Accounting and Licensing Bills Passed and Defeated

We’re done! The bills we wanted to pass have passed and the bills we opposed have died. While we are still watching a few bills along with the progress in franchise tax legislation, our primary objectives of the session have been met.

SB 228 by CPA Sen. Tommy Williams (R-The Woodlands), our primary legislative focus for this session should become law tomorrow with or without Gov. Perry’s signature, absent a veto, which we do not expect.

HB 1685 by Rep. Four Price (R-Amarillo) renewing the SDSI status for the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy (TSBPA), which we have also been actively supporting, passed the Senate yesterday and will be on its way to the governor shortly.

HB 1756 by CPA Rep. Phil Stephenson (R-Wharton) to eliminate peer review requirements for CPAs who prepare only compilation reports died in the House Licensing and Administrative Procedures committee Monday. We actively opposed this bill and are glad to see it rest in peace. It would have reduced quality controls and standards and place the public at risk for poor quality financial statements.

HB 1757, also by Stephenson, also died in the House Licensing committee. This bill never received a hearing because Stephenson agreed not to pursue the bill after we explained our concerns. The bill would have mandated that two solo practitioners be on the TSBPA at all times and would have eliminated the opportunity for CPAs in industry or academia from serving on the board.

HB 87 by Rep. Bill Callegari (R-Katy) died in the Calendars committee on Wednesday. While we tried to work with Callegari to modify the bill, the modifications did not eliminate all our concerns and we actively opposed the bill. This is the bill that would have weakened licensing enforcement, especially in the enforcement against the unauthorized practice of public accounting.

HB 2851 also by Callegari is the bill we suggested he pass instead of HB 87. We supported this innocuous change to agency rule development. The bill passed the House.

Another of our objectives was to be sure there was no sales tax on professional services enacted. No one even filed such a bill. I like it when it’s easy! This is one we will have to continue to watch in case there is a special session to deal with public school funding, or other revenue raising issues.

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