State Board Report

June 2012

Responding to NASBA Past Chair Nathan Garrett's urging at NASBA's 2011 Annual Meeting, the AICPA/NASBA Uniform Accountancy Act Committee took a close look at how state laws, the UAA and the Model Rules cover discriminatory hiring. The joint UAA Committee task force, co-chaired by Dwight Hadley and Conrad Davis and assisted by Noel Allen's legal research, found a majority of states have either adopted the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct directly or by reference or have local statutes directly threatening licensees with discipline for violation of federal or state antidiscrimination laws. At the May 14 meeting of the UAA Committee, the task force recommended that all State Boards adopt by reference the AICPA's ET.03.501-2 – Discrimination and Harassment in Employment Practices, which says that those who have violated such laws "will be presumed to have committed an act discreditable to the profession."

In Mr. Garrett's presentation, he recounted his frustration in trying to gain entry into the profession despite degrees from Wayne State University, Yale University and two years of honorable service in the military. He ultimately was hired by a Detroit firm that was started by Michigan's first black CPA, Richard H. Austin. He told the NASBA audience, "For purposes of encouraging moral behavior, I say to you that our State Boards and our membership organizations need rules stating clearly that violation of the laws against employment discrimination is unethical." Mr. Garrett's speech can be viewed on www.nasba.org coverage of the 104th Annual Meeting.

In gathering information for the UAA Committee's task force, Mr. Allen found at least six states directly threaten licensees with discipline for violation of antidiscrimination provisions and at least 28 states have adopted the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct, in whole or part, by reference.

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