2018 CPA Summit Innovation. Technology. Leadership.


All materials for this event will be offered electronically only. Registrants will receive instructions to access the materials prior to the conference.


The 2018 CPA Summit is a one-day event where CPA’s learn from the most important voices in the profession and find solutions to push careers forward. Topics include leadership, technology, cutting-edge trends, and emerging professional issues. This interactive event is the CPA event of the year!

If you choose to attend the simulcast, please note that only specific sessions will be offered in this format, they will be denoted by an asterisk (*) next to the session title, but will include all general sessions.

Please also check out our AI in Accounting and Auditing Conference the day before on December 5th, 2018!  These two conferences can also be purchased at a discount here as a bundle as well.  We look forward to seeing you in December.

Course Level
Professional Area of Focus
Accounting & Auditing
Business & Industry
CPE Field of Study
Business Management & Organization
Computer Software & Applications
Management Services
Specialized Knowledge
Who Should Attend
All accounting and finance professionals that want to take their company, firm, or career to the next level.
Sheraton Baltimore North
903 Dulaney Valley Rd
Towson, MD 21204 US
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Dec 6, 2018
8:00 am - 4:00 pm EDT
Sheraton Baltimore North
903 Dulaney Valley Rd
Towson, MD 21204 US
Total CPE Credits


DAY 1 of 1 December 6, 2018
7:00 am - 8:00 am
Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:00 am - 8:50 am
01 - **Remaining Relevant: AI in Accounting and Auditing

Speakers: Tom Hood, CEO MACPA/BLI, Leon Katsnelson, CTO, IBM, John Colthart, General Manager, Mindbridge AI, Enrico Palmerino, CEO, botkeeper, Chris Danusiar, CEO, Auditchain

AI is the #1 Tech Hard Trend facing CPAs, accounting and finance professionals today. This panel of experts will discuss how CPAs can harness this powerful technology to be even more relevant in today’s exponential.y changing world. You will learn how AI is being used to augment the audit and financial reporting processes of companies and firms or all sizes.

8:50 am - 9:00 am
Networking Break
9:00 am - 9:50 am
02 - **Blockchain and the Global Accounting Profession

Speaker: Leon Katsnelson, IBM.

The importance of the Blockchain technology that is reshaping myriad businesses and firms in the 21st century cannot be overstated.   Leon will discuss the technology and how it will impact the Global Accounting Profession.

03 - Financial Storytelling: The Key in Growing Your Organization to the Next Level

Speaker, Peter Margaritis, Business Learning Institute

Are you responsible for presenting financial information to your organization? If you’re a CEO, CFO, financial analyst or a manager needing to communicate financial information in an impactful way, this workshop will give you the necessary tools to tell more effective stories with your financial data.

Bring financial information to life and use it to communicate a story to an audience, with a focus on simplicity and ease of interpretation. This is accomplished through a mix of financial data, visualization, storytelling theory, best practices, and practical application.

04 - Why Being a Trusted Advisor Just Isn't Enough

Speaker: Dr. Chandra Bhansali, AccountantsWorld

While there’s certainly a great deal of value in being a trusted advisor, but in an increasingly competitive landscape, being an advisor may be just the start. The new end goal is to be relevant to your clients’ needs. Why is that distinction important? Because relevance defines your ability and commitment to do what’s good for your clients. That requires you to ask yourself, what can we do within our firm so we can do what’s good for our clients?  In this presentation we’ll discuss six ways to make your firm more relevant to the needs of small business clients to lead both your clients and your firm towards a brighter future.

9:50 am - 10:00 am
Networking Break
10:00 am - 10:50 am
5 - Building a BotBrain | Deploying Machine Learning and AI in your Accounting Practice

Speaker: Enrico Palmerino, CEO – botkeeper

Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and bots are the big buzzwords in the accounting industry. But what are bots, ML and AI? How do these technologies work? How do you build a bot? What are bots good for and how do I build or deploy them in my accounting practice?

Go beyond the buzzwords and learn how ML, AI, and bots are built and more importantly how to increase the efficiency, profitability, and scale of your accounting firm with these technologies.


6 - Successful Planning for Cloud Adoption

Speaker: Liz Mason, Highrock

Adopting the cloud is a big step for any firm because it’s more than just a new tool, it’s a whole new way of running a business. It requires updating processes and educating staff. Set you and your team up for success by developing a change management plan for your firm to phase in use of the cloud.

7 - **Preaccounting: Why Ignoring Expense Management is a Costly Mistake

Speaker: Matt Donaldson, Expensify

When a client’s preaccounting tasks are not done, the accountant (you!) is held responsible. Core tasks such as receipt and mileage tracking and expense submission make up the bulk of time-consuming tasks but are the clients’ responsibility. From this session, gain control by making the end of month close more efficient through smart automation.
Learn how to identify and diagnose preaccounting inefficiencies
Optimize your clients’ preaccounting workflows and processes, which in turn optimizes your accounting tasks
Discover how firms saw an average net ROI increase of 598% by automating expense management features and how to apply those processes to your firm.

10:50 am - 11:00 am
Networking Break
11:00 am - 11:50 am
8 - Aligning Your Value Proposition to Your Clients Expectations

Speaker: Thomas Casey, Sage

Description TBD

9 - **Key Performance Indicators of a CAS Practice

Speaker: Samantha Mansfield, CPA.COM

Across the profession there is a concentration on evolving services to revolve around the value of your advice, as technology continues to automate transactional work. Client accounting advisory services (CAS) has lead this charge over the last 10 years, and like any innovations it hasn’t fit into all the traditional models it is displacing. This is why CPA.com and AICPA PCPS designed a survey to begin a baseline measurement of appropriate KPI’s for running an advisory based accounting practice. Join this session to hear of results, hot off the presses, that indicate success, and baseline demographics of CAS practices across the country.

10 - Technology Update: Today's Newest Apps, Tools & Resources

Speaker: David Bergstein, CPA – Intuit

This session will introduce the attendees to the most popular ecosystem apps and tools to help them improve their client accounting services & tax practices. It’s all about automation, workflow cloud and being digital. Attendees will walk away with useful knowledge in how to build a technology stack that fits their needs as well as a list of resource websites that will help them maintain an edge on technology. It’s time to have fun in your practice and let automation work for you.

11:50 am - 12:20 pm
11 - Lunch Address: Rethinking What’s Possible: Technology and Our Evolving Profession, Kimberly Ellison-Taylor, Immediate Past AICPA Chairman

Speaker: Kimberly Ellison-Taylor –  Oracle, Immediate Past AICPA Chairman

Fueled by rapid technological innovation, the world is changing at unprecedented speed – with significant implications for the accounting profession. Cybersecurity, blockchain, artificial intelligence and cognitive technologies all have the potential to transform our work. Association of International Certified Professional Accountants Immediate Past Chairman Kimberly Ellison-Taylor, CPA, CGMA, provides insight on the forces shaping the future of accounting and the many opportunities for the profession to go beyond the expected by embracing technology and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.


12:20 pm - 1:00 pm
1:00 am - 1:50 pm
12 - A Primer for Servicing the Marijuana Industry

Speaker: Stan Sterna, JD – VP AON

Despite the fact that the marijuana remains an illegal controlled substance under federal law, over half of the states allow its cultivation and sale for medicinal use while an ever increasing number are permitting sale for recreational purposes. While this activity has created new business opportunities for many CPA firms, it also presents unique challenges and risks in light of the dichotomy between federal and state law. This session will address those challenges, the current state of the legal/regulatory environment and how CPAs contemplating servicing the marijuana industry can navigate those risks.

13 - **How the Finance Leader of Tomorrow is Using Data Today

Speaker: Mike Sabbatis, CEO XCM

“Effective leadership is about taking in all of the information, synthesizing it and then making a decision and standing behind that decision,” said Pete Shier, CFO of Deloitte.

As digitalization, artificial intelligence, and machine learning continue to automate work, forward-looking businesses are increasingly looking for new ways to leverage technology to help differentiate and scale up their businesses. The finance leaders of tomorrow are no longer focused on harvesting data—they have algorithms for that—instead they are exploring new ways to analyze and interpret this data to drive the business forward.

  • Learn how to use dashboards to deliver KPI’s and insights to the business
  • Identify trends and opportunities to increase productivity and performance in your business
  • Learn how to monitor and continuously improve operations and business processes to accelerate your decision-making
14 - Creating Value with Big Data: an “Accounting” Perspective

Speaker: Guido Geerts, BLI

Big Data has caught our imagination with cases such as real-time fraud detection, real-time marketing, flu outbreak prediction based on social media postings, and many more. This presentation will inform you what Big Data is and how it can create value for your business. Free, easy-to-learn technologies will be discussed that can get you started right away.

1:50 pm - 2:00 pm
Networking Break
2:00 pm - 2:50 pm
15 - Managing the Ever-Changing Risks of Cloud as Your Maturity Evolves

Speaker: Adam Salerno – Sr. Director, Coalfire

We will define cloud maturity adoption types and overview how to both address challenges and manage risk based on scenarios at each of those levels. Also, as the external risks are not standing still, how should you expect your organization to react.

Cybersecurity is ever evolving. Take a look at the latest statistics and trends related to CPA firms both large and small, and leave with advice that can improve your posture and allow you to work safer and more efficiently.

16 - INSIDE Public Accounting, Accounting Today, and Radical Compliance Press Panel

Speakers: Bill Sheridan, Dan Hood, Matt Kelly, and Michael Platt


17 - **How to Drive a Consultative Mindset Using Behavioral Economics

Speaker: Jordan Birnbaum, ADP

With new technologies like AI and robotics changing core accounting services, so too is the demand for different types of accounting talent and skills. There is a critical need to drive a culture that focuses on developing technology and soft skills, as well as driving retention and engagement that can help accountants adapt. In this session, you will learn how to leverage behavioral economics to drive behavior change and how you can use this approach to strengthen your role as strategic advisor to your clients. We will focus on: what is Behavioral Economics?, how these theories can be applied and what it’s done for others, and how you can use Behavioral Economics and Industrial & Organizational (I/O) Psychology to drive a broader consulting mindset within your firm’s employees.

2:50 pm - 3:00 pm
Networking Break
3:00 pm - 3:50 pm
18 - **The Human Behind the Numbers: Getting Back to What Matters Most - Endnote

Speaker: Rachel Druckenmiller, SIG

As the workforce continues to change and the talent race heats up, offering employees meaningful experiences and opportunities to grow, learn and contribute has become more important than ever. Culture either happens by default or is created intentionally, and companies that commit to intentionally developing their cultures are recruiting, retaining and engaging their employees.

What does it take to be recognized as a best place to work and to create a culture that draws in and retains employees? In thriving workplace cultures and at employers of choice, employees feel valued, inspired, and connected to their work and coworkers. For employers, engaged, thriving employees means a competitive business advantage, including improved employee engagement and retention, increased creativity and innovation, improved leadership effectiveness, and stronger, more cohesive leadership teams. Sharing lessons and insights from the MACPA Culture Underground and top workplaces, we’ll explore the power supporting the humans behind the numbers.


3:50 pm - 4:00 pm
Closing Remarks


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2018 CPA Summit

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