Governmental Affairs Goals
- Protect the CPA and the public from unqualified individuals practicing accounting.
- Ensure that qualified CPAs are appointed and serve on the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy, the CPA regulator.
- Protect the CPA from attacks by the legal profession on CPA tax practice.
- Protect the profession from well-intentioned but ill-informed efforts to consolidate CPA regulation under a generic oversight agency without CPAs on the governing regulatory body.
- Protect the CPA from the risk of state legislators and regulators establishing professional standards at odds with national accounting and auditing standards and practice.
- Protect the CPA from the risk of unintended consequences, i.e. legislation intended to solve one problem but that inadvertently creates another for CPAs.
- Have a CPA seat at the tax legislation table.
- Ensure that the profession continues by participating in the sunset process which requires the profession’s underlying legislation to be re-enacted every 12 years. Without the authorizing legislation, there is no CPA profession.
- Legislators listen to their friends and constituents. Making political contributions via TSCPA PAC is a vital part of making friends with legislators. It is one leg of the three legged support with the other two being key person relationships between CPAs and legislators and staff/professional lobby resources. It takes all three. When any one leg is missing, the program topples.
- Have a seat at the tax regulation table by maintaining good relationships with the State Comptroller of Public Accounts, an elected official.
- State Board of Accountancy Appointments – The governor appoints TSBPA members. Good relationships with the governor means he or she listens to our state board appointment recommendations.
- Lt. Governor presides over the Texas Senate - When our CPA mobility legislation was stuck in a senate committee, an appeal to the Lt. Gov. and he got it moving for us. Good relationships with the Lt. Gov. are very valuable during the legislative session.
- Legislators – Good relationships with legislators is the core of our legislative program and effectiveness.
- When we need to pass legislation, such as CPA mobility or modernization of the accountancy statute to keep up with professional standards, we need good relationships with legislators to author and sponsor the legislation and with legislators that chair and serve on the key committees through which such legislation needs to pass.
- When we oppose legislation or need amendments to legislation we need good relationships with specific legislators who have authored such legislation in the case on needed amendments or with committee chairs in the event we are trying to kill legislation. We never know in advance which legislators might be needed, so we must maintain good relationships with many legislators.
Recent successes include:
- When lawyers were trying to limit oil land men from doing some things the lawyers considered the practice of law, the proposed wording would have also limited CPAs tax practice. Because of good relationships with the bill sponsor, TSCPA got it fixed so CPAs were not included.
- CPAs are not subject to privacy legislation, i.e., they don’t have to have privacy policies nor send clients privacy notices because we knew the bill sponsor and TSCPA convinced him to exclude CPAs.
- When legislation was proposed that would require CPAs that did fraud investigations to also hold a private investigators license, because we knew the sponsor TSCPA got an exemption for CPAs from the requirement.
- When legislation was proposed that would water down CPA standards, through interaction with a committee chair and support from other legislators, TSCPA was able to ensure that the legislation was never voted from committee.
- When legislation was proposed that would allow non-CPAs an avenue to provide service currently restricted to CPAs, through interaction with House Calendar Committee members TSCPA was able to delay the legislation so it died in the committee, never reaching the floor for a vote.
- When legislation was offered to exempt Texas governments from GAAP, through interaction with the bill sponsor and others TSCPA was able to get the legislation amended to avoid governments from being mandated GAAP non-compliance.