Ms. Niwao is both a Certified Public Accountant and a licensed Attorney in the State of Hawaii. She is also a Chartered Global Management Accountant and an Accredited Tax Advisor. Marilyn graduated with her law degree from the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor in 1978. She received her Master of Science in Public Health degree in biostatistics and her Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from the University of Washington in Seattle. Her Master's thesis was entitled "Epidemiological Factors Distinguishing Two Types of Viral Hepatitis - An Application of Discriminant Function Analysis."
Ms. Niwao is licensed to practice before the United States Tax Court as well as before Federal and State of Hawaii Courts. Ms Niwao has over thirty-five years of experience in public accounting. She worked for over two years in the Honolulu office of Coopers & Lybrand (currently PriceWaterhouseCoopers). Ms. Niwao also worked at the Maui office of Deloitte, Haskins & Sells (currently Deloitte) for approximately five years, and was a manager-in-charge of the firm's tax department on Maui prior to starting the firm of Matsuyama, Niwao & Associates,CPAs, now known as Niwao & Roberts, CPAs, a Professional Corporation.
With her legal knowledge and many years of experience, she has substantial expertise in business planning and complex accounting and tax issues for corporations, partnerships, individuals, trusts, and estates. In addition, she has served as a Bankruptcy Examiner for the United States Bankruptcy Court and as a Master and Expert Witness for the Second Circuit Court of Hawaii.
Ms. Niwao is the immediate past President of the National Society of Accountants (NSA). She previously served on the national governing board of NSA as First and Second Vice President, Governor of District XI, and was also a past NSA Hawaii State Director.
Ms. Niwao is a State director of the Hawaii Association of Public Accountants and serves as its State legislative committee co-chairperson. She is also a past State president, past State vice-president, past State director, and past Maui Chapter president of the Hawaii Association of Public Accountants. In addition, she is a past State director of the Hawaii Society of Certified Public Accountants. She has been awarded several outstanding member awards from the Hawaii Association of Public Accountants.
Ms Niwao currently serves as Vice Chairperson of the Hawaii State Council on Revenues, which prepares State of Hawaii revenue estimates and forecasts for the Governor and State Legislature. By law, the revenue estimates must be considered in preparing the state's budget and in determining the state expenditures and enacting any revenue-related legislation. Ms. Niwao previously served as a Commissioner of the State of Hawaii Tax Review Commission and on the Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission Blue Ribbon Recodification Committee.
Ms. Niwao is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the American Bar Association, the National Society of Accountants, the Hawaii Association of Public Accountants, the Hawaii and Maui Bar Associations, the Hawaii Society of Certified Public Accountants, and various other organizations.
Ms. Niwao is a director of the Maui County Council, Boy Scouts of America, and previously served as its Vice President - Finance and Vice President - Endowment. She received the Silver Beaver Award for outstanding service to the Boy Scouts in 2010. She is a past president of the AOAO of the Wells Street Professional Center, past director and treasurer of the Maui Family YMCA, and past director of the Friends of the Children's Advocacy Center.
Ms. Niwao received the 1999 Accountant Advocate award for the County of Maui from the U.S. Small Business Administration. She has been a speaker on tax and business topics for the Hawaii Association of Public Accountants, the Maui Bar Association, and various other groups.