Legislature(1995 - 1996)

04/03/1996 03:28 PM House L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= 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.             
 CHAIRMAN KOTT adjourned the House Labor and Commerce Committee                
 meeting at 6:06 p.m.                                                          

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