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Earmark Podcast | Earn Free Accounting CPE

This show is brought to you by Earmark, your source for podcast-based continuing education for accounting and tax professionals. You can earn CPE by listening to the episodes on this podcast and more! Sign up for our mobile app to earn free CPE whenever you want, wherever you go. Learn more at


Making Audit Matter Again: The Future of Assurance
Audit is at a crossroads. Commoditization and compliance mentalities have diminished its value. Now, auditors face an existential crisis. How can assurance stay relevant? Join Alan Anderson and Blake Oliver as they tackle pressing questions on audit's failure to innovate and chart a new direction focused on value-added assurance. You’ll get a dynamic diagnosis of threats plus practical ideas to transform the profession before external forces make change urgent. Discover what’s at stake if audit no longer matters and how leadership today can write a better tomorrow.(This episode originally aired on February 28, 2024 on Earmark Webinars+)SponsorClient Hub - - EAP 66 (01:57) - The Crossroads of Auditing: Challenges and Innovations (03:21) - Embracing Technology: The Future of Efficient Auditing (06:26) - Redefining the Audit Process: Closing the Expectation Gap (15:24) - Understanding Business Through Audits: The Value of Insight (27:38) - The Commoditization of Audits: A Call for Change (31:41) - Exploring the Flexibility in Auditing Standards (32:19) - The Shift Towards a More Rules-Based Approach (32:55) - The Impact of Standardized Methodologies on Auditing (33:48) - Revitalizing Auditing: Injecting Fun and Quality (36:16) - Addressing the Pipeline Issue: Making Auditing Appealing (41:04) - The Importance of Planning in Auditing (46:19) - Challenging the Billable Hours Model (50:53) - Leveraging Technology to Transform Auditing (52:38) - Concluding Remarks and Resources Sign up to get free CPE for listening to this podcasthttps://earmarkcpe.comDownload the Earmark CPE App Apple: with Our Guest, Alan AndersonWebsite: with Blake Oliver, CPALinkedIn:
54:39 4/8/24
How Expat Clients Can Legally Slash Their Tax Bill
Do you have clients living or working abroad who could save big on their taxes? In this episode, expat tax specialist Vincenzo Villamena outlines creative strategies US citizens overseas can use to legally reduce their tax burden. Learn how your expat clients can exclude $120,000 in foreign earned income, set up offshore corporate structures to cut their tax rate in half, eliminate 15% self-employment tax, and more.SponsorShareFile - - Welcome Vincenzo to the Show (01:50) - Exploring Expat Taxation with Vincenzo Villamena (03:27) - Vincenzo's Journey from Corporate America to Entrepreneurship Outside of the US (09:53) - The Remote Work Revolution and Its Impact (12:36) - Navigating the Complex World of Expat Taxes (13:00) - Where are Most of Your Clients? (15:05) - Strategies for Expats to Optimize Taxes (24:10) - Understanding Corporate Structures and Tax Deferral (24:20) - The Good, the Bad, and the Planning of Tax Strategies (28:18) - What Work Do We Have to Do to Get These Benefits? (30:23) - Comprehensive Service Offerings: From Setup to Compliance (31:57) - How Do You Charge For Your Services? (33:12) - The Exponential Savings of Offshore Structuring (35:36) - Exploring the Vibrant Culture of Carnival in Brazil (37:22) - Building a Strong Remote Team Culture (41:57) - Leveraging Technology for Remote Collaboration (45:04) - A Day in the Life of an Expat Entrepreneur (50:38) - The Transformative Experience of Living Abroad (53:23) - Wrapping Up: Insights from an Expat Tax Expert Sign up to get free CPE for listening to this podcasthttps://earmarkcpe.comDownload the Earmark CPE App Apple: with Our Guest, Vincenzo VillamenaWebsite: Guest TwitterFacebook: with Blake Oliver, CPALinkedIn:
54:53 3/22/24
Hollywood Accounting: A CPA's Journey Into Entertainment
Blake’s conversation with Kendale King, CPA, gives an insider’s view into the intriguing world of entertainment finance. Kendale shares his transition from Big Four auditor to accounting for multi-million dollar studio deals. You’ll see a new side of accounting blending creativity with business strategy. Gain insight into entertainment studios’ complex “Hollywood Accounting” practices around profit participation and residuals. Understand Kendale’s integral role as crypto assets shape future accounting standards. Appreciate his vision to directly integrate CPA abilities into AI applications. If you want to hear an unconventional accounting journey and glimpse the opportunities for accountants to impact media and emerging technologies, join us for Kendale’s exclusive look behind the scenes.SponsorClient Hub - - Welcome Kendale to the Show (01:53) - Favorite Gigs and the Impact of DreamCon (06:26) - The Transition from Deloitte to the Entertainment Industry (08:33) - Making the Leap to LA: From Audit to Entertainment Accounting (14:14) - Deep Dive into Entertainment Accounting with Netflix (16:29) - Understanding the Complexities of Content Accounting (22:37) - Why do Studios Shelve Finished Films? (26:51) - The Intricacies of Hollywood Accounting Explained (34:40) - The Evolution of Kendale's Own Firm: KCK (40:16) - The Pricing Puzzle: How KCK CPA Approaches Client Engagements (43:13) - How Can Accountants Learn the Entertainment Business? (46:40) - How Did Kendale Get into the Crypto Space? (49:27) - How Did You Get Invovled with FASB? (55:50) - Exploring AI in Accounting: The Future is Now (57:53) - Where to Reach Kendale Sign up to get free CPE for listening to this podcasthttps://earmarkcpe.comDownload the Earmark CPE App Apple: with Our Guest, Kendale KingLinkedIn: with Blake Oliver, CPALinkedIn:
59:44 3/8/24
The Future of QuickBooks
(Originally recorded on February 15, 2024 on Earmark Webinars+) Hector and Blake recount a brief history of QuickBooks Desktop vs QuickBooks Online through the end of 2023, the state of Intuit’s current offers and posturing in the market, and where they think QuickBooks is moving into for 2024 and beyond.Chapters(01:11) - Hector's Journey: From Tax Practice to Tech Innovator (03:16) - A Deep Dive into QuickBooks' Evolution (07:12) - The Shift to QuickBooks Online and Its Ecosystem (11:41) - Predicting the Future: QuickBooks Desktop's Demise (12:08) - QuickBooks Online: Aiming for Total Workflow Control (14:03) - The Role of AI in Shaping QuickBooks' Future (16:08) - Intuit's Strategy: Moving Beyond Desktop Versions (25:21) - The Controversy Around QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping and Tax Services (30:15) - The Impact of QuickBooks on Accounting Professionals (31:16) - QuickBooks' Strategy for Tax Services (33:07) - The Evolution of QuickBooks Live and Assisted Services (35:14) - The Challenges of Running a Service Business vs. Software Company (37:22) - Intuit's Strategic Shift Towards Assisted Services (42:08) - The Future of Accounting: AI and Automation (48:02) - Listener Questions and Insights on QuickBooks Features (54:37) - Exploring TurboTax Verified Pro and Its Implications (57:08) - Closing Remarks and Resources Sign up to get free CPE for listening to this podcasthttps://earmarkcpe.comEarn CPE for this episode the Earmark CPE App Apple: with Our Guest, Hector Garcia, CPALinkedIn: http://www.hectorgarcia.comTwitter: with Blake Oliver, CPALinkedIn:
58:43 3/1/24
How AI is Transforming and Disrupting Audit
Rob Valdez joins Blake to discuss how artificial intelligence and generative chatbots like ChatGPT could automate routine audit tasks. They also explore the potential to train staff more effectively, save significant time on substantive testing, draft higher quality work, and some challenges around adopting these tools, such as security fears, poor system integration, and partners resistant to change.SponsorShareFile - - Rob Valdez Joins the Show to Talk About AI (02:27) - What Does Rob Do and What Is His Background? (03:35) - State of Artificial Intelligence in Audit (05:21) - Exploring the Use of AI Chatbots (08:55) - Potential of AI in Drafting Financial Statements (12:16) - The Future of AI with Audit (23:41) - Implications of AI on Audit Staff Roles (29:14) - The Power of Automation and Teamwork (31:00) - Challenges in Adopting AI in Firms (33:36) - The Inefficiencies of Current Data Management (35:53) - The Need for Integrated Systems (39:40) - What Will Motivate Aduit Firms To Adapt? (49:04) - The Possibility of Private Equity Getting Involved (53:30) - The Importance of Self-Disruption (54:59) - Thanks For Listening and How To Reach Rob Sign up to get free CPE for listening to this podcasthttps://earmarkcpe.comDownload the Earmark CPE App Apple: with Our Guest, Rob ValdezLinkedIn: more about NovogradacWebsite: with Blake Oliver, CPALinkedIn:
56:50 2/22/24
Solving Accounts Payable Pain Points with MakersHub
Phong Ngo and Charley Howe join Blake to discuss how their accounts payable automation software is helping small and mid-sized manufacturers, construction companies, and other businesses capture detailed invoice data to enable precise job costing and reporting without expensive ERP implementations. Learn how starting with solving the accounts payable data entry pain point allows them to streamline workflows while accounting firms and their clients gain efficiency. They also highlight the benefits of the MakersHub partner program for accountants.SponsorMakersHub - - Solving Accounts Payable Pain Points with MakersHub (00:55) - Welcome Charley and Phong from MakersHub to the show (01:16) - What makes MakersHub different from other AP solutions? (05:18) - The power of MakersHub's proprietary technology (06:20) - Phong's journey from engineering to business (09:16) - The limitations of solutions already on the market (12:15) - The vision for MakersHub (15:00) - Charley's journey from banking to startups (20:24) - The evolution of MakersHub (26:47) - Solving at the build level first (34:40) - Which accountants and bookkeepers is MakersHub For? (39:05) - Creating a product that creates value for accounting firms (44:32) - How does an accountant or firm get started with MakersHub? (47:00) - Thanks for listening and please reach out to learn more Sign up to get free CPE for listening to this podcasthttps://earmarkcpe.comDownload the Earmark CPE App Apple: with Our Guests: Charley HoweLinkedIn: NgoLinkedIn: more about MakersHubWebsite: with Blake Oliver, CPALinkedIn:
49:01 2/9/24
From Public Accounting to Tech Unicorn IPOs With Brandt Kucharski
Blake chats with Brandt Kucharski, former chief accounting officer at GrubHub and current CAO at Ethos Life, about his career journey from public accounting to leading startups through IPOs. They discuss Brandt's pivotal role in taking GrubHub public as one of the first "unicorn" startups, the process of scaling accounting teams and controls, nonprofit work with the Holiday Heroes Foundation, and thoughts on increasing accounting talent amid growing complexity.SponsorShareFile - - Welcome Brandt Kurcharski to the show (02:37) - Early Career and Joining GrubHub (05:07) - What was the first thing you did at GrubHub? (05:41) - The Journey to IPO (09:51) - What advice would you give a young controller going through an IPO (11:29) - Let's talk about GrubHub's tech stack at the time (15:26) - Building the Accounting Team at GrubHub (18:03) - The smartest thing you did at GrubHub (23:56) - Reflection on GrubHub's Success (25:21) - Biggest mistake you made at GrubHub (26:47) - Size of Your Accounting Team (29:03) - The Merger with Seamless and Going Public Again (31:09) - Let's talk Sarbanes-Oxley (34:47) - The Journey of Grubhub's Second Public Listing (35:54) - The Challenges of Merging and Going Public Again (37:53) - The Role of Charity in Personal Growth (41:04) - Accounting Challenges For a Charity (43:19) - The Journey from Grubhub to Ethos Life (47:35) - Accounting at Ethos vs GrubHub (49:14) - The Impact of Accounting Standards on Business (55:13) - The Accounting Talent Crisis and Possible Solutions (01:01:11) - Thanks for Listening and Remember to Subscribe Sign up to get free CPE for listening to this podcasthttps://earmarkcpe.comDownload the Earmark CPE App Apple: with Our Guest, Brandt KucharskiLinkedIn: with Blake Oliver, CPALinkedIn:
62:46 1/26/24
Harness the Power of AI: Practical Uses for Accountants
On this bonus episode Blake explores how artificial intelligence will transform the accounting profession. You'll learn how leading AI tools and chatbots can help automate routine tasks, freeing you up to focus on more strategic, higher-value services. He'll also walk through real-world examples of using AI for document analysis, tax research, correspondence, transcript review, drafting/editing, and more. Whether you're a sole practitioner or work in a large firm, this episode will equip you with actionable tactics to drive efficiency with existing clients and expand your advisory services. Don't let AI disrupt accounting without you!Chapters(00:00) - Introduction and Overview of AI Chatbots (01:11) - Potential of AI in Automating Accounting (02:43) - How AI Can Improve Communication in Accounting (03:19) - Current Usage of AI in Accounting (04:17) - Exploring Leading AI Chatbots (04:32) - Introduction to ChatGPT (06:22) - Introduction to Claude by Anthropic (07:03) - Introduction to BARD and Grammarly (08:19) - Using Bing Chat for Web Search (16:42) - Document Analysis with Claude (23:48) - Explaining Accounting Concepts with AI (31:12) - Exploring ChatGPT's Web Search Feature (31:41) - Answering Audience Questions: Data Protection in Microsoft Copilot (33:27) - Demonstrating ChatGPT's Response Generation (36:08) - Using AI for Client Questions and Voicemail Transcripts (41:36) - Drafting Policies and Procedures with AI (41:45) - Responding to IRS Notices with AI (46:48) - Summarizing Meeting Transcripts with AI (54:21) - Q&A and Closing Remarks Sign up to get free CPE for listening to this podcasthttps://earmarkcpe.comDownload the Earmark CPE App Apple: with Blake Oliver, CPALinkedIn:
60:02 1/13/24
Overcoming Burnout to Create a Sustainable Accounting Practice
Hitendra R. Patil joins Blake for an insightful conversation about the staffing shortage in the accounting profession, identifying overwork and lack of work-life balance as key issues causing high burnout rates. They explore potential solutions like dropping the billable hour model, measuring impact rather than hours worked, outsourcing certain tasks, and focusing on specific value-added services. Patil also describes how his company helps accounting firms efficiently leverage offshore talent.SponsorShareFile - - Hitendra Patil joins the show (03:24) - Let's talk about CAS (04:43) - What do you see firms call their communication with clients? (12:19) - National Association of Tax Professionals 2023 study (13:27) - CAS is vague and firms need to figure out what they want to offer from it (14:17) - What is causing the accounting shortage? (20:35) - How big of problems are the overwork and pay? (25:01) - More and more firms are offshoring work (29:34) - How long is offshoring a viable option? (32:52) - What are the accounting student numbers in India? (35:03) - Korn Ferry study on future shortages of working professionals (40:13) - What is the real underlying cause of the talent shortage (41:52) - Hourly timesheets and billing (44:01) - How can accountants measure impact on clients? (51:13) - Datamatics Business Solutions Inc. (58:07) - Thanks for listening and remember to earn your free CPE on Earmark Sign up to get free CPE for listening to this podcasthttps://earmarkcpe.comDownload the Earmark CPE App Apple: with Our Guest, Hitendra R. PatilLinkedIn: more about Datamatics Business Solutions, Inc. (DBSI) Website: with Blake Oliver, CPALinkedIn:
59:28 1/4/24
The Young CPA Perspective on the Talent Shortage
Blake is joined by two "Young" CPAs, Hannah Hood, and Joey Kinney, both virtual CFOs with Summit Virtual CFO by Anders. Among the topics of discussion are challenges for young accountants including low starting salaries, lack of flexibility and career path at traditional firms, the value of remote work, and the need for more women leaders and work-life balance in the accounting industry. Hannah and Joey also promote changing the accounting profession to be more adaptable and inclusive.SponsorShareFile - - Welcome Hannah and Joey to the show (04:47) - Where are Hannah and Joey located? (07:12) - Hannah, what is it like being a virtual CFO? (09:16) - What kind of clients do you work with? (10:04) - Joey what is different about your job and clients? (13:30) - How did you learn to do forecasting (16:05) - Are accountants leaving the profession because of boredom? (19:49) - Joey can you tell us about how you set your own schedule with hours (22:14) - How is your pay determined? (29:46) - Summit allows you to work fully remote (33:43) - What do you think holds back most firms from making these types of shifts? (41:15) - How do we get higher starting salaries in accounting? (42:16) - How Hannah and Joey each got their 30 extra semester hours for CPA licensure (49:10) - Is the old promise of the accounting dream gone? (55:54) - What's one thing you would change about the accounting profession if you could change anything? (01:01:28) - Wrap up and how to listen to The Young CPA Success Show Sign up to get free CPE for listening to this podcasthttps://earmarkcpe.comDownload the Earmark CPE App Apple: with Our GuestsHannah HoodLinkedIn: KinneyLinkedIn: more about Summit Virtual CFO by AndersWebsite: https://www.summitcpa.netConnect with Blake Oliver, CPALinkedIn:
63:24 12/18/23
How Logan Graf Built a Dream Firm in Three Years
Rising CPA star Logan Graf joins Blake to discuss his success in growing a profitable firm in just three years. Logan shares his unique transparent approach, how he rapidly increases his pricing year over year, and how he structures productized service packages to maximize profits. Blake and Logan talk about automating the client onboarding process, and key strategies around requiring upfront payments. This eye-opening episode is full of actionable advice to help CPAs accelerate firm growth and build their dream practice.SponsorShareFile - - How Logan spends his time making content (10:41) - What type of services do you offer at your firm? (17:12) - How do you reevaluate pricing and implement higher pricing? (26:25) - Do you have any tips to raise prices without making clients angry? (29:48) - Getting clients to pay you upfront (35:55) - Have you started sending out proposals for next year yet? (49:03) - Tell me about your package offerings on your website (55:29) - How do you track projects and thoughts on practice management software? (01:03:14) - Blake demonstrates the ChatGPT CapCut integration (01:08:30) - Thanks for listening and remember to subscribe Sign up to get free CPE for listening to this podcasthttps://earmarkcpe.comDownload the Earmark CPE App Apple: with Our Guest, Logan GrafLinkedIn: more about The Graf Tax Co. PLLC with Blake Oliver, CPALinkedIn:
70:09 11/30/23
Jody Grunden's $10 Million Secret: Weekly Client Meetings
Jody Grunden, the founder of Summit CPA Group, was a trailblazer in establishing one of the first CPA firms specializing in virtual CFO services. They recently achieved an impressive $10 million in revenue. What propelled Jody's success? The key lies in his commitment to regular client meetings. In this enlightening discussion, Jody unveils his strategy of revolutionizing client relationships by transitioning from traditional monthly engagements to weekly touchpoints. Tune in now to unlock the potential of this simple yet transformative shift, enabling you to enhance your advisory services and propel your firm's growth to new heights.SponsorShareFile - - Welcome To The Earmark Podcast (01:24) - What inspired Jody to start his firm, and how did he start doing CFO work and not just compliance? (06:10) - Jody wanted to find what his firm could change from the traditional model (13:09) - Automatically charging clients for your services (20:00) - What do you do for a typical client? (32:02) - The importance of having a dynamic forecast (35:14) - Where did you learn to do this driver based modeling? (37:04) - How do you staff these engagements? (42:57) - Only do tax returns for clients you do the books for (44:11) - How did you get into doing remote work? (51:12) - Jody has always invested in marketing and now content (55:02) - What made you choose Anders over other firm merger possibilities? (58:12) - Jody's 5 requirements for selling or merging his firm (01:06:09) - Wrap up and where people can learn about Summit and find Jody online Sign up to get free CPE for listening to this podcasthttps://earmarkcpe.comDownload the Earmark CPE App Apple: with Our Guest,  Jody GrundonLinkedIn: Website: Connect with Blake Oliver, CPALinkedIn:
67:15 11/20/23
Accounting Firm Marketing In The Era of Generative AI
David Toth of Winding River Consulting joins Blake to examine how digital marketing and AI are disrupting accounting firm marketing. They also look at how innovative firms use marketing automation, CRMs, and content marketing to generate leads and close deals from their websites.Sponsor Check out our Sponsor LiveFlow — Advanced Financial Reporting on AutopilotChapters(00:51) - Earn Free CPE credit (01:28) - David Toth joins the show to talk about marketing for accounting firms (04:49) - How marketing fits into accounting firm's strategic growth (06:58) - What has changed in digital marketing over the last few years? (09:28) - How can a firm move from the old model to the new one? (11:45) - What are successful firms doing differently? (13:31) - Who is using HubSpot? (22:12) - Introhive and other data scraping tools (24:59) - What's the best practice for setting up these teams for success? (34:08) - What's your favorite digital marketing activity? (36:27) - Using LinkedIn correctly (38:59) - Have you seen any top 400 firms leveraging short form video content for social media? (43:24) - Having a plan and making priorities (47:24) - How do you see AI changing accounting marketing? (50:14) - Wrap up and where to reach David Sign up to get free CPE for listening to this podcasthttps://earmarkcpe.comDownload the Earmark CPE App Apple: with Our Guest, David TothLinkedIn: with Blake Oliver, CPALinkedIn:
51:07 11/3/23
From Auditor to Google: How Mike Manalac Landed His Dream Job in Accounting
Mike Manalac, AKA "Mike from Accounting," joins the show to share his inspiring career journey and unconventional path from public accounting to a dream role at Google. Despite accounting stereotypes, Mike crafted his adventurous route to his ideal job. He opens up about hustling into big tech, regrouping after rejection, taking calculated risks, and breaking out of the "lazy river" career approach. Mike dishes creative tips for personal branding, nailing interviews, and landing your dream accounting job. His story proves that with grit and imagination, accountants can forge exciting careers beyond the stereotypes.Sponsor Check out our Sponsor LiveFlow — Advanced Financial Reporting on AutopilotChapters(01:07) - Mike Manalac joins the show (05:00) - Can can AI help with rev rec in the future? (07:02) - Are you allowed to use Excel at Google? (09:00) - Mike started out in public accounting as an auditor (14:44) - How do we help accountants be happier in their jobs? (18:29) - How did you transition from public accounting to private industry? (24:21) - Starting from scratch in San Francisco (29:48) - How many interviews did it take? (37:32) - How to get through the phone screen (43:19) - Tips for in-person interviews (51:25) - Why Mike wrote "No Flux Given" (56:34) - How to reach Mike and get his book Sign up to get free CPE for listening to this podcasthttps://earmarkcpe.comDownload the Earmark CPE App Apple: with Our Guest, Mike Manalac LinkedIn: https://www.mikefromaccounting.comConnect with Blake Oliver, CPALinkedIn:
59:04 10/21/23
Becoming Employee-Owned: How BDO Broke Out of the Partner Model
Wayne Berson, CEO of BDO USA, joins Blake and guest host, David Leary, to discuss BDO's recent transition to an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), making it the first major accounting firm to implement an ESOP structure. They discuss how the ESOP aims to attract and retain talent in the accounting profession and provide employees at all levels with an ownership stake in the firm.Chapters(00:44) - Why do an Employee Stock Ownership Plan(ESOP) now? (09:06) - BDO borrowed $1.3 billion - what is that money for? (14:52) - How will ESOP benefit staff? (19:06) - Is there a way to pull money out of the ESOP without leaving? (29:15) - How do you become a partner at BDO? (31:25) - What are my options when I'm a partner at BDO? (35:54) - What are your thoughts on the talent shortage and the 150-hour rule? (47:47) - What advice do you have for other firms thinking of becoming an ESOP? Sign up to get free CPE for listening to this podcasthttps://earmarkcpe.comDownload the Earmark CPE App Apple: with Our Guest, Wayne BersonLinkedIn: more about BDOWebsite: with Blake Oliver, CPALinkedIn:
51:22 10/18/23
An Alternative To Advisory: Collaborative Accounting
Blake is joined by Twyla Verhelst, Head of Accountant Channel at FreshBooks, to discuss a groundbreaking concept in advisory known as "Collaborative Accounting." This innovative approach aims to enhance collaboration between accountants and clients by providing a platform for efficient financial management. They delve into various aspects of this new approach, including FreshBooks' certification program, dedicated support for accounting partners, and a community for accountants to exchange best practices and insights. Prepare to be inspired by the transformative power of Collaborative Accounting!SponsorFreshBooks - learn more about Collaborative Accounting and join the FreshBooks partner program, visit - Earn Free CPE (01:02) - Welcome Twyla Verhelst to the show (08:02) - How do you make advisory services efficient? (11:54) - What is "collaborative accounting"? (14:10) - Who are we collaborating with? (19:28) - Can you give us an example of this? (24:13) - How do we make the time for this when we're so busy helping with clients with other problems? (35:54) - Why clients are seeking financial advice elsewhere (39:36) - What is FreshBooks doing to help make collaborative advisory possible? (45:08) - FreshBooks has top-notch support (46:01) - Community partnership is a huge part of this (47:10) - Wrap up and where to learn more about FreshBooks (50:32) - Remember to Earn Free CPE by listening to this Episode Sign up to get free CPE for listening to this podcasthttps://earmarkcpe.comDownload the Earmark CPE App Apple: with Our Guest, Twyla VerhelstLinkedIn: more about FreshBooks: Website: with Blake Oliver, CPALinkedIn:
52:37 10/5/23
Soft Skills, Not Spreadsheets: Keys to a Successful Accounting Career
Jerry Maginnis has over 40 years of experience in the accounting profession. In this episode, he shares his journey from college student to managing partner at KPMG, offering advice to young accountants on how to build a successful career. Jerry emphasizes the importance of soft skills like communication, empathy, and relationship-building, arguing that technical expertise alone is not enough. He shares how to navigate busy season without burning out, urging accountants to speak up about their personal commitments. Jerry also shares tips on expanding your business acumen, stressing the need to deeply understand a client’s strategy and industry. We also reflect on lessons learned, and why young accountants need to allocate time to networking and relationship-building earlier in their careers. Finally, Jerry weighs the pros and cons of different career paths, while emphasizing the need to find the right fit based on your personality and interests. Whether you’re a student or young professional, this episode offers indispensable guidance to maximize your career as an accountant.Sponsor Check out our Sponsor LiveFlow — Advanced Financial Reporting on AutopilotChapters(01:14) - Welcome Jerry Maginnis to the show (02:36) - How Jerry got started in accounting (05:04) - What inspired you to write this book? (09:12) - What are some of the biggest mistakes that you see young professionals making early in their careers and how can they avoid those pitfalls? (16:06) - What's the best way for a staff accountant to make the partners happy when it comes to busy season? (18:27) - What is the difference between a great employee and an average one? (20:27) - Why are soft skills so important for accountants these days? (24:20) - When have you used soft skills in your career? (30:21) - Honesty is the best policy (33:50) - How important is business development to making partner and do I need to know how to golf? (36:42) - How did you learn to bring in business for the firm? (41:19) - What parts of accounting are in demand right now for college students? (44:28) - How can students and professionals prepare for AI emerging into the workspace? (50:46) - How would you advise a student on which career path to take out of college? (56:57) - What do you know now that you wish you knew at the start of your career? (59:53) - How to Earn FREE CPE Sign up to get free CPE for listening to this podcasthttps://earmarkcpe.comDownload the Earmark CPE App Apple: with Our GuestJerry MaginnisLinkedIn: Jerry's book, Advice for a Successful Career in the Accounting Profession: How to Make Your Assets Greatly Exceed Your Liabilities: with Blake Oliver, CPALinkedIn:
60:11 9/29/23
From Felon to Firm Owner: An Unconventional Path in Accounting
Think the pathway to owning an accounting firm is linear? Think again.In this episode, Blake has a fascinating conversation with Scott “OKR” Scarano, an accounting firm owner with an unconventional background.Before becoming a successful firm owner, Scott started dealing drugs, got kicked out of UNC, and ended up with a felony conviction. But with persistence and grit, Scott cleaned up his act, got back on track with his accounting degree, and hustled his way up to leading an accounting practice approaching $2 million in annual revenue.Scott gives an honest account of his journey—the highs, the lows, and the lessons learned along the way. He talks about the mistakes he made scaling his firm and the tools and systems he implemented to get “out of the work” and create more freedom in his life.These days Scott is pursuing his creative passions, like rapping as "OKR," while his firm runs smoothly in the background.His story offers inspiration that firm ownership isn't one-size-fits-all and that with the right mindset and support, unlikely entrepreneurs can thrive in accounting.Sponsor Check out our Sponsor LiveFlow — Advanced Financial Reporting on AutopilotChapters(00:46) - Blake's first impressions of Scott (07:14) - The definition of a successful firm (11:28) - Scott works an hour a week on his firm (12:09) - The bottom line: What Scott takes home (13:32) - Are you planning to grow the firm? (15:33) - Scott felt guilty about not doing the work (16:55) - How Scott started his firm (21:34) - Learning from mistakes (23:29) - Scott's felony charge and what it taught him about business (26:02) - The similarities between pricing drugs and accounting services (32:09) - What did you do after you bought the firm? (35:55) - Getting stuck at $1.2 million revenue (36:40) - How EOS changed things (38:25) - What is Padgett? (39:24) - Back to EOS (44:48) - Joining XPAC, the Xero Partner Advisory Council (48:27) - Stuck in Mexico during COVID caused a mindset shift (51:16) - Cal Newport and digital minimalism (56:05) - What Scott is working on next (01:01:37) - Where to reach Scott and how to listen to Accounting High (01:04:01) - Where do you want to see the accounting profession go? Sign up to get free CPE for listening to this podcasthttps://earmarkcpe.comDownload the Earmark CPE App Apple: with Our Guest, Scott ScaranoWebsite: more about Scott's firm, Padgett NCWebsite: with Blake Oliver, CPALinkedIn:
67:06 9/14/23
Beat the House: Tax Strategies to Offset Gambling Winnings
From tracking gambling sessions to offsetting winnings with losses, professional gamblers and enthusiasts alike need to know how to beat the house when it comes to taxes. Join Certified Public Accountant Zak Zimbile, owner of a remote CPA firm specializing in gambling taxation, as he breaks down federal and state requirements for reporting gambling income. Zak leverages his decade-plus of experience advising recreational and professional gamblers across the country to explain what counts as gambling income, how to properly track activity, when winnings must be reported, and how losses can be used to lower your tax bill. With insights ranging from tax forms to watch out for to foreign reporting requirements, this episode helps gamblers and tax professionals alike formulate strategies to minimize the house's take.Sponsor South Carolina Association of CPAs (SCACPA) - - Preview: How professional gamblers stay under the radar (00:57) - Earn Free CPE (01:18) - Welcome Zak to the show (03:31) - How did you get into this niche? (05:05) - What is considered gambling income? (06:36) - How do people keep track of all of their winnings and losings? (08:19) - How do you recommend your clients keep track of all of this? (11:03) - Why is it so important to track this data (15:10) - Do you direct your clients to any specific sites that keep good records of bets? (16:35) - Where does the IRS publish this information on gambling and sessions (19:08) - Why can a W-2G and tracking by session be beneficial? (22:24) - Do these tax laws apply the same for professional vs recreational gamblers? And lets talk a little more about how pros are defined (25:15) - How does the IRS treat gambling winnings on a tax return? (30:34) - Does the IRS push back on the professional vs amateur classification (31:59) - How do taxes vary state to state on gambling wins and loses (35:45) - Do you see gamblers relocating specifically for tax purposes? (37:51) - Has video game gambling taken off? (39:20) - Are there any other tax forms I may receive or deal with related to gambling? (44:24) - What do I need to know about gambling in a foreign country? (49:20) - What is your favorite and the hardest part about this niche? (53:03) - Wrap up and where to reach Zak Sign up to get free CPE for listening to this podcasthttps://earmarkcpe.comDownload the Earmark CPE App Apple: with Our Guest, Zak ZimbileTwitter: more about Zachary Zimbile, CPAWebsite: with Blake Oliver, CPALinkedIn:
54:43 8/18/23
Did They Just Kill Desktop? 2023 QuickBooks Update with Hector Garcia, CPA
Major changes are afoot in the world of QuickBooks. QBO and Payroll prices are going up. Intuit is phasing out QuickBooks Desktop Pro while touting QuickBooks Online and Enterprise as the future, though Hector predicts Desktop will still have a 2024 edition. QBO Advanced still needs improvements, like reverting to a static navigation bar, and Hector is excited about new integrations with QuickBooks Checking. Tune in for insights from Hector Garcia, CPA, on the past, present, and future of Intuit’s small business accounting software.Sponsor South Carolina Association of CPAs (SCACPA) - - Quickbooks dropped the ball with QuickBooks Checking (00:57) - Earn Free CPE (01:18) - Welcome Hector back to the show (02:41) - QuickBook Online price changes (06:46) - How will Intuit make sure its LLM is learning the right things? (10:17) - What's new with QuickBooks Desktop Pro and Premier? (18:26) - Why can't QBO do better inventory and what apps do you recommend for inventory? (19:43) - Let's talk about QuickBooks Checking (27:25) - Are you recommending QuickBooks checking to clients? And what do they need to do to get to that point? (31:30) - Revisiting Hector's 2022 predictions for QuickBooks Desktop (33:06) - Some new features (37:41) - Hector's QuickBooks browser extension RightTool (40:44) - How do you protect client information in RightTool (42:12) - Hector sold his tax practice and he's having a conference in Miami (46:19) - We're launching a new QuickBooks podcast! Sign up to get free CPE for listening to this podcasthttps://earmarkcpe.comDownload the Earmark CPE App Apple: with Our Guest, Hector Garcia, CPALinkedIn: to updates about the Unofficial QuickBooks Podcast: more about Hector's conference in Miami: with Blake Oliver, CPALinkedIn:
48:26 8/4/23
From EY to Starbucks to Startups with Keeley Favoino, CPA, Controller at Foxtrot
Follow the journey of Keeley Favoino, CPA, from her background in accounting at various organizations, including EY, Starbucks, OfferUp, and Farmer's Fridge, before joining Foxtrot, a modern corner store concept. Foxtrot's accounting department was initially focused on bookkeeping, but as the company grew, so did the need for a more robust accounting system. Keeley led the transformation from cash basis accounting to GAAP financials using QuickBooks Online, creating streamlined processes and establishing communication channels between departments. As Foxtrot continued to expand, Keeley and her team decided to upgrade to NetSuite, a platform that could better handle their reporting needs and integrate well with their existing tech stack.Sponsor Check out our Sponsor LiveFlow — Advanced Financial Reporting on AutopilotSign up to get free CPE for listening to this podcasthttps://earmarkcpe.comDownload the Earmark CPE App Apple: - Preview: Being curious and finding the right fit (01:27) - Earn Free CPE (01:48) - Welcome Keeley to the show, and please tell us about FoxTrot (06:11) - What did Foxtrot look like in the beginning? (09:02) - What did the accounting team look like when you joined? (12:24) - How did you start working with startups? (25:26) - What came after OfferUp? (32:33) - Walk us through your moves with setting up systems (46:45) - What were your next steps and systems you implemented (49:15) - How did you pick your ERP system? (50:52) - What is a 4-4-5 Calendar (01:01:58) - What is your favorite thing about NetSuite? (01:10:22) - What is next for Keeley? (01:12:18) - What advice would you give to a young public accountant that is interested in startups? (01:16:04) - Wrap up and how to connect with Keeley Connect with Our Guest, Keeley FavoinoLinkedIn: more about Foxtrot with Blake Oliver, CPALinkedIn:
75:25 7/19/23
Finances Uncovered: Empowering OnlyFans Creators with Expert Accountancy
Blake Oliver is joined by Katherine Studley and Jim Swiech, the founders of Prisma Tax Group. Katherine and Jim specialize in helping OnlyFans creators and sex workers with their accounting and tax needs. They discuss the unique challenges facing these clients, as well as the common misconceptions and stereotypes surrounding the industry. Katherine shares how she built her business through TikTok and Instagram, and Jim explains how their pricing structure and hiring practices have contributed to their success. Tune in to learn more about this fascinating and underserved niche in the accounting world.Sponsor Check out our Sponsor LiveFlow — Advanced Financial Reporting on AutopilotSign up to get free CPE for listening to this podcasthttps://earmarkcpe.comDownload the Earmark CPE App Apple: - Preview: Everyone deserves judgment-free financial representation (01:10) - Earn Free CPE (01:30) - Welcome Katherine to the show (02:36) - Background on Jim (04:11) - Who are your clients? Are they all OnlyFans creators? (05:08) - Chapter 6 (08:20) - Do you see sex workers being discriminated against in audits? (13:29) - What deductions should OnlyFans creators be taking? (14:32) - What are the biggest challenges you face working with OnlyFans creators? (16:12) - How do you make 1040s work? (18:01) - Where are you finding talent, and how are you training them? (21:44) - What was the biggest lift to get ClickUp to work for your firm? (22:52) - How do you like ProConnect compared to other software you've used in the past? (27:12) - What other apps do you use or recommend? (31:13) - Chapter 15 (32:22) - How do your clients get into this line of work? (35:04) - What type of income are your clients making from this? (37:34) - Are you worried about TikTok potentially getting banned in the U.S? (41:04) - Why do banks or payment processors give OnlyFans creators such a hard time? (42:04) - Give us a sense of the size of the industry (44:47) - What are some tips on creating content that appeals to your target audience (47:52) - Human-trafficking and sex-trafficking training (52:26) - Wrap up and where to reach Katherine or learn more Connect with Our GuestsKatherine Studley: LinkedIn: SwiechLinkedIn: more about Prisma Tax Group with Blake Oliver, CPALinkedIn:
53:47 6/28/23
From 3 Orders a Day to $300 Million in Revenue: Scaling Accounting at PopSockets
In this episode of the Earmark Accounting Podcast, Blake talks with Stacey Feldman, CPA, about her experiences in the world of CPG and accounting at PopSockets. They look at the challenges of scaling a startup, from tracking components in a supply chain to accounting for inventory costs. Stacey also reveals insights around simplifying supply and the importance of real-time data for accurate accounting.Sponsor Check out our Sponsor LiveFlow — Advanced Financial Reporting on AutopilotSign up to get free CPE for listening to this podcasthttps://earmarkcpe.comDownload the Earmark CPE App Apple: - Preview: The importance of merging accounting and finance (00:44) - Earn Free CPE (01:05) - Welcome Stacey Feldman to the show (04:06) - Stacey's career path in the CPG industry (11:16) - What was the first big challenge that you had to solve in accounting for Pop Sockets? (15:05) - What did you map with the supply chain? (25:35) - What put PopSockets on the map and scaled the brand? (28:16) - What is FBM? (28:49) - How did you do all the accounting for PopSockets? What tools did you use? (36:54) - PopSockets 14 Million Dollar mistake (42:14) - What lessons have you learned regarding customer discounts? (47:44) - Differences between full manufacturing and light manufacturing (53:57) - What other cutting edge technology or interesting tech is Sunday using? (01:03:45) - Wrap up and how to connect with Stacey Connect with Our Guest, Stacey FeldmanLinkedIn: more about Full Send Finance with Blake Oliver, CPALinkedIn:
65:16 6/15/23
Pro Wrestling, Anime, and Financial Modeling with Ariel Menche
Ariel Menche recounts his FP&A journey - from his tenure with KPMG and the WWE, to FP&A consulting to startups. His strategic financial advisory story highlights valuable FP&A lessons, including insights about data's impact on a CFO's role and establishing best practices for financial model development.Sponsor Check out our Sponsor LiveFlow — Advanced Financial Reporting on AutopilotSign up to get free CPE for listening to this podcasthttps://earmarkcpe.comDownload the Earmark CPE App Apple: - Strategic finance (00:45) - Earn Free CPE (01:07) - Welcome Ariel to the show (03:13) - How Ariel got into FP&A pro wrestling (09:15) - What did the financial models for the WWE look like? (13:20) - Tell me more about these sheets you created to keep track of accrued expenses (17:54) - What gave you the idea to do this? (19:51) - What did you do with your extra time? (20:50) - What were the most memorable KPIs at WWE? (24:35) - What's the difference between working for the WWE and now running FP&A for startups (34:17) - How did you learn how to build financial models? Do you have advice on how to start? (46:34) - What is your favorite type of business to model? (48:37) - Ariel shares an example where a formula works out that he wasn't sure about (51:45) - Do you have any advise for people who want to do what you do? (56:19) - Wrap up and where to reach Ariel (58:07) - Remember to go earn FREE CPE Connect with Our Guest, Ariel MencheLinkedIn: more about Raftel Strategy with Blake Oliver, CPALinkedIn:
58:54 5/25/23
How Accountants Can Profit From The Subscription Economy
In this episode, Blake and Ron Baker discuss the subscription economy. They delve into the origins of the terminology and how CPAs and accountants can provide more value to their clients by prioritizing relationships over services. This is a must-listen for anyone interested in the subscription industry, which is projected to surpass $1 trillion by 2025.Many thanks to our sponsor, Anchor!To learn more about Anchor, visit up to get free CPE for listening to this podcasthttps://earmarkcpe.comDownload the Earmark CPE App Apple: - Preview: A firm can't be everything to everyone (01:16) - Earn Free CPE (01:33) - Welcome Ron Baker to the show (03:11) - What does "subscription economy" mean? (04:33) - What does the subscription model look like for accounting firms? (13:10) - If I'm not billing hourly, how do I make sure that my team doesn't get completely overwhelmed? (16:41) - Why there is a shortage on accountants? (26:39) - Power of different pricing models (32:48) - Why don't accountants charge based on how many assets they manage? (42:37) - What CPA firms do to impact people's lives (45:28) - How accountants can approach thier clients in a different way (51:21) - Amazon never would have happened if Jeff Bezos thought like an accounting firm (57:24) - Accounting firms want to change but don't (01:04:47) - What does the future of accounting look like? (01:06:32) - How to contact Ron Baker Connect with Our Guest, Ron BakerLinkedIn: more about VerasageWebsite: http://verasage.comGet Ron's book"Time's Up!: The Subscription Business Model for Professional Firms": with Blake Oliver, CPALinkedIn:
67:56 4/12/23
To be, or not to be a CPA firm with Chase Birky of Dark Horse CPAs
We’re talking to Chase Birky, CEO and co-founder of Dark Horse CPAs, a non-traditional CPA firm. Learn the advantages and challenges of being a CPA firm, the importance of creating a positive work environment for staff, and the need for the accounting profession to attract and retain more young talent. Tune in to hear insights into alternative paths for CPAs and how the industry can work towards creating a more sustainable and fulfilling workplace culture.Many thanks to our sponsor, LiveFlow!To learn more about LiveFlow, visit - EAP 42 (01:10) - Welcome Chase to the podcast (02:47) - Unpacking the "Anti-CPA Firm" concept (07:13) - What is different about Dark Horse versus the traditional partnership model? (10:27) - Office Space should be mandatory viewing and work/life balance (19:39) - Are there any issues running a CPA firm the way you do? (25:14) - Does you firm do audits? (26:03) - Why did you decide to make your firm a CPA firm? (28:19) - What things have you had to go through as a CPA firm? Peer review? (33:42) - CPA firms can't give equity to non CPAs (40:01) - If you were the president of the AICPA what would you be saying to firms? (44:08) - Blakes reads posts on r/accounting about the industry (53:39) - Wrap up and how to reach Chase and earn free CPE Sign up to get free CPE for listening to this podcasthttps://earmarkcpe.comDownload the Earmark CPE AppApple: with Chase BirkyLinkedIn: more about Dark Horse CPAsWebsite: http://darkhorse.cpaConnect with Blake Oliver, CPALinkedIn:
55:04 3/29/23
The Chick-fil-A of payroll providers with Tim Petrey of HD Davis CPAs
Tim Petrey shares his journey from starting as a receptionist to becoming a partner in his CPA firm and founder of a payroll service. He discusses how his firm, HD Davis CPAs, evolved from a tax business to a full-service advisory firm and how they acquired small practices to grow. Tim also emphasizes the importance of adopting technology to streamline processes. Tune in to hear more about Tim's journey and the lessons he learned along the way.Many thanks to our sponsor, LiveFlow!To learn more about LiveFlow, visit (00:00) - Preview: We want to be the Chick-fil-A of payroll providers (01:07) - Welcome and Tim's introduction (06:26) - What was your job when the 2008 financial crisis hit? (11:18) - What did things look like from a tech perspective when you started and what did you do to change it? (19:22) - Tim's thoughts on time sheets (30:57) - How do you price CFO or advisory services? (45:51) - Some of Tim's accolades (46:40) - How to create a better workplace (51:44) - How to connect with Tim Sign up to get free CPE for listening to this podcasthttps://earmarkcpe.comDownload the Earmark CPE App Apple: with Our Guest, Tim Petrey LinkedIn: more about HD Davis CPAsWebsite: http://hddaviscpas.proConnect with Blake Oliver, CPALinkedIn:
53:49 3/16/23
6,000 clients and $7 million gross revenue in 12 years with Ben Sutton of Mazuma
Blake Oliver is joined by Ben Sutton, the founder of Mazuma. Mazuma offers core monthly bookkeeping services, reconciliations, basic financials, and tax returns for a flat fee of $180 per month. Ben believes small businesses need services traditional accounting firms don't provide, and he wanted to give them the support they need. He found it possible to offer bookkeeping services at a low cost, as long as the scope of services and what clients can and cannot do is carefully limited.Many thanks to our sponsor, LiveFlow!To learn more about LiveFlow, visit up to get free CPE for listening to this podcasthttps://earmarkcpe.comDownload the Earmark CPE AppApple: - Episode 40 (01:30) - Background on Ben Sutton (11:26) - What deliverables do you send your clients each month or quarter? (16:34) - Do you have a niche that you specialize in? (22:14) - Where are your employees located? (27:14) - What is your typical technology stack for clients? (40:21) - What tax software do you use? (49:50) - How many clients do you have per bookkeeper? (52:45) - How are continuing to grow your business? (55:24) - BONUS: Opinions on CPE (58:43) - How to connect with Ben Show NotesListen to the Earmark Podcast interview with Argel Sabillo referenced in this episode: with Our Guest, Ben SuttonLinkedIn: more about MazumaWebsite: http://mazumausa.comConnect with Blake Oliver, CPALinkedIn:
60:52 2/28/23
Why diverse accountants quit the profession according to the Illinois CPA Society
Half of accountants believe that diversity is important. Half do not. Meanwhile, efforts to increase diversity in accounting firms have had disappointing results. Todd Shapiro and Kari Natale of the Illinois CPA Society join to discuss why and what the profession should do about it.Many thanks to our sponsor, LiveFlow!To learn more about LiveFlow, visit up to get free CPE for listening to this podcasthttps://earmarkcpe.comDownload the Earmark CPE App Apple: - Preview: Coninue to talk about the diversity issues (00:51) - How to earn FREE CPE (01:13) - Overview of the diversity problem in the CPA profession (04:31) - Tell us about your internship program (09:59) - Why are accountants leaving the profession? (14:14) - Things firms can do to help these employees be better preprared (24:25) - Launching 2.0 version to ensure success once they are at a job (27:59) - 36% of accounting profession doesn't think DEI is important (31:55) - Organizations make better decisions when employees are diverse (40:58) - What can universities and schools do to prepare accounting majors better? (42:31) - What is it that alumni felt like they were unprepared to do? (44:55) - Should schools be teaching more soft skills (51:04) - Wrap up and where to reach Todd and Kari Show NotesAccountants and DEI: By the numbers | Accounting Today "A CPA Diversity Report: Uncovering the Barriers to Success" with Our GuestsTodd ShapiroLinkedIn: NataleLinkedIn: more about the Illinois CPA Societyhttp://icpas.orgConnect with Blake Oliver, CPALinkedIn:
52:40 2/15/23
How to buy an accounting firm with Michael Ly of Reconciled
Sign up to get free CPE for listening to this podcasthttps://earmarkcpe.comDownload the Earmark CPE App Apple: with Michael on LinkedIn: more about Reconciled: with Blake Oliver, CPALinkedIn:
45:16 1/31/23

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