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Grab a Seat at the Table

This is the concept at the heart of ICPAS’ advocacy efforts on behalf of our members & the accounting profession in general.
Todd Shapiro ICPAS President & CEO

Advocacy is an integral component of the Society's mission—“Enhancing the Value of the CPA Profession.” That means we’re constantly working to ensure a business climate that is supportive of and favorable to our profession through ongoing interactions with influencers—regulators and legislators in the federal and state government, and organizations such as NASBA and the AICPA. Here are a few of the many ways we're doing that.

Last May, a number of ICPAS members and I flew to Washington, DC to attend the AICPA Council meeting. Over three days, we discussed issues impacting the profession and heard from various congressional leaders. Most importantly, on the last day we met with Congressman Robert Dold and the staffs of Congressman Peter Roskam and Senator Richard Durbin to discuss a range of issues that impact CPAs, including improving IRS taxpayer services and responsiveness (we requested that they sign a letter to the IRS commissioner), preserving cash basis accounting in the tax code, and the Mobile Workforce State Income Tax Simplification Act of 2015, which makes it easier for CPAs to work across state lines. Congressman Roskam subsequently agreed to co-sponsor this bill.

The Society also focuses significant advocacy efforts on Illinois government officials in the executive and legislative branches. Advocacy is truly all about relationships, and Marty Green, the Society’s VP of Government Relations and “Our Man in Springfield,” has built up a strong rapport with officials over the years. This is key when bills or regulations come forward that may impact CPAs. In the past year alone, we’ve addressed the Public Accounting Act, which governs the profession, regulatory rules that interpret the Act such as allowable CPE, a possible tax on professional services and legislation that may impact tax preparers. Our overarching goal is to ensure a positive climate for business and accounting professionals. In November, the Society’s Board of Directors will be holding its Board meeting in the heart of Illinois government—the capitol in Springfield. We hope to meet with the governor, comptroller, legislators and IDFPR and IDOR officials to discuss issues that are front and center for the accounting profession.

Advocacy is not limited to Washington and Springfield, however. Frequently, we have government officials attend our Town Hall Forums and we also hold a number of legislative events in conjunction with our chapters. These forums give our government officials a chance to hear about issues affecting the profession and interact directly with members. I encourage you to attend a Town Hall Forum or chapter legislative event and, while there, say hi to officials who may be attending and let them know your thoughts on issues impacting CPAs. Your interaction keeps them coming back.

Advocacy is a never-ending job and, in this political climate, requires constant vigilance. Through our Government Relations staff and volunteers, we will continue to advocate for you and the profession.