NewsFlash July 23, 2015

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2015 FICPA Planning Days: A Productive Week

Mentoring for students; providing current, relevant and valuable CPE to members; state involvement through new resources for networking with other professional organizations. These are just some of the popular ideas for chapter engagement that emerged from a joint planning session of FICPA Board Chair Mia Thomas, board members and chapter leaders at the 2015 FICPA Planning Days in early July.

Hundreds of FICPA volunteers took part in the four-day Tampa gathering with the mission of planning exceptional benefits, services and education for all FICPA members.

“This is the first year we’ve combined Chapter and Committee planning days,” said FICPA President/CEO Deborah Curry, CPA, CGMA. “The new format enabled an unparalleled level of collaboration. I’m grateful to all the CPAs who took time out to help us plan.”

At the Chapter Officer Leadership Conference (COLC), chapter leaders received officer training; heard an Institute update; and discussed innovative chapter programming and membership outreach ideas. Chair Mia Thomas has appointed a Chapter Model Task Force to study and recommend the appropriate chapter model for ensuring chapters are robust and relevant.

Volunteers serving on one or more of 20 committees also met to plan conferences, discuss emerging technical issues, establish goals and prioritize projects for the coming fiscal year. The event supported essential planning for many member services including:

Image: The FICPA's Board Chair Mia Thomas (left) and President/CEO Deborah Curry facilitated FICPA Planning Days.
The FICPA's Board Chair Mia Thomas (left)
and President/CEO Deborah Curry facilitated
FICPA Planning Days.

Day One
New Board of Governors’ Orientation
PAC Trustee Meeting

Day Two
Board of Governors and Chapter Chair/Chair-Elect Joint Meeting
Mega CPE Conference Committee

Day Three: Committee Days
Accounting Careers
Accounting Principles and Auditing Standards
Chapter Operations
Elder Planning/Support
Employee Benefits Conference Planning
Management of an Accounting Practice (MAP)
Not-For-Profit Organizations Conference Planning
State and Local Government
Young CPAs

FICPA volunteers planned conferences,
discussed emerging technical issues,
established goals and prioritized
projects for the new fiscal year.

Day Four: Committee Days
CPAs in Industry
Common Interest Realty Associations (CIRA)
Health Care Conference Planning
Federal Taxation
International Tax
Relations with Accounting Educators
State Tax Committee
Women in Leadership

Watch a video of President/CEO Deborah Curry discussing FICPA Planning Days.

Find FICPA volunteer and networking information here.

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FICPA Asks Sens. Nelson and Rubio to Review IRS Services

On July 10, FICPA President/CEO Deborah Curry and the FICPA Executive Committee sent a letter to U.S. Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio, asking them to support a letter from Sens. Mike Enzi and Bob Casey to IRS Secretary Jacob Lew regarding taxpayer services the agency provides. The letter, authored by Enzi and Casey, asks Secretary Lew to review the IRS’ customer-service performance and make customer service a budget priority.

The FICPA has advocated for enhanced taxpayer services and the protection of taxpayers from identity theft at the state and federal level. As Florida continues to experience record levels of identity theft each year, ensuring the IRS provides adequate service to taxpayers will continue to be a priority in our advocacy efforts.

Read the FICPA letter to Sens. Nelson/Rubio.

Read the Enzi/Casey letter to the IRS.

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FICPA Vision 20/20 Task Force Outlines Bold Steps

In July 2014, FICPA 2014-2015 Board Chair Jeff Barbacci appointed a task force to conduct strategic planning for the FICPA. The mission of the Vision 20/20 Task Force was to engage in full strategic vision exercises and develop a bold plan to lead the FICPA through the next 10 years of progressive business positioning and member value enhancement. The task force, led by Barbacci and comprised of a cross-section of FICPA leaders and staff, met in August 2014 at a meeting facilitated by Tom Hood, president/CEO of the Maryland Society of CPAs,to begin the visioning process.

At its strategy session in September 2014, the Board of Governors reviewed the task force’s findings. The Board continued developing the bold strategy at the January 2015 strategy retreat. The Board approved the final plan at its May 2015 meeting and agreed to invest funds to develop the approved 20/20 strategy.

The seven Bold Vision Strategies include emphasis and enhancement of:

  1. Advocacy/PAC activities
  2. Membership and career development opportunities
  3. FICPA branding/awareness
  4. Retooling CPE programming
  5. Succession/M&A planning
  6. Strategic streamlining
  7. Aligning FICPA governance with the vision

20/20 Strategy investments included in the FICPA’s 2015-16 Budget are:

  • Branding enhancement establishing the FICPA as an organization of thought leadership
  • CPE retooling efforts
  • Student Initiatives Manager to focus on student members
  • Additional YCPA event programming

The plans were shared with FICPA committees and chapters at the FICPA Planning Days in July and will be detailed in future communications and chapter visits. Look for more information about the FICPA’s seven bold steps in upcoming issues of NewsFlash, during chapter visits and in other FICPA communications.

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FICPA Reorganizes, Renames Governing Bodies

The FICPA Board of Governors (BOG) and Executive Committee (EC) have been reorganized into two new governing bodies.

“Aligning our governance with the Vision is one of the seven Bold Vision Strategies emerging from the FICPA’s 2014-15 Vision 20/20 task force,” explained FICPA President/CEO Deborah Curry.” In response, at its July 8 meeting, the BOG approved changes to FICPA bylaws and policies. The changes streamline decision making while ensuring adequate checks and balances. I am encouraged by the vision of our leadership to create a nimble and responsive governance structure.”

  • The FICPA Board of Directors (BOD) has been expanded to include two additional members and replaces the EC.
  • The FICPA Council replaces the BOG.
  • The Finance and Office Advisory Committee has transitioned to a subcommittee of the BOD, known as the Subcommittee on Finance and Office Advisory, and is led by the chair-elect.

The 12-member BOD, which is led by Chair Mia Thomas and includes the president/CEO as a non-voting member, oversees the Institute’s affairs and management. The BOD acts as the Executive Board of Council between meetings of Council. This includes general charge of the Institute’s property and affairs; the power to direct and control the expenditure of funds within the approved annual budget; and the charge of formulating and presenting plans for the Institute’s advancement on behalf of its members.

The FICPA Council consists of 31 members. The Council is the Institute’s governing body – guiding and advising on strategic initiatives; proposing changes to articles and bylaws; authorizing resolutions regarding issues impacting the profession; and retaining final approval over the Institute’s budget. The body is comprised of 11 directors; six regional representatives (elected by chapters); 11 at-large members; the two most recent past chairs; and the secretary-treasurer. Curry is the non-voting secretary-treasurer. The Council meets in person once or twice annually and holds a strategic planning retreat. Additional meetings may be held by telephone conference.

“These changes will align our Board and Council with the AICPA titles and other state societies. In addition, the streamlined processes will increase our efficiency and effectiveness as a governing entity,” Thomas said.

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Delay of FASB’s Revenue Recognition Standard
What does it mean?

On July 9, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) voted to defer the effective date of its revenue recognition standard by a year, while still allowing companies to adopt the standard as initially planned.

FASB listened to the concerns preparers voiced about the time it would take to implement the new standard, as well as the tardiness of the recently proposed changes (not to mention that other changes not yet proposed are still possible). At the same time, FASB decided against deferring the standard for two years in order to maintain the momentum of implementation, and to avoid a difference with the IASB’s proposed adoption date.

Read the complete article here.

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Employers Urge Changes in IRS’ ACA Reporting Rules
Accounting Today

A coalition of employers and trade associations from a variety of different industries are asking Congress to clarify the rules for determining eligibility for tax credits for health insurance.

The letter comes from a coalition of 178 employers and trade associations who have endorsed legislation aimed at providing employees and employers with a more effective way of determining eligibility for tax credits under the Affordable Care Act for insurance purchase through health-insurance exchanges.

The letter was sent to Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., and Mike Thompson, D-Calif., the co-sponsors of H.R. 2712, the Commonsense Reporting and Verification Act of 2015.

Read the Accounting Today article in its entirety here.

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FICPA Offers New Entertainment Discounts for Members

With the FICPA’s new entertainment-benefits package you can enjoy savings on theme parks, movie tickets and car rentals nationwide – and hotels worldwide.

FICPA members now save hundreds with these popular attractions, shows and travel perks:

  • Walt Disney World® Resort
  • Universal Orlando® Resort
  • SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment®
  • New York City Broadway shows & attractions
  • Las Vegas shows & attractions
  • National theme parks and attractions
  • Cirque du Soleil™
  • Wild Adventures® Water & Theme Park
  • Car Rental with Avis®, Budget®, Thrifty® and Hertz®
  • Over 80,000 hotels worldwide
  • And many more

Click below to see where your FICPA membership will take you next!

Learn More | See All Member Benefits | Join the FICPA
Ask Us: Member Services (800) 342-3197 | (850) 224-2727 |

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Get Tech Savvy at the Annual Accounting Show (23 CPE)

When the latest technology comes knocking, will you have an answer?

Join us at the 30th Annual Accounting Show and level up your tech expertise with sessions on accounting for Bitcoin, top tech issues affecting your clients, making your firm's data more secure and tips for the mobile workforce and more. Check out the full agenda with the link below!

Technology sessions at the Annual Accounting Show:

  • Accounting for Bitcoin
  • Bitcoin and Cyber Currencies: Monopoly Money, the Future of Currency or Just Lost in Space?
  • Top Tech Issues in 2015
  • The Evolving of PCI DSS & EMV Payments and the Impact on Your Clients
  • Security and Mobility – Can You Have Both?
  • Client Accounting Services in a Digital World
  • Work Anywhere, Anytime – Not Everywhere, Always

Register now to save $55 with the early-bird price and take advantage of our special conference hotel rate!

Register for Conference | View Agenda | Download Brochure
Ask Us: Member Services (800) 342-3197 | (850) 224-2727 |

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Construction Industry Conference (8 CPE)
Oct. 23, 2015

Are you a CPA working in the construction industry? If so, mark your calendar for the Construction Industry Conference in Orlando on Friday, Oct. 23, 2015. Dig deeper and build your knowledge with eight hours of CPE on topics specific to the construction industry such as surety; tax breaks for contractors; economic recovery; and the methods, myths and minefields of valuing companies.

Don’t miss this great opportunity for in-person CPE that’s tailored to your needs. Registration is now open – save $55 when you reserve your seat today!

Register Today | More Information | Brochure
Ask Us: Member Services (800) 342-3197 | (850) 224-2727 |


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University Conferences Feature High-Quality Courses
Tampa, Fort Myers and Gainesville

Sharpen your pencils and power up the laptop – school is back in session. We’re gearing up for another great year of University Conferences featuring high-quality CPE at three of Florida’s premier universities. Keep your Accounting and Auditing and Technical Business CPE requirements up to date with informative sessions from top-notch instructors.

It’s a great time to take a walk down memory lane, network with other Florida CPAs and catch up with university alumni, too! Click the links below to review or request brochures.

Florida Gulf Coast University Accounting and Tax Conference | Earn up to 16 hours of CPE!
Oct. 29-30, 2015 | Embassy Suites Hotel – Ft. Myers, Estero | View Brochure

University of South Florida Accounting Conference | Earn up to 16 hours of CPE!
Oct. 29-30, 2015 | Tampa Airport Marriott, Tampa | View Brochure

University of Florida Accounting Conference | Earn up to 19 hours of CPE!
Nov. 5-7, 2015 | Hilton University of Florida, Gainesville | | Request Brochure

Save $55 when you register today!
Ask Us
: Member Services (800) 342-3197 | (850) 224-2727 |

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Tech Tip
Windows 10: Create a System Restore Point

Windows 10 has a lot of new features, but many of the old tried and true system tools still exist. System Restore is one that’s important to have if something goes awry with your system and you need to get it working again.

Windows 10 System Restore

You can get to System Restore (System Protection) by opening the Control Panel with your mouse or keyboard, but why not start using the cool features in Windows 10?

Launch Cortana and select “Open Control Panel.” From there, select Recovery. In the next screen select Configure System Restore.

Or, type “restore point” into the search field and hit Enter.

Whatever route you go, you’ll be brought to System Protection. Click the Configure button.

Next, you may need to turn on the System Restore utility. It’s usually turned off by default on computers with Windows pre-installed, and the vendor uses its own version of backup software.

Here you also can manage the amount of space it uses. If you have a smaller, drive you might want to turn it down a bit.

Now that you have everything set up, click the Create button and follow the onscreen wizard to create a restore point. The process is the same as it was in Windows 7.

Review article with images here.

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

Chas Smith – July 18, 2015

Look for the next issue of FICPA NewsFlash Aug. 6, 2015.

Comments or Suggestions?

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