Legislative / Regulatory

Appeal bond bill highlights MACPA agenda at CPA Day in Annapolis

The time has come, CPAs.

Maryland’s General Assembly is back in session, and it’s time once again to stand up and protect the profession by joining us at CPA Day in Annapolis.

The annual event, which brings CPAs face-to-face with their legislators to talk about the issues that impact the profession, will be held tomorrow at the Governor Calvert House. It’s free, it’s worth two hours of CPE, and the impact you’ll make by attending could be huge. The more CPAs who join us, the louder our collective voice becomes — and the stronger our profession grows in the process.

Preparations are almost complete, but there’s one new bit of information you’ll want to bring with you to Annapolis. It’s our newest position paper, titled “Support lower appeal bond cap for small business.”

First, some background:

Last year, the MACPA backed a bill that changed Maryland’s appeal bond law by adding a $100 million cap on such bonds. Here’s why the measure is important: Due to the increasing complexity of business today, it is not unusual to see lawsuits with extraordinarily high damages and a high possibility of questionable verdicts in lower courts. This puts Maryland CPAs in an awkward position of having to post a bond that could bankrupt or financially harm a firm or business in order to pursue the matter further in the appellate process. The bill provided some important liability protection for Maryland’s largest CPA firms.

Now, here’s why that matters this year: In 2015, the MACPA had also sought an additional cap of $1 million for small businesses, but that provision was removed from the final version of the bills.

So this year, we will be supporting a move to lower the appeal bond cap for small businesses (250 or fewer employees) to $5 million. We believe this is critical to provide small businesses with access to the appeal bond system.

Additionally, lowering the appeal bond cap applicable to small businesses from the $100 million level – a level that would be catastrophic for many small businesses, including CPA firms and other businesses — will strengthen Maryland’s business climate.

Read our position paper on this issue in its entirety.

The rest of our position papers, as well as further resources and tips that will help you make the most of your CPA Day experience, are available in our CPA Day Primer.

We’ll see you tomorrow in Annapolis.


Bill Sheridan