Florida State University Accounting Conference - Now Fully Virtual

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Thursday, May 13, 2021 - Friday, May 14, 2021
Webcast or Webinar, Online
8:00AM - 4:45pm (opens at 7:45AM) EST
Accounting and Auditing and Behavioral and Technical Business

Registration is Closed

Online registration for this course is now closed. Please contact the Member Service Center at (800) 342-3197 if you wish to inquire about registering.

$360.00 Regular Price
$610.00 Regular Price
Course Type: CPE Conferences
Course Code: 21/FSUAC


The Florida State University Accounting Conference brings together CPAs to learn and shared ideas. Our 2021 agenda brings together a great line-up of topics and thought leaders, all providing you with the latest information you need to succeed.  From economic and legislative updates to CARES Act, fraud case studies and forensic accounting, explore what is in store for this year and beyond in the comfort and safety of your own home or office.  Go 'Noles!  

CPE Credit
This conference qualifies for  8 Accounting & Auditing (AA) and 8 Technical Business (TB) hours of CPE credit and is subject to change. CPE Credit is subject to approval by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

Conference Materials
Conference reference materials are distributed to registrants electronically in advance of the program. This fully searchable PDF includes speaker presentations and is intended for electronic use only.

Follow the FICPA on Twitter @ficpa and use #ficpaFSUAC to tweet about this conference.


Thursday, May 13, 2021

Welcome and Economic Outlook and Investing Strategies for Today's Market

Time: Thursday 8:00am - 8:55am Credits: 1 TB

Craig Fehr, Principal Investment Strategist CFA, Edward Jones

Hear about the investment environment, including an outlook for the economy, interest rates and the markets. Gain perspective on current issues and their potential impact.  Receive some recommendations for how investors can position for the road ahead.    



Time: Thursday 8:55am - 9:00am

2021 Florida Economic Development Snapshot: The Impact of COVID-19

Time: Thursday 9:00am - 9:50am Credits: 1 TB

Bob Swindell, President and CEO, Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance 

Examine the current state economic development in Florida and how the industry has changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.



Time: Thursday 9:50am - 10:00am

Update on Accounting and Auditing Standards

Time: Thursday 10:00am - 10:50am Credits: 1 AA

Gene Ristaino, CPA/ABV/CFF, ABAR, MT

Stay current and explore updates and changes to standards for the various accounting and auditing engagements, including implementation suggestions.



Time: Thursday 10:50am - 11:00am

Tax Update for Nonprofits

Time: Thursday 11:00am - 11:50am Credits: 1 TB

Brenda Ann Blunt, CPA, CGMA, Partner, EideBailly

Review changes in the law, key revenue rulings and other guidance and initiates coming out of Washington, DC that are of special interest to nonprofit organizations.  If you work-or volunteer- in a governance or finance role, you might not want to miss this!



Time: Thursday 11:50am - 12:50pm

Fine Tuning and Improving Estate and Asset Ownership Planning For All Categories of Clients

Time: Thursday 12:50pm - 1:40pm Credits: 1 TB

Alan S. Gassman, J.D., LL.M., Partner, Gassman Crotty Denicolo, P.A.

All varieties of estate plans can be improved, and many have gaping holes that are common and unfortunate.  In this presentation we will review the estate planning needs and common tax and other traps and pitfalls faced by 4 categories of clients:
1.  The small net worth single individual
2.  The small net worth married couple 
3.  The wealthy single individual 
4.  The wealth married couple  



Time: Thursday 1:40pm - 1:50pm

The Florida CPA's Practice Guide to Effective Creditor Protection Planning

Time: Thursday 1:50pm - 2:40pm Credits: 1 TB

Alan S. Gassman, J.D., LL.M., Partner, Gassman Crotty Denicolo, P.A.

Clients look to their CPA's and other advisors for help in determining how they should own and structure their assets and entities, what forms of trusts and companies they should use, and what to do about liability exposure that takes place both inside and outside of business and investment entities and activities. This presentation will give the CPA and other advisors a checklist and methodologies for safeguarding assets and reducing risks as a part of the CPA firm's role in helping clients.



Time: Thursday 2:40pm - 2:50pm

Non-Profit Accounting and Auditing Update

Time: Thursday 2:50pm - 3:40pm Credits: 1 AA

Elizabeth Dollar, Partner, Moss Adams

Learn critical changes to auditing and accounting standards and their potential impacts on not-for-profit organizations. It will discuss updates from the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), the AICPA, and other key topics, such as:

• Accounting and financial reporting impact of COVID-19 and the CARES Act
• Upcoming accounting standard updates and potential effects on financial statements
• Approaching changes to audit report language



Time: Thursday 3:40pm - 3:50pm

Data Analytics & AI for Accountants

Time: Thursday 3:50pm - 4:40pm Credits: 1 AA

Rob Valdez, CPA, CISA, CISM, Director - Cybersecurity & Automation, Kaufman Rossin

Accountants are asking how data analytics and artificial intelligence are currently impacting the profession and how CPAs can adapt effectively to the future.  What are some potential benefits and important considerations for leveraging these disciplines?  This presentation provides a discussion and considerations regarding the impacts of data analytics and AI on the accounting profession, with an emphasis on impacts upon accounting and audit services.

After attending this presentation, participants will be able to:
• Understand concepts in data analytics and AI
• Describe some applications of data analytics and AI for accounting and audit services
• Identify risk related to the use of data analytics and AI for accounting and audit services


Friday, May 14, 2021

Opening Remarks

Time: Friday 8:00am - 8:05am

Legislative Update

Time: Friday 8:05am - 8:55am Credits: 1 TB

Justin Thames, Director of Governmental Affairs, Florida Institute of CPAs

Hear the latest from the Florida legislature.



Time: Friday 8:55am - 9:00am

Forensic Accounting: Short Stories and Lessons Learned

Time: Friday 9:00am - 9:50am Credits: 1 AA

Steven A. Wolf, CPA, MBA, CFE, ABV/CFF, ASA, Partner, Litigation Support, Wolf Forensics, Inc.

Learn all of the "ins and outs" of forensic accounting services.  Designed for the professional who may be currently providing forensic accounting services or has an interest is discovering what this discipline is all about.



Time: Friday 9:50am - 10:00am

Valuation, Audit, and COVID-19 Considerations

Time: Friday 10:00am - 10:50am Credits: 1 AA

Jill Patterson MAI, AI-GRS, Senior Vice President, SitusAMC

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc in the global economy and financial markets over the past year, impacting the way that commercial real estate (CRE) is viewed.  Learn the basic principles of CRE valuation, in addition to the discussion of applicable appraiser qualifications and appraisal standards.  Explore the current state of the CRE market, including the adjustments that valuation professionals have considered as a result of the pandemic.



Time: Friday 10:50am - 11:00am

Planning and Executing a Successful Remote Audit

Time: Friday 11:00am - 11:50am Credits: 1 AA

Brad Caruso, Partner, WithumSmith+Brown

Explore experiences in remote auditing over the past year.  Learn valuable tips and tricks to properly execute an audit in a remote environment.  Discover changes that have been made to improve efficiency in the audit process.



Time: Friday 11:50am - 12:50pm

Auditors’ Use of Specialists (PCAOB)

Time: Friday 12:50pm - 1:40pm Credits: 1 AA

Dr. Aleksandra "Ally" B. Zimmerman, Ph.D., CPA (IL, OH), CMA, Assistant Professor of Accounting, Florida State University, and Visiting Scholar - PCAOB

Hear about the presenter's research findings conducted at the PCAOB on auditors’ use of specialists and audit quality and costs, including best practices for specialist involvement on audit engagements. The research separately examines auditors’ use of (1) non-accounting and non-auditing specialists, such as valuation, actuarial, environmental, legal, human resources, scientific, and data specialists, and (2) tax specialists. Auditors have increasingly sought the assistance of specialists to assist in the audits of complex estimates. Auditors may use specialists for a variety of audit procedures, such as evaluation of the reasonableness of fair value measurements for assets and liabilities; determination of the quantity on hand or condition of an asset; determination of other complex estimates; and interpretation of technical requirements, regulations, or agreements. While specialists bring expertise to complex issues, academics and regulators argue that auditors may not properly supervise specialists and the PCAOB continues to identify inspection findings in audit areas in which specialists are typically used. Ms. Zimmerman's research analyzes data from PCAOB inspections of global network audit firms during 2006 to 2018, a period in which the use of specialists in audits increased from 50% to 90%, to determine how non-accounting specialist and tax specialist use affects audit costs and audit quality. Learn best practices and recommendations for the use of specialists identified from the research.



Time: Friday 1:40pm - 1:50pm

SECURE Act and CARES Act: Their Impact on Qualified Retirement Plans

Time: Friday 1:50pm - 2:40pm Credits: 1 TB

Daniel Rodriguez, CPA, QPA, QKA, Partner/CEO, and Joy Hodgson, CPC, QPA, QKA, Partner/COO, CRI TPA Services, LLC

Learn the various provisions of the SECURE Act and CARES Act, and how they will impact individuals and their IRAs and plan sponsors and their retirement plans. Among other topics, discussions will cover the changes to the required minimum distribution (RMD) rules, inherited IRA changes, and modifications to pooled employer plans (PEPs). We will also discuss new distribution options and other impacts due to Covid-19.



Time: Friday 2:40pm - 2:50pm

Building a Better Internal Control Environment

Time: Friday 2:50pm - 4:30pm Credits: 1 BE,1 TB

Bret Hood, Director, 21st Century Learning & Consulting, LLC

While no internal control system is absolutely perfect, many organizations often overlook and underestimate how behavior can be affected both positively and negatively.  Learn how behavioral nudges have been applied to internal control systems and how perceptions can stop or inadvertently lead to fraud in the workplace. Learn the ability to define ethical fading, define social proof, evaluate the effects of ethical fading and social proof on unethical behavior and design internal controls that can mitigate the effects of ethical fading and social proof on unethical.



  • Learn about the U.S.economy in 2021
  • Hear the impact o the COVID-19 pandemic on Florida's economy
  • Examine the impact of the CARES Act on grant funding
  • Explore the latest on credit protection
  • Gain insight into 10 dynamic estate and trust tax structures
  • Learn the latest in AI, data analytics and big data
  • Hear what's happening in the Florida legislature
  • Explore forensic accounting
  • Examine auditing in a remote environment
  • Hear about case studies in fraud
  • Learn what's happening at the PCAOB


  • Eugene Ristaino, CPA/ABV/CFF, MST

    OwnerRistiano & CompanyGene Ristaino currently provides valuation services for private companies, along with accounting and auditing consultation and technical reviews for small and medium-sized CPA firms.  His expertise includes consulting services for real estate developers and construction contractors in project costing and analysis, cost certification, claim support and documentation, expert...

    Read more about Eugene Ristaino here
  • Roberto Elias Valdez, CPA

    Roberto Valdez, CPA, CISA, is the Director of Cybersecurity & Automation Services for Kaufman Rossin.  He performs advisory and assurance engagements that include robotic process automation services, SOC 1, 2, and 3; IT risk assessments; phishing simulations; and engagements addressing compliance with requirements under HIPAA, FINRA, and SOX 404.  Engagements have included multiple industries...

    Read more about Roberto Elias Valdez here
  • Justin A Thames, DPL

    Justin Thames joined the FICPA in June 2011 as the Governmental Affairs Manager and was promoted to Director of Governmental Affairs in July 2015.  In this role, Justin is responsible for leading the Governmental Affairs Department in regulatory and lobbying activities including; developing creative strategies to accomplish the legislative and regulatory objectives, meeting with state legislators...

    Read more about Justin A Thames here
  • Alan S Gassman, J.D., LL.M.

    LawyerGassman, Crotty & Denicolo, PAAlan S. Gassman, J.D., LL.M. is a board certified estate planning and trust lawyer who practices in Clearwater, Florida.  He has an LL.M. in taxation from the University of Florida, and practices in the areas of trust and estate planning, taxation, wealth preservation, and the representation of physicians and medical practices. Mr. Gassman speaks at many tax...

    Read more about Alan S Gassman here
  • Steven Andrew Wolf, ABV,CFE,CPA

    Steve is President of Wolf Forensics, Inc. and specializes in forensic accounting, economic damages, fraud investigation and valuation services. Wolf Forensics assists clients by offering tailored solutions designed to objectively analyze data and quantify the economic value associated with an unprecedented event.  Clients often seek his guidance on complex commercial contract disputes, internal...

    Read more about Steven Andrew Wolf here
  • Brad Caruso, CPA, CFE

    PartnerWithumSmith+Brown, PCBrad Caruso, CPA, CFE is a Partner with WithumSmith+Brown, PC (Withum), a top 30 ranked public accounting firm specializing in providing audit, tax and advisory services to over a dozen major industry sectors across the country and around the globe. He has over 12 years of experience in providing auditing tax, and advisory services to the not-for-profit industry. Brad...

    Read more about Brad Caruso here
  • Michael Bret Hood

    After serving 25 years as a Special Agent in the FBI, Michael “Bret” Hood became the director of 21st Century Learning & Consulting, LLC upon his retirement in 2016.  During his tenure with the FBI, Bret worked many complex financial crime, money laundering, corruption and major cases such as the 9/11 terrorist attack, the HealthSouth fraud and the Maricopa Investments case.  Since 2000, Bret has...

    Read more about Michael Bret Hood here
  • Aleksandra B Zimmerman

    Read more about Aleksandra B Zimmerman here
  • Bob Swindell

    Bob Swindell  President and CEO  Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance  Bob Swindell was named President and CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance in November 2009. He joined the Alliance as the Senior Vice President of Business Development in 2003. Bob and his team assist local, national, and international companies already doing business here or those prospective companies considering a move...

    Read more about Bob Swindell here
  • Joy Hodgson

    Read more about Joy Hodgson here
  • Jill Patterson, MAI, AI-GRS

    Read more about Jill Patterson here
  • Brenda Blunt, CPA, CGMA

    Brenda provides services to nonprofit organizations, closely-held business and their stakeholders. She represents clients before the Internal Revenue Service. She works with the preparation of individual, business, investment and nonprofit returns and assists with tax planning when moving into new lines of business, starting an enterprise or closing a line of operation or the entire organization...

    Read more about Brenda Blunt here
  • Elizabeth Dollar

    Partner & National Practice Leader Liz has practiced public accounting since 2000. Her focus is financial statement and compliance audits for not-for-profit organizations including foundations (both public and private), trade associations, multiservice not-for-profit entities, health care organizations, and universities. Liz audits many organizations receiving federal funding under Uniform...

    Read more about Elizabeth Dollar here
  • Craig Fehr

    Principal, Investment Strategist Craig Fehr is responsible for analyzing and interpreting economic trends and market conditions, as well as constructing appropriate investment strategies and recommendations to help investors build and maintain portfolios designed to help reach their long-term financial goals.Craig joined Edward Jones in 2002 and held the positions of senior equity trader and...

    Read more about Craig Fehr here

Major Topics:

  • Accounting and Auditing
  • Economy - national and state
  • Florida legislative update
  • Fraud
  • Estate and trust tax structures
  • CARES Act


Designed For:

This conference is designed for any CPA or finance professional.