Legislature(2005 - 2006)CAPITOL 17

01/21/2005 03:15 PM LABOR & COMMERCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved Out of Committee
Moved Out of Committee
Heard & Held
HB  64-EXTEND BOARD OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTANCY                                                                                     
CHAIR ANDERSON announced  that the first order  of business would                                                               
be HOUSE BILL NO. 64, "An  Act extending the termination date for                                                               
the Board of  Public Accountancy; and providing  for an effective                                                               
JULIE LUCKY,  Staff for Representative Mike  Hawker, Alaska State                                                               
Legislature, explained that the extension  of the board of public                                                               
accountancy is to  June 30, 2009, following  approval. This board                                                               
she  said,  protects  public  interest   by  ensuring  that  only                                                               
qualified   people  are   licensed   as   accountants  and   that                                                               
appropriate standards  are enforced.  The board's fees  cover the                                                               
cost of  regulatory costs. The  board is actively working  on the                                                               
number one  recommendation which is giving  additional test sites                                                               
for uniform CPA examinations.                                                                                                   
PAT  DAVIDSON, Legislative  Auditor, Legislative  Audit Division,                                                               
indicated  that  indeed  the recommendation  of  the  legislative                                                               
audit was  to make  a four-year  extension for  this board.   The                                                               
division  made  an  additional   recommendation  with  regard  to                                                               
changing the  CPA exam from a  manual model to a  computer model.                                                               
The  CPA exam  used  to be  offered  twice a  year,  and now  its                                                               
offered  four  times  a  year.   The  division  also  asked  that                                                               
financial barriers to the profession be eliminated.                                                                             
CHAIR  ANDERSON  asked   whether  or  not  there   had  been  any                                                               
legislation that changed the testing procedures.                                                                                
MS. DAVIDSON replied yes, there were changes made last year.                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG asked  what  the relationship  between                                                               
the board and Culmetrix and how  well they get along and if there                                                               
is any way that the board is moving to take this over.                                                                          
MS. DAVIDSON explained that it  is a nationalized test. Culmetrix                                                               
is  a contractor  with a  nationwide organization.  The board  is                                                               
allowed  to  use this  test  to  test  participants and  all  the                                                               
candidates get their  license from this test. This  means that it                                                               
is not  realistic to move  away from the nationwide  test. Alaska                                                               
is working with  a contractor and is trying to  expand the number                                                               
of sites.                                                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE  LYNN  asked   how  long  it  will   be  [for  the                                                               
expansion] and who determines this.                                                                                             
MS. DAVIDSON reported that the normal  limit in statute is set at                                                               
four  years. If  recommendations are  made for  something further                                                               
out,  the [division]  specifies why.  For the  sunset process  in                                                               
total, [the  division] is recommending  that the Board  of Public                                                               
Accountancy be extended to eight years.                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX asked  how long  the Board  of Accountancy                                                               
has been in existence and how  long have the legislature has been                                                               
going through the sunset reviews.                                                                                               
MS. DAVIDSON answered that the board  has been in existence for a                                                               
long time. She  added that for the record she  and the division's                                                               
staff  are  all CPA's,  and  therefore  are not  without  review.                                                               
Anytime  something   occurs  that  is  not   in  accordance  with                                                               
standards is always noted.                                                                                                      
DON  RULIEN,  Chairman,  Legislative Committee;  past  President,                                                               
Alaska  State  CPA Society,  outlined  a  letter he  had  written                                                               
previously  and stated  that  he wanted  the  continuance of  the                                                               
board. He  announced that his  group is currently working  on the                                                               
same bill being discussed.                                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN moved  to report HB 64 out  of committee with                                                               
individual  recommendations and  the  accompanying fiscal  notes.                                                               
There being  no objection,  HB 64 was  reported from  House Labor                                                               
and Commerce Standing Committee.                                                                                                

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