AICPA Opposes Restrictions on Federal Employee Attendance at Conferences

September 5, 2013

Professional associations like the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and state CPA societies host multiple meetings and conferences each year with federal agency officials in attendance, both as speakers and participants.  However, some legislative responses to last year’s General Services Administration conference scandal could significantly limit federal government employees’ participation at such events.  Further, if enacted, these proposals may essentially restrict access to in-person continuing professional education opportunities and networking for CPAs working in federal government agencies.

The AICPA and state CPA societies have been actively engaged with the American Society of Association Executives to raise concerns regarding the chilling effect on federal employee attendance at conferences stemming from these proposals.

Leaders from the federal Inspectors General (IG) community discussed hot topics in the audit community during a panel discussion at the AICPA’s National Governmental Accounting and Auditing Update Conference in Washington, D.C. on August 12.  Shown (left to right) are:  Jon Rymer of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Phyllis Fong of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Peg Gustafson of the U.S. Small Business Administration.  Approximately one-fifth of the nearly 500 conference attendees were federal employees.  The Governmental Accounting and Auditing Update Conference is one of many AICPA and state CPA society events that could be affected by efforts to restrict the presence of federal officials at events sponsored by non-profit professional organizations.