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State Board Report

November 2013

Why do we attend NASBA meetings? To increase our skill sets as regulators to protect the public. Those at the Annual Meeting made a choice to be better regulators by being at that meeting and I commend them and thank them. By strengthening NASBA’s relevance and the brand of our Boards of Accountancy, we will enhance our ultimate mission: public protection.

This can be accomplished through: 1- proactive outreach; 2- building relationships; and 3- attracting the best and the brightest into the profession we regulate.

To achieve proactive outreach we need to be more than just regulators. Each and every one of us is part of the community we regulate and there is great opportunity to bring your untold resources to the community. By being proactive and involved in the community, you will enhance the brand of your Board of Accountancy. Be the positive force in the community — get involved as a Board of Accountancy member, not only as a CPA.

Let’s change the perception of Boards of Accountancy! There are a number of ways you as Board members can be change agents. And many of you are promoting change.

On behalf of your Board, increase your outreach by speaking to local civic groups and universities. You will do wonders for increasing the relevance and the perception of your Board of Accountancy. You will reinforce the mission of public protection by becoming more visible in the community.

Another way to enhance the brand is to schedule your Board meetings at local colleges and universities. This brings knowledge of the Board to two entirely different groups — students and academicians.

Lastly, I urge you to take advantage of the free services provided by NASBA’s Communications Department. Professional newsletters, brochures, videos and annual reports can be specifically tailored for your Board. Many Boards this past year have taken advantage of this free service and they are very happy. Pam Ivey, Executive Director of the Wyoming Board, and Lisa Zolman from the Washington Board staff recently praised the work of the Communications Department. So, let the public in your jurisdiction know who you are through a professional publication by taking advantage of this service.

Relationships are a key component to all we do in our professional lives, personal lives and as regulators. As regulators, how can we build our relationships and with whom?

First of all, take the time (as a Board) to meet with your State Senators, House Members, Governor’s staff and members of the Congressional Delegation. Let them know you are a member of the Board of Public Accountancy and are serving to protect the public that put them in office. If you do not reach out to them, they will not know who you are. You might even avoid consolidation.

Governors appoint individuals they know. They do not necessarily look at the skill sets needed to enhance the effectiveness of your Board. I ask you and your Board to reach out to the Governor and his/her staff to create a new relationship or enhance a current relationship. This may affect the final appointments to the Board.

Building a strong relationship with your state CPA society can enhance your effectiveness as a Board of Accountancy. Reach out to your society CEO and chair and schedule a lunch meeting to start those conversations. Perhaps even hold an annual summit meeting of both boards. Today, the Boards that have great relationships with their society do a better job of letting the public, CPA Examination candidates and CPAs know the difference between the two bodies. Many Boards that do not publish a newsletter instead write a column in the society’s newsletter or magazine.

You are among the best and the brightest. Who better than you to brand your Board and continue to grow a profession of the best and brightest? I am a strong believer that a “strong profession leads to enhanced public protection.” There are 500 AACSB schools of which 169 belong to the Federation of Schools of Accountancy that provides 75 percent of the candidates for the Uniform CPA Examination. NASBA has stepped up its involvement in the American Accounting Association by having its leadership and senior staff become AAA members, hosting an eight-person booth at their Annual Meeting, and raising the awareness of faculty by discussing NASBA, our Accounting Education Research Grant Program, the Accountancy Licensing Library, the Center for the Public Trust and the NASBA candidate statistics products.

Work to develop a program reaching out to secondary education students by offering to be a mentor, speaking at various programs or just going to have lunch with a group of faculty and/or students. Ask to speak or to present a seminar on ethics. Be the “go to” person for a university or college and help to shape the perception of what it means to be an accountant.

I have asked a lot of you as regulators. So, let me outline some of the initiatives planned for NASBA this upcoming year: NASBA Past Chair Mark Harris created the NASBA Diversity Task Force and it is doing great, high priority work. NASBA leadership will reach out and enhance existing relationships with the National Association of Black Accountants, the Educational Foundation for Women in Accounting, the Native American Finance Officers Association and the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting. President Ken Bishop just attended the National Asian American Coalition Conference, where the Chair of the PCAOB, the U.S. Comptroller of the Currency, the Director of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve Governor were in attendance. We will reach out to these and other accounting and minority groups.

We will continue the State Society Relations Committee, recently started by Past Chair Gaylen Hansen. As I stated earlier, it is important to build relationships with your state society, and NASBA will work closely with the CPA Society Executives Association this year.

Also, we will be appointing a Leadership Development Group to create a process for identifying potential leaders. We will meet with them to discuss their interests, create a tool kit to enhance their skill sets, and then showcase them to other groups with whom we interact. We plan to enhance our relationships with the FAF, FASB, GASB, PCAOB, Canadian accounting leadership, the Instituto Mexicano de Contadores Publicos, AICPA and various federal agencies.

As we enter this year together, I am asking you to reach down deep to do more as leaders. And NASBA will assist you when asked.

So this year: Be pro-active; Be involved; Be heard; Be aggressive; Be smart; Don’t be afraid.

Rubberstampum finem seculi!

— Carlos E. Johnson, CPA, Ed.D.

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