Beyond Small Business Accounting

Successful businesses frequently outgrow the accounting solutions they put in place. As organizations grow, the capabilities of higher-end accounting products can be beneficial in improving internal control, reporting, and organizational efficiency. 

In this session, you will learn key considerations associated with selecting and implementing a new accounting solution and how to ensure that you receive the necessary ROI on such a project. You will also learn about the feature sets available in many leading solutions and the benefits associated with implementing solutions that contain these features.  Attend this session to understand the options and implementation approaches of larger accounting solutions.

Learning Objectives
Upon completing this session, you should be able to:

  • Identify top larger business accounting solutions
  • Differentiate between solutions available
  • List key features available in larger business accounting products
  • Apply the knowledge gained to solve accounting needs

Creating an Incident Response Plan

It's probably not a matter of “if” you will get hacked; it is only a matter of “when.” Given that, do you know what steps to take when you have a breach? Once a breach occurs, you won't have time to create a plan; therefore, you likely won't take the right steps toward recovery. Creating an Incident Response Plan (IRP) before disaster strikes is a critical step toward ensuring that your organization can recover with minimal disruption. Join this session to learn how to build an IRP for your business.

Learning Objectives
Upon completing this session, you should be able to:

  • Identify threats that need an Incident Response Plan
  • Differentiate the most effective response methods
  • List the responses needed in your firm
  • Apply the knowledge to build your IR plan

Detecting & Preventing Computer Fraud

Fraud is alive and well! From large enterprises to small, family-held businesses, fraud continues to plague businesses, consuming approximately 5% of revenues, according to the latest surveys.

In this session, you will learn practical approaches for uncovering fraud using easy to implement procedures, including incorporating various techniques in Excel. Among the topics covered include: identifying areas of fraud risk in your organization; creating fraud analysis reports unavailable in your accounting application; using Excel to find duplicate payments, invoices, and bills; performing analytical review using Excel calculations; and using Benford's Law to identify potentially fraudulent transactions.

Learning Objectives
Upon completing this session, you should be able to:

  • List examples of common schemes associated with frauds committed on computers
  • Identify preventive and detective internal control measures embedded in accounting software applications that can reduce fraud risk
  • Implement two statistical techniques available in the Analysis ToolPak for assessing the reasonableness of accounting data
  • Utilize Excel Tables and PivotTables to report and analyze data for potential instances of fraud
  • Use simple data queries and other data manipulation techniques in Excel to uncover common frauds
  • Explain the Benford distribution and how it is used as a fraud detection tool

Excel Data Models, Combinations, & Consolidations

Combining and linking data from multiple tables, sheets, and workbooks is a daily need for most accountants, yet many do not fully appreciate the breadth of Excel options available for accomplishing this task. In this session, you will learn about the full range of Excel data consolidation functionality, including simple sum-through formulas, auto-merging workbooks, consolidation PivotTables, and linking tables to create powerful Data Models. Simplify and streamline your data consolidation processes, improve your personal productivity, and reduce errors with the information contained in this feature-packed session.

Learning Objectives
Upon completing this session, you should be able to:

  • Differentiate between various formula-based approaches to consolidating data
  • Implement dummy end-point worksheets or columns to simplify the data consolidation process and reduce errors
  • Differentiate between using Data Consolidation by position and by category
  • Use consolidation PivotTables to combine data from multiple worksheets and/or multiple workbooks
  • Create a Data Model by linking multiple tables of data and then build powerful PivotTable analyses from the Data Model

Excel Guru – Tips to Make Your Head Spin

How much do you know about Excel and the features available in the application that could make a difference in your day-to-day productivity? While most accountants and other business professionals use less than 20% of the capabilities of this product, are you sure you are taking advantage of the features that are best for you? This session on Excel tips is sure to provide multiple ideas that you can use to get better results in less time.

Learning Objectives
Upon completing this session, you should be able to:

  • Identify key features of Excel
  • Differentiate between Excel functions to select the best fit for your purposes
  • List capabilities that have direct application to your business
  • Apply the knowledge gained to solve productivity needs

Excel Tips & Tools for Better Budgets & Forecasts

Excel is the de facto budgeting and forecasting tool for most professionals, yet many who use Excel for these tasks do not take advantage of the numerous built-in tools available.  Among other topics in this session, you will learn how to work with Excel features such as FORECAST, FORECAST.ETS, TREND, Forecast Sheets, XNPV, and XIRR. Additionally, you will learn better ways to manage what-if analysis using Scenario Manager, Solver, and the value of performing Monte Carlo simulations. In short, if you use Excel for budgeting and forecasting, you can’t afford to miss this session!

Learning Objectives
Upon completing this session, you should be able to:

  • List key budgeting and forecasting-centric features in Excel
  • Differentiate between Excel's capital budgeting functions
  • Utilize Scenario Manager to manage different sets of budget assumptions
  • Solve complex, multi-variable equations with Excel's Solver add-in
  • Create Monte Carlo simulations to model risk in budgets and forecasts

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

In larger organizations, the Information Technology team provides protection for computing environments. However, who handles this in your home or small business? Is it you, your significant other, your teenage child, a close friend? Or, has it even been addressed?

In this session, you will learn which personal and small business technology choices you can make to enhance security. With all of today’s threats and the lack of sophistication of products used in home and small businesses, are you setting yourself up for a failure? Attend this session to learn about the right personal security technologies for your home or small business.

Learning Objectives
Upon completing this session, you should be able to:

  • Identify technologies useful to improve home and small business security
  • Differentiate the quality of various solutions
  • List key providers of personal and small business technology solutions
  • Apply knowledge learned in this session to maximize your benefits while minimizing your risks

Hot Tech Tools, Apps & Services

Technology is changing at an incredible pace and new apps, services, and tools constantly emerge. These tools can have an incredible impact on our business and personal lives. This session identifies some of the latest tools, apps and services available and why you should consider utilizing them. The main topics of this session include the best useful products for business, major business productivity platforms, tools for automation, plugins for your Internet browser, today’s best mobile Apps, how to utilize virtual staff, and more. Attend this session and you will receive a bundle of new technology ideas to consider implementing.

Learning Objectives
Upon completing this session, you should be able to:

  • Identify which emerging technologies that will impact you in the coming year and learn how to incorporate the new developments into your existing workflows
  • Implement fantastic new apps, web-based resources, and services to gain efficiency in your personal life and organization
  • Recognize how to keep your Internet browsing experience secure, anonymous, and ad-free using tools such as Ad Block Plus and Ghostery
  • Identify opportunities for automation using artificial intelligence and process automation tools such as IFTTT
  • Exchange confidential and sensitive information with others, both inside and outside your organization
  • Identify how to acquire virtual staff and to use them to their maximum potential
  • Keep your computer's software up to date using Ninite and learn how to remove unwanted software using Revo uninstaller

Implementing DLP for Better Security & Privacy

Data Loss Prevention (DLP) is a means of creating and enforcing security policies in an organization. For example, with DLP, you can create rules that programmatically block all outbound email messages containing information such as Social Security or credit card numbers. Unfortunately, most business professionals have yet to discover DLP and how it improves security.

In this session, you will learn the fundamentals of DLP, and through demonstrations, see how you can use DLP to enhance organizational security. Don’t miss this chance to learn how to take advantage of one of the most innovative security options available to you!

Learning Objectives
Upon completing this session, you should be able to:

  • Define Data Loss Prevention and list examples of how it can enhance organizational security
  • List examples of tools and services available that support DLP
  • Identify the process for creating DLP rules in common tools, such as, Excel and Exchange Online

Introduction to Array Formulas

In a nutshell, array formulas allow users to make calculations in Excel that are not possible with ordinary formulas. This session introduces users to this advanced functionality with simple array formulas that perform useful day-to-day accounting calculations. Don't miss this opportunity to understand how array formulas can improve your productivity.

Learning Objectives
Upon completing this session, you should be able to:

  • Explain array formulas and how they differ from ordinary formulas
  • Identify an array formula from the Formula Bar
  • Compose array formulas from the keyboard
  • Describe common accounting situations where array formulas would be useful

Microsoft Word Tips & Tricks

Like most Microsoft Word users, you can get through the basics of creating a document and applying some formatting characteristics. But, do you use Word Styles or Quick Parts? Do you know how to generate a Table of Contents automatically from a document?  Can you insert Excel-like formulas into Word Tables? If your answer to any one of these questions is “no,” then don't miss this opportunity to improve your knowledge, skill, and productivity in using Microsoft Word.

Learning Objectives
Upon completing this session, you should be able to:

  • Identify key features for entering, editing, and formatting data, including Styles
  • Describe how to create and format Tables
  • Use the Navigation Pane to navigate or rearrange a document quickly and easily
  • Define Quick Parts and Building Blocks and how to use them effectively
  • Describe how to communicate better with charts, SmartArt, and screen shots

Password Management Tools – Why They are Necessary

Everyone knows that passwords are a critical first line of defense when attempting to secure computers and the information stored on them. Yet, most individuals struggle implementing “long-and-strong” passwords. To address this challenge, password management tools have emerged as a leading option for enhancing security.

In this session, you will learn how password management tools can help you to implement, update, and manage your passwords. You will also learn about features of leading password management tools and why these tools are necessary to improve security. If you are seeking to enhance security, this session is an absolute must!

Learning Objectives
Upon completing this session, you should be able to:

  • Identify why strong passwords are a critical element of virtually all systems of information technology controls
  • List the key characteristics of “long-and-strong” passwords
  • Differentiate between leading password management tools
  • Identify alternatives to passwords to improve authentication controls

Reporting Tools for Productivity

How many reports do you produce in Excel each month? How much time does this task take you and your team to accomplish? Is there a way to create and update these reports more quickly? Attend this session to learn about the productivity you can gain by using and leveraging tools like BizNet, Power BI, and more.

Learning Objectives
Upon completing this session, you should be able to:

  • Identify reporting features of Excel and other add-in tools
  • Differentiate between Excel reporting options
  • List reporting capabilities that can increase productivity
  • Apply the knowledge gained to solve reporting needs

Security Blocking & Tackling

Anti-virus, encryption, and spam filtering are fundamental protection techniques that all organizations should have deployed. However, with risks multiplying daily, are you using the right security technologies? Should you consider more protection capabilities? In this session, you will learn about today’s risks and the best techniques and tools to protect your information technology and the sensitive data in your organization.

Learning Objectives
Upon completing this session, you should be able to:

  • List the major security risks affecting businesses
  • Identify tools for security protection
  • Differentiate between various security tools
  • List the fundamental security tools needed to protect your firm
  • Apply the knowledge to improve security

Small Business Accounting

Small business accounting choices have been limited in the past, particularly where inventory and job-costing needs were strong. Many products and services have been introduced with these needed features including Zoho, Dynamics 365, AccountingSuite, Accounting Power, in addition to more well-known solutions such as QuickBooks and QuickBooks Online with extensions. Attend this session to learn about the various competitors and the best fit for your organization.

Learning Objectives
Upon completing this session, you should be able to:

  • Identify top small business accounting solutions
  • Differentiate between solutions available
  • List features needed in small business accounting products
  • Apply the knowledge gained to solve small business problems

Tech Update 2017

What has changed in technology that would benefit my organization? What does the future of technology hold? How can I take better advantage of tools I already own? What changes in hardware and software should I incorporate into my plans? How do I strengthen security in my organization? Get answers to these questions and gain insights on long-term strategic choices and short term technology tactics to maximize your ROI by participating in this ever-popular, foundation session.

Learning Objectives
Upon completing this session, you should be able to:

  • Identify key technologies to implement
  • Differentiate between “must have” and “nice to have” technology options
  • List evolving technologies with potential
  • Apply various tools to solve real-world business problems

The CPA Firm of NOW!

Forget the “CPA Firm of the Future,” it’s the “CPA Firm of NOW” that is of immediate concern! And given that, what technologies should the CPA Firm of NOW embrace to address issues such as improving client satisfaction, attracting and retaining staff, and increasing profitability?

In this session, you will learn about technologies that can solve many of the problems facing today’s CPA firm. Technologies discussed in this session are workflow, practice management, document management, scan-and-populate, engagement planning and management, and tax notice responses. If you work in public accounting, you can’t afford to miss this eye-opening session!

Learning Objectives
Upon completing this session, you should be able to:

  • Identify leading solutions to address critical issues in CPA firms
  • Apply an ROI-based approach to choose which solutions you should select for your firm
  • Create a business plan for implementing specific technologies in your firm
  • Implement needs-based training to ensure that your team takes full advantage of the technology provided

What’s New with Microsoft Office 365, Zoho Docs, & G Suite by Google Cloud

Business productivity software is a cornerstone of an organization's software investment. This session looks at three major business productivity platforms, Office 365, Zoho Docs, and G Suite. We examine these platforms and their popular applications, services, mobile apps, and backend functionalities. This review will help you determine when to use each platform, the most effective use cases, as well as the strengths and weaknesses therein. As a participant, you will leave with a strong understand of the product offerings and be able to conclude which platform is right for your organization.

Learning Objectives
Upon completing this session, you should be able to:

  • Identify the popular applications, services, mobile apps, and backend functionalities of Microsoft Office 365, Zoho Docs, and G Suite and how they work inside an organization
  • Identify the back-office functionalities provided, their merits, necessities, and compelling features of each solution covered
  • Analyze the differences, opportunities, and drawbacks of a user experience delivered via the Cloud versus software installed on the computer
  • Create an action plan to move your organization to one of the solutions covered
  • Outline and list the financial costs and organizational requirements for utilizing Microsoft Office 365, Zoho Docs, and G Suite

Working Effectively from Anywhere

The Internet and mobile technologies have revolutionized the way businesses operate. We're no longer constrained by having to operate in a specific location or during specific business hours. Organizations can, now, effectively communicate and do business with customers and staff based anywhere in the world. One of the most important aspects of this changing workplace is the virtual office, which allows a user to work anywhere in the world.

This session is an in-depth look at how an organization can improve collaboration, communication, and operations by implementing virtual office technology. We'll look at solutions to simplify and streamline communications, business process management, going paperless, and more. We'll also cover the benefits and risks of implementing a virtual workplace and discuss innovative technologies to revolutionize your organization.

Learning Objectives
Upon completing this session, you should be able to:

  • Identify the characteristics of the virtual office and describe how the different components work independently and together
  • Determine what technology should be implemented into your organization to build your own virtual office
  • Compare various virtual collaboration tools and determine which tools would be a good fit for your organization
  • Identify and utilize new apps, websites, and services to gain efficiency in your personal life and better meet organizational needs
  • Contrast the benefits and drawbacks of the virtual office and telecommuting;
  • Identify how to implement a unified communications platform using G Suite by Google Cloud, Office 365, or Zoho