5 things you need to know about blockchain for insurance

Shutterstock_1034519539The original goal of the first Bitcoin blockchain was to improve the efficiency, transparency and speed with which institutions could conduct financial transactions and trade information. That objective is still front and center today, which is why blockchain is being embraced by the insurance industry.

Here are five key insights into the ongoing impact of blockchain:   

1. The importance of blockchain is clear. A public, private or consortium blockchain enables individuals to store and transmit information to each other in a manner that’s encrypted. It can be a great advantage in helping clients and customers make more informed choices. Today, the significant amounts of time that people spend reconciling and transferring data do not add value for their organizations or their customers, but with blockchain that manual reconciliation and transfer are no longer necessary.

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Cybersecurity best practices for the c-suite

GettyImages-980792054Turn on the news and you’ll see that no organization is too big or too small to be the victim of a cyberattack. It’s vitally important for an organization’s leaders to understand and manage cybersecurity efforts because you can never be totally safe from the risks.

Here are four cybersecurity best practices every organization should follow:

1. Keep your system up to date.

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Getting tech right in a Personal Financial Planning practice

Shutterstock_314913380What’s the right technology for your financial planning practice? In a recent AICPA podcast, I interviewed an expert panel of CPA financial plannersfor advice. Some offer tax compliance and investment management, while others do not. To learn more about their practices, check out this podcast.

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4 financial tips for entrepreneurs

Shutterstock_1499312708It’s National Entrepreneurs’ Day! Take a moment to celebrate your success or the great plans you’ve developed.

Maybe you’ve got a fantastic idea for a business and your confident it’s going to be successful. Or perhaps your company is already up and running, but you constantly wonder whether you’re doing everything you can to ensure your business’ financial success and security — and your own. No matter what stage you’re at in the entrepreneurial journey, you can follow these four steps to make the most of the business you’ve built and the future you’re hoping it will have.

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The productivity method more effective than time management

Shutterstock_1208383510What have you done to manage your time and make it stretch as much as possible? Many of us spend extra time at the office, take work home and scramble to keep up with our never-ending to-do lists. But how do you know when you’ve gone from stressed out to burned out?

It can be hard to know, since burnout can sneak up on you. If you’re showing signs of burnout, though, you can recalibrate and focus on managing your energy rather than your time. 

Recognize burnout

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Why did you become an accountant?

Shutterstock_1467409505Today is International Accounting Day, a day started to honor Luca Pacioli — the Father of Accounting and Bookkeeping. On this day, we honor the hard work of accounting and finance professionals around the world. To celebrate, we asked CPAs why they chose the accounting profession. Here’s what they said.

“I went to college knowing one thing — I was going to college. I didn’t know what my major would be, so I started taking classes that I thought sounded interesting. A year and a half in, I signed up for my first accounting class. I jokingly tell people that on day one in my intro to accounting class, I could hear a chorus of angels singing. Suddenly, I’d found my calling — debits and credits were the most genius thing ever. It clicked, it made sense and I loved it! Accounting is the language of business and financial literacy — a valuable life skill. The opportunities I’ve had because I’m a CPA are more than I could have imagined, and I’m very thankful I signed up for that intro to accounting class.”

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Helping your tax clients manage risk

Shutterstock_401845456After another successful busy season, it’s time to take a broader look at your clients’ needs. While tax is one important component of your clients’ financial picture, they need help in other important areas.

They may not be aware that managing risk affects their financial picture. There’s a significant relationship between your clients’ financial well-being and risk management.

Here’s one great example: The greatest potential economic loss for most clients is income loss, either through death or disability. Insurance often best addresses that risk because of the potential magnitude of the loss. If a client dies, beneficiaries inherit the death benefit free of any federal and state income tax, which can be tremendously helpful to those who were depending on the decedent’s income stream. If the policy has a cash value feature such as a universal life insurance policy, the cash value accumulates on a tax-deferred basis. It may be accessed through loans and taxed on a first-in, first-out basis, meaning that any premiums paid on the policy are taken out first and would be tax-free.

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Creating the next generation of CPA leaders

2019 AICPA Leadership Academy group photo (1)There is little doubt that the accounting profession is undergoing major change. New technologies, like blockchain, data analytics and artificial intelligence, are altering how services are provided and redefining the types of services clients need. 

To meet these new demands of capital markets, CPA firms must make sure their employees possess or learn the necessary technology skills. They also need to attract leaders capable of navigating the changing profession, and these leaders will ideally bring fresh talent along with them. That’s where the AICPA’s Leadership Academy comes in.

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Four crucial tips to protect your organization’s data

Shutterstock_378127909The cost of cybercrime is increasing at an alarming rate. By 2021, the estimated damages from cybercrimes will be around $6 trillion, according to Cybersecurity Ventures. What can your firm or organization do to ward off evil cyberthieves? Joel White, CPA, CGMA, and Senior Director of Internal Audit, Risk & Compliance at the Association, offers four simple tips to help your firm or organization beef up its cybersecurity defenses. Here’s a quick recap.

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Is the spookiest item on your calendar a networking party?

Shutterstock_589482413You hear unfamiliar voices in the distance as you walk down a strange corridor to an uncertain fate. Are you entering a haunted house? No, it’s just a networking event!

Halloween is today, but for many people, there are spookier things than ghosts and goblins. If your pulse races when you think about networking, there are several ways to more successfully make important connections.

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ICYMI: Five things you need to know about cybersecurity

3It's startling that a cyberattack happens every 39 seconds (source: University of Maryland) and one out of every three businesses will experience a cybersecurity breach within the next two years. The average cost of that breach in the U.S.? $8.19M! As protectors of valuable financial and personal data, CPA firms are prime targets for cyberattacks. Considering the major financial risk that organizations face by failing to set up sound cybersecurity measures, we chatted with two of the Association’s experts on the topic. Joel White, CPA, CGMA, Director of Internal Audit, Risk & Compliance and Jay Overcash, Director of IT Security Strategy, answered your top cybersecurity questions.

Here’s what we learned:

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The 5 flames that motivate your people

Shutterstock_791792272What motivates your people? And how can you key into their motivators to drive strong performance?

Abraham Maslow, a psychologist who developed a pyramid-shaped hierarchy of needs, was a pioneer in the study of motivation. His pyramid begins with basic needs, such as food and shelter, followed by social needs, creative needs and, ultimately, self-actualization. Daniel Pink, author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, takes that idea one step further. Writing on how businesses can match people’s motivations, he argues that as humans we are driven by three key motivators:

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5 tips for implementing the leases accounting standard

Shutterstock_1031148421Does your company or client lease assets such as real estate, airplanes or manufacturing equipment? If so, then you may want to keep reading...

In 2016, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued a new financial accounting and reporting standard that requires companies that lease assets (lessees) under operating lease arrangements to recognize those arrangements on their balance sheets. 

You may be wondering “Why a change?” Given the prevalence of leasing in the marketplace, it’s important for users of financial statements to have a complete and understandable portrayal of a company’s commitments to leasing activities.

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What I learned from my clients' tax returns

Shutterstock_747539488If you’re a CPA who has considered a move to financial planning, there are a few strong reasons why you as a tax practitioner are already best positioned to offer Personal Financial Planning (PFP) services. A little over a year ago, I achieved a lifelong dream when I opened my financial planning practice after 28 years as a CPA. Setting off on your own can be daunting, but I knew I was ready, in part because of my extensive tax background. Here’s how I knew:

Tax expertise is the foundation of personal financial planning.

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What were the challenges of the 2019 tax season?

Shutterstock_767539465Do you hear the big sigh of relief? It’s Oct. 18, just three days after we filed the last big group of extended returns for individuals and businesses.

When I started working for a local public accounting firm over 40 years ago, taxpayers had a two-month automatic extension to June 15 for individual returns. We could request an additional two-month extension to Aug. 15. At that point, we could request an additional two-month extension to Oct. 15 if there was a good reason. Can you imagine all that paperwork? With those interim deadlines, we encouraged clients to pull their information together during the summer, and returns were finalized earlier. Although there were always stragglers, today’s compressed workload for Sept. 15 and Oct. 15 was less intense for practitioners.

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3 ways data can evolve your business

Shutterstock_218740615If you’re not on the data science wagon yet, you should probably consider jumping on in the near future. With 2020 right around the corner, data will continue to remain at the forefront of decision-making – and we’re bound to witness ever more ways it can evolve the marketplace.  

Still convincing yourself that data can help a business thrive? Here are three benefits that might make you think it can.

It can improve efficiency.

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Get your brain in shape!

Shutterstock_1461408071The busy season is on the horizon, and many practitioners are preparing their firms to meet the demands. But are you getting yourself mentally ready for the fast-paced days ahead? In honor of National Train Your Brain Day on Oct. 13, let’s look at some mental tune-up steps to take before the season begins.

Challenge yourself.

Sharpen your mind with quizzes and brain teasers. You can test your knowledge at many websites. For example, the site for the TV game show “Jeopardy!” challenges you with 12 clues every day that weren’t used on the show. In addition, many daily trivia apps focus on general knowledge or specific areas, such as sports or movies.

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Embrace an attitude of gratitude for well-being in your career

Shutterstock_1296335452 “Gratitude is not only the greatest of the virtues, but the parent of all of the others.” — Cicero

If someone bumps into you and knocks your full cup of coffee onto your shirt, who’s to blame for the mess? You are. Why? Because you had coffee in your cup.

This story from Thich Nhat Hanh shows that while it may be easy to blame external circumstances for our experiences, it is what we hold in ourselves that we spill out into the world. We all face circumstances that make it easy to hold negative emotions in our cups.

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3 perks of working for yourself

Shutterstock_487666249In today’s ever-evolving job market, there are plenty of new opportunities to work for yourself. Whether it’s freelancing, entrepreneurship or gigs — the list goes on. Actually, seven in 10 the young adult job-seekers the AICPA recently surveyed claim that being their own boss is more valuable than the job security of working for someone else. If you’re thinking of branching out on your own, you’re not alone. 

Not sure if you’re ready to take the plunge? Consider these three perks of working for yourself.

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How a kid’s allowance can teach money management skills

Shutterstock_190423622Teaching children about money management is a big job for parents, and there are many ways to go about it. Money talk often starts by paying an allowance. According to new research from the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), two-thirds of parents (66%) give their child an allowance at an average of $30 a week. An allowance is just part of a larger conversation about effective financial management. Parents must make sure the lessons sink in. The good news is that nearly half of parents (49%) say they take time to teach their child about money at least once a week. However, nearly a third (32%) say they only teach their children about money no more than once a month, including the 7% who admit they never teach their kids about money.

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Advice from a peer reviewer: Documentation missteps to avoid

GettyImages-157399946In my 25 years as a peer reviewer, I’ve reviewed thousands of audits from a variety of firms. You may be surprised by how often I see errors related to a fundamental audit step: documentation.

Audit documentation is important to get right because it provides evidence to support your audit opinion. It’s also crucial for auditors to document their work if they are going to comply with generally accepted auditing standards (GAAS).

I’ve found that several documentation missteps trip up auditors more than others. Keep reading to find out what these errors are and how to avoid them.

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Tax tops the list of best jobs. But wait — there’s more

DifferentA day before my meeting with Brooke Salvini, CPA/PFS, she receives a serendipitous note from one of her clients:

Thank you so much for your genuine way of being. You create such an atmosphere of peace, acceptance, and sincere interest in your work and in individuals. It’s just so clear you care. You’re appreciated by me. Please know you make such a difference in my life…

I call this note “serendipitous” because Brooke and I are scheduled to discuss the results of a recent survey published by Glassdoor and popularized by an article in Barron’s. The study reveals that tax managers have the best job in the United States — a claim supported by several measures including median pay, upward mobility and job availability. The study also echoes a popular notion championed by the AICPA — that automation and other technologies are untethering tax professionals from data entry and other repetitive accounting functions, allowing them more time to forge stronger relationships with clients.

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AICPA finds public accounting hiring model shifts

Aicpa-2019-trends-image-insightsThe AICPA recently released the 2019 Trends in the Supply of Accounting Graduates and Demand for Public Accounting Recruits report. The report shows that the accounting profession requires new skill sets because of the rapid advancement of emerging technology, especially in data science and analytics. This is changing who we do business with and how we do it. As a result, non-accounting graduates make up about 31% of all new graduate hires in public accounting — an increase of 11 percentage points from 2016 to 2018.

Accounting graduates and newly licensed CPAs must have the skills and expertise to support the growing technology needs. One of the ways the AICPA seeks to address this trend is through the CPA Evolution project, in partnership with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy. This project strives to ensure that CPAs can support an accounting profession that plays a critical role in protecting the public interest.

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New business challenges call for CPAs to take on new roles

GettyImages-485207391Many factors have contributed to vast changes in the corporate reporting landscape in recent years. These include accounting standards changes such as revenue recognition, leases, and credit losses. However, it’s widely recognized that financial statements and financial information alone may not tell the whole story when evaluating businesses. What do these changes mean and how can CPAs take a leadership role?  

Surveying the landscape

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Developing a resilient staff who’s ready for anything

Shutterstock_125165846Five years ago, could you have predicted the challenges you and your team would face in 2019? And if you had a crystal ball, what challenges would you see approaching over the next five years? The AICPA’s Private Companies Practice Section (PCPS) team asked firms of all sizes to predict their top challenges between now and 2024 in the 2019 PCPS Firm Top Issues Survey. They say they’d be most affected by staffing, emerging technologies, competition, changing client needs and the regulatory environment within the next half-decade.

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3 signs your client’s investments aren’t tax friendly

Investments blogYou know a lot about your tax clients — their jobs, their kids’ names, what kind of cars they drive — and you know even more about their finances. Most of the time, your clients are happy to share their complete financial lives with you. But, occasionally, when delving into the numbers, you’ll uncover financial moves you didn’t know about. Often, those moves involve their investments.  

You may be hesitant to talk to your clients about their investments. But remember, proactive conversations about all the financial issues affecting them are part of a CPA’s job. In addition, talking about investments as a part of their entire financial picture is a great way to start planning conversations — especially as we head into year-end. Not to mention, this is an added chance to cement your relationship as their trusted adviser.

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What the current political environment means for CPAs

Elving Blog ImageRon Elving is a senior editor and correspondent for NPR’s Washington Desk. Ron delivered the keynote address at this year’s AICPA Governmental Accounting and Auditing Conference. We sat down with him to get his insights on what’s going on in Washington and how it affects CPAs.

What would you say are some of the legislative and political issues that CPAs should be following? What issues will most affect them?

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4 strategies to attract and retain female talent at your firm

Shutterstock_1022439985Did you know one in five women say they’re the only woman in the room at work? If you’re like me, unfortunately, you’re not too surprised by this information. Professions like finance & accounting and tech spaces have been known to have a harder time attracting and retaining female talent.  Yet, companies that have a higher percentage of female leadership have been proven to excel. A report released by Credit Suisse states that companies that have women making up at least 15% of senior management are 50% more profitable than those where less than 10% of senior managers are female. So, here are four strategies that will help you attract top female talent to your firm and retain them, too.

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3 steps to prep for the new EBP audit standard

Shutterstock_314921831Last month, we issued a new statement on auditing standards (SAS) for employee benefit plan audits, Forming an Opinion and Reporting on Financial Statements of Employee Benefit Plans Subject to ERISA. The SAS is designed to make the auditor’s report easier to understand and more relevant, leading to improved EBP audit quality.

If you perform financial statement audits of EBPs subject to ERISA, you’ll want to carefully review the changes and start planning for implementation well before the effective date

Here’s some advice to get you started.

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8 cybersecurity resources you literally need right now

GettyImages-1086728780Suffice to say, it’s not been a good week for the 5th largest U.S. credit card issuer. This week, Capital One was hacked in what’s being called one of the largest data breaches in history. A lone hacker gained access to more than 100 million American and Canadian customer accounts and credit card applications. The data theft exposed 140,000 social security numbers, 1 million Canadian Social Insurance numbers and 80,000 bank account numbers, among customers’ other personal data. Capital One estimates the breach will cost them between $100M and $150M in 2019 on customer notifications, credit monitoring, technology costs and legal support.  And this does not include potential reputational damage or political and regulatory actions, including possible penalties. Capital One’s stock also plummeted 6% overnight.

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4 ways to get your firm beach-ready this summer

GettyImages-694005116The coming of summer means longer, lazier days filled with outdoor fun. But once we’ve packed away the thick wool and sleek leather jackets that defined our winter existence, we’re often faced with an unpleasant truth: months of indoor living have left us feeling unprepared for outdoor activities like beach volleyball and surfing. And many times, a long winter may have left your firm a little out of shape, too.

Whether the barely managed chaos of tax season forced you to put off the exercises that would have helped keep your firm… well, firm, or the rapid approach of October has you procrastinating in getting to your firm’s self-care, summer is a perfect chance to get everything in shape and ready to show off.

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5 principles for evolving CPA licensure

GettyImages-171282691What does the CPA of the future look like? Does that person need the same skills and competencies CPA licensure requires today—or should changes be made to expand the pipeline of talent the profession needs for the future?

As technology continues to change the services we perform and the way we deliver them, the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) and the AICPA are exploring whether initial CPA licensure requirements need to change to be more inclusive of those who have expertise in technology and analytics. You may have read about our CPA Evolution initiative in a blog post I wrote in January or a follow-up post I wrote in May sharing what CPAs had to say about evolving licensure.

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3 tips to help your clients with revenue recognition implementation

GettyImages-155160817Summertime is finally here! But before you hit the beach, head to your clients’ offices and make sure they are ready to adopt the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (FASB) accounting standard on revenue recognition, issued as FASB ASU 2014-09 with subsequent amendments.

Public companies adopted the new guidance in 2018, and soon private companies will get their turn.  The guidance is effective for private entities in 2019 for annual reporting periods, and in 2020 for interim periods.

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New AICPA Chair focuses on the profession’s leap into the future

William_Reeb_1044In May 2019, Bill Reeb, CPA/CITP, CGMA, assumed the role of Chair of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). He also serves as the Vice Chair of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (the Association). We asked him a few questions to help you get to know him and his vision for the future of the profession.

You can also watch the video of his AICPA inaugural address.

1. Congratulations on becoming the 106th chair of the AICPA! As you look ahead, what do you see as the biggest opportunity for the accounting profession?

The digital era has swept in a blistering pace of change that’s transforming the world around us. The change is not incremental — it’s exponential. And in these rapidly changing times, we find our greatest opportunity.

Our clients and employers need us more than ever to help them navigate increasing uncertainty and complexity. To seize the potential, we must take leaps, not steps. We must race to the horizon of possibility. Go where there has been no footpath before us to follow. Become comfortable with being uncomfortable.

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5 things you need to know about the new auditor reporting standards

GettyImages-172342448You may have heard that we issued a new auditor reporting standard effective for audits of financial statements for periods ending on or after December 15, 2020. The standard was designed to enhance the relevance and transparency of the auditor’s report. One key change is that with the new standard, the auditor’s opinion comes first. It’s like opening a box of Cracker Jack at a ball game and seeing the prize right on top. No need to fish through the rest of the good stuff in the box to find it.

The new Statement on Auditing Standards Auditor Reporting and Amendments, Including Amendments Addressing Disclosures in the Audit of Financial Statements, known as SAS No. 134, contains four sections that replace AU-C Sections 700, 705 and 706. There’s also a new section: 701 in the AICPA’s Professional Standards.

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Find value in what you love: One tax CPA’s value pricing story

Shutterstock_200540525In 2006, Dominique Molina, CPA, had a revelation: she was working too much.

It was busy season, and like many nights, she was working late from her home office. As the owner of a successful tax firm in San Diego, she felt a great pressure resting on her shoulders.

In a laser-focused, deadline-driven push to the end, her 3-year-old son put everything in perspective.

“My son came into my office and started to ask me a question,” Molina remembered. “But he stopped himself and said: ‘Never mind. I’ll go ask Dad.’ I was crushed.”

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Demystifying unicorns: How startup valuations really work

Shutterstock_386762398Near daily headlines tout the massive valuations of startup companies and their potential public offerings. Some of these entities are valued well into the tens of billions of dollars. Private market investors continue to pump money into technology-based companies with the hope of cashing in on the next unicorn—rare startups valued at more than $1 billion.

At the same time, many of these companies have yet to produce positive net income, with some reporting growing quarterly losses in the millions of dollars. What’s more, some of these organizations are lacking clearly defined plans for how to pull a profit from their operations.

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Flip the switch on non-conformity with 5 free audit quality resources

IStock_85468875_XXXLARGEYou strive to perform top-notch audits of your clients’ financial statements. You research the company and their industry, meet with the client, gather necessary information and develop and execute a plan. Having resources on hand can streamline the process.

Five years ago, the AICPA formed its Enhancing Audit Quality (EAQ) initiative and changed how we develop resources to help auditors. The EAQ team, working with the Audit and Attest Standards, Peer Review, Engagement and Learning Innovation, Center for Plain English Accounting, and Assurance and Advisory Innovation teams, analyzes data from peer reviews and other sources, identifies where noncompliance with professional standards occurs and develops resources to help firms in those areas.  So far, we’ve focused on: risk assessment, internal control, audit documentation, employee benefit plan audits, peer review, quality control, single audits, SOC engagements and auditing accounting estimates.

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Close any deal with these human intelligence skills

Shutterstock_653243854So, you’ve made it through the first round of interviews for your dream job — or maybe you’ve made an initial pitch to a prospective new client and now it’s time to close the deal. You want the job, and are more than qualified for it. But is that enough?

Think about the Ivy League college application process where most applicants are qualified but only a fraction are selected. In this case, even though you’ve already proven you have experience and the knowledge to knock the job duties out of the park, closing the deal can come as a challenge.

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3 FAQs on the hosting services ethics interpretation

IStock-475647111When I started working in public practice more than 20 years ago, “the cloud” referred to something in the sky, not storing data over the internet. Things have changed. Our profession has and continues to benefit from technological advances like the cloud, and the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct is evolving just as practice is.

The code was written before wide adoption of current technological advances. To keep pace with change, we’ve developed guidance for members who act as custodians of their clients’ information—members who store and maintain their clients’ information for them.

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Millennials are changing our tax practices. Here’s how

MAIN IMAGE Millennial BlogMillennials are everywhere.

As the largest generation of Americans ever, they seem to be changing every aspect of our society. They’re influencing marketing trends, technological advancements, politics, travel, food — there’s little that isn’t affected by this generation’s unique way of doing things.

They are affecting your tax firm too — even if you don’t realize it yet.

Millennial tax clients are few and far between for most of us. Generally, their taxes aren’t yet complex enough to warrant our services. But as this age group acquires wealth, we’ll begin to see more and more of them walking through our doors.

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Take a ride with Next Stop: CPA – the official podcast of the CPA Exam

Final Next Stop CPA Podcast LogoDo you remember how it felt when you decided to become a CPA? The promise of those three magic letters can be very exciting, but first, comes with the start of a big life-journey. A journey that entails the preparation for the CPA Exam and the dedication and time commitment necessary to see it through. What’s the best way to study? Is the CPA even right for me? How do I find time to study? Those are just some of the questions that may have crossed your mind back then, and continue to come up with today’s future CPAs.

The AICPA recently launched a new podcast series, Next Stop: CPA, which takes a more informal, conversational, and at times, humorous approach to covering the wide range of topics that are most relevant and important to your Exam candidates. Hosted by AICPA’s Mike Horan and me, Next Stop: CPA releases 1-2 episodes each month that are designed to share valuable insights about the Exam, the profession and related topics.

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What to do when your client gets terrible health news

Ill client blog postNo one knows when a health crisis will strike. We can take steps to mitigate our risks — eat healthy food, exercise more often, quit smoking — but that doesn’t mean we can plan whether we’ll get sick.

But we can plan financially.

Jim Sullivan, CPA/PFS, specializes in working with clients suffering from chronic illnesses. He has seen firsthand the devastating effects of a sudden, serious health crisis and is an expert at care plan funding and recovery. His work, as he described it, allows his clients to focus on addressing the illness without the worry of how to pay for its costs.

Sullivan said that while he prefers to do proactive planning with clients before they get sick, he often starts working with a client just days after they’ve received terrible health news. Regardless of when he first engages with an ill client, his approach is the same: He creates a financial plan from scratch.

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16 free learning opportunities to take advantage of this summer

Shutterstock_633002651It’s summertime. The days are getting longer, the temperature is warming up and your most hectic time of year — workwise — is behind you. Congratulations! Now you can relax, at least a little. Summer is also the perfect time to hone your skills in preparation for fall busy season. We’ve assembled a handful of our favorite free resources to help you brush up on your skills and add a few new ones to your toolbox.

Find your niche

Search for that new service offering you’re passionate about. Once you find it, study up and absorb all there is to know about it. Home in and focus so you can really master it and add it to your suite of services. Here are some ideas to get started:

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Father’s Day wisdom: A CPA dad’s advice

Shutterstock_1074903578In 1981, Paul Stahlin, CPA, CGMA, and a former Chair of the AICPA, got his CPA license. Thirty-three years later, his daughter Emily followed in his footsteps by becoming a CPA as well.

The CPA profession of today isn’t the same as the profession of 1981. Technological innovation has created new opportunities for CPAs to provide value and has even changed how CPAs deliver core services. But even throughout all this change, some lessons Paul has learned in his career still ring true today. In honor of Father’s Day, Paul wrote this letter to Emily to share his advice on how she can thrive in her career as a CPA.

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Workplace benefit advice for the Class of 2019

Shutterstock_573543445Nearly two million students are estimated to graduate with a bachelor’s degree this year. As they enter the job market and evaluate the employment opportunities before them, it’s a good time to remember that the perfect job should be about more than just salary. The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) asked young millennials who graduated from college in the last two years or will graduate in the next year about the workplace benefits they find most important. Matt Rosenberg, CPA and member of the AICPA’s National CPA Financial Literacy Commission, spoke to AICPA Insights about the survey results and shared some insight young job seekers should keep in mind as they evaluate their employment opportunities.

The top three workplace benefits that younger millennials say will help them reach their financial goals are: health insurance, paid time off (PTO), and student loan forgiveness programs. Does that match your experience working with clients?

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How to navigate the digital age

Shutterstock_761152348We know that disruption is upon us. Not later, not soon, but right this instant. We’re already in the digital age and the profession is changing fast and challenging our minds to keep up. However, we still need a bit of help with some aspects of disruption. For example, what skills and mindsets will help us navigate the digital age? We spoke with Jim Bourke, CPA, CITP, CFF, CGMA, and Managing Director of Advisory Services for US-based WithumSmith+Brown, who travels internationally to address these questions among others. He also advises on how to stay ahead of the curve and strategically grow your business during the fourth industrial revolution that is transforming the finance and accounting professions. Here’s what he had to say:

Q: We hear a lot about digital transformation and digital readiness. What has changed in the last couple of years?

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3 steps to reimagining your firm’s culture

Post tax culture blog May 24Paid time off. Affordable health care plans. Employer-sponsored retirement funds. There’s a lot the modern worker evaluates when considering where they’ll spend their 40-plus hours a week. But more and more, potential employees are looking at another variable when choosing where to work: company culture.

According to a 2018 LinkedIn survey, 70 percent of professionals said they wouldn’t work at a leading company with an unhealthy culture.  

This makes sense to Rachel Montañez, a career coach, trainer and speaker who advises and writes on this exact topic. She said a company’s culture is created by the people who work there, and when staff members are stressed, there can be unexpected effects on culture.

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How to stay on track to accomplish your 2019 goals

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It’s time to assess those goals

Remember when 2018 was coming to a close? You were thrilled about the new year ahead. Fully living in the “new year; new me” theme, you made a list of your top goals for 2019. You broke them down into pieces and vowed to tackle them incrementally. You remember!

Well, guess what: It’s almost halftime. With the end of the second quarter creeping up on you, it’s time to assess your progress. Whether your goals are personal or professional, here’s how to recommit to the ones you didn’t complete and celebrate the ones you did.

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How your feedback is shaping and evolving CPA licensure

GettyImages-507831914Back in January, I wrote about the CPA Evolution initiative, a joint project with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) to explore integrating technological and analytical expertise into initial CPA licensure requirements.

I was thrilled that so many of you sent me emails with your thoughts on the blog post and the need for “CPA” to evolve with the ever-changing business landscape. Clearly, you all are very passionate about keeping the credential strong and relevant.

A few themes emerged from your feedback. Since your insights are so valuable to this initiative, I wanted to share them with you as NASBA and the AICPA continue our discussion throughout 2019. Here’s what I heard:

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