FOCUS on advocacy

“First, we must protect the public. Then we must protect against any  might diminish the CPA 

– Jane Haskin, CPA

Immediate Past Chairman of the OSCPA

 at the Capitol

 

ost legislators rely on constituents to voice their concerns about pending issues. Without this communication,

legislators may not fully realize the impact proposed legislation may have on residents of their district. OSCPA Day at the Capitol helps connect members with legislators to promote the financial expertise of members and to build the OSCPA’s voice at the Capitol. However, if you still need a better reason to flag February 2019 for the event, we’ve got you covered. Here are five reasons to attend CPA Day at the Capitol:

1. Advocacy: A recent poll of board members and strategic planning members revealed that advocacy is the biggest benefit to being an OSCPA member. To make this as valuable as possible, the OSCPA needs members to not only participate, but to also be personal advocates of the CPA profession.

2. Networking: Meet other members who are also passionate about making Oklahoma the best it can be with sound tax and financial policies. Plus, when you hand out the OSCPA Legislative Tax Guide, you are a Capitol hero!

3. Education: Learn about primary issues affecting the CPA profession and Oklahoma. Yes, CPE is recommended.

4. Publicity: You’ll be included in OSCPA news releases and you will receive a copy of a personal news release to use how you wish.

5. Influence: Before legislators make important decisions on issues that affect the CPA profession, they need to hear how it affects the profession, Oklahoma businesses and the public. Te best way to have that impact is to build that relationship.

“Involving yourself in your legislative process can alter your point of view on how CPAs as

20 CPAFOCUS September/October 2018

professionals can change the development of everything from state budgets to certification laws. Tis event illustrates the immediate impact our profession can have on the legislative process,” said Blaine Peterson, CPA, JD, OSCPA president and CEO. Members who attended the 2018 CPA Day at the Capitol offered their reasons on why they wanted to attend and get involved with government relations. Most say they want to help educate legislators. Bryan Haws, CPA, CGMA, a controller with the American Association of Petroleum Geologists in Tulsa, said, “As CPAs, we have a distinct perspective on financial problems and their solutions. It seems in this hyper-charged sensitive culture, emotion is the primary driver of decisions (which is a very poor driver), and we offer a more logical and reasoned approach to complicated issues that have a financial impact… which is every decision the legislature will consider.” Haws, a member for 15 years, has previously served on several committees. He is currently serving on the Members in Industry and Accounting Careers Committees as well as being the current committee chair for the CPA/ PAC. Rusty Hale, CPA, CVA, CGMA, managing

partner with Hale & Company, CPA, PC in Edmond, said, “I feel it is important that CPAs have a presence at the Capitol to let the legislature know our issues, but it’s more important we are there to help [educate] them on tax and accounting issues as they relate to all Oklahomans.” Hale, a member for 38 years, has served on several committees and is the 1998 Oklahoma Accounting Hall of Fame inductee. “I learned through talking to our elected officials that they have many pieces of legislation come up for votes each session and in most cases have very little time to research the impact of every single bill,” said Cynthia Cox, CPA,

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