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Involvement is key to a healthy profession, society

Chair's Message

Rachel D. Polson, CPA | February/March 2020 Footnote

Editor's note: Updated January 31, 2020

Some people are passionately engaged in politics, while others wish the drama of it would disappear.

Early in my career, I recall hearing about the MNCPA’s government relations (GR) team from one of my fellow Baker Tilly partners, Ron Barthell, who served on the MNCPA Legislative Issues Committee. Not being one who gets overly excited about politics, I didn’t pay much attention to the efforts the society was making. At the time, I also did not realize all the activities GR is involved with and how much the MNCPA advocates for our profession — one of the benefits of being an MNCPA member.

The MNCPA GR team represents you in Saint Paul and Washington, D.C., advocating for CPAs across Minnesota. Their continued success is determined largely by the participation and involvement of MNCPA members. The visibility of the MNCPA at the Minnesota Legislature shows passion for the CPA profession and taxpayers.

MNCPA advocacy begins with the awareness of current legislative issues impacting the profession. Each year, the MNCPA’s legislative agenda is set by the Legislative Issues Committee and approved by the board of directors. The MNCPA GR team also monitors the actions of agencies, such as the Minnesota Board of Accountancy and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy.

A few years ago, I attended my first CPA Day at the Minnesota Capitol. Because it was my first time attending, I was nervous about meeting the politicians who represented the area where I live. In retrospect, I wonder why I was nervous. Legislators, of course, are people just like you and me.

The MNCPA pairs members together for face-to-face meetings with legislators. The MNCPA also provides a summary of talking points and topics for the discussion. I quickly learned the senators and representatives appreciate CPAs’ keen sense of understanding financial results and potential tax impacts of new legislation.

I encourage you and your colleagues to set aside time to advocate for our profession and attend CPA Day at the Capitol 8 a.m.–noon Wednesday, Feb. 26. Please sign up and come for the times that work with your schedule. You can find more information at www.mncpa.org/CPADay.

Thank you for the opportunity

On a personal note, thank you to the MNCPA board and society members for the opportunity to lead this organization as your board chair the past year. This was a wonderful privilege! Thank you also to MNCPA President Linda Wedul and the entire MNCPA staff who have an exceptional passion for serving our members!

I’ll conclude my columns to members the same way I began them — by encouraging you to volunteer for a committee or attend MNCPA events to experience the great organization of which you are a part.

New board chair Ben Ellingson will continue to lead this impressive organization into the new decade! Please provide Ben with your support, ideas and enthusiasm as he takes over.
Rachel D. Polson, CPA

Chair, MNCPA board of directors