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


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  • Human Capital Management: The Importance of People Skills for CFOs

    Are people skills the most important skills for CFOs? Maybe not. Financial acumen is always going to be at the top of the list. But the need to be effective at human capital management means that CFOs must be on top of the pulse of their firm’s culture, and that means knowing what makes their people tick. In this CPA Conversations, we talk to Tiffany C. Wright, project director for Cogent Analytics and president of The Resourceful CEO, about what human capital management is, the importance of a harmonious relationship with human resources, and who new CFOs should talk to for an honest perspective on an organization’s culture.
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  • Getting Ready for the Negotiation Table during Mergers and Acquisitions

    The final asking price is a major consideration during any merger and acquisition discussion, but it isn’t the only thing that matters. In this CPA Conversations podcast, Ira S. Rosenbloom, chief operating executive for Optimum Strategies in Spring House, Pa., takes us behind the scenes of a negotiation, and addresses the current environment for mergers and acquisitions, who should be at the negotiating table when the deal goes down, and what it means to draw lines in the sand before talks begin.
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  • Encouraging Women in Accounting to Own Their Future

    Kimberly Ellison-Taylor was the first African-American chair of the American Institute of CPAs, and she overcame many obstacles to become a leader in the accounting industry. In this podcast she shares some of her personal story and how women in accounting can achieve greatness in their careers. Ellison-Taylor will speak at greater depth on this topic at PICPA’s 2018 Women Leadership Conference on June 28.
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  • The New Normal: Care with Convenience

    Microhospitals, urgent care facilities, and telehealth consultations are providing unique challenges to CPAs working in the health care industry. David Gregory, a principal and health care consulting practice leader with Baker Tilly in New York, has extensive experience working with these entities, and provides a brief overview of how CPAs can respond to these trends. Gregory will speak at greater length on this topic at PICPA’s 2018 Health Care Conference, June 13-14.
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  • Digital vs. Analog: Examining Two Generations’ Differing Styles of Work

    Are the work philosophies of two different generations really that different? Gen Xer Jim Caruso, chief financial officer with Simplura Health Group in Valley Stream, N.Y., and millennial Lauren Lear tackled that question in their feature in the upcoming summer 2018 Pennsylvania CPA Journal. Here, they go into even more detail, discussing the best ways to capture information, communicate with colleagues, run brainstorming sessions, and more.
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  • A CPA’s Take on Pending Supreme Court Ruling on Wayfair

    Matt Melinson, CPA, a partner of state and local tax services with Grant Thornton in Philadelphia, heard oral arguments live at the Supreme Court during South Dakota v. Wayfair – a case that could decide the fate of sales-tax-free online shopping. Melinson shares his insight of what took place on that day in April 2018, how he thinks the high court will rule, and what Pennsylvania businesses can do now to prepare. The decision will be discussed in detail at PICPA’s 2018 Conference on Pennsylvania Taxes in July.
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  • Accounting Automation: More Opportunity than Threat for CPAs

    With so much reporting in the media about the rise of robo-accounting, it is no surprise that CPAs can be concerned about possible effects on their careers. But, as professors Paul Brazina and Joe Ugras of La Salle University say in the upcoming summer 2018 Pennsylvania CPA Journal, accounting automation could be a great opportunity for CPAs. They will be able to enhance their standing within their organizations and focus on the parts of their jobs that they value the most.
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  • Sustainability Offers Opportunities for CPA Firms and Clients

    Sustainability is a major concern, not only in the world at large, but also in the accounting profession. For CPAs, it has opened ample opportunities. In his second appearance on CPA Conversations, Dr. Sean Stein Smith, CPA, assistant professor at Lehman College in Bronx, N.Y., joins us to discuss the qualities that make CPAs especially helpful to this movement. He also provides starting points for CPAs interested in a role in this burgeoning field and ways by which the movement can aid CPA firm clients.
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  • International Taxation 101 in 2018

    PICPA members have mentioned to me that international tax can be interesting, challenging, and exciting. They want to learn more about it. Patrick J. McCormick, a principal with Drucker & Scaccetti in Philadelphia, explains the main tax considerations for foreign businesses operating in the United States and vice versa.
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  • No More Half Measures: Be Bold When It Comes to Board Risk Leadership

    As Walter White found out on Breaking Bad, half measures can be bad for business. That’s why Michael F. Cade, CPA, CGMA, a strategy consultant and executive coach for MFCCoach LLC in Morrisville, Pa., encourages board members of both for-profits and not-for-profits to execute a clear, authoritative vision when it comes to identifying and leveraging risk. In this episode, Cade discusses with CPA Conversations the needlessly negative connotation of risk, the leadership qualities of a CFO, and, yes, a bit of classic TV.
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  • Tax Reform: Business Impacts Beyond Tax Rates

    The effect of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on corporate tax rates has been heavily covered. But what impact will it have on some of the more nuanced parts of business life, such as employee benefits and asset purchases? In connection to his article in the Federal Tax Reform Guide presented by the Pennsylvania CPA Journal, Aaron Risden, chief administrative officer for Vision Benefits of America in Pittsburgh, addresses these aspects and more.
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  • Practitioners: Don’t Be Overwhelmed by Federal Tax Reform

    Implementation of the new laws and regulations brought about by federal tax reform will be a major undertaking for the largest of firms. Imagine how much of an undertaking it is going to be for smaller firms and sole practitioners! In connection to his article in the Federal Tax Reform Guide presented by the Pennsylvania CPA Journal, Carl Peterson, CPA, CGMA, vice president of small firm interests at the AICPA, details the challenges practitioners will face, discusses ways small firms can manage client expectations, and estimates how long it will take for firms to have full clarity on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
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  • The CFO’s Role in Mastering Enterprise Performance Management

    Enterprise performance management: what is it, why is it so important for organizations, and what role can CFOs play in leveraging it for the benefit of their organizations. To get the answers to these questions, we spoke to Gary Cokins, founder and CEO of Analytics-Based Performance Management LLC in Cary, N.C.
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  • Auditors Need to Be Up to Speed on Local Politics

    The auditing profession has gotten used to the need to adjust due to rapidly changing regulations and standards. One factor, though, that may not immediately jump to mind as an issue to monitor is the impact of local politics. In a preview of her presentation at the May 31 PICPA Pennsylvania School District Conference, Pamela Baker, a partner with Barbacane Thornton & Company LLP in Wilmington, Del., joins us to explore why auditors must keep local politics in mind when performing their role.
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  • The State of the Not-for-Profit Industry in 2018

    Can nonprofits survive in the 21st Century? Laura Otten, PhD, executive director of the Nonprofit Center at La Salle University’s School of Business, discusses her thoughts of the nonprofit sector and what skills industry leaders – both CPAs and non-CPAs – will need in the future to survive and thrive. Otten will speak at greater length to CPAs on this topic at PICPA’s 2018 Not-for-Profit Conference on May 14-15.
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  • Anatomy of an IRS Audit for Nonprofits

    Typically, it’s not welcome news to find out the nonprofit you work with – or for – has been contacted by the IRS Exempt Organizations Division for a review of its returns. Steve Glueck, CPA, a partner with BBD LLP in Philadelphia, briefly explains what CPAs should do after receiving this notification and the possible outcome of an audit or compliance check. Glueck will speak in greater length on this topic at PICPA’s 2018 Not-for-Profit Conference, May 14-15.
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  • New A&A Standards for Employee Benefit Plan Auditors

    CPAs auditing employee benefit plans are dealing with a lot of standards, including SAS No. 132 and FASB ASU No. 2017-06. Additionally, the new tax law will affect CPAs working with these plans. JulieAnn Verrekia, CPA, and David Torrillo, CPA, of Torrillo & Associates LLC, provide an update on what auditors can expect. They will speak at greater length on this topic at PICPA’s The Changing Landscape of Employee Benefit Plans Conference on May 1, 2018.
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  • Analyzing Tax Reform Changes to the Pass-Through Income Deduction

    Among the provisions in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act are changes to the pass-through income deduction. And they are perhaps the most confusing. Barry Groebel, CPA, tax partner with Herbein + Company in Reading, explains the nuances and exceptions that further complicate pass-through income deductions for businesses.
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  • Protecting Elderly Clients from Fraud and Abuse

    Talking to an elderly client about their own incapacitation is one of the most difficult conversations a CPA or financial adviser can have. It could also be one of the most important, especially if you are looking to help the client avoid scams that could rob them of their funds. For details on this delicate conversation and why it is so vital, CPA Conversations spoke to Cyndy Hubler, practice lead, compliance education and training, for 1st Global in Dallas, Texas.
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  • Find the Right Client Fit with a Quality Contact Program

    James Mason, managing director of Mindshop, says the CPA firm that sits around waiting for prospective clients to give them a call off the street is going to struggle in today’s competitive marketplace. That’s where quality contact programs come in. These programs can help you get in touch with potential clients who are the right fit for your firm.
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