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State Board Report

July 2012

As I was mulling over the title for this month’s memo, I originally landed on “Hump Day,” a phrase that often refers to Wednesday, but also is used to signify the halfway mark of some measurement of time. July 2 marked the beginning of the second half of my first year as CEO. During the first half year, I have “talked the talk” in earlier State Board Reports, meetings, presentations, conversations and, most recently, at our NASBA Regional Meetings. While flying home to Nashville from the Western Regional, I was thinking about the promises and commitments made in those talks, when I happened to see the airline’s magazine contained an article entitled “Walking the Walk” — and I knew that I had found the right title for this memo (albeit a borrowed one).

There is a certain amount of speculation about where the adage, “If you are going to talk the talk, you’ve got to walk the walk,” originated. Though it sounds like dialog from an old Western movie, one more lofty theory is that it derived from Aristotle’s followers who were said to have discussed implementing his philosophy while walking around him. Different derivatives of the message have survived through the ages: “Walk it like you talk it,” was a favorite of Abraham Lincoln. Another similar statement, “Actions speak louder than words,” sends the same message. As does my often used favorite from President Harry Truman: “Don’t write checks you can’t cash.” The point is, as I pass the “hump day” of my first year, I am pledged to fulfilling the commitments we have made.

At the recent Regional Meetings, NASBA Chair Mark Harris and I enjoyed unveiling our new slogan, “Mission Driven – Member Focused,” which encapsulates the commitment to enhance our ability and capacity to support our Boards of Accountancy. Upon returning to Nashville, NASBA staff immediately began the process of advancing the various support products and services outlined at the Regional Meetings.

The implementation of the new office of Legislative Affairs directed by John Johnson is one of our highest priorities. John and others are making an assessment of the legislative activity in the country to determine our capacity and to prioritize our response. Donny Burkett (SC), NASBA Director-at-Large and Chair of the Legislative Support Initiative Committee, and NASBA Chair Harris are meeting with John to discuss resources and protocols for successfully providing this vital new service to State Boards. We were pleased by the positive responses and supportive comments from participants at the Regional Meetings regarding this initiative. More importantly, several states have already reached out to NASBA requesting assistance with matters for the upcoming legislative year.

Dan Dustin, NASBA’s Vice President of State Board Relations, is meeting with State Boards across the country to build relationships and to ascertain how NASBA can better support and enhance their effectiveness. We are particularly interested in understanding, and hopefully resolving, barriers and prohibitions that keep many State Boards from attending NASBA meetings and conferences. Dan serves as a conduit for all State Boards to communicate their concerns or issues, giving them assurance that we will provide a timely response.

On August 1, we will launch NASBA International Transcript Evaluation Services. We have several states signed up and are in discussions with others. This is a new business line that was requested by our State Boards and we are committed to providing the highest quality service to Boards and to their international candidates. Contact James Suh for additional information about this service.

These are just some of our more recent initiatives, because it would take pages to list all of the projects underway at NASBA. We are constantly looking at new ways to support our Boards. We are continuing to “talk the talk,” but we promise to keep “walking the walk”!

Semper ad meliora. (Always toward better things.)

— Ken L. Bishop
President and CEO

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