Strengthen Our Voice
In 1999, the Board of Directors of the New York State Society of CPAs voted unanimously to form a political action committee to strengthen the profession's voice with elected officials.
Like all major initiatives, the formation of the New York State Society CPA PAC raised questions about the goals, structure and procedures for making contributions. The following are frequently asked questions:
CPA PAC FAQs
Why should you contribute to CPA PAC?
CPA PAC allows the collective voice of the NYSSCPA to be heard in Albany. A strong CPA PAC means a strong profession. Donations to CPA PAC are distributed to New York candidates for office who are the profession’s allies. When you donate to CPA PAC, you help send a clear message to legislators that we have issues that are important to our profession, to the wider business community and to public interest sectors -- and that we will be heard.
Why is CPA PAC important?
In this age of "political campaigns through the media," the reputation of an organization is not enough to have real influence on legislative matters. CPA PAC will strengthen our voice with the New York State Legislature like never before, especially against immense challenges we can expect in the near future.
What challenges does the profession face in New York State?
In the past, the Society successfully advocated for and against legislation that affected our profession. In an age of rapid changes in the business climate -- mergers, acquisitions, and globalization -- we can expect to face an increased number of new challenges. Conversely, the changes also pose new opportunities which will require legislative action.
If the Society lobbied successfully in the past, why does it need CPA PAC now?
New York state election laws limited us to a $5,000 per year cap on contributions the Society can make as an organization to legislators. However, in today's political climate and with skyrocketing election campaign costs, it takes more financial resources, greater coordination, and commitment of our members to exert an influence on the legislature. CPA PAC will empower us with the additional resources we need to succeed.
How will the PAC spend the contributions?
First, we will support those candidates for office who are our profession's allies. CPA PAC will be a powerful tool to mount strong lobbying efforts against bills that might chip away at our important public interest role as independently licensed CPAs. Future challenges will require a greater effort.
Will CPA PAC alter the way legislators view our profession?
CPA PAC sends a clear message to legislators that we have issues that are important to our profession, to the wider business community and to public interest sectors. CPA PAC helps ensure our message is heard.
I'm a member of the AICPA and already contribute to its PAC. Isn't CPA PAC a duplication of effort?
No, the AICPA's Effective Legislative Committee is designed to lobby for issues at the national level. CPA PAC will deal only with New York State and local elected officials and candidates.
Do I have anything to say about CPA PAC?
Absolutely, your voice will be heard. We welcome the insights and viewpoints of our members, especially with respect to candidates. In addition, a committee of your peers will approve all contributions. The CPA PAC Board of Trustees -- consisting of a cross-section of the Society's membership -- will make policy decisions.
How can I contact my local PAC trustee?
That's easy. Just click here, or follow the navigation on the right, for the names and contact information for all the CPA PAC trustees.