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State Board Report

March 2014

The legislative process usually leaves Boards of Accountancy looking in from the outside, observed John W. Johnson, NASBA Director of Legislative and Governmental Affairs, at the meeting in Savannah. He explained that in the time that he has been with NASBA he has been working to bridge what he terms the “legislative exclusion gap,” and having the ability to track legislation is an important part of that effort. Using a legislative tracking system, he has established 180 search profiles that sort out items associated with the State Boards. He then reviews those items and tags those he believes are of “high priority” to the Boards. To be considered “high priority” the legislation either: contains a change in statutory language having a direct impact on the profession, or it contains statutory language that if amended could have such an impact. Currently, with all but four State Legislatures in session, Mr. Johnson has 187 bills tagged as “high priority.”

“The second piece of the process is for the State Board to be aware of legislation and then to find out if NASBA can be of help,” Mr. Johnson told the Executive Directors. On www.nasba.org by going to the “Member Center” and then to “Legislative Tracking,” Mr. Johnson’s short summary of high priority bills can be found with a link to the actual legislation.

“While the tracking system gives us the ability to remove barriers from the ‘exclusion gap,’ greater dialog and collaboration between the State Boards and NASBA, and between the Boards and their Societies is also needed,” he stated. Thanks to collaboration between the Board and the Society, in February, a Virgin Islands legislative committee passed legislation that updates their Act and brings them one step closer to becoming substantially equivalent, he announced. “A great example of what can be accomplished when dialog and communication are part of the equation,” Mr. Johnson stated.

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