Tracking regulations? Don't forget to look in your own backyard

Jul. 19, 2017  |  Geno Fragnito

Are you keeping up with regulatory changes?

I know you’re thinking, “What kind of question is that? I’m a CPA. Of course, I’m keeping up with the changes happening at the federal and state levels.”

The rapid rate of change can sometimes feel like it’s impossible to keep up, but the businesses and clients you work for depend on you to guide them through the changes. Keeping up with change is not an option for CPAs, it’s a requirement.

I think we can agree there will always be a lot of information you need to follow coming from state and federal regulators (the IRS, the Minnesota Department of Revenue, the Board of Accountancy, etc.), but that might not be enough anymore. Have you ever thought about county or municipal regulations affecting your business or clients?

St. Paul recently implemented an earned sick and safe time policy for employers that have employees working in St. Paul. In Minneapolis, they recently implemented a $15/hour minimum wage, as well as Minneapolis sick and safe time policies for employers with employees working in Minneapolis.

Think these types of changes are confined to the Twin Cities? Not so. Several cities are also considering paid sick leave regulations, including Duluth.

Why the local-level changes? Advocacy groups who have not been successful at the federal and state levels have increased their efforts to influence local governments. This approach is not unique to Minnesota. Similar policies have been debated across the country, including Seattle, Portland and San Francisco.

You may agree or disagree with the policies, but I think most people would question the efficiency of having multiple sets of regulations governing the employees of one business, particularly if that business happens to have offices or employees in multiple cities — cities perhaps only separated by a street.   

Added levels of regulation will continue to create more complexity. These same regulations also create opportunities for CPAs to further establish themselves as trusted business advisers. As more cities embrace local employment mandates, understanding state and federal regulations may no longer be enough.   

Topics: Human resources, Regulation

Geno Fragnito

Geno Fragnito is the MNCPA’s government relations director, advocating on behalf of the CPA profession. His days consist of last-minute meeting changes, building relationships with lawmakers, helping CPAs navigate state government, and putting in more than 15,000 steps per day walking the halls of the Capitol. Geno unwinds with a little golf and traveling with his family. If he weren’t a lobbyist, Geno would perfect his cast and be a professional fisherman. Geno can be reached at 952-885-5550 or

Posts by this author

Comment on this post

* Indicates a required field.

Your name*:  

Your website URL: