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CPA Innovation Summit Experience


Change was moving fast before the pandemic — and it’s moving even faster now. We have reimagined our CPA Innovation Summit as an exciting and interactive virtual event that will help the CPA profession redefine and reinvent our path forward — and accelerate us in a post-COVID-19 world.




Kick off Event: Anticipate & Reimagine What’s Next | October 2, 2020

Tom Hood and bestselling author and futurist Daniel Burrus kick off the CPA Innovation Summit with a look at the trends and issues emerging from the pandemic. You will join Dan and Tom in an interactive chat about what’s next.

Accounting Ecosystem Webcast Series | October – December

Hosted by our strategic partners, this series will fit our theme, “Moving from Essential to Indispensable.” The material presented will leave you with practical, action-oriented takeaways to elevate and accelerate your success. 

CPA Innovation Summit: Moving from Essential to Indispensable | December 15, 2020

Platform: We will utilize MatchBox, an interactive platform with a chat feature that lets all speakers, attendees, and our strategic partners participate in the panel discussions. The speakers will answer your questions along the way, while fellow attendees share their own experiences and insight. This gives the chance to flesh out ideas in a meaningful and practical way, while connecting with fellow professionals. In the final session, this is your chance to play a key role in designing the future! Break out room video chat discussion will be tackling a specific question or challenge we are facing as a profession. Choose the room most relevant or compelling to you. The insights shared will be captured into an eBook made available to all attendees.

Panelists: Three panels of leading CPAs in all areas of our profession will be moderated by national accounting press editors (Dan Hood of Accounting Today and Gail Perry of CPA Practice Advisor), discussing what they see coming after the pandemic.

Miss one of the webcasts? Click here to watch all of the available presentations! New videos are being added as they’re available. (Note: CPE credit is not available for these presentations.)

Business Learning Institute
Course Level
CPE Field of Study
Event Information
Total CPE Credits
Up to 20 Credits
Live Webcast


DAY 1 of 14 October 29, 2020
1 CREDIT 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
When Less is More - Reimagining the Sales Tax Practice (brought to you by Avalara)

The changes brought by the Covid pandemic have forced many firms and businesses to retool their operations: support remote staff and clients, find new efficiencies and, for public firms, expand the client base – all while undergoing massive and sometimes daunting changes. For a business that has not automated, those are game-changing challenges. Even for firms or businesses that have some automation, caution may be called for. There are potential risks and the ROI may not be easily identifiable.

Reimagining the business through automation can bring long term benefits in accuracy and efficiency along with increased client engagement. Join us as Avalara shares stories of how they and other businesses and firms are successfully using automation to redefine their business and key points in evaluating the risks. Topics we will cover:

  • • Industry trends driving accounting professionals
  • • Key areas where technology can help
  • • Measuring the potential impact of efficiency and scalability
  • • How to take a low-risk approach for steady results
  • • Quick wins in automation

Speaker Bios:

Liz Armbruester, SVP, Global Compliance, Operations Liz oversees global compliance operations at Avalara. She brings more than 20 years of leadership experience from a variety of technology sectors including software, media, and services and is known for her strong track record of innovative problem solving, process optimization, and an ability to deliver automation for efficiency and scale.

Liz’s strong commitment to operational excellence and aptitude for partnering cross-functionally helped her drive value in her prior roles with Vubiquity, a provider of content monetization technology, and Zilog, a computing microcontroller manufacturer.

Sona Akmakjian, Sr Director Global Accounting Strategic Partnerships.  Sona is a certified California CPA with 28 years of experience in transnational tax services and automation. Experience includes working for state agency administering sales and use taxes, Big Four accounting firm, tax software company and mid-market consulting firms. Sona has strong skills in areas such as strategic alliances, executive collaboration, M&A due diligence, project and product management with deep industry experience across multiple market segments including a specific focus in the enterprise segment.


DAY 2 of 14 November 3, 2020
1 CREDIT 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Botkeeper For Dummies - Demystifying AI (brought to you by botkeeper)
As an Accounting Professional, you know how critical it is to be smart about implementing the right technology at your firm. The speed of external changes and access to data has seriously impacted the traditional mode of CPA firm operations, and responding to these new client expectations is the new way of doing business. How is your firm going to change your deliverables to meet these new demands? Are you ready to transform your firm into a forward-thinking practice that can handle 10x the number of clients on your current roster? During this presentation, you’ll get an up-close look at the power of automation for accounting firms with insights from Botkeeper For Dummies and then we’ll dive beyond the book into a deeper conversation on AI and the opportunities it is creating in the accounting industry. This pivotal presentation is for Accounting Professionals who are aiming to transform and evolve their practices with AI.

Speaker Bio:  

Byron Patrick, VP of Growth & Success.  Byron is known nationally as an industry thought leader and a multi-year recipient of the CPA Practice Advisor’s 40 under 40 awards. Byron has been actively involved on a national level with the American Institute of CPA’s, has earned the Certified Information Technology Professional credential in 2006, is currently a member of AICPA Council, PCPS Executive Committee, and was previously a member of the Information Management and Technology Assurance Executive Committee.

DAY 3 of 14 November 5, 2020
1 CREDIT 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Future-proof your practice (brought to you by Xero)

Solidify your status as your clients’ most valuable asset by becoming their most trusted advisor. In this session, we’ll discuss what advisory actually involves, and how you can leverage the technology of today (and tomorrow) to bring the most value to your clients.

Speaker Bios:

Tate Henshaw has always been obsessed with problem-solving. It led him to major in mathematics at the University of Georgia, which led him to Polay+Clark and now co-founding Arc Management. Whether it’s helping design a proprietary royalty database, integrating a cloud-based merchandise fulfillment system for a Grammy-Winner, or running a Net Present Value calculation on a contract proposal for a NBA All-Star, he’s yet to come across a problem he can’t solve. He brings this love of efficiency to the cloud accounting landscape via custom-curated ecosystem’s for his clients. This results in additional free time for his passion in music and quality time with his wife and two young daughters.

Michael Soby is the Partner Account Manager for the Mid-Atlantic region at Xero.  Michael graduated from Wake Forest University with a degree in Economics and has been selling cloud software for 5+ years in Denver. He truly believes in the power of making data accessible from anywhere while remaining secure, and also believes this applies to financial data and reporting.  Outside of work, Michael enjoys skiing, golfing, and cycling.  He is extremely excited to be working with Xero Partners and MACPA members to modernize their accounting practice and technology!

DAY 4 of 14 November 10, 2020
1 CREDIT 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
TBD (brought to you by AON)
DAY 5 of 14 November 12, 2020
1 CREDIT 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Shift Your Focus: Reimagine & Reinvent Wellness in a Remote Work Environment (brought to you by SIG)

Liz Entin, Director of Health Strategies & Solutions at SIG, discusses opportunities for companies and leaders to continue to thrive in a remote environment, making small shifts in focus that can lead to a more productive and connected workforce post-COVID. Liz shares ways to stay connected with your workforce, the effects of remote work on mental health, offers tips for skillful communication and discusses how burnout is increasing in many industries today. Key takeaways of this presentation include ways to show recognition to employees, the importance of empathy in uncertain times, wellness solutions for a virtual workplace, and lastly, how to focus on resiliency to accelerate in a post-COVID world.

Speaker bio:

Liz Entin is the Director of Health Strategies & Solutions at SIG, An Alera Group Company. Liz assists clients in creating meaningful and sustainable wellness solutions for their employees, identifying cost savings potential through wellness strategies, and analyzing population health data. Liz has experience in employee wellness program creation, implementation and management, public health, and reporting & evaluation. She is a Registered & Licensed Dietitian, and started her career providing medical nutrition therapy in both in-patient and out-patient settings. Liz holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutritional Sciences from Penn State University and a Master of Public Health degree from Tulane University. Liz sits on the board for the Maryland Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (MAND) as the Council on Professional Issues Chair. She also holds her Maryland state Life & Health insurance license. Liz lives in Locust Point, Baltimore, MD with her husband, Brian.

DAY 6 of 14 November 17, 2020
1 CREDIT 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
TBD (brought to you by CPACharge)
DAY 7 of 14 November 19, 2020
1 CREDIT 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
TBD (brought to you by MindBridge)
DAY 8 of 14 December 1, 2020
1 CREDIT 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Re-imagine the Future: Adopting Workflow Technologies to Move from Essential to Indispensable (brought to you by XCM)
With the changing professional landscape, there are both challenges and opportunities for firms to fuel the success of their clients and themselves as forward-looking service providers. As the environment continues to change, the relationship between clients and professionals is evolving and becoming even more important to identify trends and monitor business performance to help ensure a thriving and healthy business – for clients and firms.
By attending this session, you will be able to:
  • Identify the environmental factors driving significant change in the tax and accounting profession.
  • Drive more effective results for your firm and your clients by leaning into trends and approaches from leading firms.
  • Leverage the right technology for your firm to drive automation, effective client collaboration, and overall firm management.

Speaker Bio:

Mark McAndrew has focused his professional career working within the accounting profession, having worked both within CPA firm environments and as a CPA firm service provider. Certified in project management and lean six sigma, Mark works closely with his clients to deliver game-changing transformation in business process management, outsourcing, and workflow process design. 

As the Vice President of Consulting Services at XCM, Mark applies his deep knowledge of data analytics to offer XCM users a personalized, data-driven roadmap enabling them to operate on the leading edge of productivity, client service, and optimal value creation. 

Mark is an authoritative source in providing data to the AICPA’s PCPS group and has authored several whitepapers for the AICPA’s PCPS group that bring practical workflow software selection and deployment insight to the broader CPA market.

DAY 9 of 14 December 2, 2020
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
How Finance Leaders Must Pivot from Reactive to Proactive Planning (brought to you by Prophix)

At the very beginning of 2020, finance executives were far more likely to rely on stock market indices than readings from Internet-connected thermometers to inform their forecasts. Since then, companies have contended with challenges they have not previously encountered, so traditional approaches to planning and forecasting are no longer sufficient.

We are approaching the end of 2020 with no certainty around how long the economic environment will remain stressed and finance leaders must work to build plans to sustain the business.

We will discuss best practices around liquidity management during this webinar and the need to plan for multiple economic scenarios to see your business through the next 12-18 months.  Also, hear how organizations can utilize Corporate Performance Management (CPM) software to quickly and efficiently facilitate “what-if” planning to sustain their businesses through these trying times.

Learning Objectives:

  1. How to address immediate liquidity needs and beyond.
  2. How to determine what scenarios to prepare for.
  3. Understand what kinds of information finance leaders require from other departments within their companies, as well as from external sources, to model scenarios.
  4. How finance leaders can apply the latest technological advances to develop, disseminate, and refine plans enables their companies to persist and adapt amid uncertainty.

Wayne’s Bio:

For more than 25 years, Wayne has been helping organizations solve their product and business growth challenges. Described as an innovative marketer and results-driven business development specialist, Wayne has measurable success spanning multiple industries and channels with a proven track record for increasing awareness, driving engagement, and revenue creation.

DAY 10 of 14 December 3, 2020
1 CREDIT 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
The Distributed, More “Connected,” and Digital A&A Practice (brought to you by

CPA firm and client organizations are becoming more digital and connected, whether it is to data, tools, people or even experiences. While a fully digital, dynamic audit solution has not yet arrived, there are digital on-ramps for audit and other financial statement services being adopted today that help support a forward-thinking, digital culture and process for your firm. This session discusses and demonstrates how a solid technology foundation around your audit and assurance service line helps create a positive, productive work environment for you and your clients regardless of physical location.

Speaker Bio:

Brian Siet, CPA, has extensive experience in sales management, strategic marketing, channel relationship management, and consultation for firms within the tax and accounting profession. Brian is a frequent contributor at National Conferences and online platforms in North America through thought leadership speaking engagements around transformation, automation and workflow. ​Brian joined in February 2019 as Associate Director, Alliance Management with a primary focus on building long-term value for the organization by providing strategic guidance to the company’s alliance portfolio. In addition, Brian will also be facilitating the Digital Client Advisory Services Roadmap Workshops. Brian has a Bachelor of Science Degree Cum Laude in Business Administration concentration Accounting Administration from Northeastern University in Boston, MA.


DAY 11 of 14 December 7, 2020
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
TBD (brought to you by Engineered Tax Services
DAY 12 of 14 December 8, 2020
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Client Collaboration: Automate Every Touch Point in the Tax Engagement (brought to you by SafeSend)

Your clients’ lives have never been more stressed. Firms not deploying solutions that smooth out complex processes via modern technology may frustrate and confuse their clients and impact their relationships. As more of your clients work-from-home and require remote services, the need to offer a high end online experience for clients to differentiate your firm and add value to your services, is critical. This webinar will explore how automation is transforming the tax engagement to support remote client relationships and enable collaboration.

From the engagement letter and organizers to collecting e-signatures and invoicing, client touch points in the tax engagement include tedious tasks that are far too time consuming. Time is money – and in today’s chaotic environment, your firm cannot afford to be inefficient. Automation is transforming the tax engagement life cycle! Now you can automate remote client interactions of tax returns, engagement letters, organizers, K-1s, e-signatures and invoicing to collect payment. Client expectations today revolve around convenience, collaboration, safety, and experience. Learn about the SafeSend Returns Suite and how a secure, intuitive, and guided online tax return delivery experience for clients, including 8879 e-signatures, can elevate your firm’s brand image and fortify your relationship.

Speaker Bio:

Andrew Hatfield, CRO, oversees sales and strategic partnerships at SafeSend. He is a recognized industry speaker and enthusiast for emerging technologies that impact tax and accounting firms. For nearly two decades, Andrew has lent his expertise to help create innovative software solutions – each providing exponential efficiency gains for the tax and accounting profession. Andrew is a past 40 Under 40 honoree in the tax and accounting space and an important contributor to the development of SafeSend Returns®️, a multi-year winner of the CPA Practice Advisor’s Technology Innovation Award. He is a technology industry veteran with extensive experience in solving challenges for public accounting firms.


Part of the 2020 Accounting Ecosystem Webcast Series and the CPA Innovation Summit Experience.

DAY 13 of 14 December 10, 2020
1 CREDIT 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
The New Survival Kit: AI is Your First Aid (brought to you by

The accounting industry is on track to change more in the next 12 months than in the previous 12 years due to COVID-19, with accounting firms accelerating their digital transformation strategies at a rapid pace. Technologies like automation and AI, once considered “nice to haves” are now a necessary part of a firm’s survival toolkit.

Join’s webinar to learn how to incorporate AI-powered automation into your outsourced accounting strategy so your firm can compete and grow in an evolving world.

Speaker Bios:

David Bergstein, CPA, CITP, CGMA is the Chief Innovation Officer at Bergstein CPA. He has also held high-level positions at the Top 3 accounting software providers. Accounting Today listed him as one of their Top 100 Most Influential People twice. He is the Chair of the FICPA’s Technical Committee and is an adjunct professor of accounting at Valencia College in Orlando Florida.

Mike Sapperstein, CPA, CGMA, MSA is a Manager at Rosen, Sapperstein & Friedlander and heads up the firm’s Client Accounting & Advisory Services Department. He specializes in construction among many other industries and has a focus on operational efficiency, strategic planning and growth strategies.

Todd Robinson is Head of Strategic Accounts at and has over 16 years of experience in the accounting industry and accounting technology. Todd empowers accounting firms to pioneer AI and machine learning in this new era of Intelligent Accounting.

Alexandra August is Director of Business Development at She is a CPA and before joining she was responsible for digital transformation and cloud technology migrations at EY and PricewaterhouseCoopers.



DAY 14 of 14 December 15, 2020
3 CREDITS 9:30 am - 12:15 pm
CPA Innovation Summit: Moving from Essential to Indispensable

In a world shaken by a global pandemic, economic unrest and societal injustice, CPAs remain one of the only institutions the public can still believe in. CPAs play a pivotal role in the social and economic heartbeat of this nation and it’s, for this reason, imperative we develop anticipation, agility, and adaptability – the future-proof skills that will see you and your clients through the economic storm.

Simply put: it’s about being an indispensable resource in our roles to our organizations, clients, and our communities. This virtual event will equip you with tools and knowledge to hear from experts in the Accounting Ecosystem with the tools including cloud accounting systems, HR, risk management, AI automation (and more!) and leave with practical, action-oriented takeaways to start implementing right away.


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CPA Innovation Summit Experience

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