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NSPA's 1992 legislative strategy conferences.

Fueled by the success of the 1990 and 1991 Legislative Strategy conferences, NSPA President Frank J. Oliveri, Jr., has given the State Regulation and Oversight Committee approval to conduct a third set of conferences in 1992. The 1992 conferences will be held simultaneously across the country on Saturday, April 25, 1992, at Las Vegas, Nevada; St. Louis, Missouri; and Alexandria (Crystal City), Virginia.

Like the 1990 and 1991 Legislative Strategy conferences, the 1992 conferences are presented as a service to affiliated state organizations by NSPA's State Regulation and Oversight Committee. The conferences are designed as hands-on workshops to develop strategies in order to assist the affiliate in achieving its regulatory and legislative objectives. The conferences are intended to reach the affiliate's leadership who are on the front lines when a regulatory or legislative battle is shaping up.

Prior Legislative Strategy conferences impressed upon the affiliate's leadership the practice advantages which could be achieved by legislative creation of an additional class of licensed accountant who meets legislatively designated qualifications. Since August 1964, the National Society of Public Accountants has believed, based on empirical evidence, that public interest can best be served by enactment of legislation creating an additional class of accounting licensee.

Conference attendees recognize that the keystone to the National Society's Model Accountancy Law (adopted in 1987 by the Board of Governors of the National Society of Public Accountants) is the creation of a class of legislatively designated licensed accountants whose scope of practice includes all accounting functions except the audit function and its accompanying attest (or certification) characteristic.

When the NSPA Model Accountancy Law was adopted in 1987, the issue of an additional classification of accounting licensee was neither unanimous nor harmonious among the affiliated state organizations of the National Society of Public Accountants. At that time, some officers of affiliated state organizations, particularly in those states where unlicensed practitioners possessed the title of accountant and were permitted to use a modified "safe harbor" language compilation report, expressed opposition to what they perceived as a disturbance to their favorable status quo. In several states an uneasy truce exists whereby unlicensed accountants are permitted by sufferance of the CPA establishment to carry on their accounting practices.

Attendees at the 1990 and 1991 Legislative Strategy conferences recognized that even in states where there are no direct restrictions against the unlicensed accountants' practice, unlicensed accountants still have much to be concerned about. One concern is that where unlicensed accountants are tolerated by sufferance, they have no property rights in whatever privileges they enjoy. Accordingly, the legislature may pass laws sponsored and lobbied by the state CPA organization, which can terminate the privileges enjoyed by unlicensed accountants.

In brief, there is no protection in the status quo nor any assurances that restrictive conditions of practice could not be enacted. Beneficial legislation contains an element of protection that does not exist when the same privileges are permitted by sufferance.

The 1992 conferences will discuss the What, When and How of legislative strategy with the participation of the attendees who will report on the successful strategies used by their affiliate. The conferences present an opportunity for affiliated state organization officers to exchange views and to discuss matters of mutual concern regarding offensive or defensive legislative strategies.

There is no charge nor registration fee for the conferences, however, attendance will be limited to 30 attendees at each location to insure the informality and freedom that is essential to a conference where the primary objectives are active discussion and an exchange of views. A notebook of handout materials will be provided by the National Society of Public Accountants. A registration form was enclosed with the January 1992 issue of State Regulatory Alert which is sent to each affiliated state organization officer. Interested individuals are requested to return the registration form promptly to facilitate arrangements.
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Title Annotation:Washington Comment
Author:Sager, William H.
Publication:The National Public Accountant
Article Type:Column
Date:Feb 1, 1992
Previous Article:Make the "MOST" of tax season.
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