AICPA turns spotlight on small
business community

The American Institute of Certified
Public Accountants (AICPA) has formed a strategic alliance with the
US Small Business Administration (SBA) in a bid to help small
companies in the US work better with CPAs. The world’s largest
institute has also endorsed legislation to cut the tax burden faced
by small businesses.

The agreement will allow the SBA to market its services to CPA
firms. It is hoped that this will help the business lobby group
expand its member base and provide small businesses with greater
access to SBA resources. AICPA president and chief executive Barry
Melancon said the alliance promotes resource sharing between the
members of both bodies. CPAs will gain access to SBA materials such
as financing start-ups, expansions and disaster recovery.
SBA nominee Steve Preston emphasised the importance of forming the
alliance with the accountancy body. “To have a national partnership
with a group like the AICPA is incredibly important because when a
small business owner is looking for answers, when they are looking
for someone to trust, they are really in your hands as CPAs,” he

The new alliance is a sign of the growing focus of the AICPA on the
small business community. This month, the AICPA endorsed
legislation to create a national standard for the state withholding
of non-resident income tax. It hopes the standard will slash
burdensome red tape that surrounds the tax regime.

“We need a simple and uniform system governing how states apply
taxes to non-residents doing business in their states,” AICPA
vice-president of small firm interests James Metzler said.
“Record-keeping can be voluminous under the current regulatory

The tax regime is viewed as unfair and burdensome on many small
businesses and CPAs. At present, 41 states impose a personal income
tax on wages and partnership income. However, most of these states
have different tax requirements for withholding income tax of
non-residents, which is a burden for CPAs and small businesses that
conduct cross-state business. The AICPA’s statement was submitted
to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Commercial and
Administrative Law.