Archive for the ‘AICPA’ Category

Friday, October 30th, 2020

Friday Musings

“Great ideas emerges from useless fragments of thoughts.” – Michael Bassey Johnson

On Fridays, I often provide you with a flashback post – something I have written about before. Sometimes I save Fridays for random thoughts, ideas, and comments.

Here’s a flashback post on an age-old topic – Getting Partners to Change.

Now on to other stuff.

This week I spent some time preparing for CPAFMA’s virtual Accelerator for people managing accounting firms. The virtual event will take the place of FMA’s 2020 annual conference and will provide practice managers with some timely and helpful information. This program is exclusively designed to help participants professionally manage accounting firms of varying sizes.

I will be involved in the Strategy, Leadership & Growth Accelerator – Monday, November 9th at 11:40a – 1:30p EST and also in the Talent & People Accelerator on November 10th at 12:20p – 2:20p EST.

This week I was featured via an AICPA PCPS podcast – Small Firm Philosophy. I hope you will set aside some time this weekend to listen.

Next week, I will be speaking (virtually) with one of the AICPA PCPS small firm networking groups.

Finally, my newsletter went out yesterday. Did you receive your copy? Be sure to check your spam filter. Here’s a link to one of the articles titled, Afraid. This article will only be available online for a limited time. Sign-up for my newsletter via my website.

Have a nice weekend. Monday will be November and you have a lot to do!

  • The best advice I’ve ever received is 'No one else knows what they’re doing either'.
  • Ricky Gervais

Thursday, October 29th, 2020

Navigating Your Career & Growing Your Practice Podcast

“If you’re going to have a story, have a big story, or none at all.” –Joseph Campbell

I was delighted recently to connect up with Brad Barbour, Manager, firm Services at AICPA PCPS.

PCPS has been very dear to my heart throughout my years in public accounting. I have met and worked with so many wonderful people at PCPS by speaking at conferences, serving on committees, writing articles, and helping with resources for the PCPS website.

Brad hosts a podcast for PCPS called Small Firm Philosophy and recently interviewed me for one of his podcasts.

I hope you find time to listen to my story and my observations on working in public accounting. Listen to it at one sitting (approx. 30 minutes) or break it up into segments.

I hope some of my comments will be helpful and some will make you smile. Listen to the other podcasts on Small Firm Philosophy, too. Thanks so much, Brad.

  • Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.
  • Robert McKee

Thursday, October 8th, 2020

An Important Conference – Digital CPA

“Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.” – Bill Gates

Another important conference for CPAs, Digital CPA, will be virtual this year. Here’s some current information from the AICPA.

The AICPA and CPA.com have added another keynote speaker – former CNBC chief economist Marci Rossell — to the lineup of this year’s Digital CPA, which takes place Dec. 8.

Rossell, a co-host of Squawk Box during her time at the financial news network, will discuss the current state of the economy and the larger trend of “seismic surprises” that businesses face, including cyberterrorism, environmental disasters, swings in the regulatory regime, and pandemics such as COVID-19.

Before her stint at CNBC, Rossell was an economist and investment spokesperson for Oppenheimer Funds, an expert witness on economic issues for Deloitte & Touche and an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

Digital CPA is an all-virtual event this year and will be complemented by a Nov. 12 pre-conference session on remote work and decentralization.

Other keynotes at the main Dec. 8 event include:

  • Jeffrey Rogers, a moderator of executive education programs and international summits for Singularity University, who will speak about change dynamics, managing complexity and transformation in a period of continuous, accelerating change,
  • Barry Melancon, CPA, CGMA, president and CEO of the AICPA, who will give an in-depth professional issues update on accounting and finance
  • Erik Asgeirsson, president and CEO of CPA.com, who will discuss trends in firm management, advisory services and technology.

The conference will also include a panel discussion with CPA firm leaders.

  • Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.
  • Bill Gates

Tuesday, September 8th, 2020

Accounting Graduates

“I am convinced that nothing we do is more important than hiring and developing people. At the end of the day you bet on people, not on strategies.” – Lawrence Bossidy

There are reports that tell us that the number of accounting graduates being hired is steadily declining. Yet, many firms are still saying that they need people.

In some firms, the “need people” has come to mean they need more non-accounting graduates, such as people with more advanced technology skills.

Per Todd Shapiro, CEO of the Illinois CPA society says, in an article via Accounting today: “Hiring of accounting graduates is down 30 percent. That’s a massive decline in hiring of accounting graduates by CPA firms. This isn’t companies that traditionally haven’t hired accounting graduates that aren’t CPAs. These are accounting firms.”

I was surprised by this statement from Barry Melancon a few years ago: Today we are a profession of CPA-led firms, not CPA firms. Two-thirds of the employees in all firms are non-CPAs.

Shapiro notes that firms are hiring more non-accounting graduates. It only makes sense to me that accounting students need to be sure that they have more advanced technology skills than at any time in the past.

If you didn’t read the article by Michael Cohn (via Accounting Today), you should.

  • You can dream, create, design and build the most wonderful place in the world…but it requires people to make the dream a reality.
  • Walt Disney

Thursday, September 3rd, 2020

Your Foundation

“The important thing is that you’ve got a strong foundation before you start to try to save the world or help other people.” – Richard Branson

Does your CPA firm have a solid foundation?

I often talk about the internal workings of a firm as the foundational issues. Do you have effective and efficient processes and procedures as it relates to client service and also how it relates to human resources issues? If there are many different ways to accomplish client work, it cannot be as efficient as having one way, the FIRM way. In too many firms, the way work is completed depends on the partner-in-charge of the client engagement.

Of course, there are other foundational issues relating to the services you offer and the needs of your clients. Those issues are changing. The once-solid foundation of the CPA profession consisting of accounting, tax, and audit is becoming rather shaky!

Joey Havens, CPA, CGMA, is the executive partner at HORNE LLP. He offers us a closer look at your foundation in his article, Five Ways Firms Can Solidify Their Business Foundation via the AICPA, CPA Insider. Take a few minutes to read his tips.

  • Great persons are great because of good, strong foundations on which they were able to build a character.
  • Alfred Armand Montapert

Tuesday, August 4th, 2020

No Big Surprise – DIGITAL CPA Conference Will Be Virtual

‘It is what we know already that often prevents us from learning.’ –Claude Bernard

DIGITAL CPA has become one of the most popular and helpful AICPA conferences in recent years. It is always held in December. No surprise that this year the event will be virtual. Here’s the scoop from the AICPA:

AICPA and CPA.com Announce All-Virtual Digital CPA Event This Year

Acceleration of Change is Overarching Theme of Dec. 8 Forum

NEW YORK (Aug. 3, 2020) – Digital CPA, an event hosted by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and its business and technology arm, CPA.com, will focus this year on change management, successful deployment of distributed teams and technological innovation in the accounting profession.

The all-virtual event will be held Dec. 8 and will be complemented by a Nov. 12 pre-conference session on remote work.

“We’re living through a year defined by uncertainty, disruption, complexity, but also opportunity,” said Erik Asgeirsson, president and CEO of CPA.com. “Businesses need guidance and insight from trusted advisors like no time in history. Market dynamics are accelerating technology adoption timelines and the bonds between CPAs and their clients will be a critical component of economic recovery. We want to make this discussion the hallmark of Digital CPA 2020.”

Conference keynotes at this year’s event include:

  • Jeffrey Rogers, a moderator of executive education programs and international summits for Singularity University, who will speak about change dynamics, managing complexity and transformation in a period of continuous, accelerating change,
  • Barry Melancon, CPA, CGMA, president and CEO of the AICPA, who will give an in-depth professional issues update on accounting and finance
  • Erik Asgeirsson, president and CEO of CPA.com, who will discuss trends in firm management, advisory services and technology.

The pre-conference session, “Distributed by Design: A Framework for Future Forward Organizations,” will be led by Radical Ventures cofounder Pascal Finette. It will provide a framework and toolkit for CPA firms to conduct strategic planning and decision-making on remote work, decentralization, and the opportunities and challenges that arise from them. Participation is limited and will be on a first-come. first-serve basis.

Digital CPA is designed for CPA firm partners, managers and staffers responsible for implementing cloud solutions and practice management innovations, as well as business development, firm marketing and human resources directors within firms.

  • It's what you learn after you know it all that counts.
  • Harry Truman

Friday, May 1st, 2020

AICPA ENGAGE Goes Digital

“Everyone seems to think that digital technology devoids the medium of content, but that is not true at all. If anything, it broadens the content.” – George Lucas

The well-attended AICPA ENGAGE Conference will go on but it is just another thing that has entered the “new normal.”

ENGAGE 2020 Transitions to an All-Digital Event This Year

Virtual Sessions to Be Held in June and July with Extra Content Through End of Year

NEW YORK (April 28, 2020) – ENGAGE 2020 will be an all-digital event with the core conference taking place online from July 20–24. The event, designed for accounting and finance professionals, is sponsored by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).

The AICPA and CIMA decided to forego an onsite version of ENGAGE 2020 this year to ensure the safety of attendees, speakers and staff in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The agenda has been updated to cover the latest issues impacting CPAs, clients, management accountants and other finance professionals during the current crisis.

“Our team has delivered interactive, high-quality online learning programs for a decade now and we have deep expertise in running these events,” said Clar Rosso, executive vice president of engagement and learning innovation for the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, which is comprised of the AICPA and CIMA. “ENGAGE 2020 represents an exceptional learning opportunity, and we’ve added new features to help enhance interaction and build a sense of community among virtual attendees.”  

ENGAGE 2020 will be delivered in three ways:

Interactive Solution and Key Initiatives Sessions (June 8-12)

The kickoff ENGAGE 2020 offering features virtual sessions on key initiatives, professional trends and solutions delivered by Association staff, partners and relevant sponsors. This learning content is free to anyone who signs up. CPE credit is available.

The Main Event (July 20-24)

Online sessions will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern each day, with virtual networking opportunities during breaks. Defined learning tracks include Advanced Accounting and Auditing, Advanced Estate Planning, Advanced Personal Financial Planning, EDGE Career Development, Practitioners and Tech+, Tax Strategies for the High-Income Individual and Finance Redefined.

There will be two July 22 keynote sessions:

  • Daymond John, an author, founder of the fashion business FUBU and celebrity judge on Shark Tank, will talk about how he built his businesses, financial lessons he learned on the way and general observations on entrepreneurship.
  • A professional update will be given by AICPA President and CEO Barry MelanconSue Coffey, the organization’s executive vice president of public practice, CPA.com President and CEO Erik Asgeirsson, and AICPA Vice Chair Tracey Golden.

ENGAGE + (July 27- Dec. 31)

ENGAGE 2020 All-Access Pass holders also will receive exclusive monthly access to two virtual sessions focused on a range of timely topics.

For more details about conference registration and agenda items, please visit www.aicpaengage.com.

  • Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.
  • Abigail Adams

Monday, April 6th, 2020

AICPA Coalition Recommends PPP Applicants Use Gross Payroll Approach in Calculations

“The role of genius is not to complicate the simple but to simplify the complicated.” – Criss Jami

WASHINGTON, DC (April 4, 2020) – For the calculation of the Average Monthly Payroll cost under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the Gross Payroll approach should be used for the application, according to the recommendation from the AICPA-led small business funding coalition
. This recommendation was developed in conjunction with the National Payroll Reporting Consortium (NPRC). It comes after the additional guidelines Treasury and the Small Business Administration (SBA) issued on Thursday.

For the calculation of the Average Monthly Payroll cost, we recommend that payroll providers and CPAs use Gross Payroll based on 2019 data versus Net Payroll (defined as Gross Payroll less federal withholding and employee FICA). Neither the CARES Act nor the recent guidance instructs the PPP applicant to exclude federal withholding and employee FICA for the 2019 period. The Average Monthly Payroll cost includes Gross Payroll and the other defined PPP payroll cost elements such as health care, etc.

“Treasury and the SBA have acted quickly to generate this small business stimulus. As key stakeholders in the implementation of the PPP relief, we are collectively working to drive consistency in the interpretation of the administration’s guidance. Our goal is to help produce an efficient application process to quickly get the funds in the hands of small businesses and their employees,” said Erik Asgeirsson, president and CEO of CPA.com.

Mark Koziel, CPA, CGMA, the AICPA’s executive vice president of firm services, added, “Based upon statements from members of Congress, it appears that the intent of the PPP was to base the salary calculation on gross wages with no adjustment for federal taxes. This ensures that payroll tax expenses are not passed on to the small businesses in need. In a program of this magnitude, it’s expected that guidance will evolve and terms will be clarified.”

The AICPA also said that its discussions with Treasury, SBA, banks and payroll processors to address these and other issues are ongoing and that it will keep its members, coalition partners and small businesses updated on the efforts to protect Main Street America.

  • I'm full of fears and I do my best to avoid difficulties and any kind of complications. I like everything around me to be clear as crystal and completely calm.
  • Alfred Hitchcock

Thursday, April 2nd, 2020

Continuous Testing For The CPA Exam

“Testing leads to failure, and failure leads to understanding.” – Burt Rutan

We are hearing a lot about testing, COVID-19 testing. But here is some good news about testing.

If you have been working in pubic accounting for a while you are aware that the CPA Exam has evolved and changed as society and resources have changed.

Beginning July 1, your firm’s candidates will not be confined to a designated time frame.

This from the Journal of Accountancy:

A new “continuous testing” model for CPA Exam candidates is scheduled to make its debut on July 1, the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) announced Tuesday.

Under the continuous testing model, candidates will have the ability to take the exam year-round, without restriction, other than waiting to receive scores from previous attempts of the same section or when there is a major change to the exam.

Continuous testing will replace the existing CPA Exam testing window model, which limits candidates to testing during designated time frames in each quarter during the year.

NASBA is continuing to serve as a resource to the boards of accountancy as they advocate for the legislative changes needed to enable the transition. Of the 55 U.S. accountancy jurisdictions, just one (South Carolina) is expected to be unable to offer continuous testing before 2021.

Read the entire article here.

  • I'm forever testing myself. As a person and as an actor, I have no sense of competition.
  • Michael Caine

Friday, March 20th, 2020

AICPA ENGAGE Conference – Cancelled

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

News from the AICPA about one of their largest conferences:

AICPA and CIMA to Postpone ENGAGE 2020 Due to Coronavirus Pandemic

Accounting and Finance Event to Be Rescheduled Later This Year

NEW YORK (March 19, 2020) – ENGAGE 2020, one of the largest accounting and finance conferences in North America, will be postponed until later this year due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. The event is sponsored by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).

The original date for ENGAGE 2020 was June 7-11 in Las Vegas. Details on the timing and format of the rescheduled event are still being set, as the situation surrounding the outbreak is fluid.

“We want our attendees, staff, and speakers to be safe, so this is the most prudent step to take at this point,” said Clar Rosso, executive vice president for engagement and learning innovation at the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, the global organization comprised of the AICPA and CIMA.  “We also know that families, small businesses and companies of all sizes will be depending on CPAs and management accountants to help guide them through unexpected financial and economic challenges in the weeks ahead, so we are bearing that in mind, too.”

Given the restrictions on normal activities, the AICPA and CIMA continue to explore ways to support our members in their professional and personal development through expanded digital offerings and other virtual learning opportunities. More information will be available on these enhanced options soon.

ENGAGE 2020 attendees who are already registered and others interested in details about the rescheduled event can sign up for updates on aicpaengage.com. More information about the postponement, refunds, and other policies can be found in a FAQ on the site.

Several other upcoming AICPA conferences will also be postponed, including the AICPA CFO Conference, which will now be held Sept. 16-18 at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort in San Diego, Calif., the AICPA Employee Benefit Plans Conference and the AICPA Not-for-Profit Industry Conference, with the latter two reschedulings still to be determined. Please visit aicpaconferences.com for more information on events in the weeks ahead.

  • During my New York run, I injured my voice badly. I was getting increasingly hoarse, and it finally gave up. The doctor said I had two choices. Either cancel things, or try my luck and perhaps never speak again. That's not much of a choice.
  • Trevor Noah