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Members Approve New Membership Category in Bylaws Amendment Vote

Colleen Lutolf
Published Date:
Jun 14, 2016

The NYSSCPA opened its membership to a broader category of non-CPAs on June 1, shortly after members approved, 1,393 to 627, an amendment to the Society’s bylaws in a full-membership vote on the proposal. A two-thirds majority was required for the amendment to pass.

For nearly a decade, the NYSSCPA has welcomed eligible non-CPAs to become associate members of the organization; in fact, before June 1, there were nearly 2,500 non-CPAs who could call themselves members of the Society, including student members, CPA candidates or individuals who worked for a CPA, but who didn’t hold a license.

The latest bylaws revision broadens the criteria for associate membership to include any professional with a bachelor’s degree working full time for the government, in industry or nonprofits, or in financial, legal or banking services. Educators who are teaching accounting or accounting-related courses at an educational institution, college or university will continue to join as associate members. Associate members are not eligible to hold Society leadership positions, chair committees, serve on the board of directors, or vote in elections or on changes to the bylaws.

“Change is impacting firms and businesses of all sizes,” said NYSSCPA Executive Director and CEO Joanne S. Barry. “Our new membership categories will be more reflective of what today’s CPA firms look like, with professionals of all areas of expertise lending value to clients.”

“The profession is changing and the NYSSCPA must continually change with it,” said NYSSCPA President F. Michael Zovistoski.

He said he expects that expanding the associate member category to include professionals outside the CPA profession will also be welcomed by the Society’s NextGen members.

“In one of the most comprehensive member surveys that we’ve conducted in years, members ranging from our longtime members to those in the NextGen age group, told us that they want more local networking opportunities. Additionally, we are confident that making a change to our associate membership category will increase the value of membership for many of our members, such that the members themselves voted in favor of this change. The results of this vote demonstrated that we’ve done our homework and this is the right direction for the organization.”

All applicants must be sponsored by a CPA member of the Society in order to be eligible for membership, although they can request a sponsor through the application process. Non-CPA members will still have to agree to abide by the NYSSCPA’s Code of Professional Conduct, said Immediate Past President Joseph M. Falbo Jr.

“By allowing a non-CPA who works within the same arena as CPAs to be a member, we are now requiring them to follow our Code of Professional Conduct, where they were not required to do so, previously,” he said.

CPAs and non-CPAs who are eligible for membership can apply on the NYSSCPA’s website at

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