It’s fall in Indiana … the leaves are turning colors and mornings are crisp. I love the season changes for all the usual reasons, but also because it signals subtle shifts in our advocacy work at the Society. Like squirrels gathering nuts, we are busy laying the groundwork for the legislative session that begins in January, checking to see how our year-end PAC funds compare to goals, and gearing up for a busy tax season; anticipating at least a few blustery days of administrative glitches along the way.

Fall_colorsOur members have spent countless hours these past few months readying your professional home for the upcoming winter. They have met with regulators at state and federal agencies, strategized with our lobbyist, attended legislators’ fundraisers, and responded to exposure drafts and draft guidance documents. They have weighed in on heavy issues like government accounting and audit standards, tax extenders, non-resident withholding, double taxation, CPE reciprocity, competency-based license renewal, patent reform, and preservation of cash-basis accounting for small businesses.

Just as responsible homeowners do, the INCPAS Board cleared the gutters setting an admirable goal of 100% of Board members meeting with a statewide elected official. With a part-time legislature, Indiana’s state representatives and senators are in their home districts for nearly three quarters of the year. That means they are focused on their full-time endeavors and challenges as business owners, nurses, teachers, farmers, firefighters, doctors, etc. most of the year. That also means they have limited time and access to resources that help them understand complex issues that they must support or oppose during their short time at the State House each year.

This provides us with a great opportunity to meet them and introduce ourselves. Having the phone number and email of a CPA in their community as a trusted business resource is a valuable asset when they need to better understand the implications of a piece of legislation. Simply reaching out to legislators to say, “Call me if you have a question,” prepares the profession for potential clogged downspouts in the future.

And, as if returning to agrarian roots with a Farmer’s Almanac in hand, anxiously anticipating the first and last frosts, our Board-level task force on advocacy took on our longer-term future in government relations. They have considered global regulatory and reporting trends, changing expectations of members and stakeholders, and the expanding role of CPAs in business. As they near completion of their work, they have embraced one of the four bold challenges from INCPAS 2025: INCPAS and our members become the most trusted business resource and advocates in Indiana and envisioned a future of bountiful harvests.

So, tomorrow morning as you head out with a steaming travel mug of coffee, turning up your jacket collar to the slight chill, ask yourself, “Have I prepared my professional home for the season to come?”  Have you contributed to the Indiana CPA-PAC (it’s not too late)? Have you registered to attend the Legislators Breakfast  on January 13 and invited your legislators? If not, take a moment to enjoy the passing of the seasons and then take steps to help prepare your professional home against an unpredictable winter.