Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Volunteer for a TSCPA Committee by Dec 11

Volunteer for a TSCPA Committee by Dec. 11
There are just a few days left to volunteer for a TSCPA committee. If you’re passionate about recruiting more students into the profession, meeting the needs of young CPAs, exploring resources for members in public practice or business and industry, promoting the image of the CPA, planning CPE conferences, or other committee charges, it’s time to volunteer for the TSCPA committee of your choice. Dec. 11 is the deadline to volunteer for a TSCPA committee for the 2010-2011 service year that starts June 1. Not only can you give back to the profession, but you can extend your CPA network as well.
Committee Volunteer Opportunities.
Volunteer for a Committee.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Suggestions for the TSCPA 2010 Young CPAs and Emerging Professionals Conference

Come one, come all to the TSCPA 2010 Young CPAs and Emerging Professionals Conference!

We are in the process of organizing next year's conference and would like additional feedback from you! The date (sometime in May 2010), time and location (somewhere in Austin) has yet to be defined, but we want your suggestions for topics, speakers and other ideas.

With that said...let the ideas flow!

Here's a good quote that I came across from Blaise Pascal:

"You always admire what you really don't understand."

There's a bit of truth behind that statement and thought I'd share.

Hope everyone is having a great week!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Be a Super Hero, Join the TSCPA

Want to leap to the top of your CPA career in a single bound or know someone who does? Join the Texas Society of CPAs and be a part of our Super League of Colleagues. Here’s the link, and be sure to use the secret promo code of CAM09:

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New AICPA Charman Inaugurated

Yesterday, October 20, 2009, marked the inauguration of a new AICPA chairman, Robert Harris, CPA. Harris has served in many capacities at the AICPA over the last 15 years and is a managing director of Harris, Cotherman, Jones, Price & Associates, CPAs, in Vero Beach, FL. Yesterday marked the start of his one-year term to serve as the chairman.

He focused his inaugural speech on four main areas. They are:
  • IFRS,
  • Sustainability - environmental and social costs of business,
  • Re-regulation, and
  • Involvement of Young CPAs.

This is exciting news for young CPAs as Harris is desiring to appoint at least one CPA professional under the age of 36 per AICPA committee. This is an opportunity for us to get involved. I would love to hear every one's thoughts on this matter.

To learn more of the chairman's goals outlined in an interview from November 2009, click here. To watch excerpts from his inaugural speech, click here. To read his entire inaugural speech, click here.

Thank you for your readership, and have a great week of work!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

TSCPA Executive Board Meeting Summaries available via podcast

If you are wondering what the TSCPA Executive Board has discussed at its monthly meetings, you can now listen to a podcast moderated by Chairman Kym Anderson and CEO John Sharbaugh. Judging from the comments, people seem to like this method of communication.

The podcast is available via Kym's blog.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

New addition to the blog

Hello, my name is Caleb Dean, and I'm a committee member of the TSCPA's Young CPA's and Emerging Professionals committee. I'm new here to the blog, but I thought that I would take the opportunity to introduce myself before I start posting my blog entries.

First, I want to thank Michael Brown for creating this blog and putting effort forth to keep it going. For those of you who are new to this blog, WELCOME!

So here are some tidbits of information about me. I'm a relatively new CPA - obtained my official license in September 2008. It was a proud moment for me as I never thought I would be a CPA. I remember the horror stories that I heard from every individual that has taken the CPA exam. All you hear about are the low passing percentages around 40 percent - so then you start thinking, approximately 60 percent do not pass. As the Accountant stereotype requires, my analytical side feared I wouldn’t ever be able to pass, but I did. The point of me mentioning this is that if you study hard for the exam, then you can pass it.

I am married to a wonderful blessing from God, and we've been married for one year and a few weeks. Also, we just bought our first home a couple of months ago and are enjoying the experience of being home owners. However, I will add that there are many hidden costs in being a home owner that very few people think about, and, if you don't know of these hidden costs, then it could make a significant impact to your discretionary spending once becoming a home owner.

I work for a Big 4 accounting firm in the advisory practice located in the DFW area. It's a great experience, and I thoroughly enjoy the place that I work for - hard to believe, I know. I've gained some very valuable experience in some of the projects that I have worked on - from IPSAS/IFRS to implementation of financial systems. I've enjoyed the opportunities that have been put before me and the many lessons that I have learned. I'll post more on my work and other experience related to it later. If you are reading this blog, then you might wonder what life is like as a new CPA. Three words: Busy, but fun.

The education I received from Texas A&M University in College Station was superb. My memories of attending TAMU were priceless, and I wouldn't trade them. Honestly, I miss being in school. Sure the football, baseball, soccer, and other games were amazing, but I miss the times when I could nap during the day, play Frisbee outside during the afternoon with friends, wear t-shirts and shorts, and hanging out with my friends between the hours of 8am and 5pm. Honestly, I love what I do and am very blessed to be where I am at, but there is no other experience like college.

A few more things about me…I love to run, cook, build things, yard work (for now), music, reading (although I never have much time), and watching movies.

So I think I've written enough for now for my introductory blog. I will have more postings later.

Please feel free to leave me any comments, and I promise I will have some insightful or conversational postings later.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Who are We?

I realized that I have never fully introduced myself here on the blog.

My name is Michael Brown. I am a senior manager at a CPA firm in Waco: Jaynes, Reitmeier, Boyd & Therrell, P.C. I lead the firm's Business Valuation, Forensic, and Litigation Services practice. I hold three professional certifications: CPA, ABV and CFF (Accredited in Business Valuation and Certified in Financial Forensics). I am currently serving on the TSCPA board of directors as a director-at-large. Additionally, I serve on two committees of the TSCPA: the Young CPA committee and the Business Valuation, Forensic and Litigation Services Committee. In 2009, I was honored to receive the Chairman's Citation for Service for my involvement with the Young CPA Committee.

It is my involvement with the Young CPA's Committee of the TSCPA that was the genesis of this blog.

Online, I can be found on the JRBT website, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter (txycpa or michaellbrown). I have been profiled on the AICPA website Start Here Go Places and in the Nov/Dec 2008 issue of Today's CPA.

I hope that this blog is a continuing forum for matters of interest to Young CPA's in Texas.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Young CPAs Committee Meeting

The TSCPA Young CPAs Committee met in Dallas on Thursday, July 30. We had a productive discussion about our 3rd annual Texas Young CPAs conference, which will be in May 2010. The group had some great ideas about how to make the conference more technology friendly, and I hope to be able to share some of these ideas later as we get the arrangements figured out.

Knowing that the committee does not have a monopoly on good ideas, we would like to hear from other TSCPA members about how we can better serve young CPAs and how we can continue to improve our conference. Your comments are welcomed.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Two TSCPA Members Receive Elijah Watts Sells Award for CPA Exam Scores

Two TSCPA members, Clint Presley and Gabriel Vaughan, were among the 10 candidates with the highest CPA exam scores in the nation during 2008. This is an impressive achievement, as more than 85,000 individuals sat for the CPA exam last year.

Link to the full Press Release:

Monday, July 20, 2009

What CPAs Need to Know about Social Networking

The TSCPA has compiled information from various sources in one place to help CPAs who want to better understand social networking and how it can help their business.

What the TSCPA has developed is a succinct description of the various forms of social networking including discussion on how CPAs may utilize these tools to develop their practice.

Here is the link to the TSCPA Social Networking Primer

Friday, June 26, 2009

TSCPA Young CPA Committee

The TSCPA Young CPA and Emerging Professionals Committee will hold a semi-annual meeting on July 30. We received some great feedback about the Young CPA Conference that was held in May in Houston. We will discuss plans for future Young CPAs conferences as well as other related initiatives.

If you have any ideas or items that you believe the committee should discuss at our next meeting, let us know. You can email ideas or suggestions to me at michael_brown at JRBT dot com.

I look forward to hearing your suggestions and seeing what the committee will do going forward to serve the TSCPA's young CPA members.

Texas Society of CPAs Annual Meeting

I am in San Antonio today and tomorrow for the Texas Society of CPAs Annual Meeting. The first meeting was the Awards Luncheon. The Society recognizes several individuals each year for their service to the profession and the Society. Below are this year's award recipients:

Meritorious Service -- Marchall K. Pitman, CPA, Ph.D.
Distinguished Public Service -- Rene D. Pena, CPA
Outstanding Chairman -- Donna J. Hughly, CPA
Young CPA of the Year -- Jesse Dominguez, Jr., CPA
Young CPA of the Year -- Jerry D. McMillon, CPA
Honorary Fellow -- Robert F. Anderson, II, CPA
Honorary Fellow -- Gary D. McIntosh, CPA
Chairman Citation -- Michael L. Brown, CPA
Chairman Citation -- Janet B. Johnson, CPA

We are now meeting in the first board of directors session. Steve Goodman just finished his past chairman's report -- year in review. I was struck by how much was accomplished by the TSCPA in this past year. The society has been strengthened by dynamic leaders these past few years, and I see that trend continuing in the future.

Monday, June 22, 2009

TSCPA Chairman, Kym Anderson, is Blogging

We get to welcome another CPA into the blogging world. Kym Anderson is the incoming Chairman for the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants. I have known Kym for a couple years now, and I am excited about what she will bring to the position of Chairman for our state CPA society.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Texas Young CPAs Conference

We have a strong turn out at the Texas Young CPAs Conference in Houston. We have 170+ Young CPAs and CPA Candidates. Despite some technological issues, we will provide some updates on the sessions.

There has been good activity on Twitter from conference attendees.


Stay tuned for more updates.

TX Young CPAs Conference: Negotiation and Conflict Resolution - Dr. Blaine McCormick

Dr. McCormick is the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs of the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University. He is a nationally recognized scholar on the business practices of Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Edison. Dr. McCormick is regularly interviewed across all forms of national media on these subjects.

If you're faithful in the little things, you'll be faithful in the big things. Successfully negotiating small things, greatly improves your ability to negotiate the big things.

Dr. McCormick led the group thorough a role play simulating the negotiations for buying a house.

Reservation vs. Aspiration points:
Aspiration point is what the seller would like to sell for and what the buyer would like to buy for. Reservation point is what the seller is willing to take and what buyer is willing to pay.

In negotiations, most people focus on their reservation points. If you focus on your reservation point, you will be pulled toward the "worst case scenario." Don't have only a reservation point, you should also have an aspiration point. Justify your aspiration point.

Zone of possible agreements. There is a high probability of outcome at the midpoint between the two anchors.

Who should make the first offer in a negotiation?
Myth: You should never make the first offer.
Science: First offers often serve as anchors for the final outcomes.

Should you cross your fingers and hope that the competitor makes a dumb mistake, or should you be prepared to make a first offer?

Only open when you have prepared your offer.

How do concessions work? (The Negotiation Dance)
Extreme opening positions
Final offer
Last offer
Final last offer
Deal (Maybe)

Robert Cialdini:
"Would you be willing to chaperon a group of juvenile delinquents on a day trip to the zoo?"
17% Agreed 1st Trial
"Would you be willing to spend 2 hours per week for 2 years serving as counselors for juvenile deliquents?"
"Well, then would you be willing to chaperon a group of juvenile delinquents on a day trip to the zoo?"
50% Agreed 2nd Trial

Ben Franklin: One of the greatest entreprenuers in American History.
He helped build the first hospital in America.

After this Rev. Tennent asked Ben Franklin to help raise money for a church building.

1. Challenging proposal -- Will you help me raise money?
2. Reasonable proposal -- Will you give me the name of generous people you know?
3. Minimal proposal -- Will you give me advice?

Ben Franklin's advice:
Approach first, the people that you know will give money. Then approach the people about whom you are uncertain and show them the list of people who have already given. Finally, ask the people you know will never give to your project, because you can underestimate people.

Outrageous - Know the difference between Outrageous and Challenging
Challenging - Create three proposals

Starbucks uses bundling strategy when they ask you, "would you like some coffee cake with your coffee?"

How do I inject creativity?

Think: Here are 3 things I can say "yes" to today . . .

Look more flexible
Allow you to be an advocate
Get more agreements and higher satisfaction
Generally results in better agreements

What should happen in the last five minutes of a negotiation?

The correlation between length of colonoscopy and patient's evaluation of the procedure is not existent. There is a correlation between the maximum pain and the mean pain in the last 3 minutes.

Disney Land has the fireworks and parade at the end of the day to create a memorable experience that customers take away.

From colonoscopies to Disney Land, end on an uptick!

If you can do something nice for the other party in the last five minutes of a negotiation, it will increase satisfaction.

White Hat pattern
Extreme opening offer
Generous opening concession
More stingy second concession
Begrudging final concession

Black Hat pattern
Extreme opening offer
Small first concession
Small second concession
Mutually generous final concession

The Black Hat pattern has a higher rate of success, and it ends up on an uptick. This also results in higher satisfaction.

Conflict Resolution:
It is important to see the problem.

Two naive views of conflict:
Talking will only make things worse
Talking will always make things better

A more realisitic view of conflict: an increasing line with peaks and valleys. The valleys are temporary stalemate.

The most important thing you can do in conflict is to have a soft (i.e. not harsh) startup.

The "No Sandwich."
Think: "Yes - No - Yes"
Affirm - Refuse - Affirm
Thank for the invitation/opportunity
Decline to participate
Affirm the relationship and future invitations

TX Young CPAs Conference: Business Skills for the Workplace - David Crumbaugh

David Crumbaugh, CPA gave a presentation to the Texas Young CPAs Conference about Business Skills in the Workplace. His discussion focuses on networking skills for CPAs

You grow your business through Marketing, Sales, and Networking. Only 2 universities in the U.S. offer business networking courses.

There are four primary types of networking.
1. Social: It is important to not get overloaded to the point that you can't follow up
2. Relational-ship: This involves regular, ongoing meetings among professionals to build relationships. Accountability is important
3. High-Tech: Facebook, Linked-In, Twitter, etc. It is important to understand whether you are using this for personal or business purposes. Keep the business for business, and keep the personal personal.
4. Nspired Networking: a combination of the other three types of networking. Develop a plan of action for each type of networking.

Your firm has a marketing plan and sales goals. You should have a networking plan.

Know how to tell people who you are and what you do. A 5-step training moment.
1. Intro: Name, Company Name, Location
2. Specific product or service you provide
3. Describe product or service and what sets you apart in the market
4. How can I help you? Ask for a referral. Ask for your target market. Ask for your strategic alliance market.
5. Close: Name, Company Name, your memory hook (tag line).

The elevator speech consists of your name, your company name, and your memory hook.

Always be listening for ways that you can help others with their needs, be they accounting or other.

What to do:
Train you partner
What to avoid:
Selling. The purpose of a networking introduction is not to sell yourself. It is so they can get to know us to the point that they trust us. Once they trust you, they will refer business to you.

How to network a mixer:
It is not about collecting the most business cards.
10 Commandments:
1. Have your networking tools with you at all times. Name Badge (from your company). Have business cards, pens, business cards of your close network.
2. Set a goal for the number and type of people you want to meet. Once you meet your goal, go home
3. Act like a host, not like a guest. Greet people. Introduce people to others they want to meet that you know.
4. Listen and ask questions. Talk about yourself for a couple of seconds, then turn it over to them. Ask follow up questions. Always leave them with "how can I help you?"
5. Give a quality referral whenever possible. A lead is a name and a phone number. A referral is telling them about someone and calling that person to let them know you sent them your way.
6. Describe your product or service in 60 seconds or less.
7. Exchange business cards with the people. Give them 2 - one they can write notes on and another they can give to others. Take notes on business cards. Understand culture -- In Japan, don't write on the business card.
8. Spend 10 minutes or less with each person you meet. You are not there to build a relationship in one meeting. Relationships take time -- this is the first introduction.
9. Write comments on the back of the business cards you collect.
10. Follow up with the people you meet. You will lose clients quickly by not following up on emails, phone calls, etc. Email or handwritten card. A handwritten card will set you apart.

The magic words of networking:
"How can I help you?"

What type of networker are you?
Spinning out of control? Moving through too many networking events.
Has the blues? Cold Calling, and can't get past the gatekeeper.
Clueless? Not sure what you are doing or why.

How to become an Nspired Networker
Have a networking goal
Have a networking plan of action
Have a desire to help and be immersed in a culture of ongoing education.
Have fun and remember your networking fundamentals.

Networking happens every day, everywhere, even at funerals

TX Young CPAs Conference: Client Relations & Practice Development - Kym Anderson and Roxie Samaniego

Kym Anderson is the incoming Chair of the TSCPA, and Roxie Samaniego is the Chair of the TSCPA's Young CPAs and Emerging Professionals Committee.

Oscar Wilde
"I put all my genius into my life; I put all my talent in to my works"

Much influence comes from the "people in between" in an accounting firm. The people that talk to the clients and the people that talk to the partners.

Clients are the same as you are, they want to deal with a firm they are comfortable with.

How do you want your firm to interact with its employees and clients? Employees have the ability to impact this.

Sometimes small firms take communication for granted.

You went to college not to be a CPA, but to learn how to learn.

Focus on:
Firm direction
Working better
Client needs
Client contact
Client development
"Bringing 'em in"

You need the right kind of clients. 80/20 rule. When this happens, your good clients can get neglected. A scarcity mentality can cause you to take clients that you should not accept.

Client Development:
Know your firm and what they are looking for. This is important for both employees and employers. Understand the core values of the firm and what type of clients you want to attract. Seek input from management.

Develop rules that the firm can live with:
Cold calling
Firm comfort zone
Concentration of work and deadlines
Relationships with other firms
Firm liability for client actions
Are you alone out there?

Develop rules that You can live with:
You are unique
You never stop learning
You represent your firm and your profession
Don't do anything you wouldn't tell your mother about
Know your environment
Know your MOJO . . . and share it
Develop an inner circle
Don't be afraid of failure

Pick your Comfort Zone
Sporting events
Clubs and Associations

Roxie shared her experience of leaving a large CPA firm and starting a new practice. In her prior firm, client management and contact was left to the manager level. This abdication made it easy for these clients to move with them.

Everyone in the company is responsible for marketing. Your receptionist is the first line of contact with your clients. This position is important.

What can you do to meet people?
Get involved. Volunteer - not for profit organizations, professional organizations. The TSCPA is a great organization to network with other CPAs. It is a great opportunity to meet mentors in the profession. Sometimes, you need advice from someone that is not local. The TSCPA connects you with other CPAs throughout the state. Non-profit organizations are looking for good people, and every one needs a treasurer. Attend social events - Chamber of Commerce, client gatherings. If you are not outgoing, it can be difficult, but take a friend with you.

Roxie attributes the success of her firm to their community involvement as well as her connections with other CPAs through the TSCPA.

What is the best way to bring in business?
Do great work and your clients will market for you. Listen to your clients, listen to your prospects. Pick up on common interests.

Word of mouth referrals:
Do great work
Tell people about it
Ask for their business

When meeting prospective clients, being interested about their business is important. Find out about their business, and leave yours for the last. Don't just say "I'm a CPA." You can get pigeonholed this way. Explain what you actually do. There are a lot of people who don't understand everything that CPAs do.

TX Young CPAs Conference: Generational Dynamics - Jerry Love

Jerry Love, CPA is the CEO of the Davis Kinard accounting firm in Abeliene, Texas. He is a former Chairman of the TSCPA.

There are now four generations in the workplace.

Baby Boomer
Generation X
Generation Y

These generations each have different defining events and characteristics. The mixture of these different characteristics in the workforce can be challenging. However, the key is communication and understading of the differences between the generations.

Baby Boomers are work-a-holics. They can view Gen X and Y's desire for less work hours as laziness or not working hard. Boomers need to understand that someone can do a good job and not work 3,000 hours per year.

Tips for dealing with Baby Boomers:
Communication is the key. This requires an investment of time to understand where they are coming from.
Understand what you can get from your boss, so you can make reasonable, actionable requests for mentoring
Make a list of skills and knowledge you want to accumulate.

Before approaching the Boomer Boss for changes.
Identify what you want to be different:
Compose your thoughts
Research and document support
Identify options to implement
Prioritize the items
Rehearse what you plan to say

Identify who among management is most open minded to hear your suggestions.
You want an open dialogue, not "labor negotiations."
Begin and end your discussion with sincere acknowledgement of the things thy are doing right.

Are there policies and procedures in your firm that are only there because someone wrote them in the 50's? Sometime status quo for status quo's sake exists in today's firms. The key to changing the status quo is having an open, respectful dialogue.

We need to give positive, sincere feedback - going both directions.
Ask for what you want.
Accept each other as human beings
Learn each generation has strengths to offer
Be quick to forgive their weaknesses
Be quick to admit when we are wrong
Be patient - "Rome was not built in a day"

Little Abner expected everything to go wrong -- and his expectations were met. We need to expect things to go right.

Jerry has substantial insight, and has studied this subject extensively. He successfully transferred some of this knowledge to the group.

TX Young CPAs Conference: Technology Update Bryan Wilton

Bryan Wilton, CPA, CITP presented an update of the current technology trends and their applicability to the accounting profession.

Bryan's presentation focused on the practical application of the current hardware and software options available. Below are a few of the items discussed:

Notebook computer options:

Sony -- Generally are priced at a premium, lightweight, and reliable

Apple -- Apple has gotten into the business notebook sector. The MacBook Air is ultraportable. These days, Apple computers can run any software that a PC can. Apple computers generally are also marketed at a premium price point.

Lenovo -- Formerly IBM. These computers have good pricing and are good quality machines for business.

HP -- Very high quality graphics, generally higher failure rate, higher priced.

Dell -- Good quality and competitive pricing. They now have some ultraportable models. Dell is begining to branch out on design and offer models other black or gray notebooks. is a good source of independent reviews for notebook computers.

SAAS -- Software as a service. "Cloud Computing" provides several advantages over traditional hardware and software configurations. These strengths include adaptability, reliability, increased productivity, price, back-end integration, longevity, ecosystem. System outages used to be acceptable, but they are not acceptable any more.

Broadband access is pervasive these days. Before, this was a limiting factor for SAAS, but the limitation has gone away.

SAAS Vendors:

Microsoft CRM Online

Hosted Microsoft Exchange


SAP Business One

Online backups:

Why should you do backups online? Peace of mind, someone else is responsible, data is safe (?). The important features of online backup are around the clock support, mapped drive support, web based controls, cross platform support.

Personal online backup options:

Microsoft Skydrive offers 25gb of free storage. offers 50gb of free storage.

Questions you should ask an online storage company: How long do you keep my data? How do I get my data restored?

A few online storage companies for business include:

Amerivault, Ibackup, Mozy Pro, Backupmyinfo

MOSS is Microsoft Office Sharepoint Server. This provides substantial search functionality. MOSS is a supercharged outlook that integrates VOIP, Mobile Apps, faxing, live meeting, video conferencing.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Texas Young CPA's Conference -- Cybercrime -- E. Adrian Hawkins

The Texas Young CPA's and Emerging Professionals Conference is approaching quickly on May 22nd. There are still spots left, so sign up soon. You can earn up to 6 hours of CPE at a cost of $95 for CPAs and Candidates. That's a great value.

Based on suggestions from our conference last year, we are adding a session on Cybercrime. E. Adrian Hawkins, an FBI Special Agent, will present this session.

Mr. Hawkins entered the U.S. Air Force after graduating from the University of Dallas - Irving with a Bachelors and MBA with a concentration in Information Systems. In the military, he specialized in information technology and communications. After 4 years in the Air Force, Mr. Hawkins joined the FBI. In this role, he has conducted investigations of computer intrusions, internet fraud, and child pornography. Mr. Hawkins served as the Houston InfraGard Coordinator. This program is a partnership between the FBI and a wide range of members in the private sector which is focused on information sharing and analysis. Mr. Hawkins is currently a computer intrusion investigator for the Houston Area Cyber Crimes Task Force (HACCTF).

It seems that Mr. Hawkins has some interesting experience in this area, and I look forward to the insight that he can provide as well as the advice that he can share on how to best protect ourselves from becoming victims of cybercrime.

Register at for the conference here.
Become a fan of the conference on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Young CPA's Conference -- Negotiation and Conflict Resolution -- Dr. Blaine McCormick

Dr. Blaine McCormick is one of the featured speakers at the Young CPA and Emerging Professionals Conference. Dr. McCormick spoke at our inagural conference last year, and he was a highly rated speaker. His pragmatic message on negotiations and conflict resolution resonates with Young Professionals.

Dr. McCormick is the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs at the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University. He is a nationally recognized scholar on the business practices of Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Edison. Dr. McCormick is interviewed frequently across all forms of media including the New York Times, CNN, public radio, and ABC World News Tonight.

Since there was standing room only during his concurrent session last year, he is speaking this year during a general session so that no one will miss out on what Dr. McCormick has to say. 

The session will improve your negotiation skill set by teaching us about making offers, making concessions, and what should happen during the first five minutes of a negotiation. This session is designed to empower participants to be more effective negotiators and resolvers of conflict by using both practical and scientifically valid tools and techniques. You will walk away with 10 negotiation tools you can use.

As you can tell, I am excited to hear what Dr. McCormick has to say, and I look forward to seeing you there.

Friday, April 24, 2009

TSCPA Financial Literacy Social Media Outreach Day Thursday, April 30

A message from the TSCPA:

Texas Society of CPAs

Dear TSCPA Member:

Since the economy has slipped into a deep recession, more Texans are searching for personal finance information as evidenced by the recent surge in traffic (nearly 32,000 visitors during the last three months) to TSCPA’s consumer Web site at As TSCPA members, let’s leverage the power of social media to reach out to as many people as we can with the financial literacy message.

Please join me and participate in TSCPA’s Financial Literacy Social Media Outreach Day Thursday, April 30 so we can further spread the word about’s free information and resources and Texas CPAs’ role in financial literacy.

Whether you’re on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or you just have e-mail addresses, TSCPA would like you to send the following message or a similar one of your own to your friends, connections, followers, or distribution list this Thursday:

Looking to improve your personal finance I.Q. or know someone who is? Visit the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants’ consumer Web site at  

To measure our reach, please e-mail Jennifer Nimmo at by 10 a.m. Friday, May 1 and let her know the number of people to whom you sent the message.

As CPAs, we know we help our clients and employers on a daily basis. Through and TSCPA’s other financial literacy resources, we now have an opportunity to showcase the profession’s public service platform to a broader audience.

I hope you’ll take a few minutes this Thursday and participate in the Financial Literacy Social Media Outreach Day. That’s what CPAs do best. We help people.


Steven R. Goodman, CPA


AICPA Leadership Academy

The AICPA Leadership Academy is an initiative of AICPA Chairman Ernie Almonte. The first Leadership Academy will be held this summer in Chicago, July 7-9. During these three days, 25 selected Young CPAs from across the nation will participate in a program designed to provide personal development and leadership training. The Academy aims to create a pool of engaged young CPAs who will become future leaders within their organizations, the AICPA, the CPA profession, and other voluntary non-profit organizations.

I believe that Chairman Almonte is right on in his vision for this program. He visited the TSCPA Young CPAs Committe at our last meeting in Austin, and his passion for this program and leadership development is evident.

A unique aspect of this leadership development program will be the follow-up. A goal of the program is to establish mentorship relationships between the program participants and AICPA mentors, who would include former AICPA chairs, board members, or other leaders within the profession.

The application deadline is May 1. More information can be found on the AICPA website, here.

28 Days Until the Young CPAs Conference

Now that the tax professionals among us have caught up on their sleep (hopefully), it's time to think about CPE. The Young CPAs and Emerging Professionals Conference is a great place to brush up on those soft skills that help you get ahead in the workplace, add value to your career, and increase your client service abilities.

There is something for everyone, with topics like:

Generational Dynamics
Wealth Building: Personal Financial Planning
Client Relations and Practice Development
Business Skills for the Workplace
Cyber Crime
Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
Professional Issues, Federal Tax, and Technology Updates

In our field, it is not often the lack of technical skills that prevents people from realizing their full potential. It is most frequently underdeveloped non-technical (soft) skills. So, make a small investment ($95 for TSCPA members, up to 6 hours of CPE) in your or your employees future and register for the Young CPAs and Emerging Professional's Conference -- May 22 in Houston, TX.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Blogs to Follow 2.0

Another interesting accounting related blog is re: The Auditors. This blog covers the public accounting industry. There are at times lively discussions in the comments between people in the industry.

Francine McKenna is a former big 4 employee who now has a consulting practice. Her writing is insightful. She is also on twitter @retheauditors.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Texas Young CPAs Conference

The Young CPAs Conference is coming up on May 22 in Houston. Now is the time to make plans to attend. I know that many are in the throes of busy season, but don't forget to register. We are going to have a great line up of speakers.  I will post profiles of some of the speakers in the weeks leading up to the conference.  The price for CPAs and Candidates who are TSCPA members is $95 for up to six hours of CPE -- that's a great value. We are excited to be offering sessions that address issues relevant to Young CPAs. Here are the session topics:

Professional Issues Update
Federal Tax Update
Technology Update
Generational Dynamics
Wealth Building: Personal Financial Planning
Client Relations and Practice Development
Business Skills for the Workplace
Cyber Crime
Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
Networking Reception

Friday, March 20, 2009

Registration Now Open for May 22 Young CPAs Conference in Houston

Registration Now Open for May 22 Young CPAs Conference in Houston

Registration is now available for the May 22 Young CPAs and Emerging Professionals Conference to be held at the Hyatt Regency Houston. This daylong event designed for young CPAs, CPA candidates and accounting students will feature sessions on business skills for the workplace, client relations and practice development, negotiation and conflict resolution, a professional issues update, taxation, technology, working with baby boomers, and more. You can learn all this, earn up to six CPE credit hours, and network with your peers and TSCPA leaders – all for only $95 for TSCPA CPA and candidate members (non-member registration fees apply). Be sure to save your seat today! 

Learn More: 

Register Online:

(Online registration only for CPAs and candidates; students must call the CPE InfoLine at 800-428-0272.)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Blogs to Follow 1.0

In addition to sharing information about the Young CPA activities of the Texas Society of CPAs, I plan to provide some information about blogs and other online resources that I have found useful professionally. There is a lot of information out there on the topics of millenials in the workplace, management and organization, CPA exam, tax, audit, and other topics of interest to accountants.

As far as blogs go, I have a large pool to draw from. I am addicted to Google Reader. I follow 165 blogs. It's an illness, really.

One blog that may be of interest to CPA candidates is the CPA Exam Preparation Blog by Roger CPA Review. While I can't attest to their CPA review products, I do know that the blog often has well written articles with good tips, tricks, and reminders. This company is forward-thinking. They have live, online, and usb review courses. I also happen to know that they were working on an iPhone application.

I am interested in hearing what CPA exam review products have worked well for you, so please comment about your experiences.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

This is the place

This blog is the unofficial site for information about the Texas Young CPAs conference. The conference will be in Houston on Friday, May 22, 2009. This past May, the inaugural conference was held in Dallas. It was a great success. We had a full house, and had a waiting list. So, register early and often. Once the registration goes live, I will put a link to it here.

I also plan to post information of general interest to Young CPAs and show you some of the resources available to us.

You can also follow on twitter. The twitter name is txycpa. The hashtag for the conference will be #ycpac.