The American Society of Association Executives highlights Ohio's House Bill 5 passage

The American Society of Association Executives recently honored the Ohio Society of CPAs for its determination and success in reforming Ohio's municipal income tax system through the passing of House Bill 5 this past December. OSCPA competed with over 140 associations nationwide to win one of ASAE's 30 Power of A Gold Awards, an award given to associations that solve problems that have a positive impact on lives.

OSCPA led the efforts to passing the bill under the Municipal Tax Reform Coalition. The bill standardized hundreds of municipal tax codes within Ohio, cleaning up complications that many of those from out of state could not even imagine.

"CPAs are sworn to protect the public interest," said Scott Wiley, president and CEO of OSCPA. "This was just one example of how our society can advance the state of business in Ohio."

Although the Bill is not enacted until Jan. 1, 2016, Wiley predicts its coming attractions. "We think it's going to help businesses of all sizes, but the most positive impact (is) for small business because instead of spending thousands of dollars to comply with municipal tax laws, they can invest that money back into their business, which will propel Ohio's economic engine further and that's what the CPAs are focused on," says Wiley.

Even if businesses did not owe taxes to given municipalities, keeping track of work within that municipality was costly enough in time and money. "For example, a florist can deliver to many municipalities and needs to keep track of each municipal's taxes even when no taxes are due and that's very confusing," says Wiley.

Wiley claims a huge factor that set OSCPA apart from its competitors was the extent of the coalition they created to pass the Bill. "We built a broad coalition of 33 organizations representing more than 365,000 businesses and professionals to virtually reprepresent a broad consensus that it was well beyond Ohio's time to reform this antiquated system," said Wiley.

Cleaning up outdated systems is not the only thing for which the OSCPA has been recognized. Last year, OSCPA won the Power of A Silver Award for its efforts on diversity inclusion and recruiting underrepresented populations for the accounting profession.

-Julie France