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CPA Trendlines Podcasts

Exclusive information. Extraordinary insight. CPA Trendlines is the world’s only research and advisory service focused solely on the tax, accounting, and finance professions. We use a time-tested, quality-proven, proprietary blend of data, analysis, community, experience, and imagination to produce extraordinary value for our clients. Elite decision-makers from all over the world look to CPA Trendlines for trusted advice, bold insights, and confidential access to exclusive intelligence and decision support. You’ll stay more focused, save time, grow revenue in a fast-changing global digital environment, and sleep better at night. Guaranteed. Facts. Figures. Insights. Implications. Here you'll find the data and analysis you can use for your practice and your career, plus exclusive research, insights, and commentary on the most pressing issues and fastest-changing trends. We are dedicated to delivering the actionable intelligence that tax, accounting, and finance professionals need in order to identify and act on emerging issues and opportunities. We specialize in high-quality, concise executive briefings designed to help busy professionals improve their organizations, advance their careers, and enhance their lives. Our reports are relevant, timely, and to-the-point, providing the most essential information, and are digestible often in under an hour. 


Transformation Talks with Dustin Verity: Keep an Open Mind and Constantly Learn
Technology and offshoring can be the tools a firm needs to move to CAS and perform more comprehensive and accurate audits.
38:57 1/31/23
Kenji Kuramoto: Kill the 40-hr work week, online pricing and other archaic accounting etiquettes.
Kenji Kuramoto: Kill the 40-hr work week, online pricing and other archaic accounting etiquettes.
53:31 1/26/23
Chad Davis: You have an infinite canvas of opportunities to add more joy to your firm.
Chad Davis: You have an infinite canvas of opportunities to add more joy to your firm.
32:48 1/13/23
Aynsley Damery: Rethink the 80:20 rule, because the 80% are likely stealing from you.
"...Clients who have started their own businesses are looking for a combination of “money, time and freedom.” However, Damery said, we’re selling them dashboards, KPIs and cash flow forecasting without explaining why that’s important and what that’s going to do for them. "Clients are looking for an advisor who's going to listen to me, understand my hopes, my fears, my vision, what the challenges are, and be able to be there to support me,” Damery said..."
48:32 12/21/22
Work Less, Earn More: Build the Accounting Firm of Your Dreams
Erik Solbakken: Create a firm you'd love working in. The Disruptors With Liz Farr for CPA TrendlinesErik Solbakken, a.k.a. “The Heavy Metal CPA,” is on a mission to free accountants from an oppressive business model. Solbakken spent 18 years working his way up to be a partner in a firm in Canada, but when the partnership fell apart, he was liberated to create a new kind of firm, where he and his staff never worked overtime, and he made more money. Today, he acts as the guide he wishes he’d had when he started, empowering accountants to create firms they love working in. More  here:
64:19 12/12/22
Donny Shimamoto: Future Firm Growth Requires a Mindset Shift
The DisruptorsWith Liz FarrDonny C. Shimamoto, CPA.CITP, CGMA, is the founder and managing director of IntrapriseTechKnowlogies LLC, a specialized CPA firm dedicated to helping small businesses and middle market organizations leverage strategic technologies, proactively manage their business and technical risks, and enable balanced organizational growth and development.  Donny also works with larger organizations as a trusted business advisor, facilitating organizational strategic planning and execution, IT governance and planning, enterprise architecture, information architecture and assurance, business process improvement, and business intelligence initiatives.Click here for more Donny ShimamotoAs the founder of The Center for Accounting Transformation, Shimamoto is leading a movement to improve the world by empowering and equipping accountants with leading-edge tools and techniques.Donny was the first Certified Information Technology Professional (CPA.CITP) in Hawaii and is one of only four in the state. The CITP credential is a specialty designation of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), that identifies Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) with the unique ability to bridge between business and technology, meeting the strict requirements for a CPA license as well as additional training and experience in technology strategic planning, IT architecture, business process enablement, system development and acquisition, IT audit and control, and IT governance. The immediate past chairman of the AICPA’s IMTA Executive Committee, Donny has been both influential and critical in several AICPA initiatives, including the development of an IT Competency Model for CPAs and redesign of the CITP Credential. Donny previously co-chaired the AICPA’s Business Intelligence Working Group, researching and creating practice aids in the area of Evidence-based Management, Application & Data Integration, and Information Assurance.  Donny has also been involved in the authoring of guidance published by the AICPA on IT Considerations for Risk-Based Auditing and Enterprise Business Intelligence. As a subject matter expert, Donny is often invited at national and international webinars and is a familiar keynote speaker at national-level conferences.Donny obtained invaluable knowledge and exposure to a wide range of industries and sectors (retail, hospitality, state government, defense, and higher education) while earning his CPA license as a member of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP's Business Assurance Services, Operational & Systems Risk Management Services, and Management Consulting Services lines of business.  With ITK he has expanded his industry expertise to include not-for-profit (social services, foundations, and membership organizations), professional services, small businesses, technology, and mobile professionals.
47:05 12/1/22
Jennifer Wilson: Empower Young Workers to Build the Firm Everyone Loves
The DisruptorsWith Liz Farr for CPA TrendlinesSubscribe to CPA Trendlines podcasts anywhere: Apple, Google, Spotify, iHeart, Deezer, Amazon Music and Audible, Player FM, Audacy, Gaana (India), and Boomplay (Africa). More:
51:51 11/28/22
Mike Whitmire: Re-Think Your Hiring and Training Practices
Training can triumph over textbooks in the talent wars.The DisruptorsWith Liz Farr for CPA TrendlinesMike Whitmire wants to transform the role of accountants in industry from mere counting beans (though that’s not a bad skill to have) to an operational role that leverages accountants’ knowledge of company finances and operations to drive efficiency throughout an entire organization.More here: to CPA Trendlines podcasts anywhere: Apple, Google, Spotify, iHeart, Deezer, Amazon Music and Audible, Player FM, Audacy, Gaana (India), and Boomplay (Africa).
36:07 11/23/22
Ed Kless: Clients Don’t Want Outputs. They Want Outcomes!
Too busy? Raise your prices.The DisruptorsWith Liz Farr for CPA TrendlinesWhat do clients – or, as Ed Kless prefers, customers – want from their accountants? It’s not the tax return or the financial statement but the outcome for the customer, which is most often peace of mind.To remain relevant in disruptions like online tax preparation and automated bookkeeping tech firms like Pilot, accountants need to think about other ancillary services they can provide above and beyond those basic services.More here:
39:59 11/13/22
Seth Fineberg: Your Classic Business Model Won’t Allow Growth
The Disruptors: Billable Hours - Demeaning and Demoralizing or Useful Measurement?With Liz FarrMore here:
51:29 10/26/22
The Six Pillars for Finance Transformation with Chris Ortega
Career ReflectionsWith Amy WelchAfter years in public accounting, Chris Ortega decided he wanted something different.Armed with his MBA in corporate finance from the University of Indianapolis, as well as multiple years of experience, Ortega created Fresh FP&A to provide CFO services to companies, helping them transform their finance departments and businesses. And, while many business owners start with dreams and plans, Ortega says his company operates with six key pillars in mind.More here:
06:36 10/14/22
CSR for CPAs: The Missing Ingredient
Transformation Talks: Corporate social responsibility reporting all starts with transparency, and leaders should prioritize this, not just for communities but also for sustainability. James Ross, the CSR leader at Buzzacott, a 500-person accounting firm based in London, talks to Donny Shimamoto, for the Center for Accounting Transformation. Published by CPA Trendlines. 
31:30 10/6/22
O.D. Lanier: The Four – or Five – Steps for Moving into Consulting
Transformation Talks: A leader at one of the fastest growing firms in the country describes transforming his career, pros and cons of building versus buying and the four (or five) steps to becoming a consulting firm.Transformation TalksWith Bill Penczak, Center for Accounting TransformationMore here: 
35:51 9/28/22
Hector Garcia: How Niche Knowledge Drives Success
The DisruptorsWith Liz Farrfor CPA TrendlinesAny accountant who has ever met Hector Garcia will likely use the adjective ‘generous’ to describe him. Since 2011, he’s been sharing his encyclopedic knowledge of QuickBooks on a YouTube channel that has generated millions of views. Because of that YouTube channel, he hasn’t printed business cards for two years. In this discussion, he shares tips for transitioning to value pricing, provides a step-by-step blueprint for offering additional advisory services to clients, and discusses two strategies for finding new clients. Instead of hoarding our specialized knowledge as a means to give us job security, Hector believes we should share that knowledge widely to help reduce the misinformation around taxes and accounting.More here:
67:01 9/21/22
Career Advice and Success Planning for Accountants from Mike Maksymiw
Transformation TalksWith Bill PenczakCenter for Accounting TransformationAfter 16 years of working in firms, Mike Maksymiw, CPA, CGMA, was done. Or, so he thought.Maksymiw discussed his career path in the latest episode of Transformation Talks with Bill Penczak, the chief transformation officer for the Center for Accounting Transformation. Maksymiw, who is now the leader of Aprio's Alliance-Firm Foundation, offers career advice for new CPAs and those considering succession planning.More here:
33:53 9/13/22
Disruptor: Jason Staats Shakes Up the Status Quo
The DisruptorsWith Liz Farrfor CPA TrendlinesJason Staats started doing videos at the beginning of the pandemic to quickly share information about the PPP and other relief programs with as many clients as possible. Now, he has an entertaining and informative YouTube channel where he shows how to use his favorite tech tools and a new mission to drive accountants into the future with collaborations and vision.
50:21 9/9/22
Innovation Insights: Early Adopters Gain the Edge in Audit
Innovation Insights: Paving the way for ESG reporting. Innovation InsightsWith Donny Shimamoto, CPA, CITP, CGMACenter for Accounting TransformationThose who hesitate to adopt mature technologies could find themselves too far behind to easily catch up, according to tech experts Pete Myers, CEO of Auvenir, and Donny Shimamoto, founder and managing partner of IntrapriseTechKnowlogies.More here:
26:56 9/3/22
From Tax to Transformation
Transformation TalksPaul Mueller, CPA, is the managing director of Mueller Pye & Associates, CPA LLC in Loveland, Colorado.with Bill PenczakCenter for Accounting TransformationPaul Mueller was at a crossroads. As a national manager for the tax group of a large firm, he should have felt like Leonardo DiCaprio, yelling, "I'm the king of the world!" Yet, something just wasn't right. Today, he is the managing director of his own firm, Mueller Pye & Associates, CPA LLC in Loveland, Colo. His is a story of a late-life career transformation.
32:03 8/26/22
The Disruptors: Penny Breslin on Facing Your Staffing Challenges Head-On
With Liz Farrfor CPA TrendlinesThe accounting profession has faced staffing issues for years now and, especially post-pandemic, the problem has compounded. Penny Breslin, CPA Trendlines contributor and the founder of MoneyPenny, talks about how firms are facing the hiring challenges and popular solutions that seem to be working, including using predominantly cloud-based apps for collaboration and engagement and taking a true evaluation of the talents and skills needed for each position.More here:
62:07 8/15/22
Episode 421: Thinking Smart about New Tech: Byron Patrick
The intersection of technology and intentionality.The DisruptorsWith Liz Farr for CPA TrendlinesAn explosion of new tech tools is giving accounting firm owners the opportunity to improve efficiency, attract and retain talent, and serve their clients better, tech guru Byron tells Liz Farr in this exclusive interview.Not only do these tools help ease the pressure of capacity problems, but they may also provide firms with a new revenue stream when they extend that expertise into their clients’ businesses.The greatest benefits will accrue to leaders who exercise intentionality across many areas of their firms: in their adoption of tech, in making changes to processes, in communication with clients and team members, in accepting the right clients, and in setting aside time for marketing.For Key Takeaways and more,  go here.
38:13 8/3/22
Episode 420: The New Role of Artificial Intelligence in Rev Rec and Lease Accounting
Innovation InsightsWith Donny ShimamotoCenter for Accounting TransformationToday's Take-aways:Accountants were the pioneers of business use of database software with the accounting systems—the first wave of accounting technology. The second wave was the move into the cloud, and the third wave now uses AI in accounting technology.AI uses Optical Character Recognition (OCR), and Natural Language Procession (NLP) can be used to read documents like PDFs and Excel and extract the relevant data like lease dates into the database where they can be used for computations or searching.Because you’re starting with the source document (e.g. PDF, Excel) and extracting the data from there to then put the data into the system, you can trace data back all the way to the source document all within the same system (not just to the point where someone keyed the data into the system).The goal isn’t for the machines (AI) to do everything,, but instead to complete 70-80% of the grunt work and allow the accountant or auditor to focus on the analytics and strategic work.Small and regional firms can gain an advantage by partnering with accounting technology vendors, enabling them to innovate and incorporate technology into their services more quickly than the larger firms.
33:11 7/28/22
Episode 419: Why the Future of Audit Is in Risk Advisory
Say Goodbye to Traditional AuditInnovation InsightsWith Donny ShimamotoCPA Trendlines presents a Center for Accounting Transformation productionBecause audit work is nonlinear and highly complex, disparate workflow systems in the audit are not only an IT risk, but they're also a project nightmare. Jin Chang, the founder of Fieldguide, explained to Donny Shimamoto that the end-to-end project has many workflows that need to be templatized and automated along the project life cycle.More here
24:24 7/15/22
Episode 418: How Auditors Can Improve Efficiency and the Budget
Innovation Insights, with Donny Shimamoto.CPA Trendlines presents a Center for Accounting Transformation productionInnovation Insights: Five clicks in five minutes? Sounds too good to be true – but automation can be simple and life-changing.With everyone going remote, it’s presenting auditors with new challenges. But technology can help, according to Colleen Knuff and Stefan Davis, in this interview with Donny Shimamoto.Part of Wolters Kluwer, which was recently accepted to the ASC X9 (American National Standards Institute or ANSI), the industry setting body for financial institutions, Knuff and Davis explain not only how some solutions allow real-time collaboration versus working in silos, but also how data-driven audits increase capacity and allow more profitability while reducing risk and maintaining high peer-review standards.(Recorded February 2022)More here
35:21 7/15/22
Episode 417: CPA Subscription Services: Is This Approach Here to Stay?
Jamie Lopiccolo with Steven Sacks for CPA Trendlines Lopiccolo is the owner of a small Midwest firm that has been employing a subscription-based model to invoice clients for services rendered. The approach manages expectations by the client and ensures a normalized cash flow for the firm. Additional benefits include a more strategic approach to dealing with new clients because they are getting the full picture of their business’s needs. KEY TAKEAWAYS ·      One of the goals of the subscription pricing model (aka minimum level of service agreement) is to manage client expectations while managing the firm’s cash flow. ·      CPAs can position themselves as the client’s partner for success.·      CPAs are too fixated on getting as much money as possible from clients rather than providing real value in each client interaction.·      Make sure the client onboarding process is consistent from one client to the next with certain necessary customization during the initial client meeting and CPA research.·      There will be more competition for client accounting services and advisory services and more revenue opportunities, which is why firms should reduce the amount of time allocated to administrative functions.·      The subscription model also helps to determine which clients are not profitable, potentially leading to the firing of clients.·      More strategic planning can be offered to clients so they understand and better appreciate the services they are going to get.
18:13 5/8/22
Episode 416: The Disruptors: Why Doing Nothing Is Not an Option, with Rob Brown
If we don’t change, we'll be irrelevant, says Rob Brown.The DisruptorsWith Liz Farr for CPA TrendlinesIt’s a changing world, and if we don’t change with it, we will cease to be relevant, U.K.-based accounting podcaster Rob Brown tells CPA Trendlines' Liz Farr.More here: A host of the Accounting Influencers podcast, Brown says what got us here won’t get us there in the fight to be relevant in our practices, with our clients and in our careers. Brown's podcasting partner is Martin Bissett, a CPA Trendlines contributor and world-renowned growth advisor to accounting firms.The last two years demonstrated that accountants can make big changes very quickly. But those changes won’t be enough to assure our continued relevance as advisors and employers.Younger business owners are using their accountants in different ways and expect more advisory services. Younger employees also have different expectations from their employers.Firms that don’t address the needs of clients and employees will have a hard time attracting either.
51:33 5/6/22
Episode 415: The Seller's Guide to Getting the Best Price for Your Firm
Featuring Ira Rosenbloom, CPA (LR), "The Merger Master," with Rick Telberg, CPA Trendlines.More here: Five Steps for Maximizing Your Sale Price. The ten signs your firm is headed for the exits. The ten factors for getting the best price when you sell. Calculate your firm's valuation strategy by considering: – Your strongest niches. – The metrics for the current and potential profits. – Recurring compliance fees. – High-margin consulting billings. – New and valuable synergies with a new firm. – Inherent potential in your staffing. – Demographics of clients, partners and referral sources. – Untapped potential in loyal contacts. –  Reputation and brand recognition. –  Flexibility in timing, titles and responsibilities. CPA Trendlines PRO Members can download the slide deck, including the bonus "12-Point Checklist for Seller Readiness," and read the transcript here: required.)Not yet a PRO Member? Go PRO with one of today's best offers here:
52:45 4/29/22
Episode 413: The Disruptors: Blake Oliver Sees a Ponzi Scheme Ready for Collapse
The accounting firm's business model isn’t broken yet, but the pyramid is crumbling.With Liz Farr for CPA TrendlinesMore here: Podcaster and enfant terrible Blake Oliver says the accounting firm is a pyramid scheme destined for collapse.The system is simple and simply devious: Bring in staff, work them a ton of hours, and the profits flow to the top, Blake says.But today, the model is being challenged by venture capital-backed tech startups delivering automated tax prep and bookkeeping, by CPA firms following the lead of Eisner Amper into non-CPA businesses, and by the booming growth of non-CPA startups like Acuity.Blake Oliver, CPA, is an accountant, entrepreneur, and podcaster specializing in technology. He is one of Accounting Today’s Top 100 Most Influential People and has been named a 40 Under 40 in the accounting profession by CPA Practice Advisor. Blake is the creator of Earmark CPE, an app that offers NASBA-approved CPE for listening to your favorite accounting and tax podcasts. He also co-hosts the Cloud Accounting Podcast, a Top 50 Business News show on the Apple charts and the most popular podcast for accountants and bookkeepers globally. He lives in Scottsdale, Ariz., where he likes to hike in the winter and swim in the summer.
39:13 4/19/22
Episode 412: The Disruptors: Martin Bissett Argues for the "Commercialization" of the Tax and Accounting Profession
With Liz Farr for CPA TrendlinesMore here: To win the staffing wars, accountants must develop a talent pipeline, practice advisor Martin Bissett tells Liz Farr in this exclusive interview. The firms winning in recruiting and retention are using a portfolio approach to nurture prospects who might be ready to join the firm at some point in the future, a world-renowned sales and marketing consultant, a long-time contributor at CPA Trendlines, and, most recently the co-host of the UK-based Accounting Influencers podcast. More Take-Aways from Martin Bissett: A growing trend in the UK is the “commercialization” of the profession, where private equity firms invest in accounting firms, especially at the mid-tier level. With a change in governance to boards and a CEO/COO/CFO/CMO structure, firms are changing from accounting practices into accounting businesses. A desired result of commercialization is that clients will be better served: more financially literate, fewer insolvencies, and more economic prosperity for all, developing young professionals into commercially minded people who create value rather than provide services. What’s never been in place at most firms is discipline around business development, marketing, and selling, which we have labeled as ‘soft skills.’ If accountants don’t have skills in selling and marketing, how can we expect our clients to regard us as trusted advisors who will help them generate more sales? If you want to win clients of a higher caliber, you need to communicate why they are better off with you than where they are now because they will have to break a loyalty barrier to leave their current accountant. Most accountants have never been taught, coached, or trained to run a commercial enterprise. Likewise, most clients have no experience with firms that offer any kind of value proposition. Then the deciding factors are how close they are, how much they are, and do you get on with them.  When you are providing a commoditized service, price is your enemy. Providing the additional value that justifies higher prices has not been part of the training or the education for accountants and is therefore not known. When you chase deadlines for a living and hire people to chase deadlines, that doesn’t allow for innovation or value creation. Instead, be willing to think about whether what you are doing is what you want to do. At what level of pain is it better to tolerate the discomfort of change so you can create something better?Martin Bissett is the author of Winning Your First Client, Passport to Partnership, Meet Your New Best Client and Business Development on a Budget Shop the Martin Bissett Practice Growth CollectionHe is the founder of The Upward Spiral Partnership Ltd., the UK-based consulting firm that specializes in the implementation of professional selling and leadership skills in the next generation of accounting professionals.And he is co-founder of AddviserPlus, a training and consulting hub for accountants and bookkeepers who are ready to go beyond commoditized compliance and technology-based services and embrace the prosperity and rewards from providing high-value advisory services, one client at a time. 
46:47 4/8/22
Episode 411: The Disruptors: Brannon Poe Rejects the Status Quo
The Disruptors: Brannon PoeA Special Series with Liz Farr for CPA TrendlinesBrannon Poe is the founder of Poe Group Advisors and the creator of Accounting Practice Academy. He began facilitating successful accounting practice transitions in 2003. Today he is pioneering a consulting-based approach to transitioning accounting firms, culminating in Poe Group Advisors’ proprietary process for a “seamless “succession.”In this episode, Poe tells CPA Trendlines: Firm culture is not just a lofty concept but also a key to attracting fantastic talent.  Delegation is the cornerstone of firm culture.  Value pricing requires a mindset shift before it can be implemented. Switch off the mindset that equates time with money and shift to a focus on what’s valuable to the client. Value pricing is not just a model for better profitability but a model for better client service. Before growth can happen, several things must happen first. Focus on delivering value to the client, be intentional about the clients you serve and the kind of work you’re doing, have good relationships with clients, and you need capacity. Accountants need a more entrepreneurial mindset. Try setting up a sandbox where you can experiment. Try rolling out changes to a subset of your clients before doing it for everyone. Accountants should stop accepting the status quo. Test your assumptions. For example, does tax season have to be brutal? Some firms have proven otherwise. Firms need a better foundation of the fundamentals of business. What in accounting is never going to change? Businesspeople will always want insights, tax planning advice, and good service. Those fundamentals won’t change, but they get forgotten and don’t get practiced.  
34:02 4/1/22
Episode 410: Disruptors: Accounting Nerds, Tap into Your Secret Super Powers
 Geni Whitehouse shows how to shift from a focus on mere data to priceless wisdom.With Liz Farrfor CPA TrendlinesCOVID showed us that we can do more than traditional services and that we can respond to change even when we don’t have all the information, CPA Geni Whitehouse tells Liz Farr in an exclusive interview for CPA Trendlines.COVID has given the profession the opportunity to impact clients in a very real way, and clients now see accountants in a very different light, says Whitehouse long an evangelist in the profession for progressive practices and innovation.More for CPA Trendlines PRO Members here:
34:05 3/28/22