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State Board Report

November 2012

“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others,” according to author Jonathan Swift. It is a thought to inspire us all. I’d like to share with you some thoughts on what my vision is for this year, so that together we can move NASBA forward through leadership, engagement and service.

The best recent example of leadership involves private company reporting standards. For many years the accounting profession has had a heated debate over about private company Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, the public company vs. private company argument of whether financial reporting should be the same. In 2010, AICPA, FAF and NASBA formed a Blue Ribbon Panel including leaders like Billy Atkinson to finally settle the issue. Hearings were held around the country to obtain input from stakeholders. It boiled down to two basic views: We need to start all over again because the system is broken. Or, we need to fix the system we have if it is broken. NASBA’s view was the latter, and what emerged was “the minority view.” But that view ultimately prevailed. The leadership that was displayed here was tremendous. Kudos goes to Billy for standing up for what Boards of Accountancy and NASBA believe! Each State Board member is a leader. The important point is that you, as a leader, have the right – and voice – to speak out, as you were chosen to do so by your Governor.

Mobility legislation, which facilitates cross-border professional practice, is a great success. It was accomplished through engagement: NASBA, Boards of Accountancy, AICPA, state societies and CPA firms coming together and being engaged in the campaign. Another great idea, the National CPE Sponsor Registry, is 40 years old. We’re still working on the Accountancy Licensee Database with 38 states participating and 14 more Boards getting ready to implement it. This is not a database just to assist regulators, but to provide public protection. We need to work on this and bring it to conclusion with coverage of all jurisdictions.

Each of us has to make choices about how we use our time, and use it for what we are passionate about. During my career I have been passionate about ethics and international standards. I challenge you to become engaged and focused on the issues you are passionate about.

I have been given the opportunity to serve and share. Shortly after having been appointed to the Colorado Board in 2002, I went to my first NASBA Annual Meeting and I started forging relationships there. Then I went to the June 2003 Western Regional Meeting and had a chance to speak with Central Regional Director Kathy Smith. In August 2003 a call came from Chair Michael Conaway: Would I be willing to serve as NASBA’s Mountain Regional Director? My chances to serve multiplied: I have served on the U.S. Treasury Department’s Advisory Committee on the Auditing Profession, the advisory committees of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board and IFAC, and the AICPA Professional Ethics Executive Committee. I have also been a panelist on the SEC’s roundtable on International Financial Reporting Standards and, most recently, on the PCAOB’s roundtable on auditor independence.

You don’t know when or from whom the call to serve is going to come, but if it happened to me, it can happen to you. If I had never stepped forward to become active in NASBA, these other activities to serve would not have presented themselves. For all of us, the window of time to serve is narrow. This is your time. It is the time for you to step forward to lead, become engaged, and serve.

The question I would pose to you is: What is your vision? That is what we will talk about throughout this year.

— Gaylen R. Hansen, CPA
Chair 2012-2013

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