An objective in the Society’s strategic plan, “advocate on behalf of members to further the profession” falls under my bailiwick.   But “advocacy” is amoeba-like when we try to set key performance indicators that are measurable.  One of our KPIs is “to win” (i.e., we made something happen or prevented something from happening.”)  The greater challenge is to “tell our story” in a meaningful way to members.

Capitol“To win” still seems a little murky, especially to CPAs, but as I am charged with first doing it and second, reporting on it, I wanted to share a recent example.  (As in “it happened this week” recent.)

And now our story …

I’m sure you know Indiana’s legislature has adjourned for this year.  There will be primary races, an election and a new roster of representatives and senators between now and next January when they convene again.  So, now is when we review our legislative agenda and determine if “we won.”

Well, I am happy to say, “Yes, we won” as Governor Pence signed our bill SEA421 – Professional Licensing Matters into law on Tuesday.  That likely means little to most Society members who are bracing for the homestretch of tax season, but it is actually a pretty sweet win.

There are a lot of member volunteer, staff, lobbyist and even legislator’s hours and resources that went into “making something happen” and “preventing something from happening.”  The credit goes to many, but ultimately comes back to the individual member who pays dues and contributes to the Indiana CPA-PAC.

Through the work of our Government Relations and Tax Resource advisory councils and lobbyist, we worked directly with three state agencies, the Governor’s office, at least 11 key state senators and eight key state representatives, as well as several business organizations to secure our win.

The things we made happen include: changing the definition of attest, creating a ‘retired’ license status, extending the terms a board member may serve on Indiana’s Board of Accountancy, and increasing the cap on the enforcement fund from $750,000 to $1 million while redirecting civil penalties to the fund.

What did we prevent from happening?  While we supported changing the property tax assessment date to January 1, for the second session in a row, members testifying for the Society prevented changes to the property tax due dates. (This one is easy – how important is it that neither March 1st nor May 1st became the new due date? For the record, the due date is still May 15th.)

Well, I could go on, but suffice to say, we were fortunate to have scored a “win” with our legislative agenda this year.  What’s next? Well now, the real work begins as we work with regulators and the state to implement the changes effective July 1st… but that’s another blog post.