CPA Conversations about accounting news

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

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  • Blockchain Set to Dramatically Change Accounting and Auditing

    Blockchain may seem like a futuristic concept, but it is already making a major dent in the way CPAs and auditors perform their jobs. The technology is one that CPAs would be wise to catch up on as soon as possible. To get our members started along this path, CPA Conversations sat down with Amanda Wilkie, chief information officer for WithumSmith+Brown, for an enlightening discussion.
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  • Section 754 Election Ins and Outs

    Most mergers and acquisitions are going to have a high level of complication, but the issues can multiply when just one partner in a group decides to sell. That is when Section 754 elections may help. On this episode of CPA Conversations, Bill Ruffner, director of taxation in Global Tax Management Inc.’s Pittsburgh office, walks us through circumstances when Section 754 elections come into play and the challenges and opportunities they present for buyers and sellers.
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  • Budgeting: What Is It Really?

    Most of us have a general understanding of the concept of budgeting. But is budgeting different for CPAs who provide personal financial planning services to clients? It could be, and Marsha Rubin, CPA, CFP, who is a financial adviser with Wharton Investment Consultants, explains her process and how it could be beneficial for CPAs working in this space.
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  • CPA Firms Thrive when Departments Collaborate Effectively

    CPA firms work best when their different departments communicate well with each other, but this is not something that can happen with a snap. Different personalities must find common ground, and people who may have been used to control have to come together on a group vision. To discuss how leaders of different departments can help their groups achieve this goal, CPA Conversations talked to Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half.
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  • Are You Compliant with the Fiduciary Rule?

    The U.S. Department of Labor released important changes to the fiduciary standard in 2016, and many financial professionals have already implemented these regulations into their practices. But what exactly are these changes, and when is compliance required? Phillip Long, JD, vice president of employee benefits legal services of BB&T Retirement and Institutional Services, addresses these issues and much more in this preview of his upcoming PICPA webinar, “Get Compliant with the Fiduciary Rule,” on Oct. 26, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
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  • Content Marketing, Effective Websites Bring Value for CPA Firms

    With so much competition in the CPA marketplace, firms can’t afford to allow their website – often the source of their first impression on potential clients – to be unfocused and inefficient. On this episode of CPA Conversations, Jay Baron, head of digital strategy for Madtown in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, discusses how effective content marketing and website design strategies can give a CPA firm a leg up on its peers.
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  • Why and How CPAs Should Join the Fight Against Elder Fraud

    Cases of financial abuse of the elderly are on the rise in Pennsylvania. This is especially alarming as the senior population continues to grow. Robin Wiessmann, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Banking & Securities, discusses why CPAs are a natural fit to help the state fight these crimes and to protect some of our most vulnerable citizens. This topic will be addressed by Robin’s colleague, Brian LaForme, at the Nov. 8 PICPA Personal Financial Planning Conference.
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  • The Stories Behind Business Valuations

    Who doesn’t like a good story? Chuck Lunden, CPA, partner with Bederson LLP, certainly does when it relates to the world of business valuation. In this podcast he provides a book review of Aswath Damodaran’s Narrative and Numbers: The Value of Stories in Business. Lunden addresses the real-life examples covered in the book, and explains the corporate life cycle as it relates to valuations. He will speak in even greater depth at PICPA’s 2017 Valuation and Forensic Accounting Conference on Nov. 2.
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  • Exploring the Psychology of Money and Wellness

    In a preview of her presentation at the 2017 Personal Financial Planning Conference, Maggie Baker, PhD, a psychologist and author of Crazy About Money: How Emotions Confuse Our Money Choices and What to Do About It, walks us through how childhood experiences can shape our money habits and how a greater understanding of those habits can lead to better financial choices.
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  • A Triple Threat of Construction Industry Issues

    Key performance indicators. Ownership transfer and succession planning. Factors affecting business valuation. All will be explored at the Oct. 18 PICPA Construction Industry Conference. And all by one man: Daniel Shumate of FMI Capital Advisors Inc. On this edition of CPA Conversations, Shumate provides insight into construction industry hot topics.
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  • Regulatory Changes Set for Pennsylvania CPAs

    The Pennsylvania State Board of Accountancy, on Sept. 23, 2017, published major changes to CPE requirements for licensed Pennsylvania CPAs and to experience verification for CPA candidates. Mike Colgan, PICPA’s CEO and executive director, explains the details of the changes, when they will take effect, and what they mean for all CPAs in Pennsylvania.
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  • Nexus, Other Trends in Multistate Taxes

    Nexus always seems to be a big topic for CPAs who must deal with multistate tax issues. In addition to nexus, listen to Tim Billow, CPA and tax planning and research manager with Highmark Health, briefly explain the latest on apportionment and combined reporting. Those topics, and more, also will be discussed at PICPA’s 2017 Multistate Tax Conference ( on Oct. 24.
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  • The Present and Future of Construction Industry Taxes

    The U.S. construction industry is doing well, and all signs indicate a strong future. Carlo Ferri, CPA, tax director with Kreischer Miller, explains the latest tax developments for CPAs working with construction industry clients. Learn more about this topic and others at PICPA’s 2017 Construction Industry Conference ( on Oct. 18.
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  • When Are Roth Conversions Right for Clients?

    Roth IRA conversions can be a great strategy for many clients, but the approach is not right for everyone. Tami Noll Russo, CPA, CFP, of Noll Financial Services in Middletown, Pa., discusses the benefits of Roth conversions, addresses the myths surrounding them, and shares a story of how she helped a client.
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  • The Effect of Sales Skills on CPA Career Projections

    While it may be true that most CPAs don’t choose their career path to hone their sales skills, there is no doubt that such skills become more important for accounting professionals as they progress. In this edition of CPA Conversations, Scott Cytron of Cytron and Company discusses why sales skills are so important to CPAs of all ages and why firms benefit by encouraging their staff to grow in this area.
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  • The Many Benefits of Work-Life Balance for Employees and Employers

    Many CPAs view surviving the busy seasons and long days of the profession as a point of pride. But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t strive for a better work-life balance -- especially since it is so beneficial to their firms in the long run. CPA Conversations sat down with Jeff Davidson, the motivational speaker and award-winning author behind Breathing Space Institute, to tell us why proper work-life balance is important for both firms and their employees.
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  • Lean Accounting Can Bring Numerous Benefits to Your Company

    When you first hear the term “lean accounting,” it wouldn’t be unusual to think it is primarily a cost-reduction tool. But this system of accounting offers more benefits than simply cost savings. It can result it much timelier reporting and streamlined, understandable data as well. In a preview of their fall 2017 Pennsylvania CPA Journal feature on the topic, RKL LLP’s Bob Pozesky and John Stoner took some time to give us the skinny on lean accounting.
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  • Current Regulatory Issues Facing CPAs at Financial Institutions

    CPAs working for, or with, financial institutions are well aware of regulations and the implementation challenges that often accompany them. Barbara Stofflet, inspections leader with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), briefly discusses what CPAs working in this area need to key in on.
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  • CPAs Must Know the Value Contribution of Nonprofit Programs

    Is every nonprofit program going to be a major revenue generator? No. But that doesn’t mean some of those programs don’t hold immense value for an organization. In a preview of his fall 2017 Pennsylvania CPA Journal Government/Not-for-Profit column, Michael Cade shares with us how you can estimate the value contribution of a program and what steps you should take (if any) when a program is found to have a negative monetary value.
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  • Using Management Information to Make Informed Decisions

    Bob Kafafian, president and CEO of The Kafafian Group Inc., stops by to explain what the concept of using management information to make informed decisions really means for CPAs working in the financial institutions industry. He also discusses how measurement trends and statistics support these decisions. Listen in, and also note that Bob will speak in greater depth on this issue at PICPA’s 2017 Financial Institutions Conference on Sept. 25.
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