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State Board Report

April 2013

About dusk one night in late March, I was wrapping up a few things at the end of what had been a pretty busy week at NASBA. As is typical, the radio in my office was tuned to “95.5 – The Wolf,” an FM station that has a country music format with its studio located on Music Row in downtown Nashville, a few blocks from our office. Preparing to end a long day, I was turning out the lights and gathering some reading material when the radio announcer mentioned the large number of families who had chosen Nashville for this year’s Spring Break location.

My office looks down on the Ryman Theater, Broadway, parts of 2nd Street and what is generally known as Nashville’s “honky-tonk” district. As I listened to the announcer, I looked out my window and confirmed that, in fact, a large number of families seemed to be taking in the sights and sounds of “Music City” in celebration of Spring Break.

Our NASBA Chair, Gaylen Hansen, had been in Nashville that week working through the plans for upcoming meetings, conferences and other activities. As a part of our discussions, Gaylen and I were considering the number of important issues and decisions that are being addressed by our volunteer committees and task forces – right in the middle of tax season. We expect volunteers to digest complicated information, analyze positions and then make recommendations that impact State Boards, the public and the profession just when many of their practices are in the busiest cycle of the year.

The staff at NASBA, like that of State Boards, have sensitivity to the time of the year and they try to keep the number of meetings and interactions to a minimum until after mid-April. However, the work doesn’t stop. When called upon, NASBA volunteers step up and, after putting in extraordinarily long days at the office and balancing personal and other responsibilities, come to consider the issues that impact the regulation of the profession as dedicated, prepared advisers.

I can easily and comfortably articulate the public protection value of having U.S. CPAs and CPA firms provide high quality tax-related services to their clients in any year. This year, with the early uncertainty of what rules, rates and models would shake out of Congress, the value proposition is even higher. Clients of CPAs trust that their tax guy or gal is going to be well prepared, educated and thorough in their behalf. I wonder how many of your clients know that, in addition to insuring your own preparedness and capability for their returns, you have also taken on the holistic task of developing and maintaining a State Board regulatory model that insures the integrity of the system itself.

My hat is off to you, the conscientious multi-tasking professionals, our dedicated volunteers and State Board members during this busiest of seasons for many of you. The staff of NASBA knows firsthand of the sacrifices you make during tax season. Thank you for the sleep deprivation, the missed family time, the skipped trips to the gym, the unwatched games and the lunches by the phone. This is our opportunity to thank you and to wish each of you a successful and enriching tax year – coupled with productive committee activities!

So, while I was listening to the radio announcer’s description of Spring Breaks, of folks taking off, traveling with their families, and relaxing during the early spring…I was thinking of you and thinking “Spring Break”…Really? Maybe in late April.

Semper ad meliora. (Always toward better things.)

— Ken L. Bishop
President and CEO

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