Georgia Representative David Knight (HD-130), CPA, introduced new legislation on Monday to strengthen the Georgia State Board of Accountancy (GSBA), giving the GSBA greater financial and operational independence in order to effectively protect the citizens of Georgia and Georgia’s business community.
“We have a vital interest in the strength of the Georgia State Board of Accountancy. I am deeply concerned that the authority, lack of necessary resources, and current reporting relationship to the state legislature and Governor are inappropriate and lead to an ineffective Board,” Representative Knight said. “This legislation would provide the financial and operational independence needed for the Board to properly enforce and regulate the accounting profession which is critical to protecting Georgia’s citizens.”
Currently, as accountancy boards across the country are measured by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA), the Georgia State Board of Accountancy is in one of the weakest positions. Despite the best efforts of the GSBA Board members, the existing laws governing the GSBA do not provide the resources and independence necessary to adequately oversee a high profession like Certified Public Accounts.
“The services provided by CPAs in Georgia have a tremendous impact on a Georgia’s commerce, economic health, and citizens in terms of the state’s GDP and tax collections. This Bill creates a Board that can successfully and effectively regulate the CPA profession in Georgia, therefore protecting the credibility, validity and reliability of the CPA license on which the public relies,” said Boyd Search, CEO of The Georgia Society of CPAs.
Representative Knight’s Bill the Public Accountancy Act of 2013 creates a semi-independent Accountancy Board allowing for greater operational autonomy and increased resources.
Representative Knight’s Bill provides the provisions for the GSBA to hire an Executive Director and supporting staff to ensure the enforcement, licensure and regulation of the accounting profession in the state of Georgia.
This legislation is modeled after the concept that NASBA believes it is essential for Accountancy Boards to have a high level of autonomy in operational and financial matters and the authority to operate at a level that is commensurate with their responsibility to act in the public interest. This view is supported by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, which has urged “the states to create greater financial and operational independence of their state boards of accountancy.”
GSCPA (gscpa.org) is the premier professional organization for CPAs in the state of Georgia. With over 13,000 members throughout the state, the purpose of the GSCPA is to achieve excellence by providing superior advocacy, leadership, service, lifelong learning and personal and professional development opportunities.