of what may be happening in Olympia in 2017.

Recent Washington State Highlights

State Legislation: The WSCPA is always watching for legislation that could directly affect the profession. The WSCPA also drafts legislation when necessary to amend our statute, or other statutes that may affect the way a CPA can do business in Washington State. When bills are being heard, WSCPA member volunteers and staff travel to Olympia to testify on issues.

In 2015 the WSCPA passed two bills:

  • House Bill 1263 provides an exemption for CPAs in the Private Investigator Statute.
  • Senate Bill 5534 creates a scholarship fund for accounting students in Washington State. This was funded by money from the Washington State Board of Accountancy (WBOA) that would otherwise would have been moved to the state general fund.

In 2016 the WSCPA has passed one bill: House Bill 2433 aligns the Washington Accountancy Act with the Uniform Accountancy Act. The bill updates the definition of attest and allows firm mobility (similar to individual CPA mobility).

Also in 2016 the Legislature reviewed House Bill 2148, which did not pass and was not drafted by the WSCPA. This bill would have allowed CPA firms to audit municipalities that are currently only able to receive an audit from the State Auditor’s Office. While the concept of the bill was satisfactory, some language in the proposed legislation would have caused issues for CPAs.

State Board Relations: Rich Jones, WSCPA CEO, and I attend the WBOA’s quarterly meetings, and participate in other meetings throughout the year. The WSCPA provides both feedback and public testimony during the rule-making process. The two organizations have a great working relationship and work collaboratively on issues when necessary. Here are some WBOA highlights.

The new Executive Director, Charles Satterlund, started his term in office as of February 8, 2016. Unlike in most other states, in Washington State the Governor appoints the Executive Director.

The WBOA has three new board members who were officially appointed to the board by the Governor in July 2016. In total the WBOA has nine members, six CPA members and three public members. The three newly appointed members are: Mark Hugh, CPA Member, Public Accounting; Joel Cambern, Public Member, Banker; Rajib Doogar, Public Member, Educator.

National Highlights

WSCPA advocacy staff attend the NASBA (National Association of State Boards of Accountancy) meetings twice a year with WBOA members, where we stay informed about topics being discussed by national and international regulators.

The WSCPA leaders and key staff also attend AICPA council and leadership meetings to better understand national and global issues. Leadersand staff also meet every other year in Washington, D.C. with our state senators and Congressmen and women to discuss key issues affecting the profession.

Without your monetary support the WSCPA would not be able to be such an effective watchdog and advocate for the profession.

Contributions can be made online by the individual or via check mailed to:

CPAPAC
902 140th Ave NE
Bellevue WA 98005

For questions about contributions or the Society’s advocacy efforts, please contact me at kscott@wscpa.org or (425) 586-1108.

Kimberly-Scott-HeadshotKimberly Scott, CAE is WSCPA Vice President of Government and Member Relations.

This article appeared in the Summer 2016 issue of The WashingtonCPA magazine.

If you're interested in getting involved in the WSCPA's advocacy efforts, update your interests on your member profile! Just log in to your dashboard, click "Manage My Interests," check the Advocacy box, and click "OK." If you have a personal relationship with a legislator, we'd love to hear from you. Please email Kimberly Scott at kscott@wscpa.org.

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ABOUT WSCPA

The Washington Society of Certified Public Accountants is the only organization in the state of Washington dedicated to serving the professional needs of CPAs, educating consumers about CPAs and the services they provide, and encouraging students to study accounting and enter the profession.

Your Profession. Your Future. Your Advocate.

CONTACT

Washington Society of CPAs
902 140th Ave NE
Bellevue, WA 98005-3480

  • (P) 425-644-4800
  • (F) 425-562-8853

The WSCPA's business hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.