Leadership / Management | Legislative / Regulatory

CPAs find their legislative roadmap

Maryland Each January, as the MACPA converges on Annapolis for its annual CPA Day, two things happen:

  1. I get lost trying to find State Circle.
  2. The state's CPAs turn out in force to protect their profession.

This year was no different ... on both counts.

Once I stumbled upon the Governor Calvert House, though, I was greeted by a sight that never ceases to amaze me -- scores of CPAs giving up an entire day of tax season work to lobby on behalf their profession.

For the uninitiated, CPA Day gives Maryland CPAs an opportunity to meet face to face with their legislators to discuss issues that impact the profession. It's one of the most important events on the MACPA's calendar, for a couple of reasons.

Most obvious is the immediacy of our legislative agenda. The issues we're watching this year -- sales taxes on professional services, tort reform, new reporting requirements and a change in the requirements for sitting for the CPA exam among them -- are huge on their own, but throw in the state's budget woes and they become just part of a large web of issues that could impact the state's financial and regulatory picture for years to come.

As if to emphasize that point, Gov. Martin O'Malley released his fiscal 2011 budget -- a $12.7 billion spending plan that includes more than $1 billion in cuts -- on the very day the state's CPAs came to town.

Beyond that, though, the event passes along this message to Maryland lawmakers: CPAs are here. They're smart, they know the issues, they can help you find solutions ... and they're paying attention. You'd do well to pay attention to them as well.

The word on the street is that, as bad as the fiscal situation is in Maryland, it could be even worse next year. If so, this year's event might serve as an important dress rehearsal for the main event in 2011.

Don't discount the current session, though ... or any session of the General Assembly, for that matter. There is simply too much at stake.

We'll keep you posted on any important legislative developments throughout the session. Keep an eye on this space and our sister blog, Legislative Insider, for details.

In the meantime, check out this video from MACPA Executive Director Tom Hood, who discusses the legislative issues that are currently making waves throughout the CPA profession:



Bill Sheridan