CPA Day at the Capitol has passed; what can you do now?

Advocacy

Geno Fragnito, MNCPA director of government relations | May 2018 Footnote

Shaping public policy isn't a task most people think about when they wake up in the morning, but there are, in fact, many opportunities to affect the policy conversation at the Capitol.

There are opportunities available to everyone looking to get involved (like a rally) and then there are opportunities reserved for those with specialized knowledge. CPAs fit into both categories. You bring a unique perspective that comes from years of specialized schooling and training.

Federal tax reform has created a once-in-a-generation opportunity for CPAs to share insight gained from professional training and experience. Businesses and clients expect CPAs to provide guidance as they try to understand what tax policy and tax reform means for them. Have you thought about extending your guidance to your legislators and help them understand how their decisions will affect you, your business or your clients?

Myriad ways to influence

In March, MNCPA members from across Minnesota gathered in St. Paul to discuss tax reform and strengthen their professional networks with their peers and policymakers. However, spending a day at the Capitol might not be for everyone. If you couldn't attend CPA Day at the Capitol, there are still several opportunities for you to engage, support and give back to the profession. Some require very little time or effort, while others require more. No matter how small or large, all efforts help grow and strengthen the profession.

Opportunities:

  • Sending an email to your legislator or connecting with them on social media.
  • Calling your legislator.
  • Meeting with your legislator in your district or at the Capitol.
  • Attending a townhall meeting.
  • Hosting a meeting with a legislator at your business or office.
  • Serving as a campaign treasurer.
  • Running for public office.

Every CPA agrees that the best decisions are made with a full set of facts. Every day, you make decisions based on your knowledge of an issue. You also make decisions based on the collective knowledge of colleagues and experts in your professional network. Legislators' decision-making is also dependent on the facts. The main difference is that legislators are not expected to be specialists in every policy area. Keeping track of health care, transportation and tax policy (to name just a few) is a lot on someone's plate. So, to ensure the decisions legislators make are educated ones, they depend on your involvement at the Capitol to help shape the result.

Still unsure that you're the right person to shape policy changes? Think about it this way: Providing guidance for businesses and clients comes naturally for you. It's something you do nearly every day in your professional career. Providing guidance to policymakers is no different. It may seem daunting, but who better to provide guidance than you, the expert!

The opportunity is there. Start the conversation today and contact your legislator.

You can access your legislators' information by visiting the MNCPA Government Relations page.

 

Have questions?

Do you have questions or want to get involved in the legislative process? Contact Geno Fragnito at 952-885-5550 or gfragnito@mncpa.org.