CPA Conversations about accounting news

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

  • What You Need to Know about Pennsylvania’s Tax Amnesty Program

    Pennsylvania’s 2017 tax amnesty program is here, but only for a limited time. John Kaschak, CPA, deputy secretary for taxation at the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, stops by to explain the program’s timeframe and eligibility, as well as what it means for CPAs and their clients.
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  • Strategies for Passing the CPA Exam and Filling the Pipeline

    In a discussion related to their Education column for the digital-only bonus edition of the Pennsylvania CPA Journal, Duquesne University assistant professors Robert J. Kollar, CPA, and Valerie Trott Williams, CPA, CFE, CFF, sat with CPA Conversations to explore the pilot program they established in conjunction with Surgent CPA Review to integrate CPA Exam material into the college classroom.
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  • How the Wounded Warrior Project’s Story Affects CPAs

    Both the CEO and CFO of the Wounded Warrior Project were abruptly fired in 2016 after news reports surfaced alleging the charity had misused funds. Doug White, former director of the master’s program in nonprofit management at Columbia University, shares some of what he discovered after investigating these allegations and the fallout, and discusses what it all means for CPAs working in the nonprofit sector.
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  • Boost Your Firm with Business Advisory Services

    With so much competition in the accounting field, the need to open new revenue streams is paramount. One area that is emerging as a possibility for exploration is supplying business advisory services. On this episode of CPA Conversations, we talk to Richard Stanger, chief executive officer of StangerCarlson in New York City, about this growing area of opportunity in the accounting world.
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  • Replicating the Benefits of Data Analytics in Excel

    While data analytics techniques could benefit all accounting practitioners, many of these businesses can be either intimidated by the prospects of a new way of doing things or limited by their resources. In his return to CPA Conversations, Tommy Stephens, a shareholder with K2 Enterprises, tells us how many of the benefits of data analytics can be harnessed through mastery of Microsoft Excel.
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  • Fake News and Its Effect on Financial Literacy

    We all know that "fake news" has become a buzzword in the global and national political landscapes, but is it possible that the concept could affect financial information as well as people's understanding of basic economic principles? To answer this question, CPA Conversations spoke with Dr. Sean Stein Smith, CPA, CMA, CGMA, an assistant professor of professional practice at Rutgers University in Camden, N.J.
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  • Social Security Retirement Planning in a Post File-and-Suspend World

    Recent legislation has eliminated, or greatly curtailed, who can use the file-and-suspend Social Security benefit claiming strategy, and who can file a restricted application for spousal benefits. In this episode of CPA Conversations, Laurie Siebert, CPA, explains what members should know about these changes to claiming Social Security benefits and how they can better advise clients in retirement planning.
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  • Survival Guide for First-Year Accountants

    Many college seniors have accepted their first accounting job with a firm, but they won’t begin working full-time until summer or fall of 2017. So what should they do now to prepare for the first step of their accounting career journey? Lisa Bilich, CPA, a tax senior with E&Y in Pittsburgh, provides her wisdom for rookie accountants looking to start on the right foot.
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  • When Civil Tax Cases Become Criminal

    Civil tax failures that elevate to criminal tax exposure is a scary thought for CPA practitioners. Patrick J. McCormick, of Kulzer & DiPadova, a law firm in Haddonfield, N.J., discusses the ways this can happen, common threads of tax crimes, and tips for CPAs to protect their clients from running afoul of tax laws.
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  • Avoiding the Common Pitfalls of Information Systems Audits

    In the last two issues of the Pennsylvania CPA Journal, Brian A. Vazzana, CPA, CITP, CISA, of BDO LLP USA, has written informative columns on the obstacles faced by information systems auditors. In this episode of CPA Conversations, he breaks down the details into one intriguing podcast.
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  • What the Shell Cracker Plant Means for CPAs

    Construction is expected to begin this year on a Shell petrochemical cracker plant in Beaver County, Pa. Tod Arbutina, CPA, managing shareholder of Cottrill Arbutina & Associates in Pittsburgh, and a member of PICPA’s Natural Resources Committee, stops by CPA Conversations to discuss what this plant could mean for the Pennsylvania economy and for local CPAs.
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  • What’s New for Practitioners This Tax Filing Season

    Tax season is kicking into gear for the tax preparers in our audience, and change is constant in this world. Fortunately, Karen Facer-Mee, CPA, of Facer, Mee & Associates in Warminster, made time for CPA Conversations to provide highlights of what’s new for practitioners at the Pennsylvania and federal levels.
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  • Tips to Protect Client Data This Tax Season

    Tax season is here, which means CPA tax preparers are busy. Unfortunately, so are cyber thieves. Millions of records containing Social Security numbers are breached each year, and even if you have a solid security plan in place, it’s critical to always be vigilant. Rose Lamaestra, CPA, of RLB Accountants in Allentown, Pa., discusses how to spot common attacks this tax season and how to protect sensitive client data.
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  • Overcoming Obstacles for Women in Accounting

    For the accounting profession to be successful, women need to be represented not only as part of the workforce, but also in leadership positions. While many factors stand in the way of this success, Lisa Myers, 2016-2017 PICPA president and our guest for this episode of CPA Conversations, believes they can be overcome. She discusses what firms must do to make sure they are attracting the best talent and offers female CPAs tips for thriving in the accounting world.
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  • Prospects for Tax Reform Under the Trump Administration

    Most CPAs would agree that some degree of tax reform is warranted. However, the question now is with a Republican-controlled presidency and Congress, how likely is it that we will see significant tax reform soon. And, if we get it, what will it look like? On the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration, CPA Conversations sat down with PICPA member Bob Duquette to discuss this significant issue for the nation’s future.
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  • Keeping Top Talent in Public Accounting

    Today’s newest workforce entries are staying in their positions for less time than past generations, and they have different expectations regarding work-life balance. If public accounting firms are going to keep their most talented new employees, they are going to have to adjust to their employees’ needs. In this episode of CPA Conversations we discuss this conundrum with Alyzabeth Smith, senior accountant with Wipfli LLP in Media, Pa.
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  • Bolster Your Firm’s Talent Recruitment Efforts

    Talent recruitment is one of the biggest challenges currently faced by accounting firms. For this reason, firms have taken to offering flex schedules, CPE reimbursement, and other benefits (even the occasional ping-pong table). But what happens when these offerings start to become run-of-the-mill to job seekers? Chris Baudler, partner and lead consultant with The Robby Group, suggests employer branding in this episode of CPA Conversations.
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  • Mentoring’s Effect on Your Professional Success

    David Maturo, director of business development for Grant Thornton LLP in Philadelphia, discusses the role of mentoring in a CPA’s career development. He explains how to best develop a mentor relationship, what benefits can be derived by both the mentor and the mentee, and whether there’s a “wrong” way to go about being a mentor.
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  • The Great Big World of CPA Technology

    CPAs are trained to keep an eye on the changes taking place in the areas of standards and regulations. But what about the constantly changing world of CPA technology? Taking an eye off of that particular ball can leave a CPA firm paying a steep price. To help our member CPAs keep up with the developments in CPA technology, CPA Conversations recently sat down with Tommy Stephens of K2 Enterprises.
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  • Managing the Fears of Practice Transition

    When you are a firm owner who is thinking about making a practice transition (or even a buyer), it is natural that you will feel some trepidation about the changes you are about to undergo. In this episode of CPA Conversations, Ira Rosenbloom, chief operating executive of Optimum Strategies LLC, discusses his winter 2017 Pennsylvania CPA Journal column on the fears people face when going through a firm sale or merger.
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