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CPA Advocate January 2019

by MICPA | Sep 11, 2019   ()

Election Recap
On Tuesday November 6th, Michigan saw the highest number of voters participate in a midterm election since 1962. As a result of term limits, there were open seats at every level of government on the ballot. Voters across the state cast their ballot for U.S. Senate, U.S. Representative, Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Senate, State Representative and local elected offices. There were also three ballot initiatives included on the ballot, all of which passed.

At the federal level, Senator Debbie Stabenow held on to her seat in a race against John James. Michigan’s congressional delegation had four new members head to D.C. in January. The makeup of Michigan’s congressional delegation is now 7 Republicans and 7 Democrats.

Our CPA Governor, Rick Snyder was term limited and succeeded by Democrat, Gretchen Whitmer. The Whitmer administration was tasked with appointing new department heads, important to CPAs are the Treasurer’s position and the Director of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). Rachel Eubanks has been appointed to serve as Treasurer and Orlene Hawks has been appointed as the Director of LARA. MICPA has enjoyed great relationships with these departments the past 8 years and we’ll continue to build on that success with the new administration.

Democrats also replaced the outgoing Attorney General and Secretary of State. Dana Nessel and Jocelyn Benson won their respective races.

The 2019 legislature has 30 new state senators and 46 new state representatives. Of the newly elected officials in Lansing, 54 of them have never held a position in the state legislature before. We no longer have any CPAs serving in the legislature, making it as important as ever to build relationships with new legislators to ensure they understand that importance of the CPA profession.

While Republicans retained the majority in both the State Senate and the State House of Representatives, Democrats shrunk that majority. In the 100th legislature, Republicans have control of the State Senate with a 22 to 16 majority. The split of power in the House of Representatives is a 58 to 52 Republican majority.

Looking Ahead
Public Act 81 of 2018 which allowed for firm mobility, CPE reciprocity, CPE carry-over, put ethics CPE into statute and clarified education requirements to sit for the uniform CPA exam was enacted in June. Michigan was one of three states to pass CPA firm mobility and one of only two to pass CPE reciprocity in 2018, making Michigan a leader in policy that has a direct impact on the CPA profession.

As we head into 2019, other states will consider following Michigan in enacting CPA firm mobility and CPE reciprocity. Numerous policy issues that impact the CPA profession will be considered by legislatures nation-wide. Some proposals that we can expect to see around the country are:

  • Occupational reform legislation
  • Legislation addressing equal pay
  • Legislation addressing mandatory paid leave
  • Proposals to enact a tax on professional services
  • Proposals to conform tax codes to the new federal centralized partnership audit regime

The MICPA will be watching proposals as they are introduced throughout the country. As your voice in Lansing, the MICPA advocacy team will educate law makers on what these proposals mean for the practice arena should legislation be introduced in our state.

Marijuana Guidance
The MICPA has been working with the Bureau of Marijuana Regulation to ensure that our members who are engaging in the industry have the resources that they need. With the passage of recreational marijuana, we will continue working with the department on how to assist members who are operating in the industry.

Any applicant for licensure in the medical marijuana industry must provide financial statements that are attested to by a CPA with their application. The MICPA has been working closely with the Bureau to develop a standardized format for CPAs who choose to engage in the industry to follow when submitting capitalization information on behalf of their clients.

The attestation of capitalization on behalf of clients is a service that requires firms to participate in peer review. As small to midsize firms determine whether they are going to engage in this new industry, it is important that they understand the peer review requirements. Questions can be directed to the Peer Review department at the MICPA by calling 248.267.3700.

We are working on educational courses to provide CPAs with information about the industry and risks associated with it. Keep an eye out for education on the topic provided by the MICPA at future conferences! Please contact the Bureau of Marijuana Regulation at (517) 584-8599 with any questions.

Source: MICPA
Source: MICPA

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