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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Those topics, and more, will be discussed at PICPA’s 2017 Financial Institutions Conference on Sept. 25.
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 CPA Conversation related to 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.
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. Register to attend in person or via webcast at www.picpa.org/fic.
Lauren Zaccarelli, chair of the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue’s Board of Appeals, discusses changes to the appeal schedule and petition form. She also provides some best practices for CPAs when working with the board on behalf of clients or themselves.
It’s one thing to have a dissenting opinion toward ideas put forth by the Government Accounting Standards Board. It’s quite another to tell them about your opinion to their collective face and then have them ask you why you feel this way. Pamela Baker, a partner with Barbacane Thornton & Company LLP, got to experience this and lived to tell the tale. Today, she shares her insights with CPA Conversations.
Social media can be a powerful tool for CPAs. LinkedIn, for example, has the potential to showcase CPAs as trusted professionals in their field. Therefore, you shouldn’t limit it to being a digital representation of a résumé. Optimize its use to help you gain connections and draw business. CPA Conversations recently spoke with Donna Serdula, founder and president of Vision Board Media and author of LinkedIn Profile Optimization for Dummies, about how to make LinkedIn work for CPAs.
Act 32 of 2008 helped fix the local tax collection system in Pennsylvania, but some unintended consequences arose from the law. David Caplan, CPA, is a sole practitioner in Lafayette Hill, Pa., and a PICPA member who has advocated passionately for corrections to be made to ensure greater efficiency. He explains what’s needed in this episode. Learn more about Act 32 and its potential amendments at www.picpa.org/act32.
Earlier this year, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf called for legislation that would institute mandatory unitary combined reporting. Vito Cosmo, CPA, managing director of state and local taxes at Grant Thornton in Philadelphia and a member of PICPA’s State Taxation Committee, explains what this means for Pennsylvania businesses and CPAs.
Michael Decker, AICPA vice president of examinations, and James Suh, director of continuous improvement and analytics with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA), highlight the major changes made to the CPA Exam and why those changes were necessary. While these alterations are still new, Decker and Suh explain some of the trends they are seeing among recent test takers. For more information on the new CPA Exam, visit www.picpa.org/cpaexam.
Business professionals are familiar with the traditional LLCs, C Corps, and S Corps. But if you have a desire to make sure that your firm is as socially and environmentally conscious as possible, there is a fourth type of corporation of which you should be aware: the B Corp. Scott Kregel’s firm, Kregel & Company CPA, is a B Corp, and on this edition of CPA Conversations he tells us why they believe the certification is so important.
There are many career paths a CPA designation can take you down. One of them is the role of fraud investigator, which is how PICPA member Billy Ebersole makes his living. On this episode of CPA Conversations, Ebersole, a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and a presenter at the PICPA Government Accounting Conference, walks us through the process of fraud investigation, including the level of danger and class of criminal to be confronted.
When it comes to a CPA firm’s success, one of the biggest factors is how the partners conduct themselves. While someone as successful as a partner may be hesitant to adjust, such improvements could mean the difference between a long-term relationship with a client and a client kicking the tires on a new accounting firm. To discuss the impact that optimal partner behavior can have on the bottom line, CPA Conversations sat down with Carolyn Carlson and Richard Stanger of StangerCarlson in New York City.
Mark A. Balistrieri and Daniel L. Westover, both Pittsburgh CPAs, discuss two hot-button issues regarding Pennsylvania’s sales and use tax code – changes to large refund requests and the canned computer software and digital property tax. They also discuss other sales and use tax challenges facing their clients and what could be coming down the pike. These topics will be covered more extensively at PICPA’s 2017 Conference on Pennsylvania Taxes held in Cranberry on July 21, in Harrisburg on July 24, and in Malvern or via webcast on July 25.
With accounting firms looking to expand into new areas, such as consulting services, business valuation, and predictive analytics, it is only natural that the things you should address in your liability coverage would increase as well. In a podcast based on his summer 2017 Pennsylvania CPA Journal Liability Lessons column, Jonathan Ziss discusses the areas that growing companies must keep an eye on to protect themselves.
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.
*Podcast listeners can buy Patil’s book, Accountaneur: The Entrepreneurial Accountant, for 15 percent off when they use discount code acc10p at CPATrendlines.com.
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.
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. For even more practitioner insight, check out this CPA Now blog from Ryan Raffensperger, CPA.
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 and a presenter at the July 10-11 PICPA Government Accounting Conference https://www.picpa.org/courses/Course?id=25609, helps us examine some of the challenges these organizations face as well as offering some solutions for overcoming the obstacles.
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.
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.