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CPAs Bring Expertise, Bipartisanship to Congress

Businesses and individuals trust CPAs for their objectivity, integrity and independence. Those characteristics are what the public also values in elected officials, so we are fortunate that a growing number of CPAs are involved in state, local and federal government.

This year, two more CPAs were elected to Congress: Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC) and Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-FL.). That makes a total of 10 CPAs in Congress, plus an additional two accountants in the Senate.

Representatives Murphy and Rice further broadened the bipartisan spirit by signing a letter to Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi with more than 30 other new Congressional members. The letter urged Congress and President Obama to work toward long-term solutions, calling for spending cuts and new revenue to solve our nation’s fiscal troubles.

With a commitment to protecting the public interest, and special expertise in tax accounting, budgeting and other business and economic issues, CPAs bring a unique perspective to all branches of government. In addition to the U.S. Congress, more than 60 CPAs serve in various state legislatures. The ranks could grow even higher throughout government as a number of CPAs have announced plans to run in 2013 and 2014 for various elected positions, including Governor, Lt. Governor, State Treasurer, U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives.

I think you might find this video interesting – it highlights the rewards of CPAs serving as state lawmakers.

Protecting the public interest is part of a sacred trust, and part of that mission is to engage in public service where our knowledge and skills are highly prized.  Whether it’s the U.S. Congress or your local school board, CPAs have both an opportunity and obligation to serve our communities as best we can. I encourage all CPAs to consider opportunities in public service. In this era of change and complexity, the country can benefit from the guidance and skills of elected CPAs.

Barry C. Melancon, CPA, CGMA, President and CEO, American Institute of CPAs.

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