Legislature(1995 - 1996)
04/03/1996 03:28 PM House L&C
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SB 305 - REGULATION OF ACCOUNTANTS Number 379 CHAIRMAN KOTT announced the last order of business would be CS FOR SB 305(L&C), "An Act relating to the regulation of accountants; and amending the effective date for sec. 6, ch. 62, SLA 1991," sponsored by the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee SHERMAN ERNOUF, Legislative Assistant to Senator Tim Kelly, explained SB 305 was introduced at the request of several people. It is the product of work between the Alaska State Board of Public Accountancy, represented by Charles Griffin, the Alaska Society of Certified Public Accountants and faculty from University of Alaska - Anchorage (UAA) and University of Alaska - Fairbanks (UAF). Mr. Ernouf explained the bill changes the educational requirement for licensure as a certified public accountant (CPA). In 1991, the accountancy statutes were amended to require completion of 150 semester credit hours for licensure as a CPA. Those changes had an effective date of September 1, 1997. The proposed changes in the bill would extend the effective date of that act to January 1, 2001. This change would alleviate a number of concerns. It conforms Alaska's statute with the AICPA change that is going to occur at that time and would allow UAA and UAF to gear up their programs for the 150 hour requirement. Currently, there has been friction with students and faculty over that change. MR. ERNOUF informed the committee that in 1992, Alaska started recognizing limited liability companies. Currently, without an amendment to the statute, public accounting practice units can't organize as limited liability companies. This bill would amend the statute so that they could organize as limited liability companies. MR. ERNOUF explained the third change the bill makes to the code is it allows for reciprocity for CPAs moving to Alaska. Reciprocity would be granted for an established CPA who has worked in public accounting for five out of the last ten years. The CPA would be granted a reciprocal certificate. MR. ERNOUF noted the bill was worked on in the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee and a couple of small changes were made. He said all parties involved have worked together with each other and it is pretty much a consensus piece of legislation. Number 499 TOM BARTLETT, President, Alaska Society of Certified Public Accountants, was next to address the committee via teleconference from Fairbanks. He said he would reiterate that his organization worked closely with the Alaska State Board of Accountancy and that they support CSSB 305(L&C). He urged passage of the legislation. Number 527 CHARLES "CHUCK" GRIFFIN, Certified Public Accountant, was next to testify via teleconference from Mat-Su. He informed the committee he served on the Board of Accountancy for six years and has chaired it for the last five years. He said Mr. Ernouf has given the proper background on the bill. Mr. Griffin informed the committee that the board unanimously supported and endorsed the bill to meet the transition and grandfather requirements of the current university graduates and to comply with the counsel of their AAG who indicates that they may not issue firm permits without the statutory authority to recognize the LLC form of business and to have a permissive provision to issue on the basis of reciprocity licenses to CPAs from other states who moved to Alaska to practice, primarily with the larger national firms. He thanked the committee and urged support. Number 590 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG made a motion to move CSSB 305(L&C) out of committee with individual recommendations and the accompanying zero fiscal note. CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if there was an objection. Hearing none, CSSB 305(L&C) was moved out of the House Labor and Commerce Committee. ADJOURNMENT CHAIRMAN KOTT adjourned the House Labor and Commerce Committee meeting at 6:06 p.m.