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News from Your Accounting Association

CPAmerica Advantage Next Generation Conference: Preparing you for the long-term trajectory to partner Transitioning and retaining staff continue to be a big issue for our member firms. In 2014, CPAmerica President Alan Deichler developed the Next Generation Conference

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presenters committed to developing “career coachable” employees within our member firms. Ever y year since, the Next Generation Conference has grown in attendance and has offered two tracks. Track one is for first-time attendees and track two provides all-new material to returning attendees. In 2016, one attendee noted, “There were top-notch presenters, good courses for professional development, and a rare CPE environment where the people attending truly want to advance their career so the training is important to them.”

designed for the firm’s successful seniors through managers that want to understand more about how the business works and how they can fit into the bigger picture. Attendees were immersed in relationship building, leadership principles and practice management basics with other professionals at their level along with partners and

June 2017

This year’s meeting will continue to offer an all-new track for returning attendees that includes topics like client development strategies to boost revenue and retention, developing communities, and characteristics of

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More about CPAmerica's 2017 Next Generation Conference (Next Gen): Next Gen takes place in Austin, Texas Date: August 6-8, 2017 Early bird registration ends on Monday, June 26 Location: The Westin Austin Downtown (hotel deadline Friday, July 14) Register at:

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CPAmerica to launch new association management software, website and mobile app this June You may have read our big announcement in the May issue of The CPAmerica Advantage where Vice President of Member Services Grace Horvath introduced our new integrated association management software, website and mobile app that we plan to reveal to our members this month. These significant changes are certain to improve members’ user experience and we hope you notice! Like Horvath said, we heard our members’ opinions on issues like the difficulty of

finding materials in the sharing library, the inability to search for other members’ expertise and easier access to see how firms utilize membership. Horvath added, “Without a doubt, these improvements will help staff work more efficiently and effectively; enhance the delivery of service and increase member convenience and access to resources.” What’s New: With this new system, members have the ability to view their participation, use the rebuilt Sharing Library with improved search capability, order products, register

and edit registrations for events and webinars, and much more. Top 5 benefits members will get from the new website: 1. Profiles: Members can edit their own information, including bios, areas of expertise, participation, and interests in speaking or facilitating at conferences. Firm administrators and managing partners have added control to manage their firm’s profile by updating employee contacts, firm specialties and their peer reviewer or PCAOB status. They also have access to review and pay invoices, order products and subscriptions, and assess

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How can FIRST RESEARCH help my firm grow? By providing detailed Industry Profiles and Call Prep Sheets, First Research can provide the market analysis tools your clients need to close more deals. CPAmerica is offering to members only, a deeply discounted one-year subscription to First Research for only $1,595. Position yourself as something more than just an accounting firm - go to the address below or contact to get started. New association software, continued from front their firm’s participation in the association. 2. Member Directory: Members can find comprehensive details on both CPAmerica and CPAConnect member firms. They can view a specific firm to see contact information for the individuals who work there, identify the firm’s top industries and which CPAConnect firms they sponsor. Members also have the ability to search for firms or individual members by various criteria including industry, whether the firm is PCAOB inspected or registered if they have identified as peer reviewers, and whether they possess certain expertise including A&A, tax, specialty, niche and non-accounting. 3. Event Registration & Products: Members are able to register themselves or someone else from their firm for upcoming events and webinars, email receipts, edit registrations, add a spouse or guest, or cancel reservations for a dinner. Plus, members are able to search for and order products online, including surveys and quantity purchasing discounts on bulk orders such as RIA or CCH guides. 4. Sharing Library: The Sharing Library has improved search functionality so members can search by keyword, or drill down to the most relevant folder or subfolder. 5. Communities: Last, but certainly not least, we have added a new environment where committees and groups can share private documents and announcements for only the intended audience. For your convenience, we have added a user guide that can be found at the top of the new website at For questions, please contact member services at: Member_Svcs@ Stay tuned for the big reveal and more updates in the coming months.


high-functioning teams. Multi-year attendees will reconnect with peers from prior years’ conferences, deepening their professional relationships and opportunities to improve through sharing. We spoke to two of our members that became partner shortly after attended the Next Generation Conference. 2015 attendee, Lauren Joyce, Partner at Hughes Pittman & Gupton, LLP headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., said her first experience was: “really helpful to see the bigger picture of a firm and where my role fits.” Joyce joined Hughes Pittman & Gupton, LLP in January 2006 and became a partner in 2016. When asked if she attributes her new role as partner to some of what she learned at the Next Generation Conference, she said, “It definitely helped me be aware of what to expect and I knew the right questions to ask. I even spoke to Sam Allred [Next Generation Conference speaker and Director at Upstream Academy] and he took the time to answer my questions. I asked him what questions he would ask if he was on the track to partner and he was honest with me.” 2015 and 2016 attendee Trevor Williams, partner at Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman CPAs, headquartered in Bethesda, Md., said, “the conference addressed issues individuals on the path to partner may not know.” Williams joined Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman CPAs in 2004 and became partner in 2016. When asked what some of the key takeaways he brought back from the conference, Williams said, “I learned the importance of knowing the difference between an A client and a D client. Also, our firm’s realization was less than what was recommended at the conference and that gave me motivation to strive for a higher realization.” Williams continued, “And definitely the connections made with other individuals who attended Next Gen.” New this year, Leading With Courage Academy’s Lee Eisenstaedt and Trent Clark will discuss the nine behaviors that can derail a career, based on their Amazon best seller, “Being A Leader With Courage.” Returning again this year in track one is the popular partner panel, a no-holds-barred Q&A with a cross-section panel of seasoned partners who share their experience on how they got where they are today. Partners will answer questions and discuss what their challenges were coming up through the ranks, how they see these challenges evolving for today’s future leaders, and what things you can do to stay on a path to success in your firm. As one of the four partner panelists, Joyce said: “This is where you can ask the tough questions and get real-life experiences. You get to understand what you are taking on and how the firm operates.” For questions regarding this year’s Next Generation Conference, please email:

Member News

Phoenix, Arizona-based firm DSCO combines with member firm WP+D

and business administration and became a CPA in 1984. Gillis became a DMJ tax partner in 1991. In 1997, he became the firm-wide managing partner. He previously served on CPAmerica International’s board of directors where he served a term as chairman.

Phoenix, Az.-based

, recently combined with CPAmerica member firm (WP+D). Founded in 1947, DSCO provides individual, estate and trust, and corporate tax services, audits,

reviews, compilations, accounting, and consulting. All four partners, Murray P. Mindlin, CPA, J.D., L.L.M., Hilarie H. Pierce, CPA, Steven F. Buel, CPA, and Nikki M. Kuretich, CPA, joined WP+D. With the combination and expanded growth, WP+D opened a second office in Scottsdale, Az. “Our new partners bring considerable business experience, client service, and technical expertise to [our] firm,” said Mark Dreher, WP+D’s managing partner. “For several years, DSCO conducted an extensive search for a firm that shared their values, dedication to client service, and common vision. We decided our combined firms created long-term advantages and expanded capabilities for our clients. Our combination with DSCO builds a stronger firm culture, offers consistent client-service, and maintains a solid organizational structure.”

MHC&S partner appointed to Iowa Accountancy Examining Board Jim Smith, CPA, CGMA, partner at

, was appointed to the Iowa Accountancy Examining Board by Governor Terry Branstad. Smith said, “I am pleased to be appointed to the board and look forward to serving the accounting profession in Iowa for the next three years.” JIM SMITH Smith will be celebrating 30 years with MHC&S in June and currently holds memberships in the AICPA and ISCPA; he is a past president of the ISCPA and remains an involved committee member. The Iowa Professional Licensing Bureau oversees compliance and quality of accountancy in the state of Iowa to ensure quality service to clients. It is made up of members from both inside and outside the accounting profession, and all members are appointed by the governor.

Partner at Baum, Smith & Clemens, LLP completes community leadership program

Member firm 415 Group receives 2017 Business Excellence Award

Canton, Ohio -based member firm (firm members pictured above at the award ceremony in May) received the 2017 Business Excellence Award presented by the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce. The Business Excellence Awards salute companies that have distinguished themselves in areas such as entrepreneurship, longevity, growth, innovation, capital improvements, and consistent involvement in the community. Frank Monaco, managing partner of 415 Group, said: "This recognition by the chamber is a reflection of everyone’s hard work and dedication to our firm and to each other. It is a reflection on how we care ... about each other, our clients and our community."

DMJ's managing partner elected to NCACPA's board of directors

Greensboro, N.C.-based member , recently firm stated that Mike Gillis, CPA/PFS, has been elected to a three-year position on the board of directors of the North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants (NCACPA), the only statewide organization for CPAs. As the firm’s managing partner, Gillis helps privately-held businesses and their owners achieve their long-term MIKE GILLIS financial goals with proactive planning. He is a frequent presenter on tax matters and works extensively in the area of succession and exit planning strategies for businesses. He attended Thiel College in Pennsylvania and graduated in 1982 with a bachelor's in accounting

Member firm , a Lansdale-based accounting and business advisory firm, announced that Tad K. Schantz, CPA and partner of the firm, has successfully completed the LEAD Indian Valley Community Leadership Institute Program. The program is designed to inform and challenge participants as they learn about their leadership style, explore new skills in management and team dynamics, gain confidence in their ability to advance professionally, and develop real-world experience through networking and completing a company project.

THF congratulates Walgamott on acceptance into Leadership Tallahassee Class 35

Tallahassee, Fla.– based

, a professional accounting, assurance, and tax services firm, congratulated Brian Walgamott on being accepted into Leadership Tallahassee BRIAN WALGAMOTT Class 35. Leadership Tallahassee, a division of the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce, is a year-long program that educates and encourages participants to actively seek positive and constructive changes in their community through leadership roles. The selection process is competitive and qualified applicants must have demonstrated leadership capabilities in the public or private sector or show a motivation to contribute to the Tallahassee community. Walgamott received his bachelor’s in biology from Wichita State University before attending Florida State University for his master’s in accounting. He is a member of the AICPA and the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants (FICPA). He has nine years of public accounting experience and works as a senior manager in the Tax Services Department.


A&A Remarks: IBM's Watson - What Does H&R Block Know? The ability for human beings to be able to ask a question to a machine or any similar device such as Apple Inc.’s Siri or IBM’s Watson, has fascinated me for years. For some time, a number of auditors A RT W INSTE A D , D IRECTOR OF A&A and accountants have questioned if there could ever come a day when a device could do our jobs. Even before Siri’s or Watson’s time, from the development of software such as QuickBooks, Intuit, TurboTax and yes, H&R Block online and watching what seems the current (or maybe not too distant future trend) of a device doing our work, should this question bother us? Of course the question, “Could my technical and professional skills be replaced by a device?” shouldn’t bother me today. But should (or could it) bother any of us tomorrow, next week, next year, or perhaps in the next five to ten years? Is it possible that Watson, or another device or technology, will be able to audit more transactions more efficiently than I can today? As an auditor, this bothers me. Let’s focus on Watson. Watson does seem to be current technology and it does seem able to achieve a level of audited transactions more efficiently than most auditors today. H&R Block, with a market cap of more than $5 billion, and IBM with a market cap of more than $140 billion, both have to be taken seriously. IBM has the resources to burn cash for a long time in improving Watson in order to make it faster

and more accurate. On the IBM website, it states, “Go beyond artificial intelligence with Watson.” Furthermore, the IBM website promotes “Watson Discovery,” “Watson Conversation,” ”Watson Virtual Agent,” “Watson knowledge Studio,” and "Explore Watson APIs.” When you read the descriptions of these applications for Watson, the content reminds me of what we as auditors do during the conduct of an audit engagement. Watson has proven it can win at Jeopardy and has been used for cancer treatment protocols at the Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Heck, an earlier version of Watson, “Deep Blue,” could beat the best chess players in the world. It is not a stretch for me to visualize how Watson could be a very proficient auditor someday.

continually staring at (auditing) what’s behind the auditee (i.e., the rearviewmirror-approach). This approach is going to have to change to a more forward-looking approach in order to more readily meet the requirements of the users of financial statements. How will we meet the expectations of financial statement users? Are we going to be challenged to address the financial future of an auditee, the sustainability of the auditee and its environment, the credit worthiness of the auditee? I believe we will. If not, we can always ask Watson.

A banker once told asked me, “What’s more important - the fact the financial statements are accurate or the fact that the auditor is independent?” In the future, Is that same banker going to ask me, “Is it more important that a human, with all of the subjective requirements with the auditing standards, audited a small percentage of transactions or that Watson audits 100 percent of the transactions with accuracy, but does not have the subjective abilities required with the standards?” This is going to require us to accept a significant change to the current audit model. It does not make any difference which standards (AICPA, PCAOB, GAO, IAASB) we apply to the audit model; those standards are going to have to change. We are going to have to do something besides

104 N. Main St. 2017 CPAmerica June Webinars June 7 - Tax Update: Legislative and Regulatory Update, 2-4 P.M. ET

Gainesville, FL 32601 (352) 727-4070

June 8 - Using a SOC 1 Report Generated Under SSAE No. 18 and the Impact of Other Recent A&A Changes, 2-4 P.M. ET

June 21 - Tax: Current Updates at the IRS, 2-4 P.M. ET

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06 2017 advantage final  

This is the June issue of the CPAmerica Advantage newsletter. Articles include: Next Generation Conference, First Research subscription, Art...