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Ensuring Success 2020 Sessions

CPE/CE Credit only available during the live stream.

Wednesday, December 2 | Day 1
9:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M. EST

Session 1 – 9:00 A.M. - 10:00 A.M. EST:

10 Tax Planning Tips for Year-End and the Year Ahead

With aspects of the election still in limbo, it's difficult to speculate on the potential for tax changes in the year ahead. A Republican Congress will likely leave tax rates the same, but a Democratic push for higher tax rates could put our paychecks and savings accounts on the national battleground. Historically, tax increases for individuals are not made retroactive, so 2021 might be a year to prepare for higher rates. Or not – only time will tell. Meanwhile, what can we do between now and April 15 (assuming that is the 2021 individual tax return filing date) to protect our clients' financial interests and help them take advantage of tax laws that are already in place?

Sponsor: Intuit

This session qualifies for IRS CE credit


Field of Study: Taxes

Panelists: Jackie Meyer, Jim Buffington, Marty McCutchen

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Session 2 – 10:00 A.M. - 11:00 A.M. EST:

Retooling Your Practice to Include Financial Planning and Wealth Management Services 

Tax practices are changing. Software is taking the place of many of the more straightforward aspects of tax preparation, and a society that is in a hurry is happy to have one more task they can accomplish with an app. We know that there's more to the tax accountant/tax client relationship than filling out a tax return, be it an individual or a business return, but even more, we know that our clients rely on us as perhaps their only financial advisor, even if we don't specifically present ourselves in that role. In this session we will learn from experts in the area of providing alternative services to tax clients, specifically in the areas of tax planning, business and personal financial planning and wealth management services.

Sponsor: Corvee


Field of Study: Specialized Knowledge

Panelists: Andrew Argue, Jason Deshayes, James Rainwater

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Session 3 – 11:00 A.M. - Noon EST:

Accounting Firm Workflow in a Remote World 

Remember stacks of file folders? Remember piles of paper everywhere? Remember tripping over boxes of client records? All of this was the norm in accounting firms a mere 20 years ago. Redefining workflow has not just helped us keep track of documents, it has revolutionized the way we work, the way we communicate, the way we know where everything is, who had it last and where it's going next. Some people make up their own workflow systems, others invest in products to manage workflow for them. Whatever works is right for you – but not having a workflow system is trouble waiting to happen. Learn about the best practices for managing workflow, and, in particular, the importance of workflow management as we settle into a remote or partially remote workforce.

Sponsor: Right Networks


Field of Study: Business Management & Organization

Panelists: Roman Kepczyk, Richard Roppa, Donny Shimamoto

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Session 4 – Noon – 1:00 P.M. EST:

10 Things You Need to Know about Paying Your Workers 

Payroll seems to be getting more complicated! Employees are working from home, the lines are being blurred between employees and contractors, payment methods need to be streamlined, the government stepped in and provided creative payroll tax options, company culture is changing, and even though there's a pandemic – people still need to get paid! And while can you provide help and guidance, there is also a dark side of potential fraud and mismanagement. Together, payroll and HR in the time of COVID provide opportunities for accountants who step in and help their small business clients, so many of which are struggling. Even if payroll isn't the primary part of your service offerings, by asking the right questions and using the right tools, you can guide your clients as they make decisions that impact their employees and their businesses. In this session we plan to share with you a variety of important things you need to know about the changing world of payroll, whether you are an employer or an employee.

Sponsor: ADP


Field of Study: Accounting

Panelist: Erron Stark, Dawn Brolin

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Session 5 – 1:00 P.M. - 2:00 P.M. EST:

10 Apps You Can’t Live Without 

There's no doubt, everyone is relying on smart phones, tablets, and laptops as we make our way through the pandemic. And where there are smart communication devices, there are apps! CPA Practice Advisor publishes a monthly column called Apps We Love – now starting its seventh year, and there is no shortage of Apps from which to choose. We've taken the guesswork out of finding the right apps for the right job and in this session we provide you with 10 (probably more than that) apps that you will thank us for sharing with you! Learn how you can make your work life and your home life (even if those are the same thing these days) easier, more functional, more fun, and more efficient with apps you can't live without.

Sponsor: Xero


Field of Study: Specialized Knowledge

Panelists: Byron Patrick, Amanda Wilke, LIz Mason, Kenji Kuramoto

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Session 6 – 2:00 P.M. - 3:00 P.M. EST:

10 Way to Improve Your Audits

In January 2020 the PCAOB published information on improving audit quality and assessment based on conversations with audit committee chairs. This information includes criteria for determining audit quality and effectiveness, team communication, methods for implementing new audit standards, cybersecurity and auditing software considerations, economic trends impacting financial reporting. In this session we'll cover real-life examples of audit challenges and conundrums, and we'll provide the tips and solutions you need to overcome these.

Field of Study: Auditing

Panelist: Garrett Wagner, Chris Geno, Chris Brown

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Session 7 – 3:00 P.M. - 4:00 P.M. EST:

10 Things You Didn’t Know about Sales and Use Tax 

With the ease and accessibility of the internet, and the increased comfort level that businesses and individuals have with the concept of ecommerce, recent legislation in the form of South Dakota vs. Wayfair, and now the Coronavirus, it's no surprise that nearly everyone is involved in some way with sales across state and even country lines. With thousands of taxing jurisdictions and nexus concerns surrounding where a sale is actually taxed, this is an area that impacts us all and gets more complicated on an almost daily basis. In this session you'll learn why sales and use tax is such a complicated area and best practices for helping your clients make their way through this ever-changing quagmire.

Sponsor: Avalara


Field of Study: Taxes

Panelists: Sona Akmakjian, Liz Armbruester, Lauren Jones

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Session 8 – 4:00 P.M - 5:00 P.M. EST:

Innovation Beyond Technology: Leading Your Team to Success

This session is dedicated to the possibility that innovation goes beyond just technological developments. Technology is important, but it is only a small part of innovation. For innovation to be more fully complete we must look at other areas including the internal processes of the organization and most importantly the very language we use. Innovating like this is hard work and not for everyone because it requires deeper thinking than is most often thought. If you believe you can attain this level of thinking, you are invited to attend this session facilitated by Ed Kless, Sage senior director of partner development and strategy, and featuring Gary Boomer and Sandra Wiley of Boomer Consulting.

Sponsor: Sage


Field of Study: Personal Development

Panelists: Ed Kless, Gary Boomer, Sandra Wiley


Watch the Archived Webcast

Thursday, December 3 | Day 2
9:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M. EST​

Session 9 - 9:00 A.M. - 10:00 A.M. EST:

10 Recruiting Tips that Will Change the Way You Hire 

Are you using the same methods for recruiting that have been passed down through the generations of your firm? Have your recruitment efforts changed now that we are in the midst of a pandemic? Do you struggle with defining your firm's culture through a Zoom interview? Do you struggle to find viable candidates when you can no longer participate in on-campus interviews and job fairs? Even without the dark umbrella of COVID hanging over us, recruiting in the 21st century is not your father's method of recruiting. You're not going to find the right talent simply by posting a job on a job board. In this session you're going to learn how to approach the world of recruiting with fresh eyes and a new game plan.

Field of Study:  Personnel/Human Resources

Panelist: Jeff Phillips, Jennifer Scott, Mark Audi

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Session 10 - 10:00 A.M. - 11:00 A.M. EST:

10 Cryptocurrency Facts that You and Your Clients Need to Know
You can't see it, and you can't hold it, but you need to know what cryptocurrency is and how it is being used. Moreover, you need to know how to account for it and how it impacts taxes. While the concept blockchain technology (the backbone of cryptocurrency) might seem overwhelming, and the currencies themselves seem like moving targets, it's the job of accountants to make sense of all of this.


Field of Study: Specialized Knowledge

Panelists: Shehan Chandrasekera, Dr. Sean Stein Smith, Gary Boomer, Ricky Lavina

Watch the Archived Webcast


Session 11 - 11:00 A.M. - Noon EST:

Federal Tax Update

In this session we will cover tax law changes from the SECURE Act, the CARES Act, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and other issues that are impacting taxpayers for 2020 and beyond. In addition, we'll discuss trends and potential scenarios of where tax legislation might go in 2021 and how that can impact 2020 tax returns.

Sponsor: TaxFyle 
This session qualifies for IRS CE credit


Field of Study: Taxes

Panelist: Jackie Meyer, Marty McCutchen, Luis Rivero

Watch the Archived Webcast


Session 12 – Noon – 1:00 P.M. EST:

10 Accounting (CAS) Services that will Expand Your Practice

Accounting firms today are changing their model to include client accounting and advisory services. Expanding your core service package enables you to grow your practice and fine-tune the services you offer clients so that you can meet their specific needs. When you focus on providing high quality advice to your clients that helps them improve their businesses, you become an indispensable part of the team that leads your clients to success. In this session you’ll learn about CAS services that you might not have considered offering, which types of services are appropriate for your firm and your clients, and how to move forward on the path to your own success.



Field of Study: Business Management and Organization

Panelists: Kalil Merhib, Laura Redmond, Gary Boomer

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Session 13 – 1:00 P.M. - 2:00 P.M. EST:

10 Ways to Ensure Retirement Security – including Social Security Update 

10,000 Baby Boomers are reaching retirement age each day and will for the next 15 years. It is in everyone's interest that this generation remain financially secure. Whether your clients are already at retirement age, will reach that age soon, or are connected to Baby Boomers through work or family, preparing yourself to advise this generation will enhance your practice and the services you can offer these clients. In this session we will address various ways to ensure retirement security and what you can do as a practitioner to guide your clients, as well as the latest tips and information we have on collecting social security.

Sponsor: OnPay


Field of Study: Specialized Knowledge

Panelist: Reina Schlager, Kurt Johnson, Michael Lynch

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Session 14 – 2:00 P.M. - 3:00 P.M.  EST:

COVID-19 Issues to Consider in 2021 – What is Temporary and What is Here to Stay?

Sponsor: cPaperless


Field of Study: Specialized Knowledge

Panelist: Aaron Berson, Andrew Hatfield, Tom Hood

Watch the Archived Webcast


Session 15 – 3:00 P.M. - 4:00 P.M. EST:

Cybersecurity in a Pandemic World 


Field of Study: Specialized Knowledge

Panelists: Jim Bourke, David Cieslak


Session 16 – 4:00 P.M. - 5:00 P.M. EST:

The Future of Electronic Payments


Field of Study: Specialized Knowledge

Panelist: Donny Shimamoto, Bryon Patrick

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