AZ CPA May/June 2022
Adapting Strategies for New Talent
The Arizona Society of Certified Public Accountants y www.ascpa.com
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AZ CPA MAY/JUNE 2022
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AZ CPA The Arizona Society of Certified Public Accountants Oliver Yandle Haley MacDonell
President & CEO Editor
Advertising Board of Directors Chair Chair-Elect Secretary/Treasurer Directors
Rachael Crump Andrea Levy Lauren Murro Benjamin Cilek David Collins Samantha Crum Tithi Debnath Glen Evans Barbara Gonzalez Joseph Heidleburg Gabrielle Luoma Eugene Park Jesse Porras Megan Romo Christopher Tyhurst Tom Duensing Mike Allen Jared Van Arsdale
Immediate Past Chair AICPA Council Members
AZ CPA is published by the Arizona Society of Certified Public Accountants (ASCPA) to provide information, news and trends to the accounting profession. It is distributed six times a year as a benefit to ASCPA members. The ASCPA, its members, board of directors and administrative staff assume no responsibility for advertisements herein. The ASCPA and the above people also assume no liability for business decisions made by readers in reference to statements and/or claims in articles or advertisements within this publication. Opinions expressed by contributors are not necessarily those of the ASCPA. Arizona Society of CPAs 4801 E. Washington St., Suite 180 Phoenix, AZ 85034-2040
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AZ CPA MAY/JUNE 2022
Telephone (602) 252-4144 AZ Toll-Free (888) 237-0700 www.ascpa.com
Volume 38 Number 3
AZ CPA May/June 2022
Adapting Strategies for New Talent By Haley MacDonell
rizona Society of CPAs 12 A2022-2023 Board of Directors
Adapting Strategies for New Talent
For Your Not-For-Profit’s 14 Preparing First Single Audit Columns & Departments
By Corey Arvizu, CPA
Chair’s Message by Rachael Crump, CPA, CGMA
rizona Society of CPAs 18 AMembership eet Our Excellence in Teaching 20 MHonoree: Max Hewitt, Ph.D. By Haley MacDonell
Down: Lessons From 22 Sa lowing Career Break By Haley MacDonell
4801 E. Washington St., Suite 180 Phoenix, Arizona 85034-2040 www.ascpa.com
MAY/JUNE 2022 AZ CPA
ASCPA Chair’s Message Welcome Back, In Person! This year, we are all beginning to return to events in person, and the ASCPA Annual Meeting & Awards Luncheon is no exception. The world has undergone quite a transformation since we last convened. I look forward to welcoming you all at our first in-person Annual Meeting & Awards Luncheon in three years, as your current chair for the 2022-2023 fiscal year.
Rachael Crump, CPA, CGMA Chair, Arizona Society of CPAs Senior Vice President, Global Corporate Controller and Principal Accounting Officer at Insight
My first introduction to the Arizona Society of CPAs was when I served as a new audit staff at Ernst & Young, and the office enrolled each of us for membership. I didn’t realize at that early point in my career the longevity the ASCPA provided to support CPAs throughout Arizona. When I left audit to industry (dating myself here, pre-Sarbanes-Oxley), I took the ASCPA with me. I enjoyed the periodicals to read the news of the profession as I built my career in controllership roles in public companies of various sizes. I would often take continuing education classes in person or online or utilize self-study materials to maintain my CPE requirements. At my current employer Insight, we are fortunate to offer our CPAs on staff (in finance and other areas of our business, as well) a robust CPE offering to support their requirements – several of whom hold licenses even outside of Arizona. Still, I have appreciated my service on the board for the Arizona CPA Foundation for Education & Innovation and several other committees. The diversity of talent and skill that CPAs possess is reflected in the many roles, professions and areas of our society and economy that are served by talented CPAs. CPAs, like us, lead the way in various manners by guiding firms, companies, not-for-profit organizations, finance teams, government organizations and many digital-forward teams today. There are too many to mention them all, and the list continues beyond my allotted word count! It is our resiliency and determination as CPAs that has us leading transformation. Through all of this change, the ASCPA is here to support you and your career in all stages. As we continue to stay aware of the many tumultuous waves across the world, we keep those in harm’s way in our daily thoughts. I encourage you to pause and to take some moments of gratitude to enjoy one another as we return to gathering again. During the year serving as your chair, we will continue the focus on transformation at the ASCPA to support diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, a priority important to me and to our changing profession. Our transformation as CPAs ensures the longevity of the profession. That becomes even more critical with the new CPA exam on the horizon. We are preparing for that transition by communicating clearly about what it means for students and candidates in 2024. I look forward to serving as your chair for the next year. l
Respectfully, Rachael Crump
AZ CPA MAY/JUNE 2022
Member News Michael Steven Anderson, CPA and Madison G. Williams, CPA of Henry+Horne were recently licensed as CPAs.
Daliah D. Bui, CPA; Eric Freeman, CPA; Jennifer Elizabeth Randle, CPA; Sumi M. Rowe, CPA and CariAnn J. Todd, CPA were promoted to principal at BeachFleischman.
Steve Harnden, CFP,® CPA a private wealth advisor with Affirm Wealth Advisors, was named to the 2022 Chairman’s Advisory Council for the 16th time. He was also named on “Barron’s Top 1,200 Financial Advisors” by Barron’s Magazine.
MAY/JUNE 2022 AZ CPA
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Ask the Firms: Adapting Strategies for New Talent By Haley MacDonell
There was record voluntary turnover in 2021, as employees left companies in search of new opportunities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 47.4 million Americans voluntarily left their job during the previous year, with 4.3 million leaving in December 2021 alone. Like every industry, this trend affected the accounting profession. Organizations scramble to recruit and retain quality talent, a task made more difficult by a strained accounting pipeline. Continued on next page...
MAY/JUNE 2022 AZ CPA
BeachFleischman and Henry+Horne ranked in the top ten Best Firms for Young Accountants for 2021 according to Accounting Today. Both firms are proud of their corporate culture, recruitment strategies and results. “We have worked hard and are still working every day to maintain and improve our culture,” explains Kristin Buser, director of team engagement at Henry+Horne. “Given the past two years, it has become even more imperative to listen and understand the constantly changing atmosphere we face. Public accounting is a guaranteed career with so many unique opportunities, but you have to listen and adapt in order to stay on top.” Some organizations connect with new talent early through internship experiences that provide learning opportunities more meaningful than filing papers or going on coffee runs. “We hope that the students can see what day-to-day life looks like as a tax accountant or an audit accountant, and then they can make a more informed decision about whether the career and the firm are interesting to them long term,” explains Cheryl Hutchins, a learning and organizational development specialist at BeachFleischman. “We love when our interns decide to stay with us full time after graduation.” How have firms changed their strategy to recruit and retain new talent? Buser of Henry+Horne and Hutchins of BeachFleischman shared their own experience with the changing accounting career environment.
What has changed in your strategy to recruit and retain accountants/CPAs in the past two years? BeachFleischman: We are seeing that there is more emphasis on flexibility. Accounting is no longer a one-size-fits-all industry. Employees in their early career have been seeking flexible work arrangements (remote work/in-office work/hybrid), schedules that better accommodate their needs and priorities, and more definitions of what success looks like in their career. Henry+Horne: We adjusted just like everybody else did, and we are doing our best to keep that momentum going forward as that mental shift to flexible work happens in the recruiting world. Our strategy has remained the same: to find team members that would love working at Henry+Horne as much as we do. We want to make sure that they want to be here with us and grow their careers to help them be as successful as possible.
What have you noticed about early-career accountants’ interest in remote work? BeachFleischman: If we’ve learned anything these past few years, it’s that everyone has strong feelings about remote work. Rather than requiring employees to work remotely or requiring employees to be in the office, BeachFleischman offers a variety of remote work options: completely remote, hybrid or completely in-office. Employees can pick the arrangement that best fits their work style and job duties. Henry+Horne: We don’t have a large work-anywhere force, but we do offer flexible work accommodations. Recent graduates were subjected to a virtual learning environment during most of their college career. Our younger, fresh-out-of-college candidates crave more in-person collaboration, an atmosphere with more comradery, more culture. They missed out on that in their college years. So, we’re seeing a lot of our incoming team members wanting the flexibility, not wanting to be required to be in the office full time, but knowing that they’re able to have the option. They want to ask questions to the person sitting near them, not having to do it through a virtual format.
AZ CPA MAY/JUNE 2022
How does professional development play a role in retaining new talent? BeachFleischman: Our employees are flush with opportunities to advance their technical skills, so developU (a professional development program) offers opportunities to develop their technical, leadership and soft skills. Mentoring can also be a part of professional development. Employees are temporarily assigned a mentor when they are hired, but they are encouraged to identify a long-term mentor who fits their personality and career trajectory. This helps to make sure that the relationship is as beneficial to the mentee as possible, because they have handpicked the mentor that will best help them to advance. Henry+Horne: We offer many opportunities, and one example is through supporting an employee’s interest in becoming a CPA. Especially as an accounting professional looking to advance their career, the CPA designation is not going away. There’s certain work that only CPAs can do. In order to grow the industry, we need people with that knowledge. We help with paying for materials and reimburse them for tests. If they need to ask our team members to help them study or to host study groups, we encourage that. With bonuses and raises, we do what other firms do as well to show that we’re just as serious about it as our employees. We know it’s not an easy task, but we appreciate it and know they will too when it comes to their career. l
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Arizona Society of CPAs 2022-2023 Board of Directors
Rachael Crump* ASCPA Chair
Andrea Levy* ASCPA Chair-Elect
Principal Accounting Officer Insight Enterprises
Chief Financial Officer Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center
Eugene Park* ASCPA Director 2021-2023
Ben Cilek ASCPA Director 2022-2024
David Collins ASCPA Director 2022-2024
Samantha Crum ASCPA Director 2021-2023
Audit Partner Heinfeld, Meech & Co., PC
Director of Accounting Best Western International, Inc
Business Analytics Consultant Blue Yonder, Inc.
Controller Pioneer Title Agency, Inc.
AZ CPA MAY/JUNE 2022
Lauren Murro* ASCPA Secretary/ Treasurer Audit Partner Eide Bailly LLP
Tom Duensing* ASCPA Past Chair Financial Services Director City of Tempe
Tithi Debnath ASCPA Director 2022-2024
Glen Evans ASCPA Director 2021-2023
Barbara Gonzalez ASCPA Director 2021-2023
Joe Heidleburg ASCPA Director 2022-2024
Managing Director Deloitte & Touche LLP
Senior Manager KPMG LLP
Professor of Accounting Chandler-Gilbert Community College
International Accounting Manager Align Technology, Inc.
Gabrielle Luoma ASCPA Director 2022-2024
Jesse Porras ASCPA Director 2022-2024
Megan Romo ASCPA Director 2021-2023
Chris Tyhurst ASCPA Director 2021-2023
CEO MOD Ventures, LLC
Senior Associate Henry+Horne
Tax Manager Quick and Associates, PC
Principal REDW LLC
Mike Allen AICPA Council Member 2021-2024
Jared Van Arsdale AICPA Council Member 2021-2024
Oliver Yandle President & CEO
Principal REDW LLC
Ullmann & Company, PC
Arizona Society of CPAs
*Executive Committee Member
MAY/JUNE 2022 AZ CPA
Preparing For Your Not-For-Profit’s First Single Audit By Corey Arvizu, CPA Early preparation and an awareness of the additional requirements is key to ensuring your first single audit is successful. Many not-for-profit organizations have received new or additional federal funding in response to the pandemic. In some situations, these funds were received as part of federal programs designed specifically to respond to the pandemic, such as the Coronavirus Relief Fund. In other situations, the additional funds may have been imbedded in existing federal funding sources the organization has historically received. Along with this additional funding, not-for-profit organizations are finding themselves subject to the additional audit requirements of the single audit for the very first time. If your organization expended more than $750,000 of federal funds in a fiscal year, you will need a single audit. A single audit significantly changes the type of audit procedures that are performed in comparison to those of a financial statement audit. Early preparation and an awareness of the additional requirements is key to ensuring your first single audit is successful.
AZ CPA MAY/JUNE 2022
Identification of Federal Funding Sources Identification of the federal funding sources received by the organization is the first and most important step in preparation of your single audit. Federal funding is often received from different sources and may take different forms. Federal funding may come directly from federal agencies, such as the United States Department of Health and Human Services. However, federal funding is often passed through local governments such as cities or counties and, in some instances, from other not-forprofit organizations. The common form of federal funding received by a not-for-profit organization is grants, either received prior to expenditure or on a cost-reimbursement basis. Other forms of federal funding include loans and loan guarantees, interest subsidies, food commodities and even donated property, which was common for pandemic-related programs in the form of personal protective equipment. Ideally, the grants or contracts from the awarding agency specify the source of the federal funding and relevant compliance requirements. However, as noted, the federal funding is often received from different awarding agencies, which can utilize different types of grants or contracts. Therefore, it is important as a recipient to closely review these agreements and to review them early, in case clarification is needed from the awarding agency. One item to note is that funds received under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) are not subject to single audit requirements. However, other compliance and document retention requirements are applicable to this federal program.
Preparation of the SEFA
Testing of Federal Programs
Once all of your organization’s federal funding sources have been identified, the information is then utilized to prepare the schedule of expenditures of federal awards, commonly referred to as the SEFA. The SEFA determines if a single audit is required, and if so, the individual federal programs that will be audited for the single audit. Not all of the organization’s federal programs are audited in a single audit. The auditor utilizes a risk assessment process specified in audit guidance to determine which programs will be audited. The following are some of the more important informational elements that are required to be included on the SEFA: • Title of federal program • Assistance listing number (formerly known as CFDA number) • Program expenditures • Federal awarding agency • Name of pass-through entity, if applicable • Amount provided to subrecipients, if applicable The accurate and complete preparation of the SEFA is critical. Without it, auditors cannot determine if a single audit is required, and if so, which federal programs are to be audited. An inaccurate or incomplete SEFA can lead to audit delays, as well as potential audit findings.
Once the auditor has determined which federal programs will be audited, the process of reviewing the programs and the testing of certain compliance requirements begins. Auditors use a document titled the Compliance Supplement to determine the audit procedures to be performed on the selected federal programs. Most all federal programs are included in this document, and it includes guidance on the 12 compliance requirements that may be applicable to a federal program, such as activities allowed or unallowed, eligibility, provisions and reporting and special test. Although many of the 12 requirements may be applicable to the grant, federal agencies specify six that auditors are required to perform audit procedures on. In some cases, even though the requirement is specified for testing, the auditor may determine it is not significant enough to the particular organization to warrant testing. For example, procurement may be identified as a requirement to be tested; however, if the organization used most of the grant funds for payroll expenditures, this requirement may not be tested. The Compliance Supplement is often called an “open book test” as it is a public document which all organizations receiving a single audit may access. Grant administrators and other program personnel that will be working with the auditors for the federal programs to be audited are encouraged to review this document when preparing for the single audit to become familiar with what the auditors will be requesting and reviewing. Continued on next page...
MAY/JUNE 2022 AZ CPA
Auditor and Audit Fees
If you determine your not-forprofit organization may be subject to a single audit, contact your current auditor early in the process. Performing single audits is a specialized area, and not all auditors perform single audits, so you will want to discuss if they are able to provide this service. In addition, due to the additional time required to perform a single audit, there will most likely be additional audit fees. Your auditor will need to assess your federal programs and the complexity of the additional testing required in order to provide an estimate of the additional fees.
This article provides some of the more fundamental items to be aware of during your first single audit. Additional items that you will want to have an awareness of include terminology, acronyms, specifics of the applicable compliance requirements, reporting of audit findings, corrective action plan and the data collection form. Fortunately, there are resources available to assist you and your staff throughout the process. Your auditors will be a great resource to answer questions and provide guidance throughout the preparation for your single audit. In addition, there are numerous trainings on single audits available online and through conferences, some developed specifically for first-time single audits. With some preparation, consultation and research, your first single audit, although challenging, will be a success. l
AZ CPA MAY/JUNE 2022
Corey Arvizu, CPA is a partner at Heinfeld, Meech & Co. Arvizu will speak during his session “Welcome to Your First Single Audit” at the ASCPA Not-For-Profit Conference on June 24, 2022. Register for the conference at ascpa.com/npc
June 24, 2022 · Desert Willow Conference Center and via webcast Meet our Keynote Speakers
CBIZ & MHM “Audit and Accounting Update”
Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits “Nonprofit Lifecycles”
Pima Association of Governments “Overcoming a Ransonware Attack”
Register: ascpa.com/npc In a fast-paced accounting world, not-for-profit leaders must know how to be efficient and effective with the resources they’re given in an ever-changing financial environment. Get to know the most pressing issues facing not-for-profit organizations, and personalize your experience with four breakout sessions.
AZ Tax Credit Funds CBIZ & MHM CLA (CliftonLarsonAllen) Fester & Chapman, PLLC Heinfeld, Meech & Co., P.C. Henry+Horne Innovest Portfolio Solutions, LLC Your Part-Time Controller
Your Arizona Society of CPAs Membership As an ASCPA member, you are part of the largest CPA organization in Arizona. Here are some of the ways your membership supports your community and maximizes your growth.
ASCPA Members Inspire Arizona’s Future CPAs As a member, you can transform communities by providing guidance and opportunities to students unaware of the incredible possibilities in accounting careers. The ASCPA has hosted over 40 Road to the CPA programs at community colleges, universities and high schools. If you are interested in participating in the ASCPA’s growing outreach efforts, email Cynthia at firstname.lastname@example.org. The ASCPA offers a variety of volunteer opportunities. See a full list at www.ascpa.com/ascpavolunteer.
ASCPA Members Have a Strong Network As a member, you have access to the extensive knowledge and experience of your peers, who you can reach at any time on the ASCPA Connect site, an online members-exclusive community. Register online or save the date to connect with your peers at the following events.
May 3 Virtual End of Season Tax Party
May 12 Annual Meeting & Awards Luncheon
June 24 Not-for-Profit Conference
August TBA Membership Happy Hour
November 8-9 Annual Conference
AZ CPA MAY/JUNE 2022
ASCPA Members Continue to Maximize Their Professional Growth
ASCPA Members Support Advocacy Efforts That Protect the CPA Credential
As a member, you can register for continuing education courses and conferences that best meet your needs. Online classes conveniently allow you to attend from your preferred location. Conferences are hybrid, so you can attend virtually or in person to connect with your peers.
The ASCPA is the voice of the CPA profession at the Arizona Legislature and provides nonpartisan technical expertise on accounting, finance, business and tax policy. As an ASCPA member, your participation strengthens our role in the legislative process. When we speak, lawmakers listen.
Your Members Savings:
Some of the ASCPA’s recent achievements and successes include:
• Save 25% on CPE and conference registration. • Save an additional 15% when renewing and registering by May 31, 2022.
• Reviewing all 1,684 pieces of legislation introduced for potential impact to CPAs and the profession and working with legislators to draft legislation;
• Save an average of $360 by taking advantage of the eight free webinars offered throughout the year.
• Hosting CPA Day at the State Capitol to forge connections between ASCPA members and state lawmakers;
• If your firm is part of the 100% Club, your non-CPA staff can register for CPE at the member price. Learn more at www.ascpa.com/100_club
• Ensuring passage of income tax conformity legislation – SB 1264 (internal revenue code; conformity);
Happy 50th Anniversary Congratulations to these ASCPA members on their 50 years of membership. FRANCIS T. DUBASIK PAUL D. HERMANSON THOMAS R. FISSELL GERALD S. HOLMAAS GERALD A. HENDERSON ROBIN L. RICHEY
• Hosting an income tax conformity debrief with legislators and legislative staff to educate on the importance of conformity legislation, provide guidance and answer questions; and • Continuing collaborative work with the Arizona State Board of Accountancy (ASBA) on regulatory issues and ongoing engagement in occupational and professional licensing efforts to protect the CPA credential and the public served by the profession.
Renew your membership at www.ascpa.com/renew or use your phone camera to scan:
View a full list of members commemorating their ASCPA anniversaries at www.ascpa.com/anniversary.
MAY/JUNE 2022 AZ CPA
Meet Our Excellence in Teaching Honoree: Max Hewitt, Ph.D. By Haley MacDonell During the Super Bowl, one student in Accounting 310 emailed a question to their professor. “As the companies are trying to generate more profit from playing these commercials, can the cost for these advertisements be considered an asset for companies?” the student wrote. The course recently covered measuring cost information, using advertising costs during the big game to link the topic back to the reporting choices managers face when incurring costs. Max Hewitt, a professor at the University of Arizona, inspires his students to seek out the big picture, even with the most complicated material. The Super Bowl is one of many accessible examples that Hewitt has used to challenge his students to find accounting in the everyday. He was selected as the Arizona CPA Foundation for Education & Innovation’s 2022 Excellence in Teaching Award recipient for his mentorship, teaching style and student impact. As the CPA profession continues to grapple with strengthening the talent pipeline, fewer Arizona students are enrolling in two- or four-year universities, the lowest rate in a decade, according to the Arizona Board of Regents. Innovative and effective teachers can be an essential piece to solving the pipeline puzzle. With a background in financial accounting research and academia, Hewitt teaches at all levels of accounting at the university. He often shares insights from his own research experience and uses in-class activities to increase student engagement. At the undergraduate level, he created an Excel-based simulation to highlight financial budgeting. He is also responsible for creating a new doctorial seminar to introduce research methods.
AZ CPA MAY/JUNE 2022
“It is exciting to see students begin to appreciate the nuances that arise through accountants using their discretion to measure and report organizations’ financial performance and position,” Hewitt says. “As society broadens its perspective to care about a growing list of organizational activities, it appears the opportunities for accounting students to have an impact are limitless. To have the chance to introduce students to these opportunities is really motivating.” During the university’s quick shift to online learning in 2020, he enriched remote learning using innovative props, new learning technologies, videos and enhanced student contact hours. He has received stellar feedback from his students and from his peers. “While [his] quantitative scores are outstanding, the student comments truly bring out the story behind these numbers,” elaborates Shyam V. Sunder, the director of the Dhaliwal-Reidy School of Accountancy at the University of Arizona. “The student comments are perhaps the strongest I have seen for any instructor at the Eller School of Management. The student appreciation is reflected in the impressive list of student-voted awards that Max has won over the years.” Since he began teaching at the University of Arizona at the beginning of 2016, Hewitt has received seven teaching awards from the school. His overall average for classroom teaching performance was a 4.94 out of 5 from students across all courses in the 2020-2021 school year. “[He] was the best instructor I’ve ever had,” wrote one student in course feedback. “He had the most passion and genuine care for the students’ success and comprehension, and while the course work was very difficult, he put 100% into the course and the students’ understanding.” “It was evident through his teaching style that diversity, equity and inclusiveness are priorities to Max,” wrote another student. “For example, Max effortlessly identified accountants and more job titles throughout his
course as female and as minorities. This small gesture made the career choice feel more attainable.” “If I’m working with students who are ultimately hoping to work in an accounting role, I want them to understand the perspective of those people around them who will rely on their work but may not have the same knowledge, appreciation or love for accounting,” Hewitt says. “I want my accounting students to not only be able to communicate to their accounting colleagues, but to also find ways to clearly communicate with their non-accounting colleagues. In solving the most challenging business issues, we need everyone working together. Accounting can help serve the purpose of putting everyone on the same page or at least working out when our perspectives differ.” l We are pleased to celebrate Max Hewitt and his impact at the ASCPA Annual Meeting & Awards Luncheon on May 12. Register here: www.ascpa.com/annual.
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www.apexcpas.com MAY/JUNE 2022 AZ CPA
Slowing Down: Lessons From a Career Break By Haley MacDonell
Movement is a core part of Ben Cilek’s life. He is a cyclist, a runner and a triathlete. To recover from various aches and pains from his physical activities and improve his flexibility, he became passionate about yoga. “Over time it started to become more of a mental practice than physical,” Cilek explains. “Some of those principles of yoga – of slowing down, just breathing and connecting with your breath – made me want to slow down in life, too.”
AZ CPA MAY/JUNE 2022
In the mid-2010s, Cilek was ready to reassess what he wanted out of his work and life. He decided to take a break from the last 18 years in corporate accounting and finance, which had allowed him to be a trusted business advisor and help investigate the innerworkings of an entire business. There was a well-walked path in front of him that led to retirement and plenty of time for adventures. But, the cycling trips on his bucket list in the high mountains of the U.S., Europe and other places around the world could look different by the time retirement arrived. “I can do this now, but I don’t know if I will be able to do this when I’m 60 or 65,” Cilek recalls. “I wanted to slow down and reevaluate if I was living the life I wanted to live. I felt like I couldn’t make some of those assessments while I was in the working world.” Many American workers have been reevaluating their professional and personal journeys in the past two years. Nearly 1 in 3 workers in the United States under the age of 40 have thought about changing their occupation or field of work since the pandemic began, according to a Washington Post-Schar School poll conducted in July 2021. A saying from his yoga practice stuck out in Cilek’s mind as he considered the career break: In stillness are the answers. With a goal in mind, he began planning to make it happen. Two to three years before his career break, he included his therapist and his financial planner in on his idea. Cilek also began creating the roadmap for the break, which included travel to new places as well as visiting family and friends, connecting with his Phoenix community and deepening his spiritual practice.
“I was very cognizant that this is really special, and this could be once in a lifetime,” Cilek says. “I would need to be very intentional about taking that time and knowing what I want to get out of this.” His career break, though originally penciled in for one year, lasted for 18 months from April 2017 to August 2018. He spent three months of this time exploring new places and experiencing different cultures in Europe, the Middle East and Central America. One month was a trip up the Pacific Coast Highway and through the Southwest cycling and practicing yoga in new places. For another month, he visited friends and family members in the Midwest. “I wanted to go see my family and friends in their home habitat with their families in their day-to-day lives,” Cilek says. “It was a cool way to connect with family and friends in a more intimate way than meeting for a holiday gathering or going on a trip with my buddies to Mexico for a weekend.” During his time in Phoenix between trips, he wanted not only to be a tourist in his own city, but also to root himself in his community. One example was volunteering with the local chapter of The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, an organization dedicated to feeding, clothing, housing and healing individuals in need of support. He served meals in their dining hall and helped kids with their homework at the Dream Center. “I was able to experience the work that these nonprofits are doing, which enlightens you to the need that is around us,” he says. Cilek also worked through a 200-hour certification program to become a yoga teacher. He wanted to learn more about the history of yoga – the practice that had inspired his break – and its ties to Hinduism and Buddhism. By the time he reentered the workforce, he felt confident about the direction he wanted his career to take and the priorities that were most important to him. “One of the things I learned was how much is enough,” he says. “Enough starts with material things like having a bigger home or a nice car, and then there’s societal pressure of what your life is supposed to look like such as finding a partner and having kids. I realized that the things I already have are enough. The hobbies that I have, the friends that I have, the family that I have, to me that’s enough. At work, I was trying to move up the corporate ladder at the expense of other aspects of my life, and I realized that I don’t want to do that anymore.” In one example of this mindfulness, Cilek decided to break his tendency to purchase more professional attire if it was not needed. He realized he had fallen into a cycle of buying a new shirt for work on a regular basis on a whim. What he had in his closet – tens of work shirts and a good amount of slacks – was enough. During his workdays, he reminds himself to slow down throughout the day by trying to take short breaks every 90 minutes or so to do something different. “I’m a big believer that we’re not robots that can just sit at our desks for hours,” Cilek explains. “Taking microbreaks and going out for a five-minute walk or doing something a bit different for five or 10 minutes is essential.” He is also more aware of incorporating moments of joy in his day. For him, that typically involves physical activity. Those moments of joy will be unique to each person, whether that be savoring their favorite brand of coffee or walking the dog in the evenings. “I understand that I need to slow down and do the things that make me happier on a day-to-day basis, whether it’s yoga or downtime or going out for a bike ride, whatever makes me happy today,” he says. l Cilek is director of accounting at Best Western International in Phoenix. He serves on the ASCPA Board of Directors for the 2022-2024 term.
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MAY/JUNE 2022 AZ CPA
Sourcing a Strong Candidate Pool is Pushing Firms Outside Their Comfort Zone By Emily Franchi, CAMICO Loss Prevention Specialist Employee and candidate demands for a flexible schedule or remote working environment are pushing accounting firms to remain competitive. Firms that have not considered allowing employees to work in a remote environment in the past, citing security and control reasons, are now finding themselves with a limited local candidate pool and the threat of an employee exodus in search of a more flexible work environment. To maintain staffing levels to support client needs, firms are struggling to source a strong candidate pool from local candidates and are now looking outside their local areas and even in other states to find qualified candidates. In addition, the demand for a competitive compensation package is stronger than ever as the candidate pool has the upper hand. Employees can work for firms located in any state while living in an area with a lower cost of living and in turn enjoying a better quality of life. Of course, a remote workforce can bring greater risk to the firm. As firms consider the various factors to support a remote workforce, there are a few items to keep in mind. • Consider conducting background checks on candidates if offered a position. • Contact the candidate’s references and ask about work habits, strengths and weaknesses. Many past employers shy away from providing such detail, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. • Review and update policies that impact a remote work group such as cyber safety, use of firm resources and care of client files. • Create a checklist for an employee’s home office to ensure cyber safety and address issues such as a firewall, secured network, remote swipe and firm-provided phone.
AZ CPA MAY/JUNE 2022
Once remote employees are onboard, firms must ensure that processes are keeping employees engaged, heard and feeling valued. Create opportunities for engagement and have a solid remote workers policy that addresses expectations of a remote worker. Such a policy may address: • Employees should be available and engaged during regular business hours. • While the employee’s remote office need not be a dedicated room or office space, the space should be free from distractions, pets and young children. It should allow for a secure space where firm and client information cannot be accessed by others, and phone calls are private. • Express expectations related to virtual meeting platforms. Address issues such as requiring the employee to have their camera on or allowing them to keep the camera off, dress code while on virtual meetings and backgrounds. The accounting firm of the future is here. With the advice of a risk management advisor, firms can gain an understanding of potential risk and create best practices to support the new workplace of today. l Emily Franchi is the loss prevention specialist for employment practices with CAMICO Mutual Insurance Company (www.camico.com). She provides CAMICO policyholders who have Employment Practices Liability coverage with support on human resources management issues, focusing on employee relations and workplace legislative compliance. Franchi works with policyholders to reduce exposure to potential employment practices claims, and she provides education to create professional work environments.
Hannah Malinski, J.D. Trust Oﬃcer
Josh Moore, M.S. Trust Oﬃcer
id e yo u r We w o rk a lo n gs en t a d v is o r cl ie n ts’ in v es tm Dave Long, J.D. Rachel Zaslow, J.D. VP and Branch Manager Trust Oﬃcer
Register Early for CPE & Save It’s that time of year! With over 1,000 opportunities at your fingertips to expand your knowledge and skills, find the CPE you need in the format that fits your busy schedule. Here are some highlights you can expect this year: • Over 30 new course titles including 2-hour seminars from top national vendors AICPA and Surgent. • Return to the Learning Center with high impact sessions including tax and A&A updates. • See favorites – Ed, Pat, Gil and more – in person or online. Navigate your challenges with these experts by your side. Members save an additional 15% on most CPE including 4- and 8-hour webcasts if you register by May 31 (on top of your 25% member discount). Discounted fees automatically applied at time of checkout when logged into your ASCPA member account. Review courses now: ascpa.com/courses View the CPE Catalog: ascpa.com/catalog
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OLD TOWN SCOTTSDALE OFFICE SPACE
Clarus Wealth Advisors, a Registered Investment Advisor, has open office space for rent. Great opportunity for an elegant and professional work environment, as well as the possibility of client referrals from the RIA. Office location: 9125 W Thunderbird Rd, Suite 100 in Peoria, AZ. Contact Theresa Fanning at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 623-302-7706. Website: www.claruswealthadvisors.com
A tax practice CPA firm has an office building with office space available for lease. The CPA firm is in need of assistance with its workload if the tenant has extra billing time available. The office space comes with a conference room, kitchen area, covered parking and office assistant if needed. If you have any interest, please call Dave at (602) 751-5993.
OLD TOWN SCOTTSDALE OFFICE SPACE There are three offices available for lease in prime Old Town Scottsdale. One office is 150 square feet and the other two are 100 square feet and includes the use of a conference room and kitchen. Monthly rent is $850 a month for the larger office and $750 a month for the smaller offices. Covered parking is available for $25 a month. For more information, please call Dave at (602) 751-5993.
AZ CPA MAY/JUNE 2022
AZ CPA Quick Quiz You’ve Read It, Now Get Credit 7.
Take this quiz on AZ CPA content online or submit this hard copy. Receive a score of 70 percent or more and earn one hour of CPE credit in specialized knowledge. It’s that easy!
m Excel-based simulation for financial budgeting m Relating measuring cost information to the commercials at the Super Bowl m Monopoly for money management
Fees: Members: $25 Nonmembers: $40 Online Access Go to www.ascpa.com/quickquiz to access links to all active quizzes. Once a quiz is purchased, a link and password will be emailed to you. Your results will be sent immediately after completion, and certificates are emailed within two business days. Hard Copy Please select one answer for each question. Fill out registration/payment information below and mail or fax to the Society office. Quiz results and certificates will be emailed to the address provided on the registration form. *This quiz will be available until June 2023. Please note that users have three attempts to pass the quiz with at least a 70 percent score.
May/June 2022 Issue of AZ CPA* 1.
Which of the following is not a key focus for Rachael Crump’s year as chair? m Diversity, equity and inclusion m Communication on the new CPA exam m Expand the Find a CPA referral service
2. When will the new CPA Evolution CPA Exam debut? m 2024 m 2025 m 2027 3. What is one way that firms can entice new talent? m Connecting early through internships m Mandating in-person office attendance daily m Discouraging further education 4. How many new members joined the Board of Directors for the 2022-2024 term? m 5 m 6 m 8
5. Although many of the 12 requirements of the Compliance Supplement may be applicable to the grant, federal agencies specify _____that auditors are required to perform audit procedures on. m 6 m 8 m 12
What is not an example of a learning activity Max Hewitt used to teach accounting concepts to his students?
8. True or False: Fewer Arizona students are enrolling in two- and four-year universities at the lowest rate in a decade. m True m False 9. What did Ben Cilek not do to prepare for his career break? m Decide what he wanted to accomplish during the break m Document his decision-making in a blog m Make a plan with his therapist and financial advisor 10. According to a 2021 poll, how many American workers under the age of 40 considered changing their occupation or field of work since the pandemic began? m 1 in 2 m 1 in 3 m 1 in 5
6. Which of the following is included in SEFA’s informational elements? m Assistance listing numbers m Federal awarding-agency m All of the above
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MAY/JUNE 2022 AZ CPA
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2022-2023 Annual ASCPA Membership Dues Renewal It is renewal time! If you haven’t already done so, you may use this form to send your renewal payment. Select Dues Category: ○ Industry or Public Practice
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*Retired: Any person who is a CPA, licensed under the laws of any state, or persons who have passed the uniform examination for CPAs may apply. These individuals are completely retired from the accounting practice. **Leave of Absence: Any persons who is a CPA, licensed under the laws of any state or persons who have passed the uniform examination for CPAs may apply. These individuals are currently not working (maternity, military leave, disability).
Questions? Contact us at (602) 252-4144 or email@example.com. Check: Return invoice with check payable to the ASCPA. 4801 E. Washington St., Ste. 180, Phoenix, AZ 85034
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Card Number: ____________________________________________ Expiration Date:____/____ Contributions or gifts of income to associations are not tax deductible as charitable contributions for income tax purposes. However, they may be tax deductible as ordinary business expense subject to restrictions imposed as a result of association lobbying activities. The ASCPA estimates that the nondeductible portion of your dues for the period of May 1, 2022 through April 30, 2023 is 8%.
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