Zack Hutchins
Director of Communications

For Release — May 18, 2016

Business Council commends Senate on unanimous passage of CPA legislation

Urges Assembly to follow suit

ALBANY, N.Y.— The Business Council of New York State, Inc. today applauded the state Senate for passing S.4672, sponsored by Senator Ken LaValle. The legislation would amend the education law to allow non-CPAs to be minority owners of CPA firms, consistent with 49 other states and jurisdictions.

“This bill is a common-sense piece of legislation that, quite frankly, should already be law in New York State ,” said Heather C. Briccetti, Esq., president and CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc. “Passage of this bill would provide an immediate economic boost and put us in line with virtually every other state in the country. We urge the state Assembly, where the bill has tremendous bipartisan support, to pass this bill before the end of session.”

This proposal was also included in Governor Cuomo’s Executive Budget proposal, but was not approved at that time.

Expanding opportunities for professional accounting firm ownership will have the beneficial results of creating jobs and strengthening the state’s economy. More than 53,000 CPAs are registered in the State of New York, anchoring a national accounting services industry that generates $94 billion in revenue each year.

Unfortunately, the state’s current outmoded regulation is hurting this vital sector of the New York economy, limiting job growth.

A total of 47 states have more expansive laws with regards to non-CPA ownership. New York—alongside Hawaii and Delaware—do not, which puts our firms at a disadvantage when it comes to recruiting and retaining top talent. Unlike Connecticut, New Jersey and forty-five other states, the bestand brightest IT people, policy experts, and data analysts are limited by an artificial professional ceiling here.

This legislation will put New York firms on a level playing field so talented individuals in New York have the same opportunities they would in competing states.

If expanded professional ownership for CPA firms is enacted, New York could benefit from the creation of nearly 150 new accounting firm partners across the state in the coming year alone (based on the current number of CPA firms and anticipated expansion under the Act), which could generate up to $66 million in new business activity and $6.5 million in state tax income. We look forward to the passage of this legislation and seeing Governor Cuomo sign it into law.