About 11 years ago, we decided to relocate a substantial portion of our operations to North Carolina based on many different criteria. One of those was a business environment that supported a diverse and talented work force. If we were making that decision today, we likely would choose an alternative site because of concerns about the attitude toward diversity and inclusion the recently passed North Carolina law creates.
Our work force in North Carolina is tremendous and our presence here for more than a decade allows us to demonstrate to those employees our values on diversity and inclusion.
From a business perspective, one can see that a statewide solution to requirements is often better than conflicting or nuanced local laws. But in overturning local legislation, the North Carolina legislature failed to take the next step in providing protections for a diverse work force.
While the law does not require any company to reverse its nondiscrimination policies, and I would hope none take that step, the possibility unfortunately does exist. The AICPA didn't need local laws to have a non-discrimination policy and we've communicated to our employees our commitment to that continued value. Given the current environment, we urge virtually all businesses to adopt non-discrimination policies, sending a strong message that a diverse and inclusive work environment is the expected norm in North Carolina.
As an organization that represents CPAs throughout the country, we recognize our profession is better when high quality, ethical and competent individuals serve in the profession regardless of their diversity. In fact, we believe diversity and inclusion produces better decision-making and better results. Whenever I can, I encourage all CPA firms and employers of CPAs to adopt and deploy nondiscrimination policies, even if the law in their area does not require them to do so.
Barry C. Melancon, CPA, CGMA
President and CEO