States Pass New Laws Governing the Accounting Profession

Not all of the state legislation drawing attention from accountants this year involves taxes (see States Enact Flurry of Tax Changes). Indeed, some of the most closely watched bills hit even closer to home for the profession.

Kentucky lawmakers approved a series of accounting board changes that shorten the deadline requirements for CPA licensing renewals, and subject out-of-state accountants to stringent new peer review program requirements if they provide attest services to clients in Kentucky.

Meanwhile, Idaho passed legislation eliminating the previous requirement that all drawings for the state lottery be witnessed by a CPA.

Legislation supported by Virginia accountants resuscitates that state’s “financial literacy” course requirements that are now slated to become a prerequisite for high school graduation starting this fall.

Accountants in the Keystone State are urging their legislature to enact licensure reforms that would enable CPAs regulated by Pennsylvania’s Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs to expunge a disciplinary record involving minor violations.

In Texas, CPAs are bracing for another fight against legislative proposals that would subject accounting services to the state’s sales tax.

And California accountants are grappling with a series of legislative proposals designed to address concerns sparked by a recent series of high-profile cases of fiscal malfeasance by municipal governments throughout the state. In addition to bills authorizing the state controller to audit the financial records of local governments, the legislature is considering the creation of a “multi-disciplinary fiscal ‘SWAT team’” of auditors and law enforcement personnel to investigate municipal waste and corruption.

Still another measure pending before the Assembly would direct the California Controller to provide more robust oversight of independent auditors in the state. Among other things, that bill would establish a list of “approved” auditors eligible to perform municipal audits, require audit partner rotation every six years, and provide for suspension and other disciplinary action for audit firms with deficiencies in their work papers.

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