• CPAs Are Essential

    Remember when everyone thought Y2K was going to be the end of the world as we knew it, with computer systems and electronic data crashing down around us at the turn of the new century? Some of our members were just children when the world grappled with those questions of digital catastrophe, but many of us remember it well. Experts isolated the problem, diligently worked to fix it, and widespread catastrophe did not happen. We were able to move forward, and have progressed a long way over the ensuing 20 years. Much has changed over the years, but here we are again on the point of a crisis.
  • Clients and Stakeholders Demand Cybersecurity

    CPA firms are stewards of their customers’ data. As such, we must implement a cybersecurity program to protect that data. Internal and external stakeholders want assurances, and we need to seriously consider third-party attestations to substantiate and demonstrate the effectiveness of our security programs. Practices cannot afford to be slow in implementing their own internal security programs and proving what they have in place.
  • Your Curriculum Can Encourage Ethical Decision-Making

    Accounting and ethics should go hand in hand. The CPA profession is built on public trust. Regrettably, the last several decades have been marked with some significant financial scandals, sometimes involving those in our profession. Due to the nature of the work performed by CPAs, ethical dilemmas can be common. Regardless of whether you work in public accounting or in industry, circumstances are bound to arise that require CPAs to manage situations with an ethical component.
  • Number Crunching and Neuroscience

    If you own an older car but recently needed to rent one, the first thing you might notice when you sit in the driver’s seat is how much that shiny, new dashboard resembles NASA’s mission control. Despite all the car’s obvious capabilities, you’re determined to use only the essentials so as not to do anything you can’t undo. The same impulse affects our careers. Sometimes we stick to the basics so we don’t break anything we can’t fix.
  • How the SECURE Act Affects Retirement Plans

    The SECURE Act of 2019 expands opportunities to increase retirement savings and improves portability from one plan to another. The changes are effective as of Dec. 20, 2019, unless otherwise specified.
  • Client Records: Your Responsibilities with Hand-Over Requests

    When a client decides to part ways with you and requests the return of his or her records, do you know your obligations to comply with this request? Don’t worry if you don’t. There is guidance readily available.
  • Steps for Your Clients to Survive Crisis and Recovery

    The coronavirus pandemic abruptly shifted the CPA practitioner’s focus from business planning for client growth to simply planning to keep their clients’ heads above water. Standard business operations and commerce were frozen by the efforts to contain the spread of the deadly COVID-19. The time frame associated with the disruption was never clear, and various governmental assistance programs were instituted to provide some economic relief. Despite the efforts, business owners have been concerned that the relief wouldn’t be sufficient to ride out this unprecedented storm.
  • Reconsidering Required Minimum Distributions

    The rules for required minimum distributions (RMDs) have been changing, first with the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of late 2019 and most recently with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This turbulence certainly adds difficulty to planning, but RMDs from retirement accounts always have had their own set of convoluted rules.
  • Federal Tax Adjustments in the Wake of COVID-19

    To combat the COVID-19 crisis, Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. These efforts were designed to offer relief to business owners, but, as we know from past actions, many times a change to one provision of the tax code directly or indirectly affects another provision.
  • Financial Reporting and the COVID-19 Pandemic

    In the world of generally accepted accounting principles, the term “triggering event” had been a subtle classification, or at least one that was difficult to clearly identify. Henceforth, there will be few events more worthy of the mantle “triggering event” than COVID-19. Beyond the countless scary and burdening consequences of a pandemic, there are most definitely significant issues to financial reporting – perhaps even going concern questions.
  • PICPA Is Your Career Support System During Unprecedented Times

    We hope you enjoyed PICPA’s Guide to CPA Careers in a Changing Business Landscape. Not only has it provided useful career guidance, but we hope that it also has served as a diversion from the incredible stresses of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. As I wrote this, I wondered if talking about the coronavirus would be ill-fitting for a magazine about career development. The more I thought about it, I realized that it fit perfectly. As you go through your career, you are sure to face numerous challenges, be they a health crisis, a financial collapse, or a national accounting scandal. As you tackle these crises, the PICPA will be here to help you navigate them.
  • Strengthen Your Communication Skills for Ongoing Success

    Before the outbreak of the coronavirus made such gatherings impossible to conduct, students at my son’s school were asked at an assembly to raise their hands to indicate if they would rather talk for two hours or listen for two hours. The group was fairly evenly divided, and it struck me that the foundation of great communication existed in that room. Speaking and listening sound like simple tasks that anyone can do. However, mastering the art of communication is far from easy.
  • In an M&A Deal, Buyers Often Have a Succession Plan Too

    There is one part of the M&A equation that is important to note: succession is not unique to one side of the table. Buyers, too, have succession issues that impact their approach to M&A. Here are four general succession concerns that often guide buyer-side decisions.
  • Ethics Reminders for New CPAs

    What are ethics? Dictionaries say ethics are a system of beliefs that control behavior, particularly a system based on morals. The AICPA has a code of professional conduct, and it states that members are obligated to act in a way that will serve the public interest, honor the public trust, and demonstrate a commitment to professionalism. As CPAs, this is our system of beliefs.
  • New Managers: Cultivate These Core Leadership Skills

    You finally earned a promotion to manager. But after the congratulations from colleagues and new business cards, it’s up to you to maximize this new role and grow into an impactful leader and respected colleague.
  • A Public Accounting Return after Industry

    I left public accounting several years ago for a position in industry. That’s not unusual. What may be unique, however, is moving back to the public side.
  • Preparing for a Successful Transition from Public Accounting

    Public accounting can be a rewarding, albeit challenging, road. It is natural that some will eventually weigh the difficult decision to leave for some other professional path. If you are considering leaving public accounting, there is a way to approach this transition that can yield benefits far beyond the job skills gained along the way.
  • Navigating a Life in Public Accounting

    A life in public accounting offers so many professional paths to follow and so many brilliant resources to tap into. However, when you are in the thick of it, expectations can be difficult to juggle and public accounting becomes difficult to navigate.
  • Millennials, Diversity, and the Accounting Profession

    Today’s business environment is characterized by globalization, technological advances, and a workforce that is aging while simultaneously becoming increasingly diverse among its new entrants. The accounting profession is subject to these same forces. With a looming talent shortage as the baby boomer generation continues to retire in large numbers, attracting and retaining professionals capable of operating in a complex business environment should be a top priority for all CPAs in leadership positions, whether in public accounting or in industry.
  • Embrace the Evolving Role of the Tax Professional

    The tax profession faces many challenges in the current regulatory, compliance, and technology environments. Simultaneously, there are increasing internal firm pressures on tax professionals to operate more efficiently and effectively and to contribute more to bottom-line growth. All these elements are changing the roles of tax professionals, whether they are seasoned or in the beginning phases of their careers.
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