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


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  • Top CPA Firm Risks for 2020 and Beyond

    CPA firms are facing numerous risks in 2020 and beyond. According to our guest, Ken Mackunis, executive vice president, professional firms, for Aon Affinity, technology adoption, talent issues, and information security are at the top of the list. To learn why he places these concerns so high – and to hear about others – listen to our in-depth podcast.
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  • Talking to Clients, Customers about Wayfair

    State and local tax experts continue to wrestle with the complexities of the 2018 South Dakota v. Wayfair U.S. Supreme Court decision. Part of that effort is finding a way to explain how the decision affects the companies they work or the clients they serve. Ilya Lipin, managing director of state and local tax with BDO USA LLP, and Jennifer Weidler Karpchuk, shareholder and co-chair of state and local taxes at Chamberlain Hrdlicka, review the key points of the case and how to communicate them. Both experts coauthored “Pennsylvania Online Sales Tax Law Changes after Wayfair” and this topic will be covered in greater length at PICPA’s CFOs and Controllers Conference on March 19, 2020, in King of Prussia.
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  • Determining the Tax Details on Foreign Investments

    Patrick J. McCormick, JD, a partner with Culhane Meadows, is a leading guest for CPA Conversations when it comes to international tax issues. We have relied on his expertise many times in the past. For this podcast, he discusses U.S. taxpayers who engage in foreign investments and maintain foreign holdings, and highlights threshold considerations, determining if a foreign entity is a trust, and much more.
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  • Understanding the Limits on Excess Trade and Business Losses

    Following up on her thorough dissection of Section 163(j), Daria Palaschak, CPA, MST, returns to CPA Conversations to discuss more fallout from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. The limitation on excess trade and business losses presents many challenges to tax practitioners and taxpayers alike. Palaschak, a partner in the tax department of Sisterson in Pittsburgh, discusses how the loss limitation works, the entities affected, IRS Form 461, and more.
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  • PICPA Advocacy Update: Expect “Easy” 2019 to Get Rough in the New Year

    According to Peter Calcara, vice president of PICPA’s government relations team, 2019 was a relatively stress-free year in Harrisburg, but business should get more tense in 2020, highlighted by numerous important elections and legislative priorities. In this podcast, Calcara recounts the advocacy work of 2019, including highlights for the PICPA and its members, as well as the major issues that will come to the foreground once the calendar flips to January.
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  • PICPA’s CPA Conversations Podcasts Celebrates 100,000 Downloads

    On the occasion of the CPA Conversations podcast surpassing 100,000 downloads, PICPA’s Jim DeLuccia and Bill Hayes talked to the guests of our ten highest downloaded podcasts on topics such as tax reform, client accounting services, the dangers of accepting a counteroffer, CPA talent recruitment, and more.
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  • Varying Types of Personnel Needed to Ensure Long-Term Firm Success

    The rate at which technology is changing the CPA world is also changing the sorts of professionals CPA firms need to succeed. Getting this personnel formula correct is doubly important when you are a practitioner nearing retirement and looking to replace yourself. To discuss the new CPA firm landscape as well as the individuals needed to ensure long-term success after an owner’s departure, we met with Ira Rosenbloom, chief operating executive for Optimum Strategies in Spring House, Pa.
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  • Distributed Ledger Technologies Increasing Efficiencies of Audit Process

    Mark Eckerle of Withum Smith + Brown is “bullish” on distributed ledger technologies. Why? As he says in our latest episode, these advances have the potential to greatly improve processes for auditing professionals.
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  • Diversity and Inclusion: A Business Imperative

    According to Kimberly Ellison-Taylor, executive director, thought leadership, for Oracle, and immediate past president of the AICPA, the mind-set of “I’ve got my one” is definitely not how diversity and inclusion should work in the accounting profession. Rather, it should be approached as being essential for driving business success, and she thinks the next generation of business leadership is poised to help move this important initiative for the profession in a positive direction. Get more of her insights on this critical topic in our latest episode.
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  • Knowledge of Behavioral Economics Is Essential to the CPA Sales Process

    Did you know that an offer of low fees could actually result in a potential client turning down your services? That people are much more motivated by the prospect of losses than they are by the hope of gains? It may seem counterintuitive but, according to Jordan Birnbaum, vice president of ADP, they are the truths at the heart of behavioral economics.
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  • New Approaches to Evaluate Health Benefits for Corporate CPAs

    CPAs working in the corporate arena are often thrust into the role of health plan administrator, which is something they likely had little – if any – exposure to at any other point in their accounting careers. Aaron Risden, CPA, CFO of VBA in Pittsburgh, shares in this podcast some of the knowledge he’s gained over the years working in this space. This topic will be explored in greater depth at PICPA’s CFOs and Controllers Conference, March 19, 2020, in King of Prussia, Pa.
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  • Data Analytics Brings Lasting Change to World of Auditing

    Discussing their feature from the winter 2020 Pennsylvania CPA Journal, Christopher T. Kosty, CPA, and Matthew Kraemer, CPA, of Schneider Downs & Co. Inc. in Pittsburgh, explore audit data analytics. Specifically, they talk about the details of a recent exposure draft on the topic, its benefits over traditional sampling, and its effect on recent accounting standards updates regarding revenue recognition and leases.
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  • Robotic Process Automation Set to Revolutionize the Accounting Industry

    In a preview of his feature in the winter 2020 Pennsylvania CPA Journal, Adam Costa, CISA, CCSP, a robotic process automation (RPA) solution architect for Schneider Downs & Co. Inc. in Pittsburgh, offers a crash course on RPA, including the ways it is different from standard spreadsheet software, how structuring data helps CPA firms and other businesses, and the areas of accounting that are already seeing significant gains from this emerging technology.
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  • SOC 2 and Data Security’s Impact on Insurance Companies

    Independent security reporting through SOC 2 is critical to the protection of sensitive data. Rich Sowalsky, CISA, senior manager with Baker Tilly Virchow & Krause LLP’s Risk, Internal Audit, and Cybersecurity Group in Philadelphia, discusses SOC 2 Trust Services Criteria and high-level ways service organizations and CPAs can enhance a control environment. Sowalsky will speak at greater length at PICPA’s 2019 Insurance Conference, Dec. 4-5 at Penn State Great Valley in Malvern, Pa.
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  • Strange Bedfellows: Dissecting the CPA/Cannabis Industry Business Relationship

    Cannabis is still illegal on the federal level, but its use is gaining wider acceptance among state governments for both medical and recreational purposes. This adds up to a sticky situation for CPAs who may be deciding on establishing a business relationship with those in the marijuana industry. To discuss the status of cannabis legalization in Pennsylvania, as well as the ethics and risk management considerations for CPAs, we are joined by Stan Sterna, vice president of Aon Insurance and a licensed attorney, who has provided risk consulting advice to accounting firms for over 20 years.
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  • It’s the Thought that Counts: Retain Your Employees by Thanking Them

    Bolster your benefits package? Introduce flexible hours? Bump up a salary or two? No doubt, these are effective ways to keep your employees happy, but according to Liz Farr, chief content creator for Farr Communications, one of the best ways to help retain valued employees might also be one of the easiest and cheapest: simply saying “Thank you!” In this episode, Farr discusses ways to thank employees, whether these programs are more important to younger staff members, and what it says to your talent roster when you don’t prioritize recognition.
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  • The Advantages and Disadvantages of ESOPs

    CPAs with clients who are exploring succession planning and exit strategies may want to consider employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs). Mark Flinchum, Mark Kossow, and Andy Manchir discuss the advantages and disadvantages of ESOPs for companies, sellers, and employees. Flinchum and Manchir are co-chairs of the ESOP Services Group of Katz Sapper & Miller in Indianapolis, Ind., and Kossow is a member of Clark Hill PLC in Princeton, N.J.
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  • Forensic Accounting and Business Valuation: Explaining Them to Judges and Juries

    Communicating complex financial issues to nonfinancial professionals is essential for CPAs working in forensic accounting and business valuation. Chris Mercer, founder and CEO of Mercer Capital in Memphis, Tenn., specializes in how accounting professionals can better talk to judges and juries. Mercer will speak on this issue and what you need to know about buy/sell agreements when working with attorneys and referral sources at PICPA’s 2019 Valuation and Forensic Accounting Conference on Nov. 18 in King of Prussia, Pa. Mercer provides a preview of these critical topics in this episode.
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  • Business Transformations and the Important Role of CFOs

    The expertise of CFOs can play a major role in an organization’s decision to undergo a strategic business transformation. So, it is important to be fully informed on types of transformations, reasons to undergo them, and the pitfalls you may run into along the way. For this reason, we spoke to J. Stephen McNally, CPA, CFO of PTI Family of Companies in Toledo, Ohio, who gave us insight based on a career of spearheading such projects.
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  • Retirement Planning: Transitioning to the Distribution Phase

    Shifting from accumulation to the distribution phase in retirement poses various challenges for personal financial planners. Jamie Hopkins, JD, LLM, CFP, director of retirement research for Carson Wealth, discusses these challenges and the reasons to focus on safety in a decumulation portfolio. Hopkins will speak at greater length on this topic at PICPA’s 2019 Personal Financial Planning Conference on Nov. 7 at Penn State Great Valley.
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