The answer to CPA complexity? CPAs themselves
Not much happening in the CPA world these days, is there?
The recession has left us all struggling to rebuild our lives and businesses. On top of that, though, CPAs are trying to wrap their arms around massive changes in a pair of vital arenas:
Accounting standards: CPAs are battling simultaneous battles in three major areas -- IFRS for public companies, convergence between U.S. GAAP and international standards, and private company standards. Each is groundbreaking, and each comes with its own set of complexities.
Tax: Bad news always comes in threes, doesn't it? As with accounting standards, three tax issues are causing massive headaches throughout the profession:
- Proposed tax preparer regulations and new rules regarding preparer tax identification numbers, or PTINs.
- Burdensome Form 1099 reporting requirements for businesses.
- New employment tax issues that will increase the tax burden on sub-S corporations.
Got all that?
"It's time for CPAs to pay attention," said MACPA Executive Director Tom Hood. "These are huge changes that are going to happen in the next two or three years, and we want our profession to have a voice in the outcome. (The MACPA's) job is to inform members and mobilize them to help us take the right positions for the profession."
With that in mind, the association has formed two new task forces to address these issues on members' behalf.
The groups -- the Accounting Standards Convergence Task Force (headed by former MACPA Chair Art Flach) and the Federal Tax Policy Task Force (led by longtime MACPA tax volunteers Stan Seemann and Keith Huebel) -- have already begun their work and will help the MACPA craft white papers, position papers and other responses to the issues at hand.
Given the urgency of the issues, the sooner the better.
"As an organization, we're tasked with looking at these issues, making sense of them and responding to them on behalf of our members," said Hood. "We're doing what we've always done -- get a bunch of smart members in a room, create a task force and respond quickly to the issues at hand."
I spoke with Tom at length about the issues and the MACPA's response to them. Listen to his explanation in this video:
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