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State Board Report

December 2014

What happens in Washington, D.C., can have a profound effect on what happens in each of the states, as more than 26 percent of most states’ budgets come from the federal government, NASBA Director of Legislative and Governmental Affairs John Johnson told the Annual Meeting. “Whenever there is a lack of cash on hand, states look for healthy trust funds – usually depleting Board trust funds in order to help balance their budgets – so this is an area we will be following very closely in 2015,” he stated. While state fiscal conditions improved in fiscal year 2013, there was slower growth in 2014, Mr. Johnson reported. Slightly stronger growth is expected in 2015, but with spending for higher education and Medicaid continuing to grow, it is anticipated that yearend balances will decline in 2015, he explained.

Looking at a recently completed poll of the State Boards’ executive directors, Mr. Johnson reported of the 28 jurisdictions responding five intend to introduce legislation in 2015 to adopt the revised definition of “attest,” as it appears in the 7th Edition of the Uniform Accountancy Act. He noted that three states enacted the new language during their 2014 legislative sessions. Other issues that the executive directors reported being introduced in their state legislatures in 2015 relate to: firm mobility, elimination of two-tier licensing, moving from triennial to annual CPE reporting, battling trust fund sweep, peer review cleanup and increased Board of Accountancy authority.

Mr. Johnson encouraged the Boards to continue to foster greater communication with the profession. “State legislatures are often incubators of change for professions, so dialogue and collaboration between State Boards, NASBA, State Societies, and the AICPA – and speaking with one voice – are imperative if we are to have a say in the process.”

To follow NASBA’s state-by-state legislative tracking, click on the “Member Center” tab at the top of this website to locate NASBA’s Legislative Tracking homepage.

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