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Ensuring Success 2021 Sessions

Sessions subject to change. Please check back for updates.

Wednesday, Dec. 8 | Day 1

9:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M. EST

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

Best Practices for Remote Audits

Field of study: Auditng

Sponsored by: Suralink

Panelists: Chris Brown, Garrett Wagner, Joe Ballantyne

COVID-19 has made us rethink many of the new ways in which we work, including how we do audits. Not only do we need solutions that enable us to work remotely, we need to rethink the way we perform audits, reveiws, and compliations. Topics include:

  • New ways to schedule audits

  • Communicating with cilents

  • Handling documents      

  • Assessing risk

  • Managing our time

Watch the Archived Webcast

Day 1

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

 This session qualifies for IRS CE credit 

New Tax Legislation — Short and Long-term Planning

Field of study: Taxes

Sponsored by: Corvee

Panelists: Andrew Argue, Jim Duggan, Sarah Adkisson

How can you help your clients save money on taxes? What are the primary questions accountants, or their clients are asking about new legislation? Short and long-term planning opportunities resulting from 2020/2021 tax legislation and/or pending legislation. Topics will include:

  • Capital gains

  • Planning to address knowns, unknowns, dates

  • What Congress is likely to do in 2022       

  • Helping clients before year-end

  • Time frames; problems; strategies

Watch the Archived Webcast

Session 3 – 11:00 A.M. - 12:00 P.M. EST:

Data Security: It’s the Law

Field of study: Business Management & Organization

Sponsored by: Right Networks

Panelists: Roman Kepczyk, David Cieslak, Eric McMillen

Key threats (real stories) and how to protect against them:

  • Phishing

  • Ransomware

  • Social Engineering         

  • Compromised Accounts

  • Access controls (Passwords, Wallets, MFA)

  • IRS Requirements: legal requirements

  • Enterprise Security: Build or Outsource (Managed security providers/cloud).

  • Working securely when on the road

  • Securing the home workspace

  • Individual/family secured computing, use CC (never debit), digital cellular

Watch the Archived Webcast

Session 4 – 12:00 P.M. - 1:00 P.M. EST:

Automating Client Collaboration and Communication:
Using Technology to Serve Your Clients Even Better than Before

Field of Study: Business Management & Organization

Sponsored by: SafeSend

Panelists: Andrew Hatfield, Shayna Chapman, Chris Brown

How successful were you in dealing with your clients remotely during the pandemic? What do your clients expect? What type of technology is required? In 2021 and going forward, client expectations will revolve around convenience, collaboration, safety and an outstanding client experience.Topics will include:

  • Transitioning from manual and in-person interaction with client to an automated experience

  • How automation improves the collaboration process for everyone

  • Types of collaboration such as engagement letters, organizers, sharing information for tax returns, K-1s, e-signatures, and invoicing      

  • General client communicaiton

Watch the Archived Webcast

Lunch Break– 1:00 P.M. - 2:00 P.M. EST:

Session 5 – 2:00 P.M. - 3:00 P.M. EST:

Hiring Challenges for Accountants and their Clients – Tips and Tools to Become An Employer of Choice

Field of study: Personnel/Human Resources 

Sponsored by: ADP

Panelists: Breanne Murphy, Sean Duncan, Jennifer Scott

Recent studies have shown that 25% of employees nationwide changed jobs during 2021 and 65% of workers have considered looking for a new job. Most workers want options to be remote, and there is pressure on companies to be more considerate and accommodating with their staff members. Firms are reinventing themselves as they come out of the pandemic, and in this session we’ll discuss what that means. Topics will include:

  • What is the “great resignation”?

  • What hiring challenges exist and what is their cause?

  • What are employees looking for in their current or future jobs?

  • What are employers looking for in new hires?

  • How has the pandemic impacted employment?

  • What do benefit packages look like now?

  • How can you be the employer of choice?


Watch the Archived Webcast

Session 6 – 3:00 P.M. - 4:00 P.M. EST:

The Evolution of Wayfair; Building a 21st Century Sales Tax Practice

Field of study: Taxes

Sponsored by: Avalara

Panelists: Sona Akmakjian, Jason Parr, Keela Ross

In this session, the discussion will include these topics:

  • Sales tax related problems facing clients today

  • The fast evolving role of technology as a big part of the solution

  • Wayfair can't/won't stop expanding into new industries; state-to-state tax equity; how Wayfiar is changing; what do states need to do now to ensur more revenue?    

  • States updating IT infrastructures to find sellers (no more COBOL!) in order to enforce Wayfair

  • Building a 21st century practice - client communications - must evolve


Watch the Archived Webcast

Session 7 – 4:00 P.M. - 5:00 P.M. EST:

AI/Blockchain/Machine Learning:
What You and Your clients Need to Know

Field of study: Specialized Knowledge

Sponsored by: Botkeeper

Panelists: Byron Patrick, Sean Stein Smith, David Cieslak

Terms like AI, Blockchain, and Machine Learning are being dropped into conversations regularly, but do you really know what they mean and how these impact you and your clients? Can you differentiate between the new concepts hitting the workplace and identify how they are changing the ways in which we do business? Your answer will be, “Certainly!” after you’ve attended this session. Topics will include:

  • Process automation

  • The solutions to problems you didn’t even know you had

  • Talking to your clients like a pro about these concepts

  • Incorporating new technology into your practice

  • Practical applications of AI

  • Accounting for virtual currency


Watch the Archived Webcast


Thursday, December 9 | Day 2

9:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M. EST

Session 8 – 9:00 A.M. - 10:00 A.M. EST:

Accounts Payable in a Post-COVID World

Field of study: Business Management inf a Post-COVID World

Sponsored by: CorpayOne

Panelists: Bob Lewis, Geni Whitehouse, Sean Duncan

 Research shows that small business owners recognize and welcome the need for accounts payable and expense management, and accountants are increasingly adding services to their practices in this area. In this session, we’ll discuss what is driving this need and why accounts payable automation is increasingly necessary. Topics will include:

  • Defining an Accounts Payable service package

  • Client pain points in the area of accounts payable and expense management

  • Pitfalls associated with failure to automate accounts payable and expense management

  • How the pandemic has changed the accounts payable and expense process

  • Marketing accounts payable services

Watch the Archived Webcast

Session 9 – 10:00 A.M. - 11:00 A.M. EST:

 This session qualifies for IRS CE credit 

Tax Treatment of COVID-related Payments

Field of study: Taxes

Sponsored by: Taxfyle

Panelists: Justin Watkins, Jackie Meyer, Amie Coldwell, Breslow

The pandemic and associated legislation brought with it myriad financial programs (and accompanying acronyms) including the SBA’s Payroll Protection Program (PPP), Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), the Employee Retention Credit (ERC), enhanced Child Tax Credits (from the American Rescue Plan), Economic Impact Payments (aka Stimulus payments), extended unemployment benefits, and more. Every one of these programs has tax ramifications. Your clients depend on you to have all the answers, and you will have them after participating in this session. Topics will include

  • The major financial programs that have appeared since COVID

  • How and where government payments should appear on tax returns and financial statements

  • Conversations you should be having with your clients

  • Most comment questions clients are asking about these programs

Watch the Archived Webcast

Session 10 – 11:00 A.M. - 12:00 P.M. EST:

Mergers & Acquisitions: Defining and Maintaining Firm Culture in a Changing Environment

Field of study: Business Management & Organization

Panelists: Carl Peterson, Lindsay Stevenson, Jim Bourke

Mergers and acquisitions in the accounting space are on the rise. At a time when offices are facing a culture shock from the workplaces changes resulting from the pandemic, the traditional concept of your firm’s culture may be changing. Defining that culture may be the key to employee longevity. Meanwhile, if you have thought about joining with another firm, the clash of multiple cultures maybe problematic. In this session you’ll learn how to define your own firm culture and recognize cultural differences in other firms. Topics will include:

  • Understanding firm culture

  • The necessity of firm culture and its importance to staff stability

  • Small firm vs large firm cultures

  • Impact of firm culture on senior staff, junior staff, and clients

  • How to create a firm culture


Watch the Archived Webcast

Session 11 – 12:00 P.M. - 1:00 P.M. EST:

New Technology, Iot, Gadgets, Tech Trends

Field of study: Specialized Knowledge 

Panelists: Jim Bourke, David Cieslak

Make sure you’re up-to-date on the latest technology trends shaping our personal and professional lives. You’ll leave this session with a wish/shopping list that will cover you for the year ahead. Whether it's new hardware you crave with its efficiencies, security for work/travel/home, last minute ideas for techies on your gift list, or a vision for what the future of technology holds, you’ll find it all in this session. Topics will include:

  • New tools for success

  • Why there’s a constant need for new technology

  • Secrets of an efficiently run home office

  • Don’t leave home without these items

  • Tomorrow’s tech promises


Watch the Archived Webcast

Lunch Break– 1:00 P.M. - 2:00 P.M. EST:

Session 12 – 2:00 P.M. - 3:00 P.M. EST:

Don't be a CASualty of CAS

Field of study: Business Management & Operations

Sponsored by: Xero

Panelists: Tate Henshaw, Gustavo Suarez, Tammy DeVinny

Whether you're building a CAS practice or looking to further automate your service lines, join our session to identify the skill sets needed to start and standardize your offering.Topics will include:

  • Importance of KPIs

  • The need for broad internal communication

  • Staffing and recruiting your team

  • Ideas to market to your clients

Watch the Archived Webcast

Session 13 – 3:00 P.M. - 4:00 P.M. EST:

How to Create a Niche Practice

Field of study: Business Managment & Operations 

Sponsored by: Intuit

Panelists: Jim Buffington, Geni Whitehouse, Aaron Berson

You’ve likely heard the word niche applied to accounting practices, but what does that really mean? In this session, we’ll explore the meaning of a niche practice, advantages (and some disadvantages) to operating in this way, and how relationships with clients change when you specialize. Topics will include:

  • Defining the niche practice

  • Creating your own niche practice

  • The tools and skills you need to do the job

  • Identifying your ideal clients

  • Marketing your niche services


Watch the Archived Webcast

Session 14 – 4:00 P.M. - 5:00 P.M. EST:

Subscription Pricing: The Evolution of the Value Pricing Model

Field of knowledge: Business Management & Organization 

Sponsored by: Sage

Panelists: Ed Kless, Shayna Chapman, Garrett Wagner, Jackie Meyer

Accountants have been speaking of the concept of the value pricing model for more than a decade. In this session we will discuss the practice of pricing for what customers want and consider the model of value pricing and the natural evolution to subscription-based pricing. You’ll leave this session thinking in new ways about your pricing strategy. Topics will include:

  • Definitions of value pricing and subscription pricing

  • Challenges to traditional models of pricing

  • Advantages associated with new models of pricing

  • Ways in which technology companies are changing their products to support meaningful pricing models

  • Describing new pricing methods to existing clients

  • Understanding which pricing model is right for you


Watch the Archived Webcast

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