Opinion Columns & Blogs

Williams’ use of ‘CPA’ title sloppy, disrespectful

So “CPA Sam Williams” hasn’t held a license as a certified public accountant since 1990, and that was in Utah. Even if such a misrepresentation is lawful “political speech,” as the Wichita mayoral candidate’s campaign manager claims, it’s sloppy at best – and disrespectful of the professional designation that Williams meant to tout. It may be a small thing to voters in the primary, especially given Williams’ strong backing and business experience. But surely it should matter to the Kansas Board of Accountancy, which was involved in deciding whether U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Topeka, could keep calling herself a CPA. Shortly before her permit lapsed in 2012, the panel made the questionable decision to authorize her use of the CPA label as long as she didn’t perform those services for the public. Dan Sweetwood, the executive director of the Nebraska Board of Public Accountancy, criticized the regulators’ special treatment for Jenkins when it became news last spring: “She’s misleading the public.” – Rhonda Holman