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The CPA Conversations podcast series focuses on accounting-related news and hot topics.


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  • The Growing Importance of Data Analytics to CPAs

    In this episode, we go inside the world of CPA data analytics with Jack Castonguay, assistant professor and executive director of assurance and learning and accreditation at Hofstra University and vice president of strategic content development at KnowFully Learning Group. Castonguay shares current uses of data analytics in accounting, key skills CPA data analysts should possess, and ways to showcase these skills within your firm.
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  • Approach Increasing Your Rates Without Trepidation

    It is never easy to talk to clients about raising your rates, even for those CPAs who spend every day going above and beyond to provide the best in customer service. However, it is a conversation that CPAs should approach without fear, says Loren Fogelman, price and profit coach for Business Success Solution. She discusses the reasons why CPAs fear raising their rates, how they can become more confident in having these discussions, and specific steps firms should take when upping fees.
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  • Auditing from Afar: Considerations for Employee Benefit Plans

    Among the many aspects of accounting that have been thrown upside down by the coronavirus is the employee benefit plan (EBP) audit, now largely being conducted remotely. Nancy Cox, partner at The Bonadio Group, joins us to discuss the new normal for EBP audits, including a heightened focus on data security, the impact of pandemic-related legislation, updated audit testing procedures, and more.
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  • Managing Change in a Constantly Evolving Profession

    Many factors contribute to the constant change in the accounting profession: technological innovation, evolving regulations and standards, and, yes, our current global pandemic. It is especially important for CPA firms to be prepared for change and be ready to manage it when the need for evolution comes. To discuss how best to handle change, we reached out to “The Radical CPA” Jody Padar, vice president of strategy at Botkeeper.
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  • Accommodations Ensure Equal CPA Exam Playing Field

    In a preview of her Careers & Lifestyles column from the summer 2021 Pennsylvania CPA Journal, Elisabeth Felten, CPA, assistant professor of business at DeSales University in Center Valley, joins us to discuss testing accommodations available to those with disabilities seeking to pass the CPA Exam. Among the aspects covered are eligibility guidelines, frequently requested accommodations, and necessary documentation.
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  • Market Savvy, Collaboration Rank as Top Qualities for CPA Firm HR

    Ira Rosenbloom, chief executive officer of Optimum Strategies in Spring House, Pa., joins us to close our three-part series on the top expectations for specific personnel units of CPA firms. In this final episode Rosenbloom addresses the qualities best possessed by human resources departments. He discusses the need for leaders here to be motivational, creative, and more.
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  • Managing an Effective Whistleblower Investigation

    In this podcast, Steven G. Blum, CPA, CFE, principal with Control Risks Group in Washington, D.C., and a member of the Pennsylvania CPA Journal Editorial Board, previews his feature from the summer 2021 Pennsylvania CPA Journal. Blum offers tips for helping companies manage thorough whistleblower investigations, including having an established process in place and effectively responding to allegations.
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  • The Key Traits of CPA Firm Marketing Professionals

    In the second of a three-part series on the expectations CPA firms should have for targeted personnel within their operations, Ira Rosenbloom, chief executive officer for Optimum Strategies in Spring House, Pa., explores the function of the CPA firm marketing professional. Rosenbloom details their need to be data and research savvy, persistent, and results-driven.
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  • New GASB Proposals and Their Effect on Accrual Accounting

    Bill Bergman, director of research for Truth in Accounting, joins us to discuss recent proposals by the Government Accounting Standards Board and their effect on accrual accounting. He explores the status of GASB Projects 3-20 and 3-25, whether the new proposals change the definition of accrual accounting, and how they relate to revenue recognition.
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  • Examining the Role of the CPA Firm Operations Manager

    In the first of a three-part series on the expectations CPA firms should have for targeted personnel within their operations, Ira Rosenbloom, chief executive officer for Optimum Strategies in Spring House, Pa., discusses the role of the CPA firm operations manager. Rosenbloom explains how an individual in this position must be analytical, proprietary, and accountable.
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  • Going “Inside the Buyer’s Brain”: What Clients Want from CPA Firms

    For a CPA firm to thrive, it is a good idea to know what your would-be clients want from their trusted adviser. Hinge Research Institute recently conducted a study titled “Inside the Buyer’s Brain,” a comprehensive look at the buyer-seller relationship. Lee Frederiksen, managing partner of Hinge in Reston, Va., joins us to examine what the findings say about client service in the accounting landscape.
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  • Make Onboarding Work During Remote Employment

    In a follow-up to their presentation at PICPA’s Technology for Public Accounting Conference, James Ruffin, manager, IS assurance and advisory services, at RKL, and Stephane Smith, human capital management consulting practice leader at RKL, discuss best practices for remote onboarding. The two highlight setting expectations for new employees and keeping them engaged once they settle in.
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  • Help Staff Conquer CPA Exam Fears with Coaching

    Passing the CPA Exam is an arduous process, but one with immeasurable rewards for those who achieve their goal. Organizations with staff members who attain the CPA designation also experience extensive benefits and return on investment. Therefore, it behooves organizations to help would-be CPAs on their payroll to pass the test with flying colors. Enter, CPA coaching. Erin Daiber, CEO of Well Balanced Accountants in the San Diego area, joins us to explore CPA coaching and why it is more beneficial than traditional mentoring when it comes to the CPA Exam.
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  • PICPA-Supported PPP Loan Forgiveness Provision Becomes Act 1 of 2021

    You know the issue you are advocating for is urgent when it ends up being the first item on a new legislature’s agenda. That’s the position the PICPA government relations team found itself in when the Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness provision it supported ended up becoming Act 1 of 2021 on Feb. 5. Peter Calcara, PICPA vice president of government relations, walks us through the origin story of this important, PICPA-member-driven legislative victory.
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  • Strategize Your Way to a Burnout-Free Tax Season

    At the height of a busy tax season, it is understandable should a CPA experience feelings of burnout. Combine that pressure with a pandemic that has surpassed a full year, and it would be surprising if one did not go through some internal turmoil. To discuss ways for CPAs to prevent getting run down by their many responsibilities, we reached out to Loren Fogelman, price and profit coach at Business Success Solutions. For more information, feel free to check out Loren’s time management tips for busy firms.
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  • PPP and Employee Retention Credit Changes Upset Busy Season Protocol

    Changes are coming fast and furious amid another hectic tax season. In this episode of CPA Conversations, we focus on two alterations that CPAs need to keep an eye on: the PPP loan calculation methodology and its effect on Schedule C taxpayers and the recently released IRS guidance on the employer retention credit. We discuss these matters with two representatives of Louis Plung & Company LLP in Pittsburgh: principal Kevin Wilkes, JD, and senior manager Tony Montanaro, CPA, ABV, CFE.
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  • Tax World Faces Shake-Up Via the American Rescue Plan Act

    The American Rescue Plan Act was signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11, and it comes with a series of provisions that will impact the tax landscape in a major way. In addition to its COVID and stimulus provisions, the act changes credits in the areas of child and dependent care, earned income tax, and employee retention. To give us an overview of the tax changes contained in this landmark legislation, we are joined by Julio Gonzalez, CEO of Engineered Tax Services and an official member of the Forbes Finance Council.
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  • Tax Season, Pandemic Highlight CPA Mental Health Concerns

    Handling the stress of busy season is a chore for CPAs under the best of conditions. Amid a pandemic that has resulted in over a year of working from home, the stress can be overwhelming. Small-firm CPAs (and accounting personnel of all stripes) must make sure to monitor their mental well-being at this time. We spoke with Carl Peterson, vice president, small firm interests, public accounting, for the AICPA on this vital topic, touching on resources for employees, what it means to stop focusing on time, and the importance of firm leaders serving as role models.
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  • Benefits of Value Pricing Brought into Focus by Pandemic Experience

    The merits of value pricing compared with the traditional billable hour have been debated within the accounting industry for many years. But according to today’s guest, Lee Frederiksen, managing partner of Hinge in Reston, Va., the coronavirus has increased the attractiveness of charging on value rather than time.
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  • New Book Explores Artificial Intelligence’s Impact on the Accounting Profession

    In this podcast we are joined by Cory Ng, associate professor of instruction at Temple University in Philadelphia, and John Alarcon, founder and principal of BEARN, a management consulting firm in Philadelphia, to discuss their book, Artificial Intelligence in Accounting: Practical Applications. The authors, who are also Pennsylvania CPA Journal Editorial Board members, look at artificial intelligence’s current usefulness within the profession, the importance of robotic process automation, and the challenges and considerations CPAs will have to face when adopting this technology into their processes.
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