A tough political environment means knowledgeable voices such as those from young CPAs are more important than ever to create positive legislative change for the accounting profession.
That was the message yesterday from OSCPA President & CEO Scott Wiley, CAE, to more than 35 young professionals – who he said “are in the driver’s seat” for the profession’s future – at the Society’s annual Legislative Leadership in Action event.
The day in Columbus is meant to expose young CPAs to the legislative process and show them how to get involved in advocacy efforts. Wiley kicked off the event at the Athletic Club of Columbus; he was followed by Sen. John Eklund, R-Munson Twp., chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee.
“Legislation is really an exercise in compromise,” Eklund told the group.
He spoke on the importance of communication between the Society and legislators, noting that input from members is crucial when making decisions affecting the profession and Ohio.
“It’s so important to be engaged as Ohio citizens,” Eklund said.
The group learned more about the role of the OSCPA Government Relations team from Barb Benton, CAE, OSCPA’s vice president of governmental relations and Greg Saul, Esq., CAE, director of tax policy. Saul touched on top legislative priorities brought forth by members and the difference it makes having CPAs involved in the process.
Sen. Joe Schiavoni, D-Boardman, described the legislative process as a “never-ending battle,” but said the opportunity to make a difference for his constituents makes the hard work worth it.
It’s a sentiment similarly echoed by State Rep.-elect Susan Manchester, R-Waynesville, who discussed the importance of making an impact for those in her community.
Later in the day the Young CPAs visited the Ohio Statehouse where they heard from State Rep. Gary Scherer, CPA, R-Circleville, and had the chance to attend Senate and House floor sessions.
Wiley encouraged the Young CPAs to ask questions of the legislators, and they delivered, asking about the nuances of what it takes to get bills to become new laws, the impact of term limits and the challenges and rewards of the job.
“We are pushing for the issues you bring forward,” Wiley said. “Advocacy is driven by CPAs, by companies, by firms and by you.”
PHOTO: Shown is a picture from the @ohiocpas Instagram takeover, where State Rep.-elect Susan Manchester, R-Waynesville, speaks to young CPAs in Columbus on Nov. 28.