It has been an interesting year at the Indiana General Assembly for the CPA profession. We haven’t proposed any legislation this year, but there has been a wide variety of proposals that have kept us pretty busy. In all, there have been 570 bills introduced in the Senate and 1,667 bills introduced in the House. That is a lot of stuff to dig through to determine what might have implications for the CPA profession.

statehouse1It seems that this has been the “year of the audit.” There have been no less than 12 pieces of legislation with some aspect of auditing as the central topic. Local units of government, schools, political subdivisions, insurance companies and the Indiana State Board of Accounts have all seen legislation addressing a variety of issues.

For the Indiana State Board of Accounts, there have been proposals regarding administrative issues and resources. GAAP requirements have been proposed for schools, political subdivisions and local units of government. Internal control requirements (including training), internal control reviews and internal audits also have been the topic of legislation. One bill (SB 489) would require the SBOA to report to law enforcement if there were “material variances, losses, shortages, or thefts of local government funds or property.” And then we have SB 230 (now “dead”) that would have required “additional information” including financial and non-financial performance data. And it would have been REQUIRED to be posted on the school corporation web site (currently an option). Kind of like an integrated report I guess.

So, what is the profession to do? Most of this stuff is related to public policy, not CPAs directly. Should the profession care? If so, what should the profession care about? Do we just try to make sure that if a bill refers to GAAP, it correctly refers to GAAP? Or, do we get in there and say “pass this bill because GAAP provides better information to citizens of Indiana?” Should we rally around the notion of more transparency in government accounting and reporting?

Those aren’t easy questions in the minds of some Indiana CPAs. To others, the profession has a responsibility to be actively engaged in the debate about government accounting, reporting and transparency. If you have thoughts, please let us know.

NOTE: The 2015 Indiana General Assembly session deadline for adjournment is April 29.