By Jared Korver, CPA
I recently sat on a panel at an event jointly hosted by NCACPA and NC State University for undergraduate accounting students from all over the country. The panel was purposefully diverse to show the students that from a career standpoint, you can do so many different things in the profession. As Dixon Hughes Goodman’s Amy Hilliard said, there are a bunch of jobs that haven’t even been created yet that current and future CPAs will hold.
But I’ll tell you what, if there’s one thing that I never thought I would do within the profession, it was that “L” word: Lobbying.
Yet there I was on May 16 at the Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh, lobbying at the Association Executives of North Carolina’s Legislative Reception. Along with seven other folks representing NCACPA, I went there on behalf of the citizens and businesses of North Carolina to discuss a few key proposals with legislators (which you can read here), and I came away from the event with two big lessons:
- You can do this.You don’t have to be a professional lobbyist to get involved with NCACPA’s lobbying efforts (I’m certainly not!). You don’t have to be a certain age to do it. And you don’t need to live in Raleigh. All you need are a desire to be involved, a solid grasp of the proposals we’re advocating for, and the time to act in whatever capacity fits your skillset best. Just raise your hand!
- We have their ears. I went into the event on May 16 with a bit of skepticism: There were hundreds of other people there lobbying for hundreds of other proposals! Would any of the legislators actually listen to what we were saying? And the answer is a resounding yes. As CPAs, our words carry a real weight with legislators, simply because they know we are fiduciaries who are obligated to serve the public interest, and who do so with a high degree of professionalism and integrity. Our profession puts us in a position that many lobbying groups do not occupy. Our efforts make a difference.
Every day around the state of North Carolina people and businesses rely on you and me—the CPA profession—to provide expertise and service, and as I said above, those areas of expertise and service are so numerous and varied that there’s no point in trying to list them. But the common thread throughout the list is something which is found near the very tip-top of the AICPA’s Code of Professional Conduct:
“Members should accept the obligation to act in a way that will serve the public interest, honor the public trust, and demonstrate a commitment to professionalism.”
For us, as the association of CPAs in this great state, lobbying is nothing more and certainly nothing less than a key way to carry out that obligation. It’s not billable work, and at times we may have little to show for it, but it’s important work nonetheless, work that the people and businesses of North Carolina will reap the benefits of over time. Join in!
Jared Korver, CPA, works at Beacon Wealthcare, where he helps CPAs and attorneys spend more time doing the things they care about by providing ongoing advice and insight into their financial decisions. A product of Carthage, North Carolina, Jared and his wife Amy live in Raleigh with their two sons. Jared holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in accounting from Appalachian State University and NC State University, respectively. Jared is also NCACPA Young CPA Cabinet Chair. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.