Maryland CPAs and the state’s Chamber of Commerce have a long history of opposing such legislation, and this year was no different.
“This legislation would add yet another layer of complexity for Maryland businesses,” Hood said. “There simply is not enough time for proper implementation and explanation. In the original proposal, even non-profits that have for-profit organizations would have been impacted."
The Maryland Association of CPAs testified against this legislation saying that tax preparers and companies need more time to understand the new rules and establish internal reporting systems to be able to comply with this new law.
Power in Numbers
In each case, CPAs made their voices heard through live testimony and an extensive grassroots e-mail and telephone campaign that targeted Maryland lawmakers who have key voices in the issues that impact the profession.
"CPAs have enormous credibility, and what you're doing is absolutely crucial," Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot told MACPA members in January. "There's an old saying in politics: If you're not at the table, you can often end up on the menu. Maryland CPAs should have a place at the table. They should have a higher visibility on fiscal responsibility and fiscal discipline and why those things lead to social responsibility and the ability to pay for the things we want."
Indeed, Franchot and other state officials used the CPA Day environment to challenge CPAs to make a difference. Here’s how “Going Concern” blogger Adrienne Gonzalez put it after attending CPA Day:
“I left with the sense that MACPA had been given a new mission by both Delegate (Brian) Feldman and Comptroller Franchot: They've done a lot up until this point but maybe it's time to do more. Delegate (Sam) Arora expressed that he would love to get state CPAs' thoughts on the new budget, specifically line items that could be eliminated, and was sure that many of his fellow delegates would feel the same. The great part about CPAs doing this is that they are trustworthy, impartial and knowledgeable. Of course, MACPA initiatives protect the interests of CPAs in the state, but CPAs' interests are almost always directly in line with those of their clients and the communities they serve.”
When it’s crunch time, CPAs are proving that they take their mission seriously: They’re committed to making sense of a changing and complex world. They do that for their clients. Equally important, they’re doing that for lawmakers.