March 21, 2020
Secretary Aubrey L. Layne, Jr., CPA
Office of the Secretary of Finance
Patrick Henry Building
1111 East Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23219
RE: Designate CPAs as Essential Employees amid Coronavirus Pandemic
Dear Secretary Layne:
Thank you for your leadership and service during this unprecedented crisis. You have been a champion for the economic interests of all Virginians in a way that only a CPA could. We are writing to ask you to once again advocate on behalf of your fellow CPAs and request that they be designated essential service providers as they have been in other states.
As we have watched other states implement shelter-in-place orders, the VSCPA is concerned about the impact to our communities and our members. Should the governor implement shelter-in-place or lockdown orders we believe he should include CPAs and the accounting profession in the list of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce.
According to the Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency advisory and their Guidance on the 16 Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce, Financial Services Sector is one of these essential services. We believe CPAs and accounting are clearly included in the Department of Homeland Security Critical Infrastructure and ask that you urge the governor to treat them as such should he take increased security measures.
CPAs are essential to the U.S. economy as we work on compliance with federal and state tax and financial reporting requirements. CPAs are essential for the preparation of taxes, audits and financial reports for business financing and loans, projections and contingency planning for businesses. CPAs process payroll and provide paychecks to constituents and assist in complying with state laws and regulations, filing taxes and receiving refunds. Forcing CPAs to stop practicing at this crucial time will only slow the already crippled financial system; we hope that you will join us in urging Governor Northam to recognize the importance of the profession and designate it as essential.
The Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants (VSCPA) is the leading professional association in the Commonwealth dedicated to empowering CPAs to thrive. Founded in 1909, the VSCPA has more than 13,000 members who work in public accounting, industry, government and education. Please feel free to contact me or VSCPA Vice President, Advocacy Emily Walker, CAE, at (804) 612-9428 or [email protected] if we can be of further assistance.
Stephanie R. Peters, CAE
President & CEO
Virginia Society of CPAs
CC: Clark Mercer, Patrick Cushing