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October 2014 Article Archives

Excel Skills: Macros, Pivot Tables, Speed Tips and More

Published on October 21, 2014 by CPELink

Excel Skills: 18 CPE hours - $99

Excel Macros, Pivot Tables, Speed Tips, and more. Regularly priced at $179, access this course for only $99. Hurry!  This offer expires Friday, October 31.

Refresh your Excel skills with this package of Excel training in on-demand webcast format. Spreadsheet expert, David Ringstrom, CPA demonstrates powerful functions directly in Excel.

View the on-demand webcasts as many times as you like. Includes practice Excel files.

Up to 18 CPE hours for CPAs or AAAPMs.
QAS approved for self-study CPE.  


What's On Your Smartphone or Device?

Published on October 21, 2014

OVER - There are countless apps out there that let you mess around with your photos and make them all spiffy.  OVER is is simple with one defined purpose, to allow you to add beautiful typography to your shots. Instead of adding boring text OVER lets you get a bit more stylish and design-y.

CARROT - The to-do list with a personality.  Simply having a to-do list does not guarantee you’ll get anything done. In fact, most of our to-do lists start with “Make a To-Do List,” just so we can cross something off. With CARROT, your to-do list becomes a game, and you get more done because of it. Whether you accomplish your tasks and CARROT rewards you, or you upset it is totally up to you and your productivity.


AAA Financial Management Fly-In Features Bill Reeb and More!

Published on October 20, 2014

The AAA 2014 Financial Management Fly-In scheduled for November 11-12, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois, provides the opportunity for participants to be able to identify and use:

• Advanced training for practical use in an accounting firm and tools and information on how to train staff.
• New applications and knowledge to address today's reporting and financial management challenges within CPA Firms.
• New skills, new contacts and shared knowledge with those in similar positions.
• Specific solutions and best practices in the area of financial management of accounting practices.


AAA 2014 Technology Fly-In Takes Place November 11-12, 2014

Published on October 20, 2014

The AAA 2014 Technology Fly-In, November 11-12, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois, provides the opportunity for participants to be able to identify and use:

• New resources that will help leverage time more effectively.
• New applications and knowledge to address today's technology challenges at CPA firms
• Specific solutions and best practices in the area of IT

With some of the profession's key presenters including Roman Kepczyk, Director of Consulting, Xcentric; Christian James, Co-Founder and COO, Xcentric; and Eric McMillen, Owner and Principal Consultant, The McMillen Group, this year's Technology Fly-In will cover those topics needed by network administrators at CPA firms throughout North America.


Ebola: The Ongoing Outbreak - Pandemics and Your Office

Published on October 20, 2014 by Trevor Mickelson, Agility Recovery

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the risk of contracting Ebola is extremely low in the United States – officials are working around the clock to make sure the threat is contained. However, since the discovery of the virus in 1976, this is by far the largest outbreak of Ebola than all others combined, presenting more cases and more deaths since it resurfaced in March 2014.

In a recent update by the World Health Organization, the Ebola outbreak numbers show that we should be less concerned about contracting this disease in comparison to the H1N1 flu pandemic that killed over 12,500 from 2009-10, and significantly less worried in comparison to the Spanish Flu that was estimated to have killed ~50 million people from 1918-1919 due to the easy mode of transmittance.


Protecting Your BYOD Exposure

Published on October 20, 2014 by Roman H. Kepczyk, CPA.CITP, AAAPM, Xcentric

Bring your own device (BYOD) is becoming the standard in accounting firms as we not only allow our personnel to connect to firm data from their home computers, but also access email and other firm applications on personal tablets and smartphones. When one of these devices gets lost or stolen, or if an employee is terminated, it is the responsibility of the firm to remove all firm and client data. Not all firms have implemented a BYOD policy and their plan to deal with errant devices is to remotely wipe them in their entirety. Unfortunately, this can lead to erasing the employee’s personal data, music, and pictures which can have unintended consequences if those files are not backed up. In a recent INSIDE Public Accounting article, a scenario was shared where an employee could have Bitcoin “digital currency” on their smartphone that would disappear with all their other personal data if the smartphone were remotely wiped (which again is the most common resolution firms have in place). This has led larger businesses to implement COPE policies (corporate owned, personally enabled) which allows the company to control the device but at significant expense in equipment and data plans, which we have not seen trending as a standard within accounting firms, where BYOD is more prevalent. So in addition to educating employees about the firm’s BYOD policy, reminding them to back up their personal data, and sharing the possible consequences, firms are starting to implement Mobile Device Management (MDM) applications which will further minimize BYOD exposure by just erasing firm data.


AAA and AICPA Collaboration Update

Published on October 20, 2014 by Bob Biddle, AAAPM, Bowman & Company, LLP

Your Association and the AICPA PCPS (Private Companies Practice Section) continue to work together to bring you the information that you need to make you the best firm Practice Manager you can be.

Alan Alexander, the newest member of your Board of Directors and the Director of Professional Awareness, Kim Fantaci, our Executive Director, and I, outgoing Director of Professional Awareness, recently attended the PCPS Executive Committee meeting where we continue to develop our relationship with the AICPA and the PCPS.


Chapter Chatter

Published on October 20, 2014 by Misty Cable, AAAPM, Gilliam & Associates

Happy Fall! With the last filing deadline behind us, I know most of us will be doing year-end planning for our firms and reviewing what needs to be tweaked before next year’s busy season.   Along those lines, it is also a good time to plan for your Chapter as well, whether you are a current leader or an aspiring one. I thought that I would update you on some initiatives that we are investigating to making connections between members and Chapters easier and more meaningful.

We will continue to work with our existing Chapters to support them, assist those who need a little TLC and work with those “who boldly go where no man/woman has gone” and want to start a NEW chapter! Thank you for your continued support and please email me with ideas, comments and suggestions as we work to improve Chapter Development, Support and Involvement in AAA!


Spotlight: Alan Alexander

Published on October 20, 2014

Name: Michael Alan Alexander
Firm: Sellers Richardson Holman & West, LLP
Title: Chief Operating Officer (Some days it seems more like COO COO (Cuckoo))
Place of Employment: Birmingham, Alabama
Hometown: Birmingham, Alabama
Education: BS Accounting, Auburn University, Master of Accounting, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)                                   


Changing Times - President's Message

Published on October 20, 2014 by Janine Zirrith, AAAPM, Wilkin & Guttenplan

After almost 30 years in CPA firm administration, one of my greatest challenges is successfully keeping up with the lightning speed of the changing times.   It’s no coincidence that I hear the same comment from my AAA peers.  “How do we stay current, continue to educate ourselves, and put into action Best Practices for running our firms - all while we’re so busy, actually running our firms.”

Like so many of you, as my career progressed, I found myself taking on greater responsibilities within my role.  Sometimes these increased tasks have been outside of my comfort zone “getting uncomfortable”.  Sometimes taking on these new challenges was uncomfortable because I didn’t always know the exact answer. At one time or another, I’m sure we’ve all experienced “getting uncomfortable”.