Board Meeting Highlights
N.D. STATE BOARD of ACCOUNTANCY
Meeting Notes: August 7, 2014 2:30 pm (conference call)
In attendance were Faye Miller, Nikki Schmaltz, Rick Lee, Peter Hoistad, Mike Schmitz and Jim Abbott.
It was understood by most that the accountant would be placed on a 1 year probation, in addition to paying a $1000 fine, and completing specified CPE.
The Board’s action is open to the public, but it was the sentiment of the group to not publish the discipline – either locally, or on the website or NASBA Accountant Licensing Database.
The meeting ended at approx. 2:17.
N.D. STATE BOARD of ACCOUNTANCY
Meeting Notes: July 23, 2014
The meeting began at about 1:30. In attendance: Nikki Schmaltz, Rick Lee, Mike Schmitz, Faye Miller, Peter Hoistad, Mandy Harlow, Jim Abbott, Len Splichal, Patrick Kautzman
PAYROLL AGENT CHANGE
Jim reviewed the staff discussion guide included in the agenda packet. The guide will be revised and shared with Patrick and Pete for review. Jim will then visit with staff.
An additional 1% COLA was proposed by the Society; the group was agreeable with the change. Patrick and Len left the meeting.
Faye Miller was selected president [Motion by Pete; 2nd: Rick; carried]. Pete was selected Secretary [Motion: Nikki; 2nd: Mike; carried].
Jack McDonald joined around 2 pm. He mentioned that the group is not obligated to follow the judge’s action.
The subject of the complaint joined the meeting, and provided history and explanation about the matter, including that he was trying to avoid any client confidentiality issues that might have arisen. The complainant had tried to run the firm, and eventually the CPA removed him from the accounts, moved money out of the firm, and filed for separation. The CPA didn’t want the complainant to have access to SSNs and names, but did regularly provide financials and check registers.
There were no Board questions, other than about whether the ethics CPE was completed yet; it has not.
The CPA left the meeting. Jack McDonald stated that the Judge cited other cases, because of the duty to fellow shareholders; it was not a CPA issue.
The appeal process is available to contest a decision considered incorrect. The CPA did act unilaterally, and isolate the other shareholder, though perhaps he prevented a problem from occurring.
The Board agreed to amend CPE completion and fine payment as due 9/30 [Motion: Pete; 2nd: Nikki; carried]. Pete will check into an appropriate ethics CPE option. Jack left the meeting.
Jim briefly reviewed the budget, and it was approved [Motion: Rick; 2nd: Pete; carried].
LEGAL ISSUES / BACKGROUND CHECKS
Jim reported on information gathered on other states’ practices and 3 recommendations –
1. Conduct a criminal background check of reinstatement applicants, when it has been at least one year since they were licensed with this Board. For all other applicants, conduct a cursory web screening for legal issues.
2. Amend the self-disclosure sections on each application form, to focus the reporting of legal issues (Exam, Exam re-app., Reinstatement, Reciprocal & Grade Transfer).
3. The Board will address all infractions disclosed – i.e. felonies or any crime involving theft, dishonesty or fraud.
There were no objections to using these practices.
REINSTATEMENTS & APPEAL
Four reinstatements were approved (John Mareck, Barbara Hoffman, Michael Tobiason, Valerie Ndje-Nlend) [Motion: Mike; 2nd: Pete; carried]. An appeal was shared, to allow professional credential coursework to count toward the education requirements. This applicant has been accepted into a graduate program (perhaps on the basis of the credential coursework). Also, UND is willing to accept such credits if evaluated by a service. However we don’t know what, if any, guidance UND gives evaluators. No change was proposed to our policy.
The group discussed the idea of producing a newsletter, which NASBA would design. We now have access to the NDCPAS newsletter, and have a full website. There was some reluctance, and no action was taken. .
MINUTES. The June 2, 2014 minutes were approved (Motion: Nikki; 2nd: Pete; carried].
NEXT MEETING: Oct. 24, noon, at Brady Martz, in Grand Forks. [The start time has since been changed to 9am, and a dinner session has been added for 6pm on October, 23, 2014.]
NASBA VOLUNTEER SERVICE
We will no longer fund NASBA volunteer activity [Motion: Pete; 2nd: Rick; carried] (applies to Board & staff).
2014-2. The group agreed to revoke the CPA’s certificate in light of thefts [Motion: Mike; 2nd: Pete; carried].
2013-10. There doesn’t appear to be an infraction; no further action will be taken, other than notify the CPA.
Mandy left the meeting.
2013-7. The CPA indicated that their certificate was lost in a fire; there was no objection to a fee refund.
Meeting with the Governor was mentioned, but this will not be pursued until we have an issue to address.
Jim will notify the group before registering for NASBA meetings. The meeting ended at 3:47
North Dakota State Board of Accountancy
FINANCIAL REPORT (April 2014)
The financial statements and disbursements were approved. Pete and Nikki will represent the Board at the June 2 Joint Meeting (Motion: Rick; 2nd: George; carried).
PERFORMANCE / COMP.
The group discussed staff comp. matters, including E.D. performance and comp. The group is comfortable with the current comp. package; they also discussed staff performance and is happy with the staff.
The group felt that the 2015 board position should be a smaller firm practitioner, perhaps with audit & tax experience, perhaps a newer professional. It will be Faye’s 1st term that is ending, and she is eligible for reappointment. Pete and Nikki will share input with the NDCPAS Nominations Chair.
BUDGET (2014-15). Jim presented the budget; approval will await the next meeting.
Reynaldo Correa was approved. A second applicant will await a background check. Staff should conduct background checks on all reinstatements.
There were four applications involving such infractions as DUI, and reckless driving.
The group discussed how to handle various infractions, and the possibility of background checks of all applicants. Jim will inquire how other states deal with this matter, and bring details and a proposal to the next meeting. The four applicants were approved.
We will continue monitoring repetitive test writing situations. A plaque was presented to George Kelly, in recognition of his board service.
COMPLAINTS / DISCIPLINE
The Debra Jean Brown certificate will be revoked, and 2013-14 license fee refunded on receipt of the certificate. A civil case was discussed; the Board will invite the CPA to supply information.
Dakota State Board of Accountancy
A company has been noticed using the term “agaccounting”; legal counsel will be asked to contact the entity about the use of this term.
ADJOURNED at 1:35 [Motion: George; 2nd: Pete].
Dakota State Board of Accountancy
Participants: Nikki Schmaltz, George Kelly, Faye Miller, Rick Lee, Pete Hoistad, Jim Abbott
The meeting began at 12:06, with a welcome to the new board member, Peter Hoistad.
MINUTES (MAY 6 and 23)
FINANCIALS (June 30)
The group discussed the idea of changing the payroll agent to NDCPAS, which could reduce retirement and health insurance expenses. The new health insurance exchange plan rates should be available Oct. 1, and we can examine those options. Jim will pursue a PERS response about changing agents, and will check on the impact of leaving the defined benefit plan before retirement.
E.D. PERFORMANCE /
The group will conduct a review of a sample of CPE forms in the future.
FINANCIAL STATEMENT /
REINSTATEMENT: There no objection to reinstatement of Barimore Maring’s CPA certificate.
NEXT MEETING: Sept. 22 and Nov. 15 were set as possible meeting dates.
FIRM OWNERSHIP. A question was received as to whether corporate entities could own part of a CPA firm. We will seek guidance from legal counsel on the issue.
FOREIGN EDUCATION EVALUATION. Approval of the NASBA service will be deferred. We will require all applicants to obtain a NACES.org member evaluation of foreign education.
SYSTEM SECURITY. Jim had notified Board earlier that our computer system is quite secure.
Case 2013-3: closed [Motion: Rick; 2nd: Pete; carried].
Case 2013-1: there was no objection to closing the case.
Case 2013-4: for information (staff handles these “use of accounting” cases, when the party agrees)
ADJOURNED: 3:09 pm [Motion: George; 2nd: Faye; carried]
Conference call participants: Nikki Schmaltz & George Kelly in Fargo, Rick Lee, Ron Johnke, Jim Abbott, Faye Miller. The meeting began at approx. 11:10 am.
The purpose of the meeting was to address the work performance of Jim Abbott, in advance of the Joint meeting, next week. Jim left the meeting.
Participants: Nikki Schmaltz, Rick Lee (by phone), Ron Johnke, Mandy Harlow, Jim Abbott, George Kelly & Faye Miller. The meeting began at 12:02.
MINUTES (1-25-13): Approved [motion: Faye; 2nd: George; carried].
The group discussed the scanning of licensee files. It was agreed that we will change the retention period for various files, such that they will be shredded when the related data is added to the database. We will ask the firm that conducted a recent systems review if their work included access testing; if not, we will ask that they do so. The credit card firm that does testing of our office will be asked whether they include access testing.
REVIEW AND CPE
All CPE forms are checked, with question items pursued. In addition a small-sample audit is conducted; results are very good.
There was discussion about the need for an outline for programs; it is a required feature.
Work had been done in the past, examining the various office duties, and whether each area was adequately covered by other staff. There were a few uncovered areas, such as complaints.
EDUCATION EVALUATION SERVICE
2013-3: Questions will be posed of the firm owner.
2013-1: the client is waiting on 2 tax returns; we will close the file when they are received.
Jim reported on an issue he had pursued, though not a formal complaint; it has been resolved.
We will plan to invite Farm Credit and our legal counsel to join us in September. We will discuss the matter in July.
2701 S. Columbia Rd., Grand Forks ND 58201.