State Board Report

November 2011

Some 220 years ago the states ratified the first ten amendments, known as America’s Bill of Rights. The tenth amendment is one sentence written by Congressman James Madison in his first 100 days in office. It simply reserves broad powers to states, which is vital to the existence and work of our member Boards. The commitment of citizens like those serving on the 55 State Boards of Accountancy make our statebased system of regulation successful.

The accomplishments of those led by David Costello gave us a NASBA that is strong and more capable than ever before to provide support to member Boards facing challenges impacting their ability to effectively regulate 700,000 licensees who are counted on by 312,000,000 Americans everyday. NASBA’s mission is summarized as: “To enhance the effectiveness of State Boards of Accountancy.” NASBA’s board of directors is prepared to commit the association’s resources to benefit our member Boards.

This past year Michael Daggett led us through some “big deals,” i.e., the PCS sale, the launching of CPAverify and the international delivery of the examination and our CEO’s selection. This coming year we are looking for a few good deals to benefit State Boards. Two of NASBA’s standing goals are to provide high quality programs and services, and also to strengthen communications and facilitate the exchange of ideas. We are going to continue to sharpen these efforts in several areas, including:

  • We have asked the Communications Outreach and Relations Committee for recommendations to energize the format and content of future meetings.
  • The Accountancy Licensee Database Committee is a high energy group that will be encouraging member Boards to step up their data submission to NASBA’s ALD, and to embrace CPAverify as a relevant tool for Boards and the public.
  • The Compliance Assurance Committee has wonderful momentum going to assist Boards in implementing active peer review oversight committees.
  • We will schedule sessions of NASBA U, in Nashville, as often as needed, to help orient and train new Board staff.
  • The Enforcement Resource Committee will be looking to the Boards for additions to the enforcement manual – and urging them to put the manual to use. This committee also will be working with staff to produce a high quality investigator’s training program for our member Boards.

Ken Bishop recognizes a new challenge is how to manage data that has accumulated at NASBA over the years. We can begin anticipating what information State Boards and other stakeholders might request, and how to make this mass of data a vital and valuable resource. To improve the committee appointment process, we want to learn more about the Board members’ interests and experience, which will be cataloged into our improved system of tracking members’ data. This will assist NASBA Vice Chairs and staff in making 200 appointments to our 22 committees, as well as aid the process of making nominations for positions requested by stakeholder organizations.

The signing of the agreement with the Hong Kong Institute of CPAs is further indication that the effort of the AICPA and NASBA with the International Qualifications Appraisal Board works effectively. We look forward to working with Greg Anton and the AICPA’s leadership to direct a progressive approach for the US IQAB to seek out foreign professional accounting bodies for consideration of new MRAs.

This year of transition from David to Ken creates a unique time for not only the Board of Directors, but also each NASBA delegate and associate to assess our goals. NASBA staff and our committee chairs will welcome your vision. Ed Barnicott will soon take on a new role as Vice President of Strategic Planning and Program Management. His first challenge is working with the Global Strategies Committee to refine and communicate NASBA’s international strategy.

There is a big difference between one who is “ready” and one who is “prepared.” In my time spent this year with Ken, I learned he never arrives unprepared. The board of directors and I have no hesitation in looking toward January when Ken Bishop becomes NASBA’s President and CEO, knowing that he’s not just ready: He is prepared.

But for James Madison, of Virginia, and the tenth amendment not only might State Boards not exist — but many of us might not be part of NASBA. As Secretary of State, he negotiated the Louisiana Purchase, buying land for three cents an acre west of the Mississippi River in what today comprises 15 states from Louisiana to Montana. So in 1803, not only did America’s map double in size, its culture became more diverse. From this diverse culture, I believe we can pull together and create effective regulation for our profession and the American public it serves.

— Mark P. Harris, CPA
Chair 2011-2012

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