CPA Conversations about accounting news

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

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  • Automation’s Effect on the Accounting Industry

    CPAs understandably can get weary when considering all the effects automation could have on the accounting industry. Though according to Hitendra Patil, director of practice development for AccountantsWorld and author of Accountaneur: The Entrepreneurial Accountant*, emerging technology will not only fail to harm their job prospects, but also could make the CPA’s role more valuable in the long run.
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  • CPAs Can Help Clients in the Medical Marijuana Industry

    In 2016, Pennsylvania joined the list of states that have legalized medical marijuana. The newness of the industry, along with other factors, has resulted in complications in taxation and expense deductions. To help walk us through the vital role CPAs can play in helping this fledgling industry’s entrepreneurs, we were joined by Heather Demshock, assistant professor of accounting at Lycoming College in Williamsport, Pa.
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  • What Worked and What Didn’t – A Tax Season Recap

    The tax practitioner community has largely caught its collective breath now that the tax filing deadline is about a month in the rearview mirror. One practitioner, Dee Palaschak, CPA, of Sisterson & Co. LLP in Pittsburgh, shares her firm’s perspective on the challenges and successes from the 2016 tax year, as well as best practices for a successful 2017-2018.
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  • Cybersecurity Challenges and Solutions for Local Governments

    Budgetary restrictions are something that just about every local government must deal with. One of the areas where they face challenges is data security, which makes them a popular target for cyber criminals. In this episode of CPA Conversations, Mark Burnette, a shareholder with LBMC Information Security, helps us examine some of the challenges these organizations face as well as offering some solutions for overcoming the obstacles.
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  • Capital Markets Update for CPAs in Health Care

    What does the unpredictable state of health care mean for capital markets? And even more, what does it mean for CPAs working in the industry? Andy Majka, managing director and chief operating officer of Kaufman Hall & Associates Inc., addresses the issue in this segment of CPA Conversations. You can hear more from Majka at PICPA’s 2017 Health Care Conference, June 5-6, at the Hershey Lodge.
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  • What CPAs Need to Know about Consumerism’s Effect on Health Care

    We’ve all heard of consumerism. But how is it changing the delivery of health care, and what about the many CPAs who work extensively in this industry? Marc Scher, CPA, partner in charge of KPMG LLP’s global and U.S. health care audit practice in southern California, clarifies this concept in a preview of his upcoming presentation at PICPA’s Health Care Conference, June 5-6, at the Hershey Lodge.
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  • 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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