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State Board Report

April 2014

In his inaugural address, NASBA Chair Carlos E. Johnson laid out some recommendations and challenges for strengthening NASBA’s relevance and, more importantly, the relevance of the brand of our Boards of Accountancy. This was not a call for a big budget item or any razzle dazzle, just a sincere effort to shine a light on what your Board is doing. The end of April marks the halfway point of what we describe as the “Chair’s year.” It is a good time to take stock of how we are doing. In my recent “President’s Memos,” I have described many of the actions taken by NASBA. My question to you, the Boards of Accountancy, is: What have you done?

In his address, as excerpted in the “Chair’s Memo” in the November 2013 State Board Report, Dr. Johnson discussed the importance of relationships and listed several ideas and recommendations for enhancing your brand as a Board of Accountancy, including:

  • Volunteer to speak to local civic organizations, groups and schools
  • Work with secondary education schools and students to develop opportunities for mentoring to increase awareness of the accounting profession
  • Consider having a Board meeting at a college or university
  • Take time to meet with your Governor, state representatives and senators, and their key staffers (let them know of the important role of the Board of Accountancy – before you need something from them)
  • Leverage opportunities to visit with your federal Congressman and Senator if you are in Washington, D.C.
  • Build a strong and trusting relationship with your State Society
  • Take advantage of the free products and services offered to you by NASBA.

As you look through the list, either individually or as a Board of Accountancy, have you considered or done any of these important activities? We know of many Boards that can answer that question affirmatively.

More states have reached out to NASBA to assist them in developing high quality newsletters, including Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Nevada, New Mexico, Washington and Wyoming. This is such a great way for Boards of Accountancy to keep licensees and stakeholders aware of the activities of the Board and to illustrate topics of importance to accounting professionals. Providing a quality source of information to elected officials and their staffs is an effective and inexpensive way of building recognition and relevance.

Through our new legislative office, enhanced by its bill-tracking capability, we have been in states and territories across the country, at Boards’ behest, promoting good legislation and fighting off harmful legislation. In this endeavor we have witnessed, firsthand, the nexus of branding, relevance and positive relationships in successful legislative efforts. In the states where Board members have familiarity with their legislators, and the Board and Society have a good working relationship, the dividends are evident and the likelihood of legislative success is significantly improved.

On occasion I am asked how “promoting the profession” by speaking to schools, colleges and universities affects “public protection.” I personally believe that continuing to attract the best and brightest into the profession only solidifies the ability of the profession to provide the highest level of service and protection of our country’s financial well-being. As importantly, it insures that both faculty and students better understand the U.S. regulatory system and the important role played by Boards of Accountancy.

The second half of the “Chair’s year” is about to begin and the “busy season” is about over. This would be a great time to consider strategies and actions to better brand and enhance the relevancy of your Board of Accountancy. NASBA is willing and able to provide you the tools to be successful. We look forward to calling on you at the Annual Meeting, at the end of the Chair’s year, and hearing positive responses when we ask you: What have you done?

Semper ad meliora. (Always toward better things.)

— Ken L. Bishop
President and CEO

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