The AICPA State Regulation and Legislation Team reviewed more than 5,000 separate state legislative bills and is actively tracking over 365 major pieces of state legislation in 48 jurisdictions, including bills on peer review, state Board of Accountancy autonomy and CPA mobility.
The 2011 state legislative season has been a busy one. Twelve state legislatures are still in session, while 38 have already concluded their regular sessions for 2011.
Budget and revenue measures have dominated the state legislatures. Thirty-five states and Puerto Rico project $82.1 billion in budget gaps in FY 2012, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
To help stabilize state budgets, many legislatures have considered and passed new revenue measures, such as a sweeping tax code overhaul in Michigan and corporate tax relief in Florida. New Jersey passed a bill to give small businesses filing as S corporations, LLPs, LLCs, partnerships and sole proprietorships the same tax benefits as corporations.
Many bills filed in the state legislatures cover state CPA licensing issues, state mobility requirements and other state regulatory issues impacting the regulation of the profession and CPA practice rights.
Legislation in Maryland approved and signed into law by the governor would eliminate peer reviews for non-CPAs and provide a safe harbor report for compilations done by non-licensed persons. Legislation in Florida to mandate peer review was supported by the Florida Institute of CPAs but failed to make it to final passage during the last days of the 2011 session. FICPA plans to support the legislation again in the 2012 state legislative session
Several states have been looking at consolidating various boards, including Boards of Accountancy, into a larger umbrella board as a means of achieving budget savings, while a couple have gone the other way and are considering making Boards of Accountancy autonomous. In New Hampshire, the governor has signed a budget bill which would eliminate the Office of the Director of the Board of Accountancy.
A proposal in Oklahoma would transfer the duties of the Accountancy Board to the Office of Business and Professional Facilitation, while another piece of legislation would create a task force to study consolidation of licensing functions for professional and trade occupations.
In Missouri, a proposed bill would have allowed the State Board of Accountancy to collect funds and hold the moneys it collects in a newly established Board of Accountancy fund. In Oregon, legislation was proposed that would establish the Oregon Board of Accountancy as a semi-independent state agency, but it did not receive final approval by the legislature.
CPA Mobility has now been passed in 47 states and AICPA advocacy work continues in Washington, D.C., New York and Hawaii.
AICPA continues to work with NASBA to refine educational resources to assist CPAs and CPA firms in navigating the new world of mobility. An interactive tool is scheduled to be launched in 2011.
Read more information about bills the AICPA is tracking.