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August 2016 Article Archives

2016 ACE Award Recipient Recognized in Baltimore

Published on August 25, 2016

This annual award is presented by the CPA Firm Management Association (CPAFMA) and has been awarded to some of North America's most experienced and respected administrators since its inception in 1989.

The ACE Award -- which stands for Achievement, Commitment and Excellence -- was formerly known as the Accounting Firm Administrator of the Year Award. Former winners of the award have held titles such as firm administrator, director of administration, chief operating officer, chief financial officer and chief executive officer.

Regardless of the title, nominees must be a CPAFMA member and hold a senior-level administration position for a public accounting firm. Criteria for selection focus on leadership and the individual's strategic impact on the firm's profit and growth. Strong candidates for the ACE Award will have made major contributions to their firms by implementing and overseeing programs that:

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Working with a New Managing Partner

Published on August 25, 2016 by Bob Biddle, AAAPM, Bowman & Company, Voorhees, NJ

A couple of disclaimers:

So what makes it work?

Well, clearly having 31 years of experience and knowledge helps, as well as Michael and I knowing one another fairly well.  But beyond that it helps, even if you are a new Firm Manager that you have some, if not all, of the following traits:

Now to give you the perspective of a new Managing Partner, I have asked Michael to give you his take on working with the Firm Manager.   

Bob Biddle’s role as Firm Manager has evolved over his years of service with our Firm, but none more important than as a counselor to the Managing Partner. I had the fortunate opportunity to serve as a department chair and on our Firm’s Executive Committee for several years prior to assuming the responsibilities of Managing Partner.  In those prior roles, I worked closely with Bob and developed a positive working relationship with him.  That relationship foundation serves as a crucial tool for me during my time as the MP.  As a MP that holds an above average book of business for our Firm, I rely heavily on Bob’s assistance as Firm Manager in helping me keep my partners and firm leadership informed.  The advice and input he offers is critical in assisting me in pushing our Firm forward to achieve its strategic plan and any success our Firm enjoys while I serve as MP is a direct result of that teamwork. So, my advice for any MP and Firm Manager is to take time and develop a solid relationship to ensure a cohesive teamwork approach.

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Our Chair Says Thank You

Published on August 25, 2016 by Bob Biddle, AAAPM, Bowman & Company, LLP, Voorhees

As I begin my one year term as your Chair of the CPAFMA, I think it is appropriate to say “thank you” to a number of individuals.

First and foremost, thank you to Jim Fahey, AAAPM, our Immediate Past Chair.  Jim has served with distinction over the last seven years as Education Director, Treasurer, Vice Chair  and Chair. Jim is a leader who has always kept our members and our association in the forefront, and we look forward to Jim continuing to be involved in our profession for many more years to come. Jim will continue to serve on the Board for one more year.

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Why Should Managing Partners Attend the NPMC?

Published on August 25, 2016 by Doug Talmage, Partner, Pohlman & Talmage, CPA's, I

It was several years ago when our firm administrator returned from the annual practice management conference put on by the Association for Accounting Administration.  Upon her return she reviewed several of the sessions with me and some ideas that she had formulated while at the conference.  Having implemented many ideas from the conference and with her encouragement I decided to attend the conference the next year. As a result, June of this year, I attended my sixth National Practice Management Conference put on by what is now the CPA Firm Management Association.

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Finding Balance Between Different Generations in the Workplace

Published on August 25, 2016 by Larry Sheftel, PHR, SHRM-CP, AAAPM, AGH, LLC

In 2016, the millennial generation surpassed the Baby Boomers as the nation’s largest living generation. Last year, Millennials topped Generation X as the generation making up the largest section of the US workforce with approximately 33 percent of the US workforce being made up of 18-34 year olds. In a few years Millennials are expected to make up 50 percent of the global workforce. This means that without a doubt Millennials – and their values – will influence and perhaps even redefine the workplace as we know it. We now sit on the precipice of what is potentially one of the largest workplace shifts in recent history, and we, as Firm Managers, find ourselves in a unique and exciting position. We have the ability to proactively guide this transition and help find a much needed equilibrium between the different generations, while establishing and maintaining a cohesive workplace culture conducive to recruiting and retaining top talent.

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Final DOL Regulations Issued

Published on August 25, 2016 by Bob Biddle, AAAPM, Bowman & Company, Voorhees, NJ

In the December 2015 issue of Insights, I wrote about the Proposed DOL Amendments. Those Amendments have been modified and now finalized.

What is important for you to know?

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A Chair's View

Published on August 25, 2016 by Bob Biddle, AAAPM, Bowman & Company, Voorhees, NJ

In Baltimore, I spoke to over 200 of you and thanked you for this great honor to lead our terrific organization and its great members.  I can tell you that I wouldn’t have achieved the success that I have in my firm without the assistance of what I have learned at the National Practice Management Conference, from the CPAFMA and from the many great friends that I have met over the years.

The Board of Directors could not contribute to the success of this organization without the many contributions of Kim Fantaci, our president and her very capable staff, including Krista Saul.  I would be remiss if I did not also recognize the tremendous talent that we have on the Board, which includes nine other members and two very talented advisors in Bill Reeb and Roman Kepczyk.  Without this volunteer group, we would be nothing.

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Phishing and Compromised Passwords Top Causes for Last Year's Security Breaches

Published on August 25, 2016 by Roman Kepczyk, CPA.CITP, CGMA, AAAPM, Xcentric

Verizon released their ninth annual Data Breach Investigations Report (2016DBIR) earlier this year, which reports on the major security breaches and methods used by hackers to compromise businesses and governmental organizations.  When it comes to hacking, organized crime syndicates lead the way with phishing email schemes that are culpable in 89% of security breaches, followed by “state-affiliated actors” which accounted for another 9% of attacks. 

Phishing has transitioned from the “good ole” days when clicking on the link would take you to an obviously fake bank site to capture your login credentials. The 2016DBIR study found that 70% to 90% of malware hitting an organization is “unique” to that organization, meaning that the hackers slightly modified the malware signature hashtags so it would look like a NEW virus, even though the malware impact was the same (loading ransomware, capturing login credentials, etc.). This means that today’s stealthier version is usually customized to each company and tricks more victims into downloading a viable looking invoice or RFP request.

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