Accountants Rejoice Over State Senate’s Final Bill

ALBANY—If not to many others, to accountants, the Republican Senate’s last session was special.

The last bill the conference passed Monday was a measure updating the standards for certified public accountants in New York. Lou Grumet, the executive director of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants, said it has been a time coming.

“The last time they updated our laws was 1947, which was when Jackie Robinson was breaking into the majors and Queen Elizabeth was getting engaged. Pardon–Princess Elizabeth,” Grumet said.

The law will standardize continuing education requirements for all C.P.A.s (there are currently different classes), set standards for out -of-state accounting experts and require peer-review of audits.

It has passed the State Senate “at least three times” said State Senator Ken LaValle, who sponsored it this time in the chamber, but this year was the first time the Assembly had ever enacted it.

They did so in June. But the Senate balked due to what LaValle called a “technical, insider baseball thing” about whose name would be first on the legislation. Having run out of time, LaValle took the Assembly bill sponsored by Assemblywoman Deborah Glick and passed it. Unanimously.

It was the last measure of the night, and as such, the last measure of the legislative session.

Grumet said he was relieved by the news. “I was serving jury duty, and they called me and told me it passed!”

LaValle said it was slow-going, but thorough. This is, after all, exactly the type of legislation that can fall through the cracks year in and year out.

“It took all that time to get the department, the society, the big four, the individual legislators on the committee all in tune to write a piece of music that we played Monday night,” LaValle said. I asked him if it was the last piece of legislation the Senate Republicans would ever pass, as they fall out of the majority in January.

“I doubt that,” he said.

Marissa Shorenstein, a spokeswoman for David Paterson, said the governor had not yet received the legislation for review.

Accountants Rejoice Over State Senate’s Final Bill