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TechTimes CPAConnections News From Your Alliance Leaders

February 2020

Presenting CPAConnect’s 2020 Advisory Committee Philip M. Juravel of Juravel & Company, LLC, will lead this year’s group

2020 Chair Philip M. Juravel

CPAConnect ushered in 2020 and saw the new year also brought with it a new advisory committee for the alliance. We will see Philip M. Juravel of

past chair role where he will support the chair and provide continuity during the transition. Delanna Rhoton of BRK , in Winchester, Tenn., will step into her new role as vice chair.

LLC, in Alpharetta, Ga., settle in and start on his term as the 2020 chair. Juravel will succeed Thomas Mangold of the recently-merged

Immediate Past Chair Thomas Mangold

of Austin, Texas, in the position. Mangold will remain on the committee serving in the immediate

2020 Vice Chair Delanna Rhoton

• • •

Th e remaining 2020 CPAConnect Advisory Committee positions will be filled out by the following members:

Kathy Lyle, leading partner with , in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. Kevin Matthews, leading partner with , in Reston, Va. Jeffery A. Rozovics, leading and managing partner with

, in Park Ridge, Ill. New to the committee this year are: • •

Sherila Tuggle, leading partner with , in Memphis, Tenn. Mark Vitek, leading partner with , in Raleigh, N.C.

Michael J. Noonan with , located in Joliet, Ill., will remain on the advisory committee as member emeritus. The CPAConnect Advisory Committee w i l l nex t convene i n ea rly May to d iscuss matters that affect membership, go over and fine tune the elements and offerings of CPAConnect, and to review the upcoming 2020 CPAConnect Roundtable.

CPAConnect Discussion Lists are Back To our CPAConnect members - In order to ensure that you have the most efficient sharing opportunities during this coming busy tax season, we are excited to announce that the original CPAConnect Discussion Lists are back. Your feedback matters and based on member recommendations, email discussion lists have been reactivated and the online forums have been discontinued. All prior discussion list subscriptions will be automatically reactivated so you will not need to re-subscribe to your lists. If you would like to add or change your discussion list subscriptions, you can email with your requested changes.

discussions. Email:

We have various available discussion lists for members to use:

CPAConnect A&A - For technical A&A discussions. Email:

CPAConnect Members Discussion List - For general accounting, practice management or client management discussions. Email: cpac-members@list. CPAConnect Water Cooler - For non-accounting/off topic networking discussions. Email: water-cooler@list.cpamerica. org CPAConnect Tax - For technical tax

CPAConnect Practice Management Discussion List - This list is restricted and available to partners only. Discussions deal with sensitive practice management issues. Email: Just like before, to share with other members or to post a question, please email the corresponding list’s email address and all individuals subscribed to the list will receive the original post and all replies. All correspondence will

See Discussion Lists, continued on page 2

Getting Ready for the Big Sit-Down With Clients CPAs review notes and listen closely, among other things, to get the most from annual meetings. By Sarah Ovaska-Few Meetings around tax filing deadlines are a regular chance to connect with clients, but they can be more than just a check-in. They’re a prime way for accountants to glean information that can affect tax strateg y or to let clients know about firm offerings that could benefit them or their business. With so much on the line — from building client relationships to potentially discussing new services — it’s a good idea to think ahead of time about how to structure and approach these meetings. Below, three experienced CPAs share their approaches to client meetings. Take notes — and review them. The first step to a successful client meeting is knowing what’s been going on in your clients’ lives and businesses, said Amber Goering, CPA, CGMA, co-owner of Goering & Granatino, P.A. in Overland Park, Kan. She makes sure to review past client notes before any big meetings. In addition to her firm’s policy of carrying forward detailed notes, firm team members also keep in regular contact with clients throughout the year, with the frequency of calls and other contact varying based on clients’ needs. Knowing more about their clients allows the firms’ accountants to better advise and steer them toward beneficial tax strategies, Goering said. “We’re passionate about getting to know the client and their circumstances surrounding them,” she said. Understand your clients’ situation. Having a good sense of his clients’ needs helps Craig Franklin, CPA, anticipate what services his firm may have to benefit them. Franklin, owner of Craig Franklin, CPA, P.C. in San Antonio, Texas, draws most of his clients from three groups: health care practitioners, realestate investors, and high-net-worth individuals. Having that focus means he’s been able to dive deep in the particulars of those fields and has a better understanding of what could best help his clients and their small businesses. Then when he has those regular meetings, he can mention to his clients the type of services he’s provided to others in similar scenarios. Those offerings include setting up salary payments or tax withholding structures for household help such as nannies and home health aides. Franklin encourages his clients to talk to him before any major 2

financial transactions, so he can look at potential tax liabilities and benefits and provide suggestions to structure arrangements advantageously. For his physician clients, he makes a direct comparison to their work: Just as doctors use all the information they can gather to make the best possible medical decisions for their patients, he’s trying to give them the best advice he can on their financial picture. “We want them to follow our advice and our processes too,” Franklin said. Try to meet in person. Rapport tends to build best when the annual meeting to prepare tax filings happens in person, said Craig Ballentine, CPA, a principal with Patterson, Hardee & Ballentine in Franklin, Tenn.

See Sit-Down With Clients, continued on page 4 Discussion Lists, continued from front page land in your inbox. It’s that easy! Here are some Discussion List guidelines: • Posts should reflect the sophistication of CPAConnect member firms. Individuals should refrain from posting questions which could be answered with minimal effort such as a Google search or using the IRS website. • Ensure content of post is of general interest to the Discussion List. If not, reply only to the person who posted the initial question. • Stay on topic. The lists are places for specific questions and discussions should limited to succinct and relevant answers. If a topic is simply too broad, offer to have a conversation offline. • Respect the privacy and security of Discussion List posts and email addresses. Do not forward or share discussion list posts or email addresses without the authorization of all parties involved. • Utilize the Water Cooler Discussion List for chitchat and off-topic discussion. Discussion on all other lists should reflect the technical nature of the topic.

CPAConnect members are eligible to attend a variety of CPAmerica events in 2020 - all created with the purpose these is having access to several niche members-only events. Coming up this June 3-5, the CPAmerica Next Generation Conference (Next Gen) opens at the Hutton Hotel in Nashville, through Managers that are passionate about their futures and careers. Next, the Technology Roundtable meets in Charleston, S.C., on June 16-19 in the historic district at Belmond Charleston Place. Here you can join your colleagues and learn the latest industry updates, earn CPE, and build relationships with CPAmerica members. A&A Conference will also meet in Charleston, S.C., on June 16-19. Belmond Charleston Place will host this event for individuals functioning at the partner or manager level. It will cover the latest A&A standards, discussions, and best practices. On July 21-23, you can choose the Client Accounting Services Meeting

Also available for CPAConnect members will be the CPAmerica Tax Conference, which meets on Nov. 8-11 at the Loews Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn. Its focus will be on the most recent developments in the area of Tax. Finishing up 2020, members can opt for the International Group Meeting on Dec. 1-4 at the elegant Ritz-Carlton in Fort to identify and capture international markets. For more information on how to attend any of these events, please contact Director of Member Services D’Yãn Davis at: or visit and look under Events.

Please send us your releases and articles so we can share your good news with your fellow members and include the information in an upcoming issue of CPAConnections. Please submit any news about marketing@, or if you have any questions, suggestions or possible story ideas, contact Oscar Molina at

Come to the 2020 CPAConnect Roundtable! The setting this year will be Nashville, Tennessee (the “Athens of the South”), on Oct. 25-28 at the unique and elegant Kimpton Aerton Hotel. CPAConnect members can call the hotel at: 1-800-3682544 and reference “CPAConnect” to receive the group rate of $269/night plus tax (this rate will only be available until Oct. 5, 2020, at 5 p.m. CT). You can also make your reservation on the Kimpton Aerton Hotel website: https:// This annual conference focuses on practice growth and management. So come to Nashville, earn CPE, listen to great speakers, and reconnect with your peers!

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use appropriate due diligence when booking such services.


Member Spotlight Please feel free to welcome your fellow members to our association with an email or call. Donovan at: Improving Through Sharing.

Flavin Nooney & Person, CPAs and Advisors

2200 South Babcock Street Melbourne, Florida 32901 Phone: (321) 725-4700 Fax: (321) 725-0074


Barbara Nooney, CPA - Managing Partner Thomas P. Flavin, CPA - CEO & Founder Chuck Ellefson, CPA - Partner Website: Sponsor Firm: To be determined


1. The 2019 CPAConnect Roundtable met at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis 2. (l to r) 2020 Chair Philip Juravel; former Chair Erin Anker; 2020 Vice Chair Delanna Rhoton; and Immediate Past Chair Thomas Mangold 3. The special event at Itta Bena was truly a hidden gem 4. CPAConnect members took in a variety of industryleading speakers such as Art Kuesel of Kuesel Consulting; Randy Johnston of NMGI; Jennifer Wilson of ConvergenceCoaching; and Charles Hylan of The Growth Partnership



Sit-Down With Clients, continued from page 2 It’s a chance to go over the numbers in person, but also to have conversations about related life issues that may have tax implications — like thinking about buying a vacation home or expanding the business to a second location. Those conversations don’t always happen when people aren’t in a room together, he said. “Face-to-face is appreciated,” he said. “It emphasizes our roles as trusted advisers.” If an in-person meeting isn’t possible, he’ll have a phone conversation or virtual meeting. Though the output is the same — he can go over all the issues he needs — he does feel that the interactions mean clients are less forthcoming than if he were sitting down with them in person. Virtual firms have found they’ve been able to develop strong relationships with clients without meeting in person, and opting for videoconference calls over telephone calls can help solidify those relationships. Use agendas wisely. CPAs have differing opinions and preferences on how they use agendas in their meetings. Figure out which way works best for your personal style, and make that a practice going forward. Franklin, the San Antonio-based CPA, chooses not to hand out agendas for his

in-person meetings until after the meeting is over. He finds that too many clients, when handed a piece of paper before a meeting, will focus on that, and it can bog down the flow of the meeting itself. “I’ve noticed clients will start getting distracted,” he said. Not having a paper copy in hand “helps everyone get focused.” Instead, he frequently displays a copy of the agenda on a screen on which he also can go through numbers and various financial scenarios with clients. Ballentine, meanwhile, sends out a detailed agenda before the day of the meeting, so clients know what they’ll be talking about and can bring related thoughts and ideas. He then shares copies of important documents at the meeting to aid discussions. Determining what works best for your style, and that of your clients, will go a long way in helping you steer the meeting. This is Part 1 of 2 of the Ovaska-Few's article (with content from CPAConnect member Craig Franklin of Craig Franklin, CPA, P.C.). Sarah Ovaska-Few is a freelance writer based in North Carolina. The article will be continued in the next issue of the CPAConnections newsletter. This article originally appeared in CPA Insider. Professional Accountants. Reprinted by permission.

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1 2020 CPAConnections Newsletter  

This is the February 2020 CPAConnections newsletter. Articles include: CPAConnect's 2020 Advisory Committee; CPAConnect Discussion Lists are...

1 2020 CPAConnections Newsletter  

This is the February 2020 CPAConnections newsletter. Articles include: CPAConnect's 2020 Advisory Committee; CPAConnect Discussion Lists are...

Profile for cpamerica