NewsFlash Jan. 26, 2017

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Image: Jim Lane
James M. "Jim" Lane, CPA
FICPA Past President Passes Away

James M. “Jim” Lane, 76, passed away Jan. 17. Lane, of Winter Park, was a partner emeritus with WithumSmith + Brown, PC.

“We were deeply saddened to learn of Jim’s passing,” said FICPA President/CEO Deborah Curry. “Jim was a good friend to many in the Institute and a dear member of the FICPA family. He served the Institute, and our profession, nobly throughout his career. We truly appreciate all of his dedicated work on the profession’s behalf. He will be greatly missed.”

Lane earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala. He was a member of the Florida Board of Accountancy and a life member of the FICPA. He served in multiple FICPA positions, including as its president from 1984 to 1985. He supported the efforts of the FICPA Educational Foundation (EDF), serving as an EDF trustee for 13 years and as the EDF’s president from 1988 to1989.

Lane oversaw the completion of the FICPA’s building in Tallahassee and supervised the local relocation of the Institute’s headquarters. He also contributed to the development of the FICPA’s Health Benefit Trust, an affordable health care plan that included medical, dental and disability coverage.

FICPA members staffed “Ask a CPA” last
year during Fox 13’s Good Day Tampa
Bay morning show. Back row, left to
right: Percy Legendre, Morgan Watson,
Terry Kuhn, Bryan Zink, Thomas Lind and
Jake Meier. Front row, left to right:
Matt Nicholas, CJ Zygadlo, Thuy (Twee)
Tra, Michele Sciandra, Kristen Brand,
Lorin Bridge and John Jefferson.

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Be a Philanthropist (and a TV star, too!)
FICPA member-volunteers appeared on
camera in the background of the live
segments and between other segments
of the show.

Again this year, Fox 13 WTVT’s Good Day Tampa Bay will broadcast “Ask a CPA” at their Tampa studio. The show will air Thursday, Feb. 9 from 7-9:30 a.m.

During this volunteer opportunity, FICPA members will appear “on air” as they staff a phone bank and discuss hot topics related to this year’s tax season with the Tampa Bay community.

Everyone who participated last year had a great time and the studio can accommodate plenty of volunteers!

For details or to register, click here.

For more information contact Morgan Watson, FICPA market development manager, at (850) 508-4219 or

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Stand Out in the Business World: Become a CGMA Champion

CGMA Champions are state society members who are active, energetic and enthusiastic about the future of management accounting and the impact it can make in the business world. CGMA Champions will enhance their role as financial experts by:

  • Committing to developing their skills via the CGMA Program
  • Applying technical, leadership, business and people skills to pass the CGMA exam
  • Connecting with like-minded individuals
  • Being ambassadors for the CGMA designation

Those chosen by their state to become CGMA Champions will receive complimentary access to the CGMA Program, including multiple learning and exam-prep resources, exam fee and member dues for the first year. While completing the CGMA Program and afterward, CGMA Champions may have the opportunity to be recognized by the AICPA by sharing their expertise and being leaders of the designation in the marketplace.

For much more information, including benefits, click here.

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Save the Date: 1040K Run and Accounting Career Fair



Enjoy the 28th Annual 1040K Run and Accounting Career Fair in beautiful Coconut Grove. College students and children can run or walk in the 5K, 10K or Kids Run for $5 and will receive a free T-shirt, too!

The 1040K Run and Accounting Career Fair begins Saturday, April 22 at 7:30 a.m. Network with Florida’s top accounting professionals in a relaxed and fun atmosphere – register today!

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Get an Edge in Recruiting

By Ken Tysiac
CGMA Magazine

There may never be a better time for organizations to carefully scrutinize their hiring processes to make sure they are optimized for delivering the best hires. The global job market is tilted toward candidates right now, and many candidates aren't eager to wait long for a job offer.

Almost half (47 percent) of 239 recruiters in a global survey conducted in May by recruiting firm MRINetwork said the leading reason candidates turn down a job offer is they’ve accepted another offer. Recruiters interviewed for the survey said many employers are hurting themselves with a slow, arduous interview process.

Almost three-quarters (71 percent) of offers are made within three to six weeks after the initial interview, according to the survey report. Job offers extended within one to two weeks dropped from 20 percent in 2014 to 12 percent in 2016, representing a shift to a longer waiting period. The survey report says this fails to consider recruiters’ advice to expedite the interviewing and hiring process, making it more likely candidates will take another job. (See Figure 1, “Are Hiring Processes Too Long?” for the top reasons recruiters attribute to managers not making hires.)

Companies and firms with lengthy hiring processes are losing skilled finance and accounting talent to competitors who are willing to work more quickly, according to Tim Hird, executive director of Robert Half Management Resources. This problem also exists for skilled jobs outside finance and accounting.

“It’s for any job,” said David Wu, CPA, founder, CEO and managing partner of executive search and HR advisory services firm GMPTALENT International in Shanghai City, China. “If this is a good talent, everybody wants it. And if your process is very lengthy and becomes too political and too much of a process, the candidate will lose interest.”

To read the full CGMA Magazine article, click here.

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Why Audit Teams Need the Confidence to Speak Up

By Susan Lightle, CPA (inactive), Ph.D.; Joseph F. Castellano, Ph.D.; and Bud Baker, Ph.D.

A climate of psychological safety is an important prerequisite for effective interpersonal relationships among audit team members, and for audit teams to properly meet their fiduciary responsibilities. Audit processes can be more effective, and the quality of audits can be improved, if auditors understand the concept of psychological safety and its application for audit teams.

Failing to create a climate of psychological safety among audit team members can harm audit quality, but CPA firms can enhance psychological safety and enable more effective audit processes and audit work.

To read the full Journal of Accountancy article, click here.

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8 Tips for Finding, Hiring and Retaining the Best Busy Season Staff

By Cheryl Meyer
CPA Insider

Public accounting firms have begun the countdown to their busy season, and many are prepping by gathering data from clients, re-evaluating client lists, and updating CPAs and other staff on processes and tax-law changes. They also have another crucial task: hiring interns and other seasonal staff.

“As long as the workload levels aren’t an anomaly, you can reasonably estimate the number of supplemental staff needed each year to deliver a high-quality product without burning out your current staff,” said Renee Fulton, CPA, CGMA, of busy season. “If you don’t handle it properly, you can hurt yourself and lose your current workers.” Fulton, who previously worked in the public accounting sector, is president of Talis Group Inc., a staffing firm in Louisville, Ky.

But adding interns and other seasonal staff comes with challenges. First, you have to find prospects, which takes work, time and creativity. Second, particularly with interns, you need to court, interview, hire and train them before crunch time. Third, you’ll face competition from other public accounting firms (and companies), which are vying for a share of the seasonal-worker pie.

So how do you ensure your firm is adequately staffed come January? Expert sources offer these tips to help you find, hire and possibly retain the best busy season interns and staff.

Cheryl Meyer is a freelance writer based in California.

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FASAB Issues New Standard on Insurance Programs

By Ken Tysiac

A new federal government accounting standard is designed to provide concise and meaningful information about insurance costs and liabilities.

The Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB) issued Statement of Federal Financial Accounting Standards (SFFAS) 51, Insurance Programs, establishing three categories of insurance and related guidance:

  • Exchange transaction insurance programs other than life insurance.
  • Non-exchange transaction insurance programs.
  • Life insurance programs.

The new guidance rescinds existing standards for insurance and guarantee programs in SFFAS 5, Accounting for Liabilities of The Federal Government.

“The Board is seeking to improve federal financial reporting and to better inform readers about the operating performance of insurance programs and the extent of the risk of loss to the federal government from adverse events,” FASAB Chairman Scott Showalter said in a news release.

Ken Tysiac ( is a JofA editorial director.

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6 Ways to Prevent Work Burnout

By Hannah Morgan, contributor

Do you feel like you’re investing a lot of time and energy into your work but getting nothing in return? You’re a candidate for burnout!

It’s natural to want to point fingers and blame your boss or company. You may not have a lot of control over the top causes of burnout, which include unfair compensation, unreasonable workload and too much overtime or after-hours work, according to the newest study in the Employee Engagement Series. The joint study by Kronos, a provider of workforce and human capital management, and Future Workplace, an executive development firm, found 95 percent of human-resource leaders admit employee burnout is sabotaging workforce retention.

Burnout is real, but it doesn’t have to lead to leaving your job. Your first priority is to familiarize yourself with the signs of burnout and prevent it from happening.

To read the full U.S. News article, click here.

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CPAs in Industry Conference (17 CPE)
March 23-24, 2017
Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa and Online



As a CPA in business and industry, you rely on more than your finance skills to succeed. You’re also an integral part of a team charged with creating the financial health of your company. The CPAs in Industry Conference provides unique tools for corporate CPAs, helping you be the best in your profession. Please join us on March 23-24, 2017, in Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale or via Simulcast to earn up to 17 hours of CPE and receive updates on the topics that matter most to you.

Register by Feb. 20, 2017, to save $55 with the early-bird price when you register to attend in person. If you’ve never been to this conference, use promo code NEWICICM16 at checkout to save an additional $100 when you register to attend in person or online.*

Join Us for the Pre-Conference Ethics Seminar and Satisfy Your Requirement
These new pre-conference ethics seminars are designed for CPAs practicing in business and industry. Join us the day before at the conference site in Tampa or Ft. Lauderdale to address ethical practices in business, including fraud, corporate accounting, the ethical climate in today’s workplace and the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct for Members in Business.

Register for the Conference or Simulcast | Register for the Pre-Conference Ethics – Ft. Lauderdale | Register for the Pre-Conference Ethics – Tampa | Learn More
Ask Us: Member Service Center (800) 342-3197 | (850) 224-2727 |

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Health Care Industry Conference (17 CPE)
April 20-21, 2017
Orlando and Online



Health care is a profession under constant change, especially under a new administration. New rules and regulations are introduced with regularity. If you want to learn the best strategies for guiding your organization or clients through these changes, the FICPA’s 2017 Health Care Industry Conference is for you!

  • Earn up to 17 hours of CPE credit in-person or 16 credit hours in the Simulcast
  • Choose from more than 20 breakout sessions taught by outstanding discussion leaders
  • Prepare for the impact of the new admin on rules and regulations with three sessions focused on Washington
  • Find the topics and credit you want with our dedicated A&A track
  • Attend our A&A track online with the Simulcast
  • Learn the basics of health care finance in our special track designed for young CPAs
  • Discover the latest products and services to make your job easier in our new Exhibit Hall
  • First-time attendees can save $100 on registration by using promo code NEWHCC17 at checkout,* and young CPAs can save $150 by using promo code YCPAHCC17 at checkout.
  • Healthcare Financial Management Association and Florida Hospital Association members can register for the FICPA member price by using promotional code 250HCC17 at checkout.

We hope to see you in Orlando or on the Simulcast for this and so much more April 20-21, 2017. Register by March 20, 2017 to save $55 with the early-bird price!

Join Us for Four Hours of Ethics the Day Before the Conference
CPAs face many complex and challenging ethical issues. Join us on Wednesday for Ethics: Protecting the Integrity of Florida CPAs (4 ETH). This course addresses the ethical and professional obligations CPAs have to their clients, employers, colleagues, regulators and the public. We’ll discuss recent trends in business and professional ethics along with the specific rules and requirements applicable to CPAs outlined in Florida Statutes, the Rules of the Florida Board of Accountancy and the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct.

The course fulfills the biennial ethics requirement for Florida CPAs and is designed for professionals in public practice and those working in industry or government.

Separate registration is required for this course.

Register for the Conference or Simulcast | Register for the Pre-Conference Ethics | Learn More
Ask Us: Member Service Center (800) 342-3197 | (850) 224-2727 |

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In Memoriam

Steven J. Corso – Dec. 22, 2016
James M. “Jim” Lane – Jan. 17, 2017
Ursula Metzger-Wellisch – Dec. 27, 2016

Look for the next issue of FICPA NewsFlash Feb. 9, 2017.

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