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The Smoke Detector: A CPA's expanding role - from CFO to CBO

In September 2016, I discussed how the role of the CFO continues to evolve . During my tenure at Concordia, my role has shifted from chief financial officer to chief business officer (CBO) to reflect my responsibilities more accurately. I shared a one-day glimpse in the spring 2017 CPA IN...


Blog Entry
The Smoke Detector: What to do with client records if you retire, sell or merge your practice

Times are changing in the CPA profession. The age of technology is upon us, and most CPAs have slowly but surely started to migrate to the world of practicing paperless. However, we, as CPAs, still seem to be perpetually drowning in paper. Client files, audit workpapers or old tax returns...


Blog Entry
THE SMOKE DETECTOR: It Was the Stress of Times, it Was the Worst of Times

It was the stress of times, it was the worst of times. CPAs may make this slight alteration to the Charles Dickens classic, Tale of Two Cities . The parallels stop there, however, between the war accounting professionals call “busy season” and the French Revolution. Our worst of times are...


Blog Entry
THE SMOKE DETECTOR: Technology's Impact on the CPA Profession

I'm a big fan of the TV show, Shark Tank, so I was curious when I came across Lindsay Patterson’s blog, “That Time I Told Mark Cuban He Was Wrong About the CPA Profession.“ Cuban was speaking at the SXSW Conference and Festival and stated, “we'll see more technological advances over the next...


Blog Entry
THE SMOKE DETECTOR: The CPA as a Leader and Trusted Business Advisor

Now that I am 10 months into my role as chief financial officer at Concordia Educational Association (CEA) dba Concordia Lutheran High School , I want to share the inner workings of a private school and what role a CPA can play as both a leader and trusted business advisor. Liken to my days as...

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Blog Entry
THE SMOKE DETECTOR: Creating a Culture of Innovation

I believe we can agree, when asked to think of a “creative” or “innovative” profession or business, most at first would not say CPAs or CPA firms. But I believe, for example, that our profession’s response to the global market and ever-changing regulatory landscape...


Blog Entry
THE SMOKE DETECTOR: Do You Know How Blockchain is Changing Business?

During the most recent Professional Issues Update last fall, Gary Bolinger introduced blockchain as an emerging technology. Did any of you fellow PIU attendees catch this? I listened and wondered what is blockchain, and also if Gary was off his rocker? I have heard of bitcoin but not...


Blog Entry
THE SMOKE DETECTOR: Breathe Easy and Soak It All In

At our firm, we just celebrated the half way mark for busy season. Sometimes we become so focused on reaching the end of busy season that we forget to embrace the journey. This happens in both our professional and personal lives. Instead, we need to pause, embrace the moment, and breathe. Too...


Blog Entry
THE SMOKE DETECTOR: Thinking Big Picture ... Generalist Speaking

In recent years, we have been hearing that the trend in the CPA profession is toward specialization. Even hyperspecialization. What does that mean exactly? It means CPAs are becoming less of a generalist and more focused on a specific field, industry or niche area in the accounting arena. That...


Blog Entry
THE SMOKE DETECTOR: The Transition - What I've Learned in a Year

Last year, I made the transition from public accounting to private corporate accounting. The time has flown by since then and I’ve learned a lot of things along the way. Here are a few of them … First, CPAs and other accountants work hard. Being in public accounting previously, I...