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"The Greatest Bill in the History of Great Bills"

by Ashley Kittrell | Mar 30, 2018
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With a stroke of his pen and the comment that he was “happy to sign this bill,” Governor Jay Inslee signed into law House Bill 2468 on March 22. Known for its long title and eager support from cosponsor Steve Kirby, HB 2468 allows British Columbia accounting firms to provide limited financial services in Washington.

What it does

Similar to individual and firm mobility between states, B.C. chartered professional accounting firms and Chartered Professional Accountants may prepare attest or compilation engagements for wholly or partially owned subsidiaries of Canadian businesses operating in Washington without obtaining an individual or firm Certified Public Accountant license.

All reports must be issued solely in Canada and there is a five-year sunset provision to assess its effectiveness and determine whether it should continue.

HB 2468 amends RCW 18.04.283, 18.04.215, 18.04.345, 18.04.350, and adds a new section in 18.04.350.

Background

In 2015, the Washington State Board of Accountancy (WBOA) and Chartered Professional Accountants of B.C. (CPABC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation. The MOUC specifies the use of title in each jurisdiction and the terms of agreement regarding potential disciplinary cases.

Describing it as “innovative,” Charles Satterlund, Executive Director of the WBOA says that HB 2468 “was a response to inquiries that the Board has received over the past several years. During this time, Board staff have received concerned calls from business entities that were seeking to complete their attest engagements, but were having difficulty finding a US accounting firm willing to perform the small portion of the engagement work for the Washington based entity. It seemed like a common sense measure that helps to make Washington a good place to set up shop by lowering audit costs for those businesses that operate as Washington registered businesses but are owned by Canadian interests.”

He adds that, “passage of the bill furthers our relationship with British Columbian accounting profession regulators and at least in this one small way it strengthens our economic ties with our neighbor to the north.

We will continue our discussion with British Columbian regulators to open similar opportunities for Washington CPAs in Canada.”

As Representative Kirby humorously described it during the House Floor debate, “this may just be the greatest bill in the history of great bills!”

HB 2468 Summary

  • Passed House 94-0 (4 excused) on February 1
  • Passed Senate 49-0 on March 2
  • Signed by the Governor on March 22, effective June 7, 2018

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