Bringing Accountancy into the 21st Century
Help New York State Legislators Strengthen the Profession

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APRIL 2008 - For almost 10 years, the New York State Society of CPAs (NYSSCPA) has been pushing for necessary accounting reform in the state of New York. Last year, we were only a few details away from a comprehensive proposal that could have been introduced for a vote. In each of the last five legislative sessions, the New York State Senate passed accounting reform legislation with unanimous support from both parties—accounting legislation that was primarily crafted by the Society’s board of directors.

The interested parties got together and narrowed our differences even more over this past year. The bones and muscle of our original proposal are still present. We anticipate that the essential elements of last year’s draft bill will be introduced soon in both houses of the legislature, at the request of the New York State Board of Accountancy and with support from the State Education Department. The NYSSCPA board of directors will likely add its full support to this proposal, which includes all the key points that we agreed require prompt legislative action. Our hope now is that the state legislature will listen to a combined voice. All parties agree that the regulators need updated statutory authority to make sure that the public served by the profession is protected in today’s world.

Statute Essentially Unchanged for 60 Years

These changes are long overdue. The law that governs New York State CPAs today was instituted in 1897, the official birth of the public accountancy profession in the United States. The last time the law was substantially revised was 1947—the same year Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League baseball, India and Pakistan broke apart from the British Empire, and then-Princess Elizabeth II got engaged. That’s a long time, during which much has changed—including the practice of accounting.

The proposal would finally bring the profession up to date in many key areas. The current draft of the bill would—

  • make peer review mandatory for all CPAs in public practice;
  • expand the regulated scope of practice to reflect the many services performed by CPAs;
  • regulate all CPAs, including those in industry;
  • expand experience qualifications for licensure;
  • extend continuing professional education (CPE) requirements to all CPAs, including those in industry, government, and academia;
  • grant CPAs exclusive license to perform attest and compilation services;
  • require triennial registration of all CPA firms, regardless of their legal form of organization;
  • provide enhanced mobility by establishing a temporary practice permit for attest and compilation services by out-of-state CPAs; and
  • establish cross-border practice privileges in New York for nonattest services provided by out-of-state CPAs

I’m asking all NYSSCPA members, particularly the vast majority of our membership who practice in small and mid-sized firms and in industry, to contact their state legislators and stress the importance of accounting reform and your support of the New York State Board for Public Accountancy legislation on accounting reform. A listing of state and assembly legislators can be found online at The Society is continuing its efforts, on behalf of all of its members—both large- and small-firm practitioners, and those in industry, government, and education—to achieve passage of far-reaching accounting reforms to modernize New York’s accountancy statute.

Louis Grumet
Publisher, The CPA Journal
Executive Director, NYSSCPA





















The CPA Journal is broadly recognized as an outstanding, technical-refereed publication aimed at public practitioners, management, educators, and other accounting professionals. It is edited by CPAs for CPAs. Our goal is to provide CPAs and other accounting professionals with the information and news to enable them to be successful accountants, managers, and executives in today's practice environments.

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