CPA Conversations about accounting news

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

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Episodes

  • Protect Employee Benefit Plan Information from Cybercriminals

    Social Security numbers. Medical data. Financial information. The volume of personal information kept inside employee benefit plans is huge, and that is why these plans make such ripe targets for cybercriminals. It falls to employee benefit plan sponsors to make sure the bad guys are kept out. In a preview of “Cybersecurity for Benefit Plan Sponsors and Auditors,” her column from the summer 2019 Pennsylvania CPA Journal, JulieAnn C. Verrekia, director of quality control for Torrillo & Associates LLP in Glen Mills, discusses techniques hackers use to get employee benefit plan information, resources for plan sponsors looking to strengthen their security, and why auditors of employee benefit plans have to stand ready to ward off would-be infiltrators.
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  • Fill in the “Missing Middle” for an Effective Business Succession Plan

    According to Paul Lally, lead partner of the business transition group for Wipfli LLP, the “missing middle” is the gap between the entrepreneurial vision that sparks a business’s formation and the long-term vision that ensures a company’s survival. In a preview of “Cross Over the Missing Middle to Secure Succession Plan,” his column in the summer 2019 Pennsylvania CPA Journal, Lally joins us to discuss the psychological reasons why business owners push off succession planning and why it would benefit them to think about it from the minute they open the doors.
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  • Unraveling the Mysteries Behind Cryptocurrency

    The term cryptocurrency might sound futuristic, but it is quickly emerging in the present as an opportunity for many in the public and investing community. It’s vital that CPAs and financial planners know what they are, why they are attractive to clients, and what the risks are. To go into detail on cryptocurrencies, we talked to Matthew May, COO and founder of full-service financial firm Acuity.
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  • The Benefits of Benchmarking for School Districts

    In a preview of his presentation at the May 30 PICPA Pennsylvania School District Conference, Dr. Timothy Shrom discusses the benefits of benchmarking for school district business officials, value-added strategies that exist to help school districts improve the process, and steps to take to ensure benchmarking efforts net useful results.
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  • Artificial Intelligence: Accounting Profession Must Prepare for Impact

    In a preview of the feature he coauthored with John Alarcon and Cory Ng in the upcoming digital-only special edition of the Pennsylvania CPA Journal, Accounting and Technology: PICPA’s Guide to an Evolving Profession, Troy Fine, manager, risk advisory services, for Schneider Downs & Co. Inc. in Pittsburgh, discusses artificial intelligence and machine learning. He shares how we use it in everyday life, the conveniences it can bring to the accounting workplace, and steps CPAs will have to take to remain relevant in an increasingly technological workplace.
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  • Not Just Data: Leverage Cloud Computing for Hiring and Retention

    Most have long been aware of the benefits cloud computing in the area of data storage. But are you familiar with the positive effect it can have on hiring and retention. To bring these aspects to light, close management software provider FloQast delivered Cloud Technology Advances the Accounting Profession: A Survey of Accounting and Finance Professionals. Mike Whitmire, in fact, discusses the report in the upcoming digital-only Pennsylvania CPA Journal special edition, Accounting and Technology: PICPA’s Guide to an Evolving Profession, which will be released April 25. In this podcast, Blake Oliver, director of product marketing for FloQast, goes deep into the HR benefits of cloud computing.
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  • Employers Look to Value-Based Purchasing Strategies for Health Care

    Employers are increasingly dissatisfied with their health care benefit expenses, and many are looking to value-based purchasing strategies to achieve a better bang for their buck. This has the potential to greatly disrupt the way health care is financed and delivered. To learn more, we talked to Neil Goldfarb, president and CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Business Coalition on Health, who will discuss the topic at length at the June 11-12 PICPA Health Care Conference.
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  • Cybersecurity: Beyond the Fundamentals

    CPAs working in not-for-profit and government accounting fields are increasingly getting more responsibility with regard to cybersecurity and the protection of financial data. This topic will be explored at greater length at PICPA’s 2019 Government & Not-for-Profit Conference on July 22-23, but Sassan Hejazi briefly explains some of the next-level thinking needed to prevent sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands. Hejazi is a director of technology solutions with Kreischer Miller in Horsham, Pa.
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  • For Leaders, Diversity Is Good but Inclusivity Is Better

    While the accounting profession is making strides in its attempts for greater diversity in the workplace, it’s not going to matter if accounting leaders do not work on the inclusivity part of the equation. Staff’s thoughts and opinions once they have settled into the office matter greatly when it comes to retention. In this episode of CPA Conversations, we talk to Mike Fetzer of consulting firm Culture Factors to find out the benefits of inclusive leadership and how individuals can best develop this important skill.
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  • Adding Value to Client Relationships in the EBP World

    Benjamin Hall, vice president and managing director of JKJ Retirement Services in Newtown, Pa., and Susan Diehl, QPA, CPC, ERPA, president of PenServ Plan Services Inc. in Horsham, Pa., discuss adding value to client relationships in the world of employee benefit plans. Both Hall and Diehl will be joined by Melissa Kurtzman of Littler Mendelson and Jill Gilbert, CPA, of RKL LLP to discuss this topic at greater length at PICPA’s 2019 Employee Benefit Plans Conference on May 21 in Malvern.
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  • CFO Involvement Is Key in an Organization’s Digital Transformation

    Cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, robotic process automation: everywhere you look, business processes are becoming more digitized. According to a recent report from RSM US LLP, CFOs need to take a larger role in driving the strategies of their organizations when it comes to technological progress. To discuss the report, we spoke with Bill Kracunas, a principal with RSM, about his takeaways from the responses.
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  • Retain Your Future Leaders by Keeping Them Engaged and Invested

    In today’s competitive CPA marketplace, you must make sure that your best and brightest CPAs remain invested and engaged. To explore ways to achieve this goal, we spoke to Jennifer Wilson, partner and cofounder of ConvergenceCoaching LLC, in a wide-ranging discussion on some of the most pressing topics in the accounting workplace.
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  • Corporate Tax Planning with Solar Equity

    According to Brian Jones, CEO of Windmill Capital Management in Menlo Park, Calif., solar tax equity has been increasing in popularity since 2008. Solar tax equity is an ownership position in a solar project that receives most of the tax benefits from the project. Jones discusses the tax planning opportunities surrounding this concept and what they mean for corporate accountants.
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  • Calculating Future Damages for the Undocumented Plaintiff

    Death from unintentional injury ranks as the third leading cause of death in the United States. Forensic CPAs are frequently tasked with calculating the future earnings of these individuals for the purpose of litigation. This task is complicated when the person in question is an undocumented immigrant. In this episode of CPA Conversations, Marion Wickersham of Forensic Resolutions Inc. discusses this topic, which is derived from the Forensic Accounting column in the spring 2019 Pennsylvania CPA Journal.
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  • Outsourcing Tax Work During Busy Season

    Outsourcing accounting functions is not a new concept for businesses, but it’s also a legitimate option for understaffed CPA firms during tax season. Randy Kreider, CPA, president and founder of InHome Accountants, explains the types of work that can be outsourced, client disclosure requirements, and how outsourcers can be managed.
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  • Stopping Elder Financial Fraud Means Knowing What to Look For

    As the ages of baby-boomers in the United States rise, the rate of elder financial fraud is expected to grow as well. It’s the job of CPAs to know the signs of elder financial fraud and do everything within their power to ensure that it does not happen to their clients. Such is the premise of “Elder Financial Abuse Is a Growing Problem: CPAs Can Help Prevent It,” a feature from the spring 2019 Pennsylvania CPA Journal. We discuss the article with authors Howard Silverstone and Irina Balashova of Forensic Resolutions Inc.
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  • Take Cybersecurity Seriously: Comprehensive Training for All Employees

    With phishing still the preferred mode of attack for most hackers, it’s well past time to move beyond the simple email alert as the main way of telling employees not to click on suspicious emails. In this episode of CPA Conversations, Eldon Sprickerhoff, founder and chief innovation officer for eSentire, says firms and companies must consider detailed cybersecurity training for all employees.
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  • Managing Time Off in a Deadline-Driven Environment

    The accounting profession has long been identified with long hours and challenging busy seasons. However, many people who are entering the profession (as well as a number of those who have been a part of it for years) expect a certain amount of balance between their professional and personal lives. In this podcast, we talk to Mike De Stefano, vice president of finance for Lucknow-Highspire Terminals LLC in Middletown, Pa., about the revitalizing nature of time off and how managers can keep their staffs engaged when hours away from the office may not be feasible.
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  • Early Adopters Confront the Challenges of Revenue Recognition

    Implementation of new revenue recognition standards was always going to be a challenge, no matter the timing. Hopefully, those companies who come later can learn a little bit from those brave souls who are showing the way: the early adopters. Rob Peters, senior director of Intelligize, discusses the findings of his company’s report on revenue recognition early adoption trends, Impact of Revenue Recognition Standards on Private Companies.
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  • From England to the States and Back Again: A Prestigious Honor for a Pennsylvania CPA

    Members of the PICPA hold many different credentials and certifications that they proudly display with their names, but we’re confident that we have never seen MBE before. That’s because it stands for Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, and it’s awarded by Queen Elizabeth II. This unique honor was recently presented to PICPA member Howard Silverstone, director and cofounder of Forensic Resolutions Inc., and he joins us to discuss why he received it, what it’s like to meet Prince William, and how his family reacted when they got the news.
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