NewsFlash May 23, 2013

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Don't Lose Your Connection – Renew Your FICPA Membership Today

Watch a personal message from Deborah Curry, President/CEO of the FICPA.

Your support as a member allows us to remain the premier organization representing Florida CPAs. This year, we monitored more than 1,800 pieces of legislation, held nearly 600 continuing-education courses and provided valuable learning experiences for young CPAs.

The value of your membership includes:

To show our appreciation for renewing members, we’re offering $25 off the online version of "Ethics: Protecting the Integrity of the Florida CPA" when purchased at the time of renewal. The course has been completely revised for 2013 and highlights an expert panel. The new version will be available June 1, 2013. If you need to take your ethics before June 1, we can help you do so.

Don’t forget to support your Florida CPA/PAC and the FICPA Educational Foundation!

Renew Online | Message from Our President/CEO | Member Benefits
Ask Us: Member Service Center (800) 342-3197 (in Florida) | (850) 224-2727 |

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Gov. Scott Signs Florida Budget
Profession-related Funding is Included

On May 20, Gov. Rick Scott signed SB 1500 Relating to Appropriations – 2013 into law. After reviewing the budget in detail, Gov. Scott vetoed $367,950,394 in issues and projects.
Click to see Gov. Scott veto list and other information.

The 422 page bill includes additional funding and positions for new employees of the Florida Board of Accountancy (BOA); funding for the unlicensed activity campaign; and an increase in funding for the minority scholarship fund. The funding for new employees and the unlicensed activity campaign, which the FICPA supported during this legislative session, was part of recommendations the BOA made in a report to the Legislature. The report provided several recommendations to provide better service to licensees and requested the ability to use more of the funds that already are available through the collection of license fees to implement them.

Also included in the budget is a directive for the BOA to evaluate the administrative performance of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation as it relates to the Division of Certified Public Accounting. This may include surveying CPAs throughout the state. Members should be on the lookout for this request from the Board. The completed report will be submitted to House Speaker and Senate President by Dec. 31, 2013.

More information about legislative issues: Rivers Buford, FICPA Director of Governmental Affairs | (800) 342-3197, Ext. 203 (in Florida) | (850) 224-2727, Ext. 203 |

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Report Your Student Outreach Presentations

Have you spoken to any student groups (kindergarten through college) this year about the accounting profession or financial literacy? If you’ve visited a class, spoken to a student organization, exhibited at a career fair, or judged a competitive event, please report your activity!

Reporting your activity will help us better track our student outreach efforts.

Simply complete the applicable form – School based or Non-School based – or feel free to email your information to

Questions: Brenda Hubbard, Director of Online Learning | (800) 342-3197, Ext. 419 (in Florida) | (850) 224-2727, Ext. 419 |

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Image: Women's Leadership Summit

Mega CPE Conference Includes
Women’s Leadership Summit

June 13, 2013

The Women's Leadership Summit will be held June 13 during the Mega CPE Conference at Disney's Contemporary Resort in Orlando. The summit will offer Florida businesswomen of all industries an opportunity to network and advance their leadership skills.

The Women to Watch Awards, which honor women who exemplify accounting leadership excellence, will be presented during the Summit.

Inspire local women by giving back – bring professional apparel to donate to Dress for Success Greater Orlando. Just drop off your donations when you check in for the Summit.

Don’t miss out on the excursions we’ve planned just for you! Add to your wardrobe and see the latest in business style on the runway with the Business Casual with Style Fashion Show & Shopping Spree excursion. Meet CPA mentors or become a mentor yourself at the Meet Your Match Mentoring excursion. Who could say no to these fun and productive opportunities?

Register Now | Agenda | Dress for Success Apparel Drive | Excursion Info
Ask Us: Member Service Center (800) 342-3197 (in Florida) | (850) 224-2727 |

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Calling All Members
FICPA Needs Writers for CPE Questions

The FICPA is developing a new CPE product line – on-demand self-study courses. To help us bring these courses to market, we’re looking for a few CPAs to assist us in developing review and exam questions and a glossary for these courses. Because we need assistance in many topics, we’re looking for a range of experts. Compensation is $250 for writing questions for a one-hour course, and the turnaround time is two weeks or less.
For a typical, one-hour CPE course, we need help with:

  • developing four multiple choice review questions
  • developing six to seven multiple choice exam questions
  • assisting with developing learning objectives as needed
  • confirming that we’ve correctly identified the appropriate field of study
  • creating a list of key terms for the course

If this is something that interests you or you’d like more information, please contact us at

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Educational Foundation Thanks Scholarship Wranglers

Thank you to all the firms that signed up for the FICPA Educational Foundation’s Jeans for Scholarships program. All participating firms are listed as official sponsors and “Scholarship Wranglers.”

If you were unable to participate on May 17, you still can become a Scholarship Wrangler! Even with our suggested dates, firms are free to choose their own days to participate. Our next suggested Jeans Day is Oct. 25, but your firm may participate at any time between now and the end of 2013.

Participation in this program helps raise critical funds for the Foundation to provide much-needed help and support to deserving accounting students throughout Florida.

Thank you to those who already have become Scholarship Wranglers. We look forward to adding to our growing list in the upcoming months!

Questions: Jason Zaborske, FICPA Educational Foundation Development Director | (800) 342-3197, Ext. 417 (in Florida) | (850) 224-2727 Ext. 417 | (850) 251-7274 |

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Mega CPE Conference

Mega CPE Conference
Offers Something for Everyone!

June 12-15, 2013

Whether you need CPE, CFST, CFP or CLE credit, the Mega CPE Conference has you covered.

CPAs can knock out more than half of their renewal CPE in less than one week. Mega includes up to 30 hours of live CPE and 12 bonus, on-demand hours. That’s 42 possible CPE hours in just four days! Courses cover:

  • Accounting & Auditing
  • Technical Business
  • Behavioral
  • Ethics

We’ve also merged our popular State Tax and Employee Benefits conferences into this event, giving you two more opportunities to receive specialized training starting Wednesday, June 12.

We kept certified financial planners, attorneys and those certified in Florida sales tax in mind as we planned Mega – we built in more than 10 hours of CFP credit and up to 14.5 hours of CLE credit with 13 sessions for each. Look for the CFP and CLE designations in the agenda. Attend the State Tax Conference sessions for CFST credit.

Register Now | Agenda | CFST Sessions | More Information | View Brochure
Ask Us: Member Service Center (800) 342-3197 (in Florida) | (850) 224-2727 |

West Florida Chapter Accounting Conference

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West Florida Chapter Accounting Conference
June 6, 2013

Get eight hours of quality, in-person CPE from great instructors…without the travel! Earn your credit hours, build a network in your area and save money all in this one-day conference that’s just around the corner.

Do you have a plan to prevent fraud? The Fraud & Internal Controls session from Jonathan Marks, CPA/CFF/CITP, CFE, helps you recognize the many avenues of fraud in the workplace. You’ll learn how to best deal with the aftermath of fraud, including wrongful termination lawsuits, discrimination lawsuits, criminal charges, civil actions and employee dishonesty insurance claims.

Save $55 by registering before the early bird price ends on Monday, May 27!

Register Now | More Information | View Brochure
Ask Us: Member Service Center (800) 342-3197 (in Florida) | (850) 224-2727 |

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Tech Tip
Use These Free Tools to Create and View PDFs

Say "PDF" and the first brand name that comes to mind is Adobe. Although Adobe invented the PDF, their products are far from being the cheapest or most intuitive for everyday PDF creating and viewing.

There are dozens of better, free alternatives to Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader. Here are five favorites:

1. CutePDF
CutePDF is hands down the most popular free PDF creator, and for good reason. To use it, just print a document to the CutePDF Writer, just like you would to an actual printer. The result is a clean, simple PDF. No bloatware, no registration, no nag screens.
Note: CutePDF is a PDF creator only. It doesn’t have a PDF viewer.

2. Nitro Reader
Nitro Reader is a free PDF reader and creator, but unlike the others on this list, it’s packed with additional features. Nitro is particularly handy for working with Microsoft Office 2010 documents.

3. PDF995
PDF995 is lightweight, fast and free. There’s an on-screen advertisement that's present when creating a PDF, but it’s tolerable. What's to like about PDF995? Its speed and reliability. PDF995 is far less likely to go fritzy even compared to its commercial counterparts. It also works great with Windows XP.
Note: PDF995 is a PDF creator only. It does not include a PDF viewer.

4. Foxit Reader
Foxit offers Foxit Reader, which often is touted as faster than Adobe and Google Chrome’s built-in PDF viewer. But it also allows the creation of PDFs, either via a PDF printer or directly from Word.
It’s a fast, lightweight alternative to Adobe Reader.

5. SlimPDF
Small footprint is the name of the game for SlimPDF, and against most contenders, it wins. If system resources are tight, SlimPDF may help you view PDFs without bogging things down. SlimPDF is incredibly minimalistic – all it does is let you view PDFs, print PDFs and zoom in/zoom out on them. But if that’s all you need, SlimPDF is a great alternative to Adobe.

Almost everyone uses Adobe Reader. There's a reason why the Adobe Reader page is one of the top Google search results for "click here." In many ways, Adobe has become the default application for reading and viewing PDFs. But if you don’t have the patience for Adobe Reader or the money for Adobe Acrobat, there are plenty of alternatives.

In 2008, Adobe granted royalty-free licenses for the patents required to make PDFs. Because of this, most of the free alternatives are as effective and reliable as Adobe Reader.

This Tech Tip is brought to you by the Business and Technology Section ... IT solutions for today's CPAs. For more information and to view an archive of previous Tech Tips, please visit us here.

Are there specific topics you’d like us to cover in Tech Tips? Email suggestions to

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In Memoriam:
Gary Dover
Wylie F. Green Jr.

Look for the next issue of FICPA NewsFlash June 6, 2013.

Comments or Suggestions?

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LAST UPDATED 5/23/2013