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Legislative and Board of Accountancy Update - February 2024

February 20, 2024

This month’s update includes an overview on the legislative session so far, a recap of CPA Day at the Capitol and an update on the State Board of Accountancy meeting.

Arizona Legislature

Feb. 20 marks the 44th day of the legislative session. To date, 1,629 bills and 130 resolutions and memorials have been introduced for a total of 1,759 pieces of legislation. House and Senate deadlines to introduce bills have passed, and we are in the midst of “crossover week” where committees will hear bills from the opposite chamber: House bills in the Senate, and Senate bills in the House.

On Feb. 9, Gov. Hobbs signed her first bill of the session, HB 2785 primary; identification; canvass; recounts; ballots. This legislation is a compromise that comes after months of negotiation between the Governor’s office and legislators to solve an election timeline issue. Click below to watch Gov. Hobbs sign HB 2785, or read the press release and transcript, here.

Income Tax Conformity Awaits Passage in the Senate

Early in the session, Representative Neal Carter, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, and Senator JD Mesnard, Chair of the Senate Finance & Commerce Committee, introduced mirror income tax conformity legislation in their respective chambers. While the House has passed its version, HB 2379, unanimously, we are waiting on the third reading of the Senate version, SB 1057. Once SB 1057 passes through the Senate, the bills can be “swapped” and go straight to the Governor. This procedural move allows identical bills to bypass committee hearings in the opposite chamber if the chamber has already considered a mirror version in committees.  

The ASCPA thanks to Senator JD Mesnard (R-Chandler) and Representative Neal Carter (R-San Tan Valley) for introducing the mirror legislation. We hope for a quick passage of this year’s conformity!

Electronic Funds Transfer Payment Parity Passes House 

Legislation updating state statute to create parity between tax payments via electronic funds transfer and payments via “snail mail” has passed through the House unanimously on February 22. The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration. The ASCPA thanks Representative Michael Carbone (R-Buckeye) for sponsoring HB 2875 and for supporting the CPA profession.

2024 CPA Day at the Capitol

Earlier this month, ASCPA members spent the day at the Arizona Capitol advocating for the profession. Participants met with senators and representatives to discuss important topics, including income tax conformity, creating parity in statute for EFT and “snail mail” payments to the Arizona Department of Revenue (ADOR) and financial literacy. Members reinforced to legislators that the ASCPA and the profession are here as a resource in the policymaking process.

Thank you to our dedicated members who participated! Click below to watch Sen. JD Mesnard recognize the ASCPA on the Senate floor. 

ASCPA members at the Arizona Capitol advocating for support of the profession's priorities.

Pictured: Andrea Levy, Anne Cornelius, Emily Webb, Kate Franklin, Michael Lemme, Stella Shanovich, David Walser, Kelly Damron, Jared Van Arsdale, Elizabeth Dennis, Oliver Yandle

Arizona State Board of Accountancy

Due to the cancellation of the January meeting, there were two Board meetings in February. At this month's first meeting, Board staff provided an update on NASBA Professional Licensure Task Force’s Exposure Concept which would include a Structured Professional Program, additional details are provided below.

Additionally, Board staff shared the State Treasurer’s Office’s update which will require state agencies to move from Bank of America to Chase Bank, as well as changing merchant services vendors to Fiserv. The Treasurer’s Office is hoping to have this change completed by June 30, ahead of the next fiscal year.

Board staff provided legislative updates at both meetings this month, including pending legislation that may impact operations. At the February 5 meeting, Board staff shared concerns on the way the first two bills, HB 2100 (administrative completeness review; licensing) and HB 2308 (occupational licenses; criminal offense; prohibition), due to the way in which the language was written. Board staff will seek clarification and express concerns on the proposal and provide updates as necessary. At the February 12 meeting, Board staff shared four additional bills with the Board that may impact operations by creating additional work for staff but would be implementable.

Professional Licensure Task Force Releases Exposure Concept

The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) Professional Licensure Task Force issued an exposure concept on equivalent licensure model. The proposal outlines a structured experiential learning program that would include education and documented experience that would provide an equivalent path to licensure without completing the 150-hours program that requires a fifth year of schooling to complete. More information on the concept can be found online, here.

NASBA is seeking feedback on the concept by emailing or via the online response form by March 31, 2024.

For additional information on our advocacy activities, contact Emily Webb.