MNCPA PERSPECTIVES

The membership benefits you may not see

Jul. 19, 2018  |  Linda Wedul

When joining a professional association, particularly one with voluntary membership, there should be clear benefits you receive in return for paying dues. That’s why the MNCPA is always focused on offering exceptional value to our members.

Some benefits are obvious: preferred pricing on CPE courses, a CPE log to track compliance with rules, alerts to changes in certification requirements, and committees and special interest sections that allow members to network and learn from each other. But some benefits are not so obvious. Here are a couple examples.

A couple of weeks ago, a member called us because he recently learned that an online course he was taking through an MBT program would not qualify for CPE to renew his CPA certificate. What was confusing was that the same course, if taken in a classroom, would have qualified for CPE credit. This launched us into making calls to the university and the Board of Accountancy (BOA) to better understand the situation. The problem isn’t solved yet, but we offered to coach him through the process of requesting a waiver from the BOA. Because he was a member, we had the opportunity to advocate for him and help him navigate the regulatory options available.

Another example relates to Minnesota’s nonconformity to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. After sharing the effects of nonconformity with the media, we’re now developing a campaign to educate legislators about how different conformity solutions will impact taxpayers, businesses and tax preparers. We will also be ready to educate the newly elected officials come November. The MNCPA is doing this type of work daily, advocating and educating on behalf of the profession at the State Capitol and regulatory agencies. Change doesn’t happen quickly, but we stay involved in the process whether it is for six months or five years. 

Rules and regulations are always in a state of change, and we want to be there for you when those changes prove more burdensome than intended. That’s why we encourage all members to contact the MNCPA and share any regulatory challenges they encounter. We attend many meetings at the BOA and the Minnesota Department of Revenue, and communicate with leaders and decision-makers about what isn't working. If changes don’t happen right away, we can then advise members about the options that are available to them. And, as we advocate for rule changes, we have specific stories about how rules are impacting members -- and that makes for a more powerful case for change. 

You may not see this member benefit inside a brochure or published on a website, but it’s definitely there for you to use. Call or email us when you are encounter problems with state regulations. The more we know, the more you benefit. 

Linda Wedul       lwedul@mncpa.org
Geno Fragnito   gfragnito@mncpa.org

Topics: Regulation

Linda Wedul

Linda Wedul is president and CEO of the MNCPA. She’s usually spotted at MNCPA events, introducing herself to members with a warm smile and memorable laugh. Mixed among the Footnotes, accounting journals, leadership books and three monitors in her office, you’d be surprised to see a dog kennel. Her unpaid job is volunteering as a foster family for service dogs in training through Can-Do-Canines. She and her husband have two adult children and live in Farmington. Linda can be reached at 952-885-5516 or lwedul@mncpa.org.

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