Maryland Association of CPAs and Business Learning Institute Launch Future-ready Podcast

The Maryland Association of CPAs and the Business Learning Institute (BLI) have launched a weekly podcast to make accounting and finance professionals more future-ready.

Titled “Future-Proof: A Podcast for Tomorrow’s Accounting and Finance Pros,” the show is hosted by MACPA and BLI chief communication officer Bill Sheridan and will feature interviews with forward-thinking futurists and thought leaders. They will offer updates on the latest trends to watch and, perhaps most important, answers to the question: How can this profession become future-ready?

“We’re on a mission,” Sheridan says. “For the past few years, [MACPA and BLI executive director] Tom Hood and I and the rest of the BLI’s team of future-focused thought leaders have been crossing the country, one speaking engagement at a time, in a bid to help accounting and finance professionals prepare for what’s ahead – to become future-ready. This podcast is the latest weapon in our profession’s future-ready arsenal.”

This brief trailer will tell you a little more about the podcast.

Illinois CPA Society Names 2018-2019 Board of Directors

The Illinois CPA Society named its board of directors to serve April 1, 2018 – March 31, 2019.

“In this dynamic time of change in the accounting profession, we are fortunate to be guided by such an impressive and diverse team of experienced leaders making up our new board of directors,” says Todd Shapiro, ICPAS president and CEO. “They are all experts on key issues impacting our members and will support accounting and finance professionals throughout Illinois.”

View the full list here.

REDW’s Allen Elected Board Chair of Arizona Society of CPAs

Mike Allen

Mike Allen

Mike Allen, principal at Albuquerque, N.M.-based REDW LLC (FY16 net revenue of $27.5 million), has been elected board chair of the Arizona Society of CPAs for the 2018-2019 term, effective May 1.

Allen currently holds the title of chair-elect and previously served as the board’s secretary and treasurer, as well as on the association’s nominating committee, executive committee, investment committee and foundation board.

Allen’s stated vision for the coming year is “to build on the great work of previous ASCPA chairs in advancing the cause of all CPAs in Arizona, and to enhance the success of our members through education, advocacy and increasing the value of the CPA.”

Allen heads REDW’s audit and assurance department. He has experience with strategic planning, organizational development, and financial and operations management, working to promote his clients’ success through the direction expansion of their core business activities and products, as well as the proactive management of their operations and relationships.

Prior to joining REDW in 2011, Allen spent 15 years as the COO, CFO and member of RAM Holdings. In the 1980s and 1990s, Allen was a partner and director of Erickson Allen, a public accounting firm that he helped grow from a start-up operation to a multi-million-dollar business.

CPAs Cite AI, Machine Learning, Cognitive Computing as Profession’s Top Tech Trends

Artificial intelligence, machine learning and cognitive computing in audit and tax are the top trends that will impact the accounting and finance world over the next three years, according to research conducted by the Maryland Association of CPAs, the Business Learning Institute and world-renowned futurist Daniel Burrus.

Daniel Burrus

Daniel Burrus

The research began with Burrus’s “Top 20 Technology-Driven Hard Trends Shaping 2018 and Beyond.” Using Burrus’s annual list as a starting point, MACPA Executive Director Tom Hood asked more than 1,000 CPAs and finance and accounting professionals which of those trends will have the greatest impact on the profession over the next three years. Their answers in rank order are as follows:

  1. AI, machine learning and cognitive computing in audit and tax
  2. Big Data and high-speed data analytics
  3. Adaptive and predictive cybersecurity
  4. Virtualization and automation of processes and services
  5. Mobile apps for business process innovation
  6. Blockchains and cryptocurrency
  7. Advanced cloud computing
  8. Smarter smartphones and tablets drive mobile process automation
  9. Virtualization of desktops, storage, applications and networking
  10. Social business applications

“These trends highlight enormous, game-changing opportunities in a broad array of applications and industries,” says Burrus. “As you read through them, look for opportunities for you to leverage them and become a positive disruptor.”

“One more word of advice,” says Hood. “Don’t stop at the trends impacting your firm or company. Stop and think about how these trends are impacting your clients and customers, both internally and externally. Think about the hard trends facing your industry and your customers’ industries. Read the entire list and think about robotics and 3-D printing, augmented and virtual reality, the Internet of Things, location-based services, drones and wearables.”

These seemingly individual technologies are joining forces to disrupt the accounting and finance profession exponentially. The impact of AI is huge, but when combined with blockchain, for instance, its impact increases tenfold … at least. This “10x mindset” will be vital going forward, Hood said.

Learn how to think exponentially

Want to learn how to turn these hard trends into opportunities? Master the lessons found in The Anticipatory Organization: Accounting and Finance Edition.

This award-winning online learning program is designed to help accounting and finance professionals develop future-focused anticipatory skills that can elevate and accelerate their ability to be proactive and use these trends to their advantage. By learning to anticipate disruptions, problems and game-changing opportunities, you can proactively shape the future of your career and organization from the inside out.

Learn more by visiting BLIonline.org/AO.

Georgia CPAs Unite at State Capitol for 7th Annual CPA Day

More than 100 members of The Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants (GSCPA) met at the state Capitol to share their thoughts on important issues facing the accounting profession with their elected officials.

“CPA Day makes a real connection between our members and their elected officials. This is a unique year now that federal tax reform has been signed into law. CPAs are exceptionally qualified to act as a resource and offer insights on the issues around reform that are facing the profession and those important to the business world,” says GSCPA CEO Boyd Search.

GSCPA is currently monitoring bills and discussions on tax reform and on the professional licensing boards, specifically regarding the Georgia State Board of Accountancy. Due to the recent passage of federal tax reform, GSCPA is working to serve as a resource in this conversation. In addition, GSCPA has assembled a group of our members who are experts in the area of income tax (individual, pass-throughs, corporate, credits, and compliance and processing) to closely monitor any developments and provide input as needed.

Two Staff Promotions at Indiana CPA Society

The Indiana CPA Society has promoted two staff members.

Courtney Kincaid has been promoted to vice president of strategic initiatives. Kincaid joined the society in 2006 as a communications specialist and has since served as the membership manager, membership and volunteer manager, senior manager of member services, and director of membership and engagement.

Stacey Wilson will be vice president of member services. Wilson joined the society in 2006 as a professional development manager and has since served as a senior manager of professional development, and director of learning and collaboration.

Indiana CPA Society Names New President and CEO

Jennifer Briggs

Jennifer Briggs

Jennifer Briggs has been named as president and CEO of the Indiana CPA Society. She is the fifth CEO in the organization’s 103-year history.

Briggs joined the society staff in 2002 as the special projects manager and subsequently served as marketing manager, marketing director, director of member services, vice president – member services, senior vice president and chief operating officer.

“Jennifer is well prepared to take on this role,” says INCPAS chair-elect, Doug York. “She brings talent in many areas, not least of which is her ability to connect with all our members, regardless what field or stage of their career they’re in.”

KyCPA CEO Gold Retires

Penelope Gold

Penelope Gold

Penelope Gold has announced her retirement from Kentucky Society of Certified Public Accountants (KyCPA), after 14 years of service.

Under Gold’s leadership, KyCPA worked with policymakers at both the state and national level to strengthen accounting education and public protection policies. She also expanded the society’s educational scholarships, adding a variety of new publications and programs.

The KyCPA Board of Directors has named Darlene Zibart as the new CEO of the society. Zibart served the previous 14 years as the organization’s CFO and COO. Prior to joining KyCPA, she served as a finance professional in the manufacturing sector.

In addition, Charles George has been promoted to vice president of government affairs and general counsel of KyCPA.

Two CPAs Honored as Maryland’s ‘Women to Watch’ for 2017

Lisa Blackmore

Lisa Blackmore

Two outstanding business leaders have been honored by the Maryland Association of CPAs as Maryland’s “Women to Watch” for 2017.

Lisa Blackmore, a partner with Squire Lemkin + Company (FY16 net revenue of $6.3 million) of Rockville, Md., has been honored in the “Emerging Leader” category, while Faye Miller, a partner with Chicago-based RSM US (FY17 net revenue of $2 billion), has been honored in the “Experienced Leader” category.

Launched in 2014 by the AICPA, the awards highlight the accomplishments and contributions of women in the CPA profession and demonstrate to emerging female leaders that success is not out of reach.

“(Women) are leaders in our communities, homes and in business,” says Kimberly Ellison-Taylor, chair of the AICPA’s board of directors. “As leaders, we work hard every day to improve our credibility, capability and our commitment to excellence. Our nominees are an indication of that excellence. As women, we bring a rich perspective and mastery of success skills that are essential to every organization.”

Faye Miller

Faye Miller

“We are incredibly proud of this year’s winners – indeed, of all the leaders who were nominated for this year’s awards,” says MACPA Executive Director Tom Hood. “They represent the best this profession has to offer, and they serve as role models not only for other women in the profession, but for every accounting and finance professional on the planet.”

Blackmore was named partner at Squire Lemkin + Company in January 2015 and has developed a tax practice that focuses on individual and high-net-worth individuals and professional service firms.

Miller has 30 years of experience in public accounting, including client service and office managing partner roles. As a partner in the national office of RSM, she is a lead subject matter expert on complex financial instruments and is charged with identifying and developing talent, publishing accounting guides and white papers, speaking as a firm expert at conferences and on webcasts, and developing and presenting internal training.

Outsourced CFO Community Gains Momentum

The Maryland Association of CPAs and its center for learning and innovation, the Business Learning Institute, has helped plant the seeds for a community of professionals who call themselves outsourced CFOs.

That community now includes the MACPA’s new Outsourced CFO Task Force, a group of MACPA members who are interested in promoting outsourced CFO services and sharing resources.

The task force officially went public recently by hosting the MACPA’s Outsourced CFO Community Forum, a gathering of MACPA executives as well as outsourced CFOs and those who use their services. The event was a platform for sharing issues that impact the outsourced CFO community, lessons learned from those who have made the journey, and insights from leaders of firms that offer outsourced CFO services.

“I see this community as the third branch the personalized business application of the private company CFO with the ability to oversee and advise multiple companies at once,” says Barrett Young, former member of the MACPA’s board of directors. “The group of firms seeking to add this service within their existing companies surpasses the group of sole practitioners and dedicated outsourced companies. This is not a niche idea any longer. Larger firms are paying attention. The time to move on this is now.”

“It might be the first time I’ve seen a niche service that spans the entire range of our profession,” says MACPA executive director Tom Hood.

“Outsourcing jobs to independent contractors can go in waves with businesses, but with the help of the MACPA I hope we can continue to educate the small to mid-size business community that the skills of a CFO are something every business needs – if only on a part-time basis,” says Kelly Jennings, founder and CEO of Quincy CFO and a former member of the MACPA Board of Directors. “For the sake of businesses at every stage out there, I hope outsourced CFOs become commonplace.”

View Tom Hood’s presentation from the event here, and the forum report here.