Congratulations from the AICPA to the Arizona Society of CPAs (ASCPA), and CPA lawmaker and ASCPA member Senator Richard Crandall (R) for their efforts to eliminate a mandatory audit firm rotation requirement for charter schools in Arizona. On March 30, 2012, Governor Jan Brewer (R) signed the Senator Crandall-sponsored S.B. 1199, which eliminates the requirement that charter schools change auditors at least every six years for their annual audit.
President and CEO of ASCPA Cindie Hubiak, CPA, CGMA, commented on the victory. “Eliminating audit firm rotation for charter schools required the efforts of CPAs in many areas. We appreciate the efforts of Senator Rich Crandall, CPA, Mark Anderson, CPA and numerous other CPAs who collaborated to find practical solutions other than audit firm rotation.”
The process began in July 2011 when two CPAs alerted the ASCPA that an audit firm rotation requirement for charter schools (S.B. 1263) had passed during the previous legislative session and was signed by Governor Brewer. The requirement was buried in the legislation and passed at the end of the session.
After the discovery, the ASCPA held a series of meetings with Senator Crandall to discuss ASCPA’s concerns about the new audit firm rotation requirement. Once they understood his concerns about ensuring the fiscal integrity of charter schools, the ASCPA worked with the Senator to provide the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools with additional resources to assist with their work. The ASCPA also coordinated a meeting between CPAs experienced in charter school audits and the State Board staff to discuss best practices for the State Board, and ways for CPAs to assist in the process. As a result of his involvement, Mark Anderson, CPA was appointed by Governor Brewer and approved by the Senate to serve on the State Board.
The success in eliminating this requirement shows the strength of the society’s membership and positive relationship with their CPA lawmaker. Members alerted the ASCPA to the troublesome provision, and through the legislative process, the ASCPA educated Senator Crandall, who sponsored the legislation that was ultimately signed by Governor Brewer.