CPA Advocate Fall 2016

by MICPA | Aug 19, 2016   ()

Primaries in the books, on to the general election
Michigan’s primary election on August 2nd brought before the voters all seats in Michigan’s 110 districts of the House of Representatives. Two incumbent CPAs were on the ballot in the 73rd and 41st districts in Michigan. Chris Afendoulis, CPA ran unopposed in the Republican primary in Grand Rapids Twp. and moves on to the general election in November in a heavily Republican based seat. Republican Martin Howrylak, CPA won his third primary (2012, 2014, 2016) and now moves onto a general election to face Cyndi Peltonen who ran an unsuccessful campaign for State Senate in 2014.

MICPA and Treasury eye informal conference reform
MICPA and the Department of Treasury have entered the preliminary stages of an informal conference process reform workgroup. Treasury invited MICPA to the table to discuss the current limitations of the informal conference process, MICPA responded by providing members of the State and Local Tax Task Force who serve as subject matter experts on the topic. Work has just begun on the process, the MICPA government relations team will keep you informed as progress is made.

Firm Mobility
In May 2014, the AICPA and NASBA released the seventh edition of their model state act, the Uniform Accountancy Act (UAA). The new version included changes which would allow CPA firms to perform attest services and issue reports in states in which they do not have a physical presence without having to register the firm or paying new fees. In exchange for this privilege, CPA firms would be required to meet the peer review requirements and non-CPA ownership requirements of the state in which they are offering services. Currently, 16 licensing jurisdictions allow for firm mobility, including Wisconsin, Indiana, and Ohio, and Illinois has introduced legislation to that effect. Under CPA firm mobility, state boards of accountancy retain the same authority to investigate, fine, or even revoke a practice privilege as they do under individual mobility laws. This initiative is currently on MICPA’s radar and is under consideration for introduction in 2017 when the Michigan legislature begins its session.

CPE Reciprocity
CPE reciprocity exempts CPAs holding multiple state licenses from having to meet the individual CPE requirements of each state, as long as the licensee meets the CPE requirements of their home state. This exemption encourages uniformity while removing unnecessary burdens that do not play a role in protecting the public interest. The AICPA and NASBA are encouraging state boards of accountancy to adopt this provision of the UAA Model Rules. The successful implementation of individual CPA mobility has allowed many CPAs to give up the holding of multiple reciprocal licenses in various jurisdictions; however, in certain circumstances a CPA may choose to continue to hold more than one license. 22 licensing jurisdictions currently allow for CPE reciprocity. This initiative is currently on MICPA’s radar and is under consideration for introduction in 2017 when the Michigan Legislature begins its session.

House Bill 4044 – Local unit audits
Representative Joel Johnson (R-Clare), introduced HB 4044 in early 2015 that would alter the audit requirements for local government entities and allow a two-year audit if the entity has an annual budget of less than $50,000. However, if any audit were to disclose a material deviation from GAAP or any other applicable rules and regulations, the Department of Treasury may require an audit in the following year. MICPA is working closely with the bill sponsor to communicate any issues on behalf of municipal auditors who are members of the association. With less than a month left of legislative session days, MICPA will keep you informed if the measure moves through the legislative process.

MICPA grassroots efforts in full swing
Each year, MICPA makes a concerted effort to connect with legislators and CPAs all over the state of Michigan. This year is no exception with a full slate of breakfasts being held all over the state of Michigan with influential lawmakers. From Monroe to Traverse City, MICPA has made efforts to further the CPA voice in advocacy. Over the past few years, MICPA has increased its visibility in the legislature with hundreds of touch points. If you’re interested in participating in a grassroots breakfast, click to email Shane Barry in our Government Relations department.

Source: MICPA
Source: MICPA

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