In support of the Texas Society of CPAs, the AICPA has submitted a comment letter regarding the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission’s staff report of the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy (TSBPA). The Commission is a bi-partisan and bi-cameral body that performs periodic reviews of public boards, such as the TSBPA, to ensure regulatory boards remain committed to public protection in a manner reflective of the state’s values.
The comment letter supported the report’s conclusion that the “state has a continuing need to regulate accountancy,” which acknowledges that a highly functioning CPA profession depends on a robust and smart regulatory framework.
However, the report also included a staff recommendation to decrease the current number of CPAs on the TSBPA from ten to seven. The report argued that the recommendation preserves the state’s ability to claim immunity in future anti-trust litigation and drew support for its concern from the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission. The AICPA and the Texas Society of CPAs reminded the Commission that the CPA profession is technical and requires skilled practitioners to keep pace with the evolving technical licensing and oversight issues that come before TSBPA daily.
On August 29th, the Committee hosted an open meeting in Austin, Texas to discuss the sunset report recommendations and accept public testimony on the staff recommendations.
Jodi Ann Ray, the president & CEO of the Texas Society of CPAs, said, “We had a very short window of time to evaluate and respond to the Sunset Commission Staff Report and have our comments on the public record and distributed to the Commission before the public hearing. Having a coordinated approach with the AICPA magnified our voice on our key concerns and the potential impact on our CPA members and the profession as a whole.”
The Commission will meet again to vote on the recommendations which will eventually evolve into legislation and be decided during the 2019 legislative session.