March 2010

On March 18, 2010, the President signed the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act intended to encourage employers to hire the unemployed. CPE Link is offering a one-hour webcast to examine the impact the new law has on your business clients.

Dynamic tax expert, Vern Hoven, CPA, EA, will cover the following:

  • The two incentives meant to jump-start employment hiring
  • Which employers qualify and which don’t
  • The maximum per-employee credit for 2010
  • Applying the “affidavit” requirement properly
  • Understanding when to elect out of using the HIRE benefits
  • Reporting the HIRE tax forgiveness on Form 941 properly
  • The $1,000 retention credit
  • Renewal of the §179 expensing election

There will be opportunities for Q&A.

There are four dates/times to choose from for this live webcast:

Monday, April 26 10:00am Pacific Time

Monday, April 26 12:00pm Pacific Time

Friday, May 7 9:00am Pacific Time

Friday, May 7 11:00am Pacific Time


CPE Link is continually adding new topics and new speakers to present live webcasts to its national audience. Let me introduce four instructors who will make their debut in April.

James Hasselback will be teaching “Reporting Income from Debt Forgiveness” on April 23. Dr. Hasselback became the Mary Ball Washington Eminent Scholar at the University of West Florida in 2006, retiring from Florida State University after 27 years. He has previously taught at Eastern Michigan University, the University of Florida, and Texas A & M University. He has published over 150 papers in professional and academic journals, including The Accounting Review, The Tax Advisor, Financial Management, Journal of Real Estate Taxation, and the American Business Law Journal. He is co-author on a two-volume introductory taxation series published by CCH, serving as one of two technical editors. He is a co-author on the Master Accounting Guide.

Fern Powers will present “Human Resources: Financial Implications for Your Clients” on April 28. Fern is president of Powers HR Services in Philadelphia, PA. She is a human resources educator dedicated to giving her clients the time to focus on successfully growing their businesses by providing them with complete and comprehensive services in all areas of HR. She guides them in hiring the best employees, providing training and development, and ensuring that the employees work in a productive and legally compliant workplace which utilizes HR Best Practices.

Scheduled to speak on several topics concerning the buying and selling of CPA Practices, Ken Berry and John Ezell will begin with “Selling Your Practice: Taking Care of Your Clients While Maximizing Value” on April 28. John R. Ezell, CPA, is president of ProHorizons Network Inc. Ken Berry is Vice President. They co-wrote the book, Successful Practice Sales: The Complete Guide to Buying, Selling or Merging Your Accounting, Consulting or Tax Practice. This 200 page book serves as a guide through every nuance of the potentially daunting business transactions, including financing your acquisition to exploring the complete lifecycle of a sale and much more.

Maria Krowicki will be presenting “Mentoring: What’s in it for YOU (Retaining Key Staff)” on April 30. Maria Krowicki is the Human Resources Manager at Fazio, Mannuzza, Roche, Tankel, LaPilusa, LLC (FMRTL), ranked among the top 20 public accounting firms in New Jersey. Most recently, she established a successful mentoring program, implemented a CPE tracking system, and added a performance evaluation system – catapulting FMRTL to the next level in HR best practice. Maria has been an active part of the AccountingWeb Bloggers Crew since 2008, with a blog called HR Connection.

Welcome to all the new faculty! View all upcoming webcasts at CPE Link.

Web CPA recently reviewed CPE Link’s Risk Assessment Toolkit, a product designed to help practitioners comply with the required assertion-based approach to auditing. Web CPA cleverly compared learning the audit process to learning how to dance emphasizing that it helps to be led through the steps. Nice metaphor. Having clear steps to follow gives you the confidence you need to do the steps well and consistently.

The Toolkit was developed by California practitioners, Thomas Noce and Thad Scott, both CPAs and CFEs with many years of experience in continuing education teaching internal controls and fraud detection to their peers. The key to the Risk Assessment Toolkit is the Audit Strategy Worksheet. This worksheet guides the practitioner step by step through:

  • Mandatory risk assessment procedures
  • Documentation of relevant assertions
  • Understanding of controls in place for each assertion
  • Summary as to whether controls have been appropriately designed and are in place
  • Risk assessment by assertion
  • Documentation of further audit procedures responsive to the risk assessment

The Risk Assessment Toolkit provides systematic documentation of the audit from pre-engagement activities through risk assessment and summary.

There are hundreds of firms using the the Risk Assessment Tool since its initial release in October of 2008. The 2.0 release in 2009 added even more time-saving features. Check it out!

Online training in its various forms has been around for decades. However, it did not show up in the mainstream of continuing education offerings for accountants until very recently.

Of course the traditional full day seminar and conference continues to be the leading format for CPE audiences. But, online CPE (webinars, specifically) are beginning to gain a greater share of the audience. Most CPE providers (both State CPA Societies and for profit CPE organizations) are now offering webinars as a regular part of their curriculum.

CPE Link, a purely online CPE provider, can attest to this growing interest in the webcast format. Nearly every presentation draws first-timers trying out the online learning format. Here’s what the newbies are saying:

• “This is my first for a webinar; I found it very relaxing and informative.”

• “This is my first webinar with you and I was pleased with the ability to interact with the hosts.”

• “I enjoyed the online format for instruction with the interactive option of submitting questions.”

• “My first webcast – loved it, new devotee.”

• “This was my first webinar of this sort. I enjoyed the format and instructor.”

• “This was my first webinar and I was VERY pleased! I will definitely do more of these in the future!”

• This was the first time my office did a CPE this format and we are extremely pleased. ”

• “Excellent presentation. Webcast format was great (and convenient).”

• Good course – so convenient to not have to leave the office!!!”

• “I loved being able to do this from home! I will sign up for more of these in the future.”

• “Love this live format–so much easier and economical for us”

Haven’t tested the webcast waters? Come on in. The water’s fine.