State Board Report
NASBA Chair Carlos E. Johnson and NASBA President Ken L. Bishop were named honorary “Kentucky Colonels” as part of the Kentucky Board’s welcome to the NASBA Eastern Regional Meeting’s participants on June 5. The Kentucky Board’s Executive Director Dick Carroll bestowed the honors following Board Chair Phillip M. Layne’s introductory remarks. The state’s hospitality concluded with the State Society hosting a bourbon (i.e., “Kentucky Water”) tasting on the final night of the Eastern Meeting, June 6. Robert J. Helm, Chair of the Missouri Board, welcomed Western Regional Meeting participants to St. Louis on June 12, by naming some famous Missourians: Harry Truman, Mark Twain, Daniel Boone, Ken Bishop and Colleen Conrad. The Western Regional Meeting concluded with attending a baseball game on June 13, when the Cardinals edged out the Nationals with a final score of one to zero.
Representatives from 36 Boards attended the Eastern Regional, with 182 participants and 23 guests, and representatives from 33 Boards were at the Western Regional, with 184 participants with 42 guests.
“Branding and raising awareness of the State Boards of Accountancy is very important and we need to continue to move forward having conversations with all the major players in the accounting and financial world,” NASBA Chair Johnson told the meetings. “We need to make sure our public and constituents know who the State Boards are.” Many people, including accounting educators, are not aware of what the State Boards do, but Chair Johnson reported NASBA had reached out at the American Accounting Association’s Annual Meeting with a large exhibition booth and announcement of NASBA’s education research grant winners.
President Bishop noted that NASBA is also making an initial contribution to a minority Ph.D. program, to help further diversity in the profession.
“There is confusion about the differences between State Boards and State Societies,” President Bishop agreed. “It is important to know who the regulator is and a good strong newsletter is a way for the Board to communicate. To assist, the NASBA communications department will develop a newsletter for a State Board with no fee attached,” President Bishop said.
Chair Johnson and President Bishop both stated that uniformity is an important issue for NASBA. “Mobility has shed a light on disparity around the country,” President Bishop observed. He noted that when Board members begin serving on a Board, they frequently inherit laws that were passed many years ago. He encouraged the Board members to consider working on uniformity to help both the public and the profession. Chair Johnson pointed out there is significant discrepancy among the Boards’ 150 hour requirements, and NASBA will be working on getting the Boards’ rules more standardized in required education.
Another area that needs to be reconsidered is the recognition of international professionals, President Bishop suggested. The NASBA/ AICPA International Qualifications Appraisal Board is running out of non-US professional designations with which to forge mutual recognition agreements based on their being substantially equivalent to the US CPA and their country being willing to extend audit rights to US CPAs. “Should we consider a unilateral position?” Mr. Bishop asked. He reported NASBA and AICPA are doing due diligence on what such a change in policy might involve.
Conversations are going on with the Canadian profession to see how reciprocity with their new consolidated professional body could work, Chair Johnson stated. A leadership summit meeting with NASBA, AICPA, CPA Canada and the Instituto Mexicano de Contadores Públicos is scheduled for late July, he reported. President Bishop pointed out discussions about reciprocity have been going on with the Canadians for about five years. NASBA is proposing a slow and diligent approach to reciprocity, perhaps involving a pilot project with one US State and one Canadian province.
Candidate data from all jurisdictions comes through NASBA’s Gateway System, Chair Johnson pointed out, and NASBA has spent significant resources on IT, with an emphasis on data security. “We want to build a rock solid system as we redo the Gateway,” President Bishop stated.
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