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    Become a Federal Key Person 


    Introduction


    The AICPA established the Federal Key Person Program to maintain regular and continuing personal contact with each Member of Congress. The program accomplishes this through the development and maintenance of a cadre of politically sophisticated and knowledgeable members across the country with the ability to influence Members of Congress, in minimal time, when action is needed on a legislative issue affecting the profession.

    The AICPA Federal Key Person Program is a vitally important supplement to the efforts of the AICPA professional staff in Washington, D.C. because it:

    • Reinforces for the Members of Congress that the views expressed by AICPA legislative staff are representative of the views of the Representative's constituents in the district;
    • Heightens the Representative's accountability to his or her constituents and provides a double avenue to influence public policy decisions; and
    • Localizes in the Members of Congress' mind, the political impact of federal legislation.
    Key persons should be well versed in all legislative and political issues affecting the profession. In a sense, each key person is a lobbyist who must be able to communicate the AICPA’s positions to Members of Congress clearly and understandably.

    The AICPA keeps key persons up-to-date through the Advocacy Center. When issues arise where timely contact and feedback are needed, Federal Legislative Action Alerts are sent to key persons (generally via email).

    Program Structure

    The Key Person Program is a cooperative effort of the AICPA and the state CPA societies. Effective operation of the Key Person Program in each state is dependent upon the cooperation and support of the state society chief staff executive who is sometimes assisted by a Federal Key Person Coordinator. All reports of legislative activity and contacts with Members of Congress should be transmitted to them and to the AICPA Washington office as soon as possible after meetings or outreach.

    Key Person Responsibilities

    Responsibilities of the Key Person include:

    1. Maintaining personal contact with their assigned Member of Congress and key person coordinator.
    2. Staying current on legislative issues affecting the profession by reading regular publications from the AICPA.
    3. Taking immediate action to contact their Member of Congress when the AICPA issues a "Legislative Action Alert" concerning a particular legislative issue.
    4. Promptly summarizing and reporting to their state society contact and the AICPA the nature and results of each contact, including potential legislative opportunities and problems.
    5. Attending political fund-raising events for the AICPA Political Action Committee (AICPA PAC) when requested.
    Key Person Coordinator/State Society CEO or legislative staff Responsibilities

    Responsibilities of the Key Person Coordinator/State Society CEO or legislative staff include:

    1. Seeing that contacts with Members of Congress are made in a timely (and often time-sensitive) manner.
    2. Answering questions, providing information and counseling key persons.
    3. Summarizing key person reports and promptly reporting to the state society Chief Staff Executive and the AICPA Washington office on actual and potential situations, with their associated opportunities and problems.
    4. Recruiting key persons and their replacements. When recruiting key persons, the geographic and demographic characteristics of the state should be kept in mind. The recruitment effort should be directed toward having key persons in all legislative districts.
    5. Attending political fund-raising events for the AICPA Political Action Committee (AICPA PAC) when requested.
    6. Helping distribute AICPA correspondence (that is, Federal Legislative Action Alerts) to appropriate key persons.
    The Key Person Program is the establishment of effective communication links between CPAs and elected representatives through personal rapport.

    Become a Key Person


    If you know a federally elected official or their staff (or if you are willing to develop a relationship) and would like to be a part of this program, please e-mail CongAffairs@aicpa.org or write or call:

    AICPA Key Person Program
    Attn: Congressional & Political Affairs Team
    1455 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
    10th Floor
    Washington, D.C. 20004-1081
    Phone: 202.737.6600
    Fax: 202.638.4512

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    Overview The AICPA's advocacy e-newsletter, The CPA Advocate, is dedicated to keeping you informed about the AICPA's advocacy efforts on your behalf. Watch for it in your inbox.
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