Archive for the ‘AICPA’ Category

Tuesday, July 6th, 2021

You Know What I Like!

“Bad news travels at the speed of light; good news travels like molasses.” – Tracy Morgan

I recently heard an old song by someone called The Big Bopper. He died on the famous plane crash with Buddy Holly. It happened on February 3, 1959, and has been called “The Day the Music Died.” It was referred to in Don McLean’s classic American Pie. If you are not old enough to remember or have never heard of Buddy Holly, click here.

Anyway, The Big Bopper (J. P. Richardson) had a novelty song that became a big hit titled Chantilly Lace. In the song he says, over and over, “Oh, baby you know what I like.”

I told you all of that so that I could talk about this – a recent article by Dan Hood of Accounting Today – “Accountants need to explain themselves.” Dan was on a recent Zoom session the AICPA leaders conducted last week. They (the AICPA leaders) urged all of us in the meeting and all CPAs to communicate what is good about the CPA profession. Dan’s article will be helpful to you.

They didn’t need to convince me. I love the CPA profession. But, are you, people working in a busy CPA firm, actively talking about all the good things to LIKE about the CPA profession? Talk to your kids, talk to students, talk to your spouse, your aunts/uncles, and especially your clients about the great rewards of being a CPA.

Read Dan’s article and keep in mind, “Oh, baby, you know what I like!”

  • If anyone asks you what kind of music you play, tell him 'pop.' Don't tell him 'rock'n'roll' or they won't even let you in the hotel.
  • Buddy Holly

Monday, May 17th, 2021

The New CPA Exam

“The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.” – Vidal Sassoon

They are changing the CPA Exam again. It is shifting to put an increased focus on technology. July 1, 2021 is when this shift in the Exam will take place.

From Accounting Today: As the accounting profession evolves to meet today’s needs, the Uniform CPA Examination is also evolving to reflect these industry changes. On July 1, 2021, the CPA exam is shifting significantly to put a heavier focus on technology, digital mindsets, data analytics, and the other skills that newly licensed CPAs need to succeed. Candidates preparing to take the CPA Exam must take these updates into consideration.

Here’s the informative article, What every candidate needs to know about the updated CPA exam, via Accounting Today. Read it and share it.

I wonder how many CPA partners could pass the exam if they had to take it in 2021. I have often heard partners joke about it (meaning they couldn’t pass it now, let alone after July 1).

  • Study while others are sleeping, Work while others are loafing, Prepare while others are playing, and Dream while others are wishing.
  • William Arthur Ward

Tuesday, May 11th, 2021

We All Want To Know The Top Issues – Share Yours!

“Latest survey shows that 3 out of 4 people make up 75% of the world’s population.” – Stephen Hawking

I have always looked forward to reading the results of the AICPA PCPS Top Issues Survey. They conduct it every other year. The last one was in 2019 and a lot has certainly happened since then!

Now is your chance to share the top issues facing your firm by participating in the AICPA’s Private Companies Practice Section (PCPS) CPA Firm Top Issues Survey. Your responses highlight the critical issues facing firms and guide PCPS as we develop tools and resources to assist your firm in meeting the everyday challenges of running a practice.

The Top Issues Survey — which takes less than 10 minutes to complete — is open until Friday, June 18.

Take the survey

Comprehensive results and thought-leading commentary will be available this summer at www.aicpa.org/pcps/topissues.

Your participation informs the profession and shapes the future. The AICPA appreciates your valuable time and insight and so do I. Remember, it only takes 10 minutes and you have until June 18.

Of course, I will keep nagging you…. oops, I mean reminding you. I hope you are following me on Twitter.

  • Survey and test a prospective action before undertaking it. Before you proceed, step back and look at the big picture, lest you act rashly on raw impulse.
  • Epictetus

Wednesday, April 28th, 2021

Build On Your Transformation

“The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can’t be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it.” – Elbert Hubbard

During 2020, CPAs were shocked out of their comfort zone. They had little time to think. They had to act quickly if they wanted to continue serving their valuable clients.

Thus, they made giant leaps forward. Don’t quit the giant leaps and go back to your normal baby-steps!

Joey Havens, CPA, CGMA has written an excellent article via The Journal of Accountancy titled, The Pandemic Pushed Us Forward. Let’s Keep Evolving. The title says it all! He contends that it is a defining moment for all CPAs.

Here are the topics he covered in the article:

  • It forced us to adopt flexibility in how, when, and where we work.
  • It led us to create new services to meet clients’ increased needs.
  • It caused us to rethink how we measure work and bill for it.
  • It accelerated our learning curve.

He elaborates on each of these topics. Be sure to click here to read the entire article.

  • Everybody accuses me of moving fast when I direct a picture. I don't move fast, but I just keep moving.
  • Clint Eastwood

Monday, March 29th, 2021

Pay Attention to Your CAS Services!

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky

Profession experts have been telling you that CAS services are lucrative for you and important to your small business clients. The following is from a Facebook post by Jim Metzler (who most of you know from his many years with the AICPA).

I feel it is important enough to use just as he posted. Click on the link in his post.

From Metzler:

If you don’t think CAS is a game-changer, just read this article. Non CPA competition in non-attest is real and these folks are really impressive. Can’t beat a valuation of over a billion dollars and Jeff Bezos as an investor. CPA continues to be a potential differentiator for us and as a profession, we need to better articulate, communicate and reinforce why the CPA brand is of greater value in this space. Value only exists in the minds of clients and it’s up to us and our professional associations to get the message out there.

CNBC.COMJeff Bezos-backed accounting start-up hits $1.2 billion valuation after new funding round

  • Procrastination is one of the most common and deadliest of diseases and its toll on success and happiness is heavy.
  • Wayne Gretzky

Wednesday, March 24th, 2021

Stay Afloat

“Sometimes getting smaller and faster can lead to opportunities and growth we would have missed by being too big and slow.” – Joey Havens, CPA

I always enjoy reading Joey Havens’ articles and posts. His recent article via the Journal of Accountancy, in my opinion, hits the nail on the head. It is titled, Don’t Let Dead Weight Sink Your Ship.

What is going on inside your firm that slows the firm down? What keeps you from being one of the fastest-growing firms? What causes you to lose talented people? What causes you to lose clients to your competitors?

I sometimes talk about partners in a boat. Some are rowing and some are throwing out anchors. A few partners are pulling a heavy wagon up a hill and there are a few who are constantly dragging their feet. These partners are so-called leaders who are not leading. Slowly your boat is sinking.

Then there are the clients who complain about your fees, always pay slowly after much effort is spent trying to collect, and clients who are rude and disrespectful to your team members. I bet you have clients that make you cringe when you see, on your mobile, that they are calling you. You probably do not answer their first call. Slowly, those clients are sinking your boat.

Do you have partners/managers who are not teaching, mentoring, coaching, and motivating? In fact, they are actually driving top talent away. Slowly, your boat is sinking.

Read Havens’ post!

  • Once you know the right thing, do you have the discipline to do the right thing and, equally important, to stop doing the wrong things?
  • Jim Collins

Monday, March 15th, 2021

Sharing Information

“If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it.” – Margaret Fuller

One of the ways I progressed in my career in public accounting was to network with others working in the public accounting profession (firm administrators, managing partners, marketing directors, HR directors, IT directors, etc.). We shared information.

Most of this experience came from networking in the Association of Accounting Administration, now called The CPA Firm Management Association (CPAFMA), and attending management conferences sponsored by state societies and the AICPA.

I also learned so much from the speakers at conferences. These people were usually CPA management consultants. I got to know them and they helped guide me in my early years of consulting. I soon became a speaker and management consultant myself thanks to so many who mentored me.

I became the first female member of the New Horizon Group, a group of experienced CPA management consultants. We met annually to share best practices, etc. Those early members were: August Aquila, Allan Boress, Steve Erickson, Chris Frederiksen, Allan Koltin, Bob Martin, Jeff Pawlow, Marc Rosenberg, Don Scholl, Steve Weinstein and Jim Metzler. I learned so much because we shared information.

That golden opportunity, of learning from others is available to you today if you take advantage of it.

Now, when I encourage people in management positions in CPA firms to attend meetings and conferences, the problem I encounter is the fact that so many people say they are too busy and some people think they already know it all. If you know it all, it is your responsibility to share (and no one ever knows it all).

If you get a chance to attend a CPAFMA Chapter event. Set a goal to attend other management conferences such as the AICPA ENGAGE conference. This year the CPAFMA annual management conference is in conjunction with ENGAGE.

Never stop sharing information and learning from others. After all these years, I am still learning (and sharing).

  • Sharing knowledge is the most fundamental act of friendship. Because it is a way you can give something without losing something.
  • Richard Stallman

Monday, March 8th, 2021

Another Long Tax Season

“The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.” – Albert Einstein

Here’s a press release from the AICPA from last week.

AICPA Calls for Postponement of Filing and Payment Deadline for the 2020 Tax Year

Washington, D.C. (March 4, 2021) – In a letter sent today to the Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) called for the extension of the filing and payment deadline for the 2020 tax year until June 15, 2021.

Last year, the IRS acknowledged the challenges created by the ongoing pandemic during the 2019 tax year by announcing a payment and filing deadline extension. Those challenges and more still exist in the system, and taxpayers are struggling to resolve issues related to 2019 tax returns due to the IRS inventory backlog.

The AICPA believes that more should be done for taxpayers during this filing season stating in the letter, “…in the current environment, it is simply not possible for many taxpayers and their tax advisers to meet their filing and payment obligations that are due on April 15.”

The letter also recognizes the difficulties a postponement of the filing and payment deadlines could create; however, COVID-19 and other circumstances necessitate action to ensure that the millions of affected taxpayers have sufficient time to meet their tax obligations.

“The effect of numerous legislative changes overloading tax busy season compels us to speak up now,” said AICPA Vice President of Taxation, Edward Karl, CPA, CGMA. “We understand that there are some challenges associated with extending the payment and filing deadlines. However, time is a critical factor. Taxpayers and tax professionals need this postponement, and they need to have certainty about the filing date now.”

  • The American people are not undertaxed, the government in Washington is overfed.
  • Ronald Reagan

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021

Interesting Development From the AICPA

Many of you know Tom Hood. Here’s a press release from the AICPA:

Tom Hood, CPA, CITP, CGMA to Join Association of International Certified Professional Accountants as Executive Vice President, Business Growth and Engagement

The Association also announced that it will acquire the Business Learning Institute, strengthening its commitment to continuing education and delivering value to businesses and CPA firms.

NEW YORK, February 1, 2021 – The Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (the Association) announced today that Tom Hood, CPA, CITP, CGMA, former executive director and CEO of the Maryland Association of CPAs (MACPA), has joined the organization as executive vice president, business growth and engagement. He will report to Barry Melancon, CPA, CGMA, the Association’s CEO.

In addition to Hood’s appointment, the Association has acquired the Business Learning Institute (BLI) from MACPA. The acquisition of BLI’s many learning programs will enhance the Association’s offerings to corporate employers in upskilling and reskilling their employees so they continue to meet ever-changing marketplace demands. Together, the Association and BLI will accelerate the introduction of new, innovative content for accounting and finance professionals globally. Founded in 1999 by MACPA, BLI is a highly respected source for human intelligence skill development and a strategic learning partner and talent management consultancy for businesses and CPA firms worldwide. Hood will continue to provide leadership in supporting BLI’s clients, products and services throughout BLI’s integration with the Association.

“Tom’s vision and mission to help finance and accounting professionals grow in a changing business environment is well aligned with the Association’s goals of powering trust, opportunity and prosperity for members, students, the profession and those they serve. He brings energy, insight, enthusiasm and a unique ability to facilitate connections,” Melancon said. “Tom will add value to our engagement with businesses and the accounting and finance professions, increasing our understanding of the challenges they face and how to best meet their needs.”

Melancon added, “We are proud of our reputation as a key source for accounting and finance professionals’ learning needs. BLI’s content complements and enriches our current learning tools, further deepens our global offerings and helps expand our value proposition. This development is an important step in the Association’s commitment to creating a strong and vibrant future for the profession and those it serves.”

Hood will use his extensive connections, influence, experience and passion for the accounting and finance profession to engage with businesses, their leaders and their global networks. Hood will convert those insights into actions that support the profession and work across the Association to grow its understanding of their challenges and opportunities.

“I am excited to join Barry and his team at the Association to continue making accounting and finance professionals around the world even more future ready and able to thrive in a global volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world. The BLI team is looking forward to coming together as part of the Association to leverage our combined strengths, reach and scale,” Hood said. Jackie Brown will succeed Hood as MACPA’s CEO. Brown, who has spent 40 years as part of the MACPA team and has served as its chief operating officer for the past 23 years, provides the MACPA with a much-needed sense of familiarity and stability as Hood departs.

Avonette Blanding, CPA, chair of MACPA’s Board of Directors, added, “Tom is also a great teacher, mentor and leader. I’m thrilled by his decision to join the Association and expand his reach within the profession.” (Watch this MACPA video and read this MACPA article for more information.)

Another focus of Hood’s role will be partnering with Andrew Harding, FCMA, CGMA, the Association’s chief executive of management accounting, to further professionalize management accounting and support professionals in obtaining their Chartered Global Management Credential (CGMA) credential in the Americas. This includes the digital-first Finance Leadership Program, an online learning program that teaches candidates the finance, business, people and leadership skills needed to succeed in finance teams of the future.

Hood is well known across the accounting profession and in 2020 was named the Second Most Influential Person in Accounting for the eighth year by Accounting Today. He has been a longtime thought leader and driver of change among state CPA societies, both as a volunteer chair and, since 1997, as CEO of MACPA. He received the AICPA Special Recognition Award for his contributions to the profession leading the CPA Vision Project in 2003. In addition to his CPA license, Hood has obtained

the CGMA credential and the AICPA Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP) certification. He is a graduate of Loyola College (B.A. in Accounting) and has a Master’s in Finance (Real Estate) from Johns Hopkins University.

  • Honesty and integrity are absolutely essential for success in life - all areas of life. The really good news is that anyone can develop both honesty and integrity.
  • Zig Ziglar

Wednesday, January 13th, 2021

News From the AICPA

“Action is the antidote to despair.” – Joan Baez

AICPA Encourages Firms to Aggressively Advance PPP Applications

SBA Expected to Reopen for All Lenders by Friday, Jan. 15

NEW YORK (Jan. 13, 2021) –The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) expects the federal government to open up the application process for all lenders participating in the latest round of the Paycheck Protection Program by Friday, and encourages CPA firms to advance the application process for small business clients seeking relief.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) began accepting  new applications on a limited basis this week through community financial institutions. But confusion about the timing for other lenders has led to anxiety among small businesses and their advisors. 

“We believe the full program needs to go live as soon as possible and we fully support the Treasury Department and SBA reopening the program for all lenders by Friday,” said AICPA President and CEO Barry Melancon, CPA, CGMA. “What we’ve been telling CPA firms is be prepared and get to work. All indications, based on input from the Treasury and SBA, is there will be enough funding to meet all of the ‘first draw’ and ‘second draw’ PPP applications, so firms can help alleviate concerns their clients may have.”

The AICPA has been advising firms to collect key information from their clients such as average monthly payroll amounts, quarterly revenue comparisons for second draw borrowers and other required documentation to speed the process. Compared to the initial launch of the program in April 2020, firms now have substantial experience in business relief, more guidance and better tools.

The AICPA, CPA.com and fintech leader Biz2Credit in September launched a financing platform for CPA firms, the CPA Business Funding Portal, to help practitioners as they assist small businesses through PPP loan forgiveness. The portal, which has been used by thousands of firms, has been updated to accept so-called PPP2 applications and over three thousand applications have already been prepopulated.

“Small businesses should expect more scrutiny in this round of PPP applications,” said Erik Asgeirsson, president and CEO of CPA.com. “The SBA is doing more vetting for potential fraud and in some instances is asking for more validation. It’s important that businesses and their advisors get it right, so that applications don’t get held up and pushed back in the queue. That’s why we think it’s vital that firms use the more robust set of tools that are available now.”

The CPA Business Funding Portal offers a free basic service, plus tiered subscription plans for firms that want a direct path to fund loans through an SBA-approved lender to ensure they receive agent fees.

“It is critical that business owners work closely with their trusted business advisors, especially their CPA, to ensure they qualify for the maximum loan amount and provide the right supporting documentation,” said Rohit Arora, CEO and Co-Founder of Biz2Credit. “Being prepared now is the best way for businesses to ensure they get the money they need.”

AICPA executives will discuss the latest PPP developments and their implications for CPAs and their small business clients at this week’s AICPA Town Hall at 3 p.m. ET on Thursday. For more information about the AICPA’s resources for firms on PPP, please visit aicpa.org/sba.  More details about the CPA Business Funding Portal can be found at cpa.com/business-funding.

  • Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.
  • Dale Carnegie