Morgan Smith. CPA regulation
April 5, 2010
By Jerry Kopel
A literate author and professional photographer will soon show his
readers what the state legislature was like in the early 1970s and
perhaps go beyond those years. Morgan Smith, a Democrat who served as
chairman of the Joint Budget Committee was writing his biography before
realizing he was writing "Friends of Morgan Smith."
He asked my assistance when we get together in Denver to review what has
been accomplished. Morgan served in the Colorado House from 1973 through
1978. Morgan has hundreds of pictures he has taken of legislators and
staff. These are working pictures, not profiles.
The cover of the book when I last saw it was a picture of Richard Castro
in a year-ending Hummer's performance, playing Republican Steve Durham
as a mean and nasty Viking. Castro wears Viking headgear as he strides
down the central aisle of the House chamber to address the sketch in the
Hummers' comedy show.
Morgan wanted to write something about each legislator who appears in
this "Friends' Book." It will be a useful tool for future historians as
well as entertaining to those whose photographs' appear. As we ran
through the pictures Morgan said something profound. "If you look at
these pictures, Democrats and Republicans are together and of course
they are smiling. But that doesn't mean they are responding to a request
from me. Smiling was a natural occurrence back in the "seventies".
If the author decides to expand the book he could use your help
especially if you were a close friend of a now deceased legislator or
are you in present or future printed photos. The Smiths now live in
Santa Fe but keep a place in Denver. Morgan has no Denver phone, but can
be reached by calling 1-505-982-9620.
In the meantime I am trying to reach former legislators to add their
papers to more than a dozen present collections of news columns and
background information already indexed in the Denver Central Library
state legislative papers. You won't have to pay to have your set
indexed. Costs have to date been provided by me. So don't throw your
papers away. Call special collections director Erin Edwards at the
library archives 720-865-1810. Your work as a legislator will be
available to future historians.
Last year I wrote about the National Association of State Boards of
Accountants pushing higher education to require students seeking to
become CPAs to take 150 credit hours instead of 120 credit hours,
basically requiring five years of higher education study.
The Dept. of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) faced the same issue in its 1999
and 2004 Sunset reviews and opposed the 30 credit hour increase. So why
did they "change their mind" ? Probably because Colorado is the only
state to not make the change.
Sponsors of HB 1236 are Rep. A. Kerr, D-Lakewood and Sen. Lois Tochtrop,
D-Adams. And DORA's researchers have actually written a report
explaining why such a change is not needed. The added credit hours would
not occur with the college graduates until on or after July 1, 2015 and
they are not yet around to voice their protest.
National board spokesmen concede there is not significant meaningful
difference between 150 credit hour states and Colorado as to passing
exam rates. Actually there is a difference in that Colorado CPA students
do better on written testing than the rest of the nation.
Keeping our credit hours at 120 would encourage CPA students to become
qualified to practice, meaning more CPAs wanting your business and
willing to compete for it. DORA research in 1999 showed adding 30 hours
would create an artificial scarcity (based on reducing the number of
graduates) "allowing licensees to charge higher prices for their
The then-director of accounting programs at CU-Denver claimed adding
semester hours would add about $25,000 (in 1999 values) to the cost of
each graduate's tuition in 2010 dollars. How much is that?
If 150 hours is so important why not require all present CPAs to
re-enroll for 30 more college credit hours before the 30 hour addition
goes into effect in 2015. Why 2015? To keep present CPA students from
At the least all pre July 1, 2015 CPAs should be made to take the ethics
courses offered to CPA students and not be entitled to renew their
certification without having passed the ethics courses.
A recent Denver Post editorial criticized increasing duplication of
classes Metropolitan State is about to begin: A master program in
accounting which is already being offered on the same campus through the
University of Colorado-Denver. Is this "looking forward to 30 extra
Deepening cuts in higher education funding has already stretched
facilities thin. Keeping credit hours at 120 would attract potential
CPAs from other nations who would help Colorado CPAs obtain accounting
work across the nation's borders.
The rest of the bill contains useful amendments.
(Jerry Kopel served 22 years in the Colorado House)