OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE NEBRASKA SOCIETY OF CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS

Pub. 3 2021 Issue 4

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President’s Message: Full Speed Ahead!

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This story appears in the
Nebraska CPA Pub. 3 2021 Issue 4

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Now is the perfect time to step up your engagement with the Nebraska Society of CPAs. Our education events are scheduled to be live and in-person in September, and our advocacy efforts are moving forward as we prepare for the start of the next legislative session in January 2022.

CPE To Go Live & In-Person


Many of you have asked about the Nebraska Society of CPAs’ plans to deliver Continuing Professional Education (CPE) amid the ongoing pandemic. In leveraging what the last year and a half has taught us, your Society continues to explore ways to make quality learning opportunities safe and easily accessible. We are monitoring the ever-changing environment and evaluating our in-person and virtual options for the remainder of 2021 and 2022. As we plan the best path forward, we examine elements such as safety protocols; speaker risk tolerance; venue availability and capacity; and costs. As part of this assessment, we have been consulting with our member-volunteers, partners, speakers, and venue contacts to review the factors affecting our scheduled return to in-person learning.

At this time, in-person CPE is scheduled to begin in September. In all, we have 40 in-person courses planned between now and the end of the year! This includes one of our biggest events of the year, the Society’s 21st Annual Fall Conference & Annual Meeting, which will be back at the Embassy Suites Conference Center in La Vista on Oct. 28-29. Be sure to check out the great line-up of speakers and topics on pages 20-21 of this issue and register today! Of course, should Directed Health Measures change, Society courses will move to webcast.

In addition to our in-person events, virtual learning is here to stay and the Nebraska Society will continue to include it as a valuable and viable delivery channel because of the many benefits it offers our members. Members’ familiarity with the virtual environment has steadily increased and we are pleased to bring you a wide variety of online learning opportunities in the months to come.

Make the Most of the NESCPA Website


As a reminder, our redesigned website at www.nescpa.org features an easier-to-navigate CPE Catalog, streamlined online renewal, and faster access to news and information.

Click My NESCPA to put your membership at your fingertips.

  • Manage your profile and contact information.
  • Access your committees and find new ones to join.
  • Pay your dues.
  • Search for a job or post an opening for free.

Easily track your registrations for education events with My CPE Tracker.

  • See your upcoming events.
  • Access eMaterials.
  • Download transcripts, attendance certificates, and eMaterials from past courses.
  • Add other courses you’ve taken to keep your records all in one place.

Designate a firm administrator to manage registrations and membership for everyone in your organization.

  • Register multiple individuals for programs.
  • Access eMaterials, course transcripts, and attendance certificates.
  • Update your company’s roster, manage employees at multiple office locations, and renew multiple memberships at one time.
  • Ensure your firm is listed in the Find a CPA directory.

Stay on top of the Latest News and information of special interest to Nebraska CPAs.

  • Scroll down the home page to find daily news briefs, with links to full-length articles from reputable sources.
  • Access the digital version of the Nebraska CPA journal under News & Resources.
  • Search the NESCPA Knowledge Hub for white papers, case studies, and industry analysis.
  • Discover links to a variety of state and federal resources.

Government Relations Remains a Priority


The Society’s advocacy efforts are already kicking into high gear in preparation for the Second Session of the 107th Legislature, which begins Jan. 5, 2022.

Over the summer, the Nebraska Society of CPAs along with the Nebraska Board of Public Accountancy have been working together to review current requirements of Nebraska law and State Board regulations that impact CPA firm ownership. Presently, Nebraska law requires an equity ownership interest of 51% and a physical requirement of at least two CPAs within a CPA firm. A meeting was held earlier this year that included Society leadership and the State Board’s Legislative Committee to gauge the desire to further examine these requirements and to potentially seek a new path forward on the matter. After some discussion, the group determined that the subject warranted the creation of a task force to review the issue and make recommendations.

Over the years, it has worked well in our state for the Nebraska Society and State Board to work together when issues such as this arise. Several examples include requirements that have impacted education, experience, and firm ownership within the Nebraska Public Accountancy Act (PAA) and Board regulations.

The members of the joint Society/State Board task force met in May and agreed that a legislative change to the PAA should be considered to address concerns regarding the total number of owners of a CPA firm who are not CPAs. The group concluded that a CPA(s) should still hold the majority equity capital of a CPA firm. Following the meeting of the task force, members of the full Society Board as well as the full State Board voted to approve proceeding with the recommended legislative change.

Together, State Board Executive Director Dan Sweetwood and I met with Bill Marienau, senior legal counsel for the Nebraska Legislature’s Banking, Commerce & Insurance Committee, to discuss a potential draft bill. As a side note, the year 2021 marked Marienau’s 35th session as committee counsel, so to say he knows his way around the Legislature and the law-making process is an understatement! Following discussions, phone calls, and emails to flesh out the proposed changes to the Public Accountancy Act, specifically Sec. 1-162.01, Marienau placed a draft of the agreed-upon changes in the hands of the Legislature’s bill drafters.

We are grateful that Sen. John Stinner from Scottsbluff, who is a retired CPA and Society member, has agreed to carry the bill when the Legislature convenes in January.

State Senators’ Reception & Dinner 2022


The Society’s time-honored tradition of hosting Nebraska State Senators the evening prior to the start of the Nebraska Legislature has been officially scheduled. Please mark your calendars and plan to attend this important, long-standing legislative event on Jan. 4, 2022, at The Cornhusker Marriott in downtown Lincoln.

Legislative Review Meeting Scheduled


In related news, the Society will be holding a Legislative Review Meeting on Jan. 24, 2022, led by our lobbying team at Radcliffe, Gilbertson & Brady with members of the Society’s Legislation Committee, Taxation Committee, and Board of Directors. Most bills in the Nebraska Legislature are introduced during the first 10 days of the session. This meeting will provide Society members the opportunity to become more legislatively proactive by discussing and determining positions on state legislative bills affecting the CPA profession.

Prepare for the 2022 Elections, Contribute to PEC


The Nebraska Society of CPAs’ Political Education Committee (PEC) is a critical part of the Society’s government relations efforts at the state level. Your contributions to PEC help elect state legislative candidates who support the CPA profession and a strong business environment. Now is the time to start preparing for the 2022 elections! If you have not been an annual contributor to the Society’s PEC, we hope you will consider joining the growing number of members who consistently support our government relations efforts. Learn more and contribute today at www.nescpa.org/advocacy/contribute.

Federal Outreach on STEM


At the federal level, the Nebraska Society of CPAs has asked Nebraska Congressmen Jeff Fortenberry (R-Dist.1), Don Bacon (R-Dist.2), and Adrian Smith (R-Dist.3) to cosponsor H.R. 3855, the Accounting STEM Pursuit Act. The bill establishes the accounting profession as a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) career pathway and supports the profession’s work to create more diversity in the future accounting workforce.

Introduced by Reps. Haley Stevens (D-MI) and Victoria Spartz (R-IN), the bill specifically allows federal funding to be used to strengthen accounting education in K-12 schools, particularly by providing high-quality accounting programs and courses for students who are members of groups that are underrepresented in the accounting profession. H.R. 3855 also would recognize accounting as a STEM field under Technology, which reinforces the future of the workforce and job trends.

You will find the Society’s letters urging Nebraska Representatives to cosponsor H.R. 3855 at www.nescpa.org/advocacy/feedback.

This issue will likely be on the advocacy agenda when we visit Capitol Hill during the AICPA Fall Council Meeting in Washington, D.C., Oct. 17-21.

No Slowing Down


This past year and a half has been a wild ride, full of ups and downs, twists and turns, and loop-de-loops, as the pandemic has forced all of us to make changes to workflow, services, and processes. While the journey has been (and continues to be) extremely unpredictable and uncomfortable, you’ve stayed the course—shifting your business models and technology strategies, giving clients deeper insight and solutions to problems, and using your knowledge and skills to become their most trusted advisor. Please know that what you do makes a difference and be proud of your profession! 

Joni Sundquist is president and executive director of the Nebraska Society of CPAs. You may contact her at (402) 476-8482 or joni@nescpa.org.

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