"XYZ" - National Conference of CPA Practitioners Speaks Out
Presented by National Conference of CPA Practitioners
Contact Neil Sullivan
Wednesday, October 17, 2001
October 17, 2001 workshop sponsored by National Conference of CPA Practitioners
The National Conference of CPA Practitioners Speaks Out Against the Proposed XYZ Global Business Credential.
You can read the complete transcript of this workshop.
Workshop participants discussed these topics and more:
- The AICPA's definition of a global designee actually defines what a CPA IS, therefore, there is no need for a new certification.
- Students considering the CPA path will abandon the effort and will track towards XYZ, making it more difficult for CPA firms to attract students to the profession.
- If there really is a need for a Global Business Credential, NCCPAP is concerned with who will participate on the XYZ credential governing board. How many of these individuals will be CPAs?
- Creating an XYZ designation effectively creates a second-class CPA.
- NCCPAP believes that the CPA - not Global Business Credential holder - should remain the primary financial services provider for his/her client.
- If the Global Business Credential is approved, it will add confusion for the public and clients.
- Can the AICPA or its affiliates really be the master of both the CPA and the proposed XYZ - NCCPAP believes NOT!
Session Moderator: Thank you all for joining us today! I'm Gail Perry, managing editor of AccountingWEB and I'll be your moderator today.
I'm pleased to introduce Neil Sullivan from the National Conference of CPA Practitioners. Mr. Sullivan, and other members of the NCCPAP are here to discuss their position on the AICPA's proposed global business credential, which has recently been named Strategic Business Professional.
In addition to Mr. Sullivan, we are joined by Bob Goldfarb, NCCPAP president, Alan Feldstein, president-elect, Mitchell Klein, and Herb Schoenfeld, past presidents.
For those of you who are new to this workshop format, please understand that you will see information from our presenters at the top of the your screen. You can enter your questions and comments at any time. You will only be able to see your own comments, not those of other members of the audience. I will post questions for our presenters one at a time, as time allows.
You should feel free to submit questions throughout the presentation. Answers to questions will be posted on AccountingWEB, along with the complete transcript of this event.
We will begin with some introductory material that has been prepared by NCCPAP and then we will turn the workshop over to our presenters for a Q&A session.
Welcome and thank you for joining us today. During this session we will share our views with you today and then open up our AccountingWEB session for questions, comments and answers.
Our relationship with the AICPA has been a good one and we want it to continue in the future.
Our intention here is not to criticize but to clarify the information being disseminated to the AICPA members who will be voting on probably the most critical issue facing our profession in many, many years.
Is XYZ good? Is XYZ bad? Only an informed constituency, enlightened by the proper pros and cons dealing with this situation, will allow our membership to vote intelligently on this critical matter.
While we, and the National Conference of CPA Practitioners (NCCPAP), will continue working toward defeating XYZ, we want to continue the dialogue so that, as we said previously, the voting membership will have a clear understanding of both points of view.
We are looking at the "majority" of the membership of the AICPA who really do not understand the effect that the global credential will have on their profession. This is where we hope both sides will come together and concentrate on a true understanding so that the voting will be based on knowledge instead of ignorance.
We believe that if anyone should be a global credential holder only, CPAs should be the designee. CPAs have passed rigorous exams and have the highest education and experience in financial matters.
In larger firms, we are the consultants for major national and international industries. There is absolutely no reason why everything financial, which must be done for a client, should not go through a CPA firm.
The CPA designation has already been set, it is 100 years old and has the utmost respect behind it. It should be used and not discarded. After we become CPAs, our education requirement continues.
We are constantly reading material on the current position of the profession and the world economy as well as on what is considered to be the future innovation and thinking for this world economy. Our clients, bankers and other third parties consider us experts.
We have multi-disciplinary services already included in our firms, even though we do not consider them separate services or call them by their true name.
If at any time there are situations, which arise where we need help, we outsource to qualified non-CPA or CPA firms who are experts in that particular area.
Finally, if the 150-hour rule for education is applied properly and accounting education changes to teach different disciplines, college students now and in the future will learn exactly what the global credential is trying to accomplish - the true knowledge expert who is well organized and able to get things done properly.
This individual is currently known as a CPA.
The new global credential will not be a state license and, therefore, will not be subject to a state licensing disciplinary committee. We are worried that the AICPA will be the only reprimanding agency in the U.S. for this new designation and it remains to be seen how the disciplinary actions will be handled around the world.
We cannot agree now on worldwide politics. Why would this coalition agree on disciplinary and reprimanding action? It puts unequal burdens on CPAs who already have many layers of discipline through their state-licensing agency, state societies, AICPA, other government agencies, etc. Why have another organization that has the authority to discipline but not the right to revoke the CPA license?
Currently, each state is having problems passing different aspects of the Uniform Accountancy Act. The AICPA states that this is because it is very difficult to change 54 different jurisdictions. It is still better to allow states to administer the discipline than a global organization, which has no idea how to practice in this country.
We should be working with NASBA to affect changes in the CPA profession so that the state license has a different scope and encompasses all that the global designation would. Every global credential holder, as does every CPA, should have an accounting background and live up to the AICPA standards, but states should have the right to discipline CPAs.
Another designation will confuse the public about what a CPA is and who is more qualified to do a particular assignment - a CPA or a global credential holder? There would be a duplication of work in the field, elevating our unlicensed competitors to the same level as CPAs.
Is another level of competition necessary or unnecessary? We cannot have the global credential equal to a CPA and the AICPA or its affiliate cannot be the master of both. It is definitely a conflict of interest.
The global designation also will hinder the small firm's ability to grow. If the CPA firm itself cannot expand its services because the XYZ is being promoted heavily, local and regional firms will wither and die.
Also, why would the larger CPA firms or consulting firms (whatever they are called today) that are already global in nature want this designation?
It is possible that in 20 years or less, it will be time to form a global designation and we understand the argument that if we do not start now, we will fall short and not control the marketplace when the proper time comes.
The designation will definitely confuse the public and we are not ready to replace the CPA profession.
The next question concerns what constitutes qualified education and experience to become a global credential holder. Can anyone be as talented to live up to the necessary qualifications, which will be needed to become an XYZ?
If the ultimate goal is to have 700,000 possibly qualified XYZs in the world become designees - after reading what a global credential holder is to accomplish, we cannot believe there are that many geniuses all over the world. No one can fill the bill in the definition.
A CPA is already more than 50% there and perhaps just needs a little more training and experience to become that person. If CPAs are automatically given the designation by evaluating themselves for qualification for the next five years, why will these CPAs be any smarter than they were yesterday?
Do they automatically become more intelligent, knowledgeable and experienced? This defeats the purpose of the XYZ and this is why we believe the new designation is not necessary. Most of the designees will be CPAs or chartered accountants from different parts of the world.
Why don't we just form a global accountants organization before allowing non-CPA competition to invade our territory
Finally is the question about the actual reason for creating the global credential rather than the one we have read. Is the AICPA worried that not enough students are graduating who want to become accountants and therefore the profession will not have enough CPAs to join the AICPA and state societies?
Is the AICPA afraid of losing its base and is this one of the reasons why they are going forward with the XYZ? They have to face this question in reality. What is the real intention? What proof other than all the surveys and percentages we have seen is there to have the XYZ other than the one created by the AICPA?
As we have stated before, larger firms already have a global connection. Small and regional firms have no need for this. Educators who are CPAs, government employees who are CPAs, retired CPAs and CPAs in industry really have no need for this.
CPAs in industry also are using whomever they need to survive in their global marketplace. They are not going to find anybody smarter tomorrow than they already have today. We should be pursuing the fact that CPAs should be doing all financial work, working with CPAs in industry and not have new designations.
Students also may not become CPAs if this credential is passed because the easier road is to have one designation rather than two and if there is more money and it is easier to attain, then an XYZ will be more palatable than a CPA.
We are creating our own death. Local firms will be leaving the AICPA and the state society in droves because these organizations will no longer be serving the CPA community 100 percent.
Thank you for allowing us to share this information with you, we welcome any questions and comments you may have. Let's continue this discussion!
Session Moderator: Thank you! We're now ready to post questions for our presenters.
Question and Answer Session
Q: Session Moderator: Can the AICPA briefly explain the concept of this new global business credential?
A: Neil Sullivan: AICPA POSITION An international consortium of professional accounting organizations, including the AICPA, has been studying the development of a new interdisciplinary business credential characterized by its breadth of knowledge and strategic focus. The concept originated with the AICPA's Strategic Planning Committee and its deliberations on how best to help the profession realize the full potential of the CPA Vision.
Sometimes referred to by the placeholder name "XYZ," the credential would be administered and developed by a new international organization, which would establish global standards of ethics and competency. The responsibilities for supporting and marketing the credential would fall to the global institute. The AICPA would remain focused on its advocacy for the CPA profession
Credential holders would be broad-based business professionals who help people and organizations achieve their objectives through the strategic use of knowledge. The credential would be accepted and enforced equally in all participating countries. Since it is grounded in the CPA profession and its values, the hurdle to entry would be significant
But so would the potential benefits. Holders of the new credential would have access to a broad-based online learning platform and networking opportunities among an elite group of interdisciplinary professionals working around the globe
While the globe business credential is intended to validate diverse business-analysis competencies and both complement and extend existing professional credentials, there are some that believe it would open up new sources of competition and confuse the marketplace. These issues are part of the grassroots dialogue taking place across the country right now
ncCPAp RESPONSE In our opinion, the individual the AICPA is describing as the Global Credential holder is really a CPA. As such, there is no need to create or promote another professional designation.
Additionally, the AICPA response is lacking in various aspects. NcCPAp is concerned with the amount of AICPA member funds already incurred to promote the global credential. We would also like to know how much additional funds the AICPA anticipates they will need to expend to educate its members as to why the Global Credential is good for them
NcCPAp is also concerned with the balancing of the pros and cons of this issue as mandated by the AICPA council at its May 2001 meeting. Every publication supported by the AICPA is FOR promoting this new credential.
Whereas the AICPA response discusses that the Global Credential would be available to a broad-based group of business professionals, there is no indication as to who these business people are expected to be! Will this include CPAs, Attorneys, Certified Financial Planners, Certified Life Underwriters, Enrolled Agents?
We have not received a clear understanding of which business professionals would be candidates for the Global Credential and who would not be eligible!
The AICPA response indicates that there are existing professional organizations that are concerned about the Global Credential holder creating a new source of competition and confusion in the marketplace. NcCPAp is first and foremost among these professional organizations.
Finally, if each country will decide its own XYZ designees, are all standards going to be identical?
Q: Session Moderator: If the global credential is successful, will students choose to pursue the credential rather than become CPAs?
A: Neil Sullivan: AICPA POSITION This question was one of the chief concerns of the AICPA Council during its early deliberations on the credential. Since then, an independent research study has indicated a strong interest in the credential among students and suggested that the existence of XYZ would actually have a positive effect on the number of students interested in pursuing the CPA.
According to the research data, when the CPA Vision is described to accounting and other students, the appeal of attaining a CPA increases. When the XYZ is explained to students in conjunction with the CPA Vision, the data indicates that interest in the CPA credential is further increased, especially among undeclared students.
In fact, the study suggests that offering both the Vision-defined CPA and the XYZ represents an opportunity to keep students on the CPA-track who would otherwise be lost
More specifically, 78% of AICPA student members support the Institute's launch of XYZ, and 83% of all college students see XYZ as a complement to the CPA. Only 8% of all college students surveyed see it as a substitute.
ncCPAp RESPONSE If the AICPA continues to promote the XYZ credential, business students will most likely go in the direction of the XYZ instead of opting for the CPA certificate.
According to the AICPA, accounting firms today only have a license to do attest work and if this is continually promoted, the students will believe accounting is boring and definitely want to go on to something else. It is our belief that students are pliable and want to learn.
The CPA certificate should be promoted as the global credential and colleges and universities should be teaching different aspects of financial services. Students should be graduating with a basic understanding of all phases of financial matters and just not how to prepare a tax return or a financial statement. If the survey was presented as stated above, we believe the statistics would reverse themselves.
We also believe that creating the XYZ designation effectively creates a second-class status of CPA. The individual without the XYZ will then be considered to be of lesser value. It is our belief that we had given up the concept of elitism years ago.
Q: Session Moderator: Will CPAs be required to add the new XYZ credential?
A: Neil Sullivan: AICPA POSITION No. Adding this credential is an option that many CPAs may wish to consider. Recent surveys conducted by both the AICPA and several state CPA societies have all indicated that approximately 25% of CPAs would be interested in pursuing the global credential.
This percentage far exceeds the number of CPAs who have pursued other accreditation or new service programs offered by the AICPA, and is a threshold generally deemed by market researchers to indicate that a new venture has a high likelihood of success.
ncCPAp RESPONSE This may be more for non-practicing CPAs than practicing CPAs. We question the method used to ask the question in the survey as well as how the question was actually formatted when asked.
Every CPA will apply and use the self-assessment as a way of entering this designation because they will not want to be left behind. What about the state CPA societies that reject XYZ and the 75% who are not interested? What about the other professional organizations that are opposed to the global designation?
Session Moderator: If any members of the audience have any questions for the NCCPAP presenters, please feel free to pose those questions at any time.
Q: Session Moderator: Why is the CPA profession taking the lead in the creation of the credential, rather than the legal or any other profession?
A: Neil Sullivan: AICPA POSITION By seizing the early advantage on this marketplace opportunity, CPAs will have the greatest penetration in the credential arena as brand equity begins to reach critical levels. It also means that the ground rules will be consistent with our frame of reference and culture. The CPA profession will set the bar for entry, and ensure that its core values, such as a strong ethical foundation and a commitment to continuous learning, will set the tone for the XYZ.
If some other profession or group launches this type of global business credential, the value set of the CPA profession will be less likely to be incorporated into its design. In fact, this is happening already. A new organization for multi-disciplinary practice was recently formed. Its mission is to educate and credentialize professionals working within the estate and wealth strategies.
The bottom line is that the proposed global business credential is rooted in the CPA profession and would set equally high standards for admission and maintenance of the credential. In this way, the Cap's time-honored reputation for integrity and competence would be preserved and extended.
The only non-CPAs eligible for the credential would be those willing to jump the professional hurdles set by the CPA profession and live by the same exacting professional commitments.
ncCPAp RESPONSE ncCPAp questions who - other than the AICPA - even considered a global credential for the financial services industry. We do not see a need for this international designation. However, assuming one will exist, we are concerned about, Who will sit on this XYZ credential board as well as the board governing and controlling the XYZ designee?
How many of these individuals will be CPAs? The AICPA is always discussing the global credential in the same breath with the time-honored reputation for integrity and competence as well as objectivity. Once again we maintain this is a CPA.
A CPA is already well on his or her way in becoming the global designee. With slight adjustments in the scope of our practices and education, the designation would be complete. Once this is accomplished with the help of the AICPA, all CPAs will be the global designees and no other profession, legal or otherwise, could ever form a global designation, which would be equal to ours.
Q: Session Moderator: What are the results of the XYZ market research among "buyers" of professional services in the United States?
A: Neil Sullivan: AICPA POSITION Here are just a few of the key findings from the demand-side research, conducted by one of the world's leading research firms:
- Overall receptivity to the XYZ concept among decision-makers in organizations of all sizes is significantly above the norms for a successful launch of a program of this kind. An overwhelming majority (83%) of employers, for example, say they would be more likely to hire someone who had this new credential for a strategic business planning position in their company. A majority would be willing to pay a premium (14% more, on average).
- Among professional services firms, nearly two-thirds (63%) say clients' perceptions of their firm would be at least somewhat enhanced if they hired people with the XYZ credential.
- 63% of demand-side respondents say that if CPAs held the new credential, it would increase their opinion of the CPA profession. Virtually no one (1-3%) in a position to hire an XYZ believes the new credential would in any way diminish any other existing professional credential, including the CPA.
The very creation of the XYZ credential, and its early population and association with CPAs, appears to cause potential employers to look more favorably on CPAs as strategic business partners
ncCPAp RESPONSE A chief financial officer or controller of a private company in industry has already set up their needs and how to resolve them, either through internal sources or by out-sourcing to external firms. We can understand why the survey would be positive because it is the hope that there would be more qualified individuals to perform these services.
The truth is that there will be no one smarter tomorrow than there is today, and as we stated previously, anyone looking to hire the external consultant knows who to use. It is still the responsibility of our profession to promote ourselves, so that a CPA does everything financial both nationally and internationally.
Once again, ncCPAp is concerned about, What questions were asked in the survey and who asked them? We do agree that employers would engage these designees.
We also believe that if CPAs were marketed correctly, the AICPA is actually describing a CPA who could do all this work. Most private companies will hire the firm that they feel will perform the job the best. It is the CPA firm's responsibility to market themselves accordingly so they will be the firm engaged to perform the work needed.
Q: Linda Masi: As a CPA of 25 years with experience in audit, tax and consulting on three continents, I can assure the audience of the worth of the CPA credential. Why would we be willing to dilute our credential by allowing others to share a designation with us?
A: Bob Goldfarb: Linda, we agree with you! Tell your AICPA friends to vote against it.
Q: Frank J. Kalenda: Is there any other organization promoting this along with the AICPA?
A: Alan Feldstein: Frank, at this moment we are aware of some state societies supporting the AICPA position (as well as many against) and approximately six countries. Some countries originally in support, have backed off. We also question whether support from the state societies includes member support.
Mitch Klein CPA: The countries that pulled out might be waiting for our lead
Q: Session Moderator: If the AICPA membership does not support this credential and the AICPA therefore is required to end its support of the credential, will the other foreign nations that have expressed their support continue forward with the credential?
A: Bob Goldfarb: It is our understanding that the credential would not pursued by the other countries without American Support
Q: Judith Trepeck: What about the industry members? They seem to be in favor of this endeavor. How can we stand in the way?
A: Bob Goldfarb: It is our understanding from the AICPA survey results that members in industry do seem to support the credential. However, when we have spoken individually with members in industry, and explained the actual concept, they have indicated that they are not in favor because it does not affect them in any way. NCCPAP you should understand represents only practicing CPAs - we do not represent CPAs in industry.
Q: Judith Trepeck: Membership in the IISBP means that we have access to a Knowledge Resource, worldwide. Why wouldn't we want the knowledge that other qualified professionals have to be included in that Knowledge Resource?
A: Bob Goldfarb: We have been informed that IISBP is the new initials for the new credential. Judy, as the COO of the new credential, we appreciate your questions and participation because knowledge, not ignorance, is our goal. In response to your question, we believe that the vast knowledge is already embodied in the individual currently known as the CPA. We already have access to the knowledge base and do not seen the need for the credential.
Q: Linda Miller: I've got a question for you, I'm a senior getting ready to graduate in the summer and plan on sitting for the CPA test this November. I have quite a few student who believe this credential will allow them to practice accounting as a CPA globally. I didn't think this was the case. Can you clarify this point?
A: Mitch Klein CPA: First you must be a CPA so you can do Attest function work then satisfy the IISBP requirements then the work you do can allow you to do "global work" in the countries that accept the IISBP credential if you are a IISBP member and not a CPA you can not do attest function work
Bob Goldfarb: Linda, what school do you attend? Are these students that you refer to friends who are graduating with you?
Linda Miller: I attend Davenport University in Michigan and yes they are friends also graduating
Q: Linda Masi: If the credential passes; will someone in our AICPA receive money if it passes?
A: Alan Feldstein: We are not aware of any person benefiting financially and would hope our integrity as CPA's prevents it.
Q: Linda Masi: I have a home in Italy and have worked there; the accounting organizations there support this. Is there an international exam being planned and when will it be ready?
A: Bob Goldfarb: As far as we know, if you are a CPA and you meet the requirements for the credential, you will not have to take the exam if application is made within a short period of time after approval
Q: Judith Trepeck: Knowledge is my goal as well. Thank you for the opportunity to participate. As a sole practitioner, I do not understand how I have access to a worldwide knowledge base. The knowledge base that is "accessible" by CPAs is financially based. My practice is consulting based and demands that I understand HR, IT, business law, etc. at a high level.
A: Bob Goldfarb: As a CPA, you have access to the same resources that you would if you had the additional credential of IISBP. There are many CPA firms specializing in the global market. A CPA can engage any of these global firms as they deem necessary - it's called outsourcing.
Q: Linda Masi: In my opinion, an international credential is a very needed credential..........may we proceed with the involvement of only CPAs?
A: Bob Goldfarb: Actually, it is NCCPAP's goal to create an international CPA organization. In the event that the credential vote fails, we hope the AICPA will join us in this endeavor.
Q: Session Moderator: If there really is a need for a Global Credential, who should fill this void?
A: Neil Sullivan: NcCPAp strongly believes that the AICPA, when describing the need and knowledge base of an XYZ, are truly describing a CPA.
If the AICPA believes that a void exists in the financial services market, why can't the CPA fill this void?
If additional training is needed in a specific area, the CPA has proven that he/she can obtain this knowledge and provide the needed assistance to clients competently and efficiently. If a CPA is not interested in obtaining the expertise in the specific area, then he/she has always been able to outsource this work to a trusted colleague or other professional.
We do not see the need for the added credential. Additionally, ncCPAp questions where are firms going to find the qualified XYZ to work for them. It is already difficult to find qualified employees; where can we expect to find 200,000 to 700,000 of these XYZ geniuses worldwide?
ncCPAp believes that if anyone should be an XYZ, only CPAs should receive the designation! We have passed rigorous exams, have the highest education, no one can compete with our experience in financial matters and we are truly qualified to fill the definition of XYZ, as presented by the AICPA.
Q: Judith Trepeck: But the information that I would access is CPA based. It does not include the inter-disciplinary knowledge that might be available through others in the IISBP.
A: Alan Feldstein: As professionals, we are not limited to outsourcing only to CPA's.
Bob Goldfarb: In the event you need this information, call NCCPAP, we will get you the assistance you need.
Q: Linda Masi: As a CPA with years of health care experience; the opportunity to standardize is one which can make the sharing of knowledge easier. Is this not a worthwhile goal?
A: Mitch Klein CPA: We are all in favor of knowledge sharing but, with & without the global credential we can continue to share knowledge
Q: Session Moderator: How would you describe an XYZ credential holder?
A: Neil Sullivan: AICPA POSITION A high-level definition is "one who helps people or organizations achieve their objectives through the strategic use of knowledge or knowledge management systems."
ncCPAp RESPONSE We believe this describes a CPA!
Q: Session Moderator: If non-CPAs are allowed to become XYZs, wouldn't that be helping our competition? Rather than sharing a credential with other professions, wouldn't it be better to stretch the CPA brand to allow CPAs to maintain a better competitive advantage?
A: Neil Sullivan: This seems to be the AICPA's final push to be in control of licensing because once you set up a private credential not under the control of a state or governmental agency, and more people want to be an XYZ, eventually the CPA certificate will be unimportant and, therefore, the AICPA will control the only important credential in the world.
It seems that there would be a duplication of work in the field, elevating our competitors who are not licensed to the same level that we are - for absolutely no reason. Is another level of competition necessary or unnecessary?
The public will definitely be confused. We cannot have the XYZ equal to a CPA and the AICPA or its affiliate cannot be the master of both.
If this credential does confuse the public, it will hinder the small firm's ability to grow. If the CPA firm itself cannot expand its services because the XYZ is being heavily promoted, the local and regional CPA firms will definitely wither and die!
Q: Session Moderator: Is the creation of a Global Designation expected to move the CPA away from the current stereotype and have the public perceive the CPA as more than just regulatory compliance agents?
A: Neil Sullivan: Yes, we agree that CPAs are currently stereotyped as "bean counters," which is unflattering to the CPA. We believe, however, that calling a CPA an XYZ will do nothing to enhance the current image of the CPA.
With the appropriate marketing and public relations budget, properly spent, the AICPA could improve the public's perception of the CPA. That is what we thought a good portion of our dues was expected to do.
The AICPA should be more proactive in enhancing and stretching the CPA brand.
If the public has a negative stereotype of CPAs, a Global Credential is not going to change that perception. Besides, under the current proposal, the Global Credential is being offered to other professionals including, but not limited to, Attorneys, Certified Financial Planners, Certified Life Underwriters and Engineers.
How will these individuals enhance the perception of the CPA? We strongly believe that the AICPA should take the leadership position that they are supposed to take and show the public the true value and expertise of the CPA.
Session Moderator: Thank you all so much for attending today - and thank you to the members of NCCPAP for a great presentation! The complete transcript of this workshop, including questions and answers will be available on the AccountingWEB site on Thursday.
Neil Sullivan: We have never seen the merits of the proposed Global Credential and we are still not convinced it should be approved. If you are a member of the AICPA, we expect that you will receive a ballot in November 2001 where you can indicate your approval or disapproval of this credential. We urge you to vote against the proposal. The value of your CPA certificate is at stake. If you are not a member of the AICPA, please tell those who are members to vote against the proposal.
Bob Goldfarb: Thank you for your participation today. We look forward to the vote next week at Council.