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


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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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  • New SAS Changes Impact Auditing in Multiple Areas

    In a preview of her Accounting & Assurance and Employee Benefit Plans columns in the spring 2021 Pennsylvania CPA Journal, Dr. Nancy Stempin, director of technical accounting at Brown Schultz Sheridan & Fritz in Camp Hill, Pa., and an adjunct professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University, joins us to discuss changes to SAS Nos. 134, 136, 137, and 139, and the effect they will have on auditors going forward.
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  • Dissecting the Role of the Organizational Adviser

    In a preview of his presentation at the March 18-19 PICPA CFOs and Controllers Conference, “CFO Whisperer” David Axson, a CFO strategist and adviser, joins us to discuss the role of the organizational advisor. We also touch on how COVID-19 has shaped the function as well as the future for finance professionals.
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  • Positive Bank Relationships Key to Business Success

    In a preview of his Business & Industry column in the spring 2021 Pennsylvania CPA Journal, Barry M. Pelagatti, CPA, a partner in the audit services group of RKL LLP in Exton, Pa., discusses the importance of cultivating stronger relationships with your organization’s lenders, especially during times of economic upheaval.
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  • A 1099-R Refresh in the Run-Up to Tax Season 2021

    With tax season coming up quickly, it is never too early for tax preparers to start refamiliarizing themselves with many common forms. In this podcast, we take a detailed look at Form 1099-R, which pertains to distributions from pensions, annuities, retirement plans, and more. Walking us through the specifics are Gail Hauseman, owner of Berkshire CPAs LLC, and Rodger Krause, owner of Rodger Krause CPA, both of whom are based in Wyomissing, Pa. They cover differences between state and federal versions of the form, what constitutes an eligible retirement plan, and more.
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  • Despite Pandemic Challenges, Life Sciences Industry Growing in Pa. and Beyond

    Barb Carlin, managing director, mid-Atlantic region, for Danforth Advisors in Waltham, Mass., will be participating in PICPA’s Life Sciences and Pharmaceutical Conference on Feb. 9, 2020. To preview the panel discussion she will be joining, Carlin met with us to discuss the state of the life sciences industry in Pennsylvania and along the eastern seaboard.
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  • New Pa. Legislature Means Fresh Priorities for Government – and Government Relations

    With the inauguration of President Joe Biden now in our rearview mirror, it is time to focus on legislative matters of a more local variety, namely those arising in the Pennsylvania legislature. Peter N. Calcara, PICPA vice president of government relations, joins us to discuss the priorities of both the legislature and the PICPA, continued COVID impacts, budgetary concerns, and more.
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  • Major Developments for Income and Estate Taxes

    As a follow-up to her presentation at the 2020 PICPA Tax Con, Rachel Kieser, shareholder with Drucker & Scaccetti in Philadelphia, provides an update on individual federal income and estate tax issues for the upcoming year, including the impact President Joe Biden’s tax plans will have on estate taxes, how the CARES Act will affect 2020 tax filings, COVID-19’s effect on gift tax planning, and more.
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  • The Coronavirus Effect on Lease Concessions

    The continuing COVID-19 crisis has forced employees nationwide to work from home in large numbers. This in turn has spurred businesses to think about their leases, in particular whether they should apply for lease concessions. To explore this question, we sat down with Ane Ohm, cofounder and CEO of LeaseCrunch, to discuss the difference between lease concessions and lease modifications, current lease concession guidance and thresholds, and more.
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  • Biden Administration Could Mean Whole New World for Federal Taxation

    The transition from Donald Trump’s presidential administration to that of Joe Biden’s has been, to put it lightly, rocky. With a new era in presidential leadership set to be ushered in, does this mean a whole new era in federal taxation will come with it? To answer this question, we met with Bruce A. Hyde, CPA, partner and wealth adviser for Round Table Wealth Management in New York City.
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  • The Evolution of Blockchain: Where It’s at and Where It’s Heading

    In this episode of CPA Conversations, Dr. Sean Stein Smith, assistant professor at the City University of New York – Lehman College, joins us to talk about some of the most pressing aspects in the area of blockchain, such as the status of its adoption and implementation, the importance of internal controls to its sustainability, and its role in shaping organizations’ succession plans.
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  • Financial Planners: Make Transfer Tax Exemptions an Option for Your Clients

    Transfer tax exemptions were one of the many aspects of the tax world that were affected by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The legislation affected options around gifting, rules for individuals vs. couples, and so much more. To find out the status of these exemptions, as well as whether the results of the presidential election may affect them even more, we spoke with J. Victor Conrad, founder of PINNACLE Financial Strategies LLC in Wexford, Pa.
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  • Paycheck Protection Program Attracting Fraudsters

    When disaster strikes, unfortunately criminals view it as open season for committing of financial fraud. The coronavirus pandemic certainly qualifies as a disaster, and fraudsters have been quick to seize upon the opportunity presented by the Paycheck Protection Program, a piece of legislation meant to help small businesses that have been waylaid by the impact of COVID-19. In today’s podcast, Sonia Desai, managing director of Weaver in Austin, Texas, discusses what makes the PPP susceptible to fraud, popular ways by which fraudsters are looking to perpetrate their schemes, and the possible impact on legitimate borrowers.
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