PICPA Star Power You Didn’t Know We Had

Dec 21, 2021

pa-cpa-journal-picpa-star-power-you-didn-t-know-we-hadWhen members think “PICPA,” no doubt they consider the great volunteer opportunities, the networking with a diverse and engaging group of professionals, and all the great information shared through the Pennsylvania CPA Journal and CPA Now blog. Or maybe it’s the outstanding CPE we provide that jumps to mind. I’m not sure that “really big deal” is the first thought that arises, but we are … you are! The PICPA impacts the profession every day, working hard to make public accounting in Pennsylvania better and stronger. Every single member should know about this.

“Advocacy” or “lobbying” are heavy words that carry diverse meanings among different people. Some good, some bad. Advocacy, to me, is less about being political and more about getting CPAs what they need to best serve their clients and companies. We’re removing the obstacles in their way, as well as ensuring that rules, regulations, and licensing issues make sense in today’s business environment. This work is vital. We’re in the middle of it, and we excel at what we do. Try to think of the PICPA as a point of convergence where legislators, regulators, and financial experts come together in a powerful way.

As an example, I’d like to point to the issue of bonus depreciation. We have had conversations with the different parties that had to be involved in making adjustments, and one such party – state lawmakers – turned to our members and said, “Tell us what the law should cover.” Certainly, that’s an oversimplification, but it goes to the heart of the massive amount of respect and influence we hold as a profession and as an organization. For me, the amount of clout PICPA members have never ceases to be stunning. Maybe it’s because I was unaware of PICPA’s impact in these matters before I joined PICPA staff. I hope you’re not in the same boat, because I think every single member should know about this and feel the pride in their professional organization that they deserve.

PICPA members, particularly our volunteers, do so much to support the profession. A lot of responsibility and professional reputation is being committed to advancing CPAs’ interests on a daily, weekly, and yearly basis. Did you know we were working on revisions to the CPA Law in Pennsylvania? Did you know there was a CPA Law in Pennsylvania? I’ve been working with PICPA’s professional and technical standards team as well as with our government relations team on advocating for updates to the law.

In fact, we recently met with Kalonji Johnson, the commissioner of the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, which oversees the State Board of Accountancy. He is just one of numerous stakeholders who has a say in updating the law, including other regulators and legislators. The proposed adjustments, House Bill 1328, would revise and update peer review provisions, adopt a statewide code of professional conduct, and add to the types of college courses that would qualify to meet a CPA’s initial education requirement.

It is a massive undertaking. We are literally changing the profession for our members, and a wide range of people – very important people – are listening to us. And the great thing is our members know what they’re talking about: they deliver as thought leaders time and time again. The powers that be look to us and listen to us because we have depth of understanding and ideas that work.

Truly, there is only one downside. And that is much of our membership doesn’t fully grasp what a big deal the PICPA is in Harrisburg and how widely respected we are by legislators and regulators alike. If you want to learn more or you’re ready to flex your influence muscles, I strongly urge you to sign up for PICPA’s weekly Legislative Update newsletter (www.picpa.org/legislativeupdate), review PICPA’s comment letters and testimony (www.picpa.org/testimony), or join one of our steering or thought leadership committees (www.picpa.org/committees).

The PICPA truly is viewed as a center of expertise. That is because of you and members like you.  

Jennifer Cryder, CPA, is PICPA’s chief executive officer. She can be reached at jcryder@picpa.org.


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