Award recognizes Outstanding CPAs in Government

The Institute’s Outstanding CPA in Government Impact Awards recognize CPAs working in federal, state, and local government who have contributed significantly to increased efficiency and effectiveness of government organizations and to the growth and enhancement of the CPA.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder received the state-level award. His “Relentless Positive Action” approach to solving problems has helped speed the state’s recovery from its recent financial difficulties.

Snyder became governor in 2011. Under his leadership, Michigan has eliminated its $1.5 billion structural deficit, produced three balanced budgets, increased its “rainy day” fund, and replaced the Michigan Business Tax with a corporate income tax that reduced the state tax burden on employers.

Kenneth L. Williams, an IRS territory manager for Indiana and Kentucky, received the federal-level award. He and his staff serve about 2,500 volunteers who annually prepare more than 200,000 free tax returns for low-income, elderly, disabled, military, and English-as-a-second-language individuals. His group also assists individuals and organizations through community tax education and earned income tax credit outreach, financial literacy, and asset-building efforts.

Melinda A. Hitz, finance director for Garden City, Kan., received the local-level award. After 12 years in public accounting, she became the first finance director for the city and helped elevate the finance department to rival those of larger municipalities. She is also the first person from the government sector to serve as chair of the Kansas Society of CPAs. She is in charge of preparing Garden City’s comprehensive annual financial report; preparing the city’s annual budget; and handling debt issues, credit rating, and utility billing and collection.


Year-end tax planning and what’s new for 2016

Practitioners need to consider several tax planning opportunities to review with their clients before the end of the year. This report offers strategies for individuals and businesses, as well as recent federal tax law changes affecting this year’s tax returns.


News quiz: Retirement planning, tax practice, and fraud risk

Recent reports focused on a survey that gauges the worries about retirement among CPA financial planners’ clients, a suit that affects tax practitioners, and a guide that offers advice on fraud risk. See how much you know with this short quiz.


Bolster your data defenses

As you weather the dog days of summer, it’s a good time to make sure your cybersecurity structure can stand up to the heat of external and internal threats. Here are six steps to help shore up your systems.