In Profile – Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.)

January 26, 2016

Rep. Collin Peterson w MN Delegation - sm
Minnesota Society of CPAs' representatives after a meeting with Congressman Collin Peterson at his office in Washington, D.C. Pictured from left to right are Beth Franklin, Betsy Adrian, Geno Fragnito, Congressman Peterson, Jim Eichten, Carl Peterson and Dave Stene. Photo credit: Sam Kittner/

Representative Collin Peterson is celebrating 25 years of public service in the U.S. Congress in 2016 having first been elected in 1990 from the Seventh District of Minnesota. 

Before being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, he was a CPA and small business owner in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, and also served for ten years in the Minnesota State Senate. 

He retains his CPA license and memberships in the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and Minnesota Society of CPAs (MNCPA).  He is a regular speaker at state society events, informing members about goings-on in Washington, particularly about Congress’s actions impacting the farming community, as Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Committee.

“Congressman Peterson is a long-time member, supporter, and strong ally of the MNCPA and the CPA profession,” said MNCPA President and CEO Betsy Adrian.  “Whether he is in Washington D.C. or in Minnesota he is accessible and meets with CPAs when asked.  Our 

members appreciate his candid, yet calm, demeanor and are thankful to have a member of Congress who understands the intricacies of the CPA profession and does what he can to advance positions important to CPAs."

Peterson is a member of the Congressional Caucus on CPAs and Accountants and has been a strong backer of the profession’s advocacy agenda.  “I have a first-hand understanding of how federal policies can either help or stand in the way of a CPA’s ability to do their work on behalf of the customers they serve,” he explained.  “This perspective is important when Congress is debating policy that impacts CPAs; be it the farm bill, reforming the tax code or addressing regulatory burdens.”

The Congressman has actively supported the CPA profession’s position on retaining the cash basis of accounting for tax purposes, cosponsored bills relating to mobile workforce state income tax simplification, tax return due dates, excluding appraisers of employee stock ownership plans from the definition of fiduciary under ERISA, and supporting the use of XBRL in the DATA Act.

In the 1960s, Peterson found time to play guitar and sing with a band known as “Collin and the Establishment.”  Since then, the lawmaking musician has performed at venues including the AICPA’s 2013 Spring Council reception in our nation’s capital.