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State Board Report

April 2017

Unlike many other nations, certified public accountants in the United States are not required to hold membership in any national professional association to be in practice; however, Montana Senate Bill 365 would have changed that to: “use of the following titles is protected…a certified public accountant or CPA, who must be nationally accredited as a certified public accountant by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants or the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy….” State Boards of Accountancy are the bodies that license CPAs and regulate the practice of public accountancy and the use of the CPA title. NASBA is an organization that supports the Boards of Accountancy and does not issue any licenses, unless contracted and authorized to do so by a State Board, and the AICPA does not have legal authority to issue a CPA license or to allow use of the title.

The Bill, introduced by State Senator Tom Facey (D), specifically deleted “Board” from being defined as the Montana Board of Public Accountants. Accordingly the Department of Administration would no longer notify the Board of failures by independent auditors to meet auditing standards. Besides certified public accountants, the bill also covered professional engineers and surveyors, landscape architects, real estate brokers, sellers, property managers and timeshare salespeople. These were all included because “certain professions have national testing and certifications that provide the potential for industry-driven monitoring, regulation, and guidelines for professionalism; and …public health and safety are not major concerns for certain business-oriented professions that generally have experienced few consumer complaints related to public health or safety; and…other national and state organizations and associations can provide licensing or certification….”

Montana Board of Public Accountants Chair Dan Vuckovich and NASBA Director-at-Large Rick Reisig testified at the Montana State Senate Business, Labor and Economic Affairs Committee’s hearing on March 28 along with members of the Montana CPA Society. NASBA Director of Legislative and Governmental Affairs John Johnson worked with the Board to provide talking points and background information for their discussions with members of the Senate committee.
On March 29, Senate Bill 365, “Generally Revise Laws Regarding Business and Occupational Licensing,” was tabled in Committee.

Read more about this and other recent legislative developments in the April issue of Legislative E-news on www.

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