Did you feel the Earth move on September 18? Probably not, but on that day, the Society gave another big shove to Indiana’s regulatory mountain. (I know – unless you are from southern Indiana you didn’t know there were mountains in Indiana.)

MountainThe mountain I refer to is the state regulation of the CPA profession. Last week the Job Creation Committee, which was established by the General Assembly and Gov. Pence in the 2014 legislative session with the passage of SEA 421, held its first meeting. The committee is tasked with reviewing each regulated occupation and respective licensing board with the goal of eliminating barriers to employment in Indiana. That’s a not a little mole hill.

Chairman Nick Rhoad, executive director of the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency, (who you might recall was our guest blogger in January) and committee members don’t want to just review Indiana code, rules and related processes of each profession; they want to think in broader terms. They are asking questions like: Is there a better way to accomplish our tasks, and what changes can we make now that will effectively help regulated professions prosper in an increasingly complex web of local, state, national and international regulations?

Well, here is where the Society hooks on their carabiners and heads for the peak. The first profession to be reviewed by JCC was the CPA profession (we’re no. 1!)  and that is what happened on September 18. The committee will continue discussions when they reconvene on October 16.

As the committee embarked on their mission, staff from IPLA and the Office of the Indiana Attorney General presented background information on license administration and compliance for the CPA profession. They were followed by a presentation from INCPAS President and CEO Gary Bolinger, CAE.

Gary called on experience and insight gathered during his 30 years representing the profession. His knowledge about how various rules came to be, why CPAs must have a state license, and what issues the Indiana Board of Accountancy is likely to deal with in the not too distant future I think was appreciated by the committee. What was probably more appreciated was when Gary suggested the Society is willing to partner in more projects that will help change regulation of the profession for the better.

He pointed to the two-year competency based pilot program the Society is currently running with approval of the Indiana Board of Accountancy. (To our knowledge, this is the first and only competency based professional development program for CPAs in the country.) Gary challenged the committee to work with the Society to create a new model for professional development and a corresponding regulatory framework for license renewal. He also suggested they consider privatizing some of the administrative functions of IPLA. Now those are mountains to climb!

I know these types of changes make some members nervous, but I hope you will grab a rope and climb up with us where the air is thin, the sky might be cloudy, but the thinking is clearly focused on the future.