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Keep Your Edge With K2 Technology Conferences

2017 Conference Session Descriptions

 

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

 

2015 Conference Session Descriptions

 

Advanced Excel Tips for the Busy Professional

Beyond simple techniques, in this session you will learn valuable tips for putting Excel to work for you to solve complex issues, including those surrounding analyzing and reporting on Excel data. Examples of topics covered include creating dynamic and interactive footnotes in Excel using EOMONTH to assist in summarizing date-oriented data, taking advantage of apps available from the Office Store, and using Solver to address complex, multi-variable problems in Excel. Join us for this one-of-a-kind presentation to help you extend Excel’s usefulness in your organization.

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

  • Identify Excel techniques to find specific data points more quickly
  • Implement Excel features to summarize data more efficiently
  • Communicate more effectively with Excel-based reports and graphics

Backups – Critical to Every Organization

As long as you have your data, you can recover from business interruptions and disasters. However, are you sure you have all of your data properly backed up? Participate in this session to learn the best ways to backup your data, including using the Cloud, backup appliances, and other techniques. Think about it: can you really afford to take chances with your data?

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

  • Identify areas of critical weakness or threats in their backup and recovery systems
  • List all critical and non-critical applications and establish their order of recovery
  • Differentiate between traditional back solutions and Cloud-based solutions based on their features and benefits
  • List key criteria used when selecting a Cloud-based backup solution

Best Tools for Collaboration

Perhaps no technology topic receives more attention today than that of “collaboration,” and for good reason – countless tools exist to facilitate collaboration among multiple parties, including those external to your organization. In this session, you will learn about collaboration tools available from technology leaders, including Google, Microsoft, and Citrix, and how these tools can help you and your team work more efficiently and effectively, regardless of the distance between team members. You will also learn how you can share documents so that each collaborator can access and edit information in real time, without creating multiple copies of the same file.

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

  • List collaboration tools available from leading technology providers
  • Differentiate among the tools based on key features, including pricing
  • Identify how to use each collaboration tool to generate the desired results
  • Utilize collaboration tools to communicate with others, both inside and outside of your organization

Beyond Entry-Level Accounting, Reporting, and Analytics

For organizations that are beyond small business accounting software, the choices are seemingly endless. Innovations in on-premise deployments, coupled with a growing list of Cloud-based options change how you should select and deploy your accounting, reporting, and analytics solutions. If you are curious about your accounting, reporting, and analytics options, join us in this session to discover the products and services that represent the best fit for you, your organization, or your clients.

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

  • Identify accounting, reporting, and analytics solutions that are suitable for your organization or for a client
  • List relative strengths and weaknesses of Cloud-based and on-premise accounting, reporting, and analytics solutions
  • Differentiate between accounting, reporting, and analytics solutions designed for mid-sized and larger organizations

Data Security – Need We Say More?

With so many data breaches and targeted attacks, you should be concerned about the security of your data, and the rapidly-growing volume of data you store likely only increases your concerns. In this session, you will learn about some of the recent high profile attacks and how these crimes occurred. More importantly, you will learn about critical security concepts and techniques that will help you minimize the risks of similar attacks affecting you and your organization. In addition, you will learn about the relative strengths and weaknesses of data security in the Cloud, compared to on-premise solutions and storage. If you are concerned about data security – and who isn’t – the information you will learn in this session will help you to address your data security concerns.

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

  • Describe details about recent high profile data breaches
  • List prominent methods used by hackers to commit the breaches
  • Compare and contrast Cloud-based data storage to on-premise data storage based on relative strengths and weaknesses
  • Identify methods for adding security in order to protect electronic content

Dueling Excel Tips

Two instructors, two computers, two viewpoints on Excel! In this session, you will learn countless Excel tips from two instructors, each offering their own perspective on Excel. Beyond simple techniques, you will learn valuable tips for putting Excel to work for you to solve complex issues, including those surrounding analyzing and reporting on Excel data. Join us for this one-of-a-kind presentation to help you extend Excel’s usefulness in your organization.

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

  • Identify Excel techniques to find specific data points more quickly
  • Implement Excel features to summarize data more efficiently
  • Communicate more effectively with Excel-based reports and graphics

Everything iOS

Do you have an iPhone or an iPad? If so, your device runs Apple’s iOS as its operating system. Regardless of which release of iOS you have, many business-oriented features of the operating system remain overlooked and underutilized. Join us for “Everything iOS” to learn about all of the practical ways you can put iOS to work, how you can secure your iOS-powered device, and how you can overcome some of the issues related to using iOS in a Windows-dominated world. This is a must session for any iOS user.

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

  • Describe key iOS features, including security settings
  • List three ways to transfer data on an iOS device
  • Create and share Microsoft Office documents on iOS-powered devices
  • Use productivity apps designed for business professionals

Five Common Sense Steps to Secure Your PC

Security is paramount to success in today’s world, yet most users do very little to take advantage of common sense approaches to securing their PCs. In this session, you will learn how to implement five simple, yet proven steps that will dramatically reduce the risk of data on your computer becoming compromised. Regardless of experience, all participants will be able to implement the tools discussed and demonstrated in this session. Don’t miss this chance to stop hackers in their tracks!

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

  • List the most common risks associated with PCs today
  • Differentiate between various tools and techniques already available in Windows to reduce risk
  • Implement five key features designed to minimize the risk associated with operating a PC

How to Prevent & Detect Spreadsheet Errors

Most who study the topic estimate that approximately 90% of spreadsheets have errors in them! In this session, you will learn how to take advantage of key features available with all editions of Excel to prevent spreadsheet errors. You will also learn how to incorporate tools that became available in Excel 2013 and several add-ins for Excel that can help you to detect errors in your own spreadsheets or in those of your clients. If you are concerned about the accuracy of the results generated by Excel, this session is “must-see CPE!”

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

  • List the five principles of good spreadsheet design
  • Calculate values in Excel without building formulas to do so
  • Identify “at risk” formulas in spreadsheets and correct their syntax to avoid risk
  • Utilize Excel’s Inquire feature to manage the process of auditing spreadsheet and documenting your work
  • List various add-ins for Excel that can help to improve accuracy

The Internet of Things

We live and work in an Internet-connected world and, increasingly, various Internet-connected devices are appearing to help us solve countless problems. Collectively, these devices constitute “The Internet of Things (IoT).” In this session, you will learn about IoT along with how to deploy plan for connectivity, privacy, security, and management. Additionally, you will learn numerous apps and services that can assist you with specific tasks, without requiring additional hardware.

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

  • Define the term “Internet of Things”
  • Identify the impact of Internet connectivity and IoT on our business and personal lives
  • List examples of IoT devices that you can implement immediately
  • Illustrate the future of IoT and what it means to business professionals

Leading Solutions for CPA Firms

More than ever, technology is a differentiator for CPA firms. Progressive firms that deploy leading-edge and proven solutions and complement these deployments with investments in team member training are far more successful than those who continue to place bandages on outdated technologies. In this session, you will learn about leading solutions available from all of the major publishers for the public accounting market and how these solutions can increase efficiency, client satisfaction, and profitability in your firm.

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

  • List significant new enhancements in CPA firm-centric technologies and how these enhancements can increase productivity
  • Differentiate between various solutions based on feature set, target market, and price
  • Identify emerging technologies such as workflow and collaborative accounting and how these tools can benefit a public accounting firm and its’ clients

Payment Technologies

Though you may not be aware of it, movements are underway to dramatically change how companies of all sizes receive payments from customers and make payments to vendors. One in particular – the EMV initiative – affects every business in the US that accepts credit card payments and will take effect on October 1; businesses that fail to act before the deadline will face enormous risks associated with accepting credit card payments. Other movements focus on alternative payment streams, including PayPal and even Bitcoin. Participate in this session and learn how emerging payment technologies can affect your cash flow and risk.

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

  • Identify the key requirements of the EMV initiative for businesses and consumers
  • Differentiate between various credit card options, including accepting credit cards on mobile devices
  • Recognize how tools such as PayPal and Bitcoin might impact payment streams in the future

Personal Technologies

New and exciting technologies appear every year. Though a large portion of these target business users, some are better suited for personal use. New audio and video devices, home security tools, electronic convenience gadgets, and internet-based finance and personal organization tools are among the personal technologies you will learn about in this session. If you are interested in how to use personal technologies to help you manage an increasingly busy lifestyle, then join us for this session, which will surely have a positive impact on you.

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

  • Identify personal technologies that can solve specific issues for yourself or for clients
  • List major and emerging trends in personal technologies
  • Discuss existing products that have been updated and improved

Remote Access Best Practices

Team members want to be able to work from anywhere, anytime on any device. This is one of the marketing messages of public cloud hosting providers. Internal networks can provide the same style of remote access by using Citrix, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, or Remote Desktop Services. In this session, you will learn the techniques that will give your users the best experience using what you currently have, and what you should consider for your future upgrades.

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

  • List key considerations when configuring Citrix, VDI or RDS
  • Implement procedures to secure mobile devices
  • Secure your network edge from potential threats associated with remote access

Revolutionizing Small Business Accounting

A revolution is taking place in small business accounting. While traditional desktop products such as QuickBooks and Sage 50/Peachtree continue to hold the lion’s share of the market, newer solutions are gaining traction and changing how small businesses – and their accountants – record and report transactions. Many of these solutions are Cloud-based, some focus on niche markets, and a few provide functionality such as workflow that has been difficult for smaller organizations to obtain in the past. Join us in this session for a fast-paced and highly informative discussion on how the new breed of accounting solutions will change accounting for small businesses.

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

  • List major enhancements to traditional desktop accounting software for small businesses
  • Define “collaborative accounting,” how it changes accounting procedures and processes, and how it potentially improves efficiency and accuracy
  • Differentiate between leading Cloud-based solutions for small businesses, including QuickBooks Online, Wave Apps, Xero, FreshBooks, Kashoo, and Bill.com based on feature set and target markets

Risks and Rewards of Hosted, On-Premise, and Hybrid Solutions

Great hype surrounds the Cloud and Cloud implementations. Yet, you wonder is the Cloud right for your organization? What are the pros and cons of this approach? What are the benefits of remaining with an on-premise solution? Perhaps mixing the Cloud and some on-premise technologies to create a hybrid solution is the optimal approach for you. Attend this session to understand your options, costs, risks, and rewards, and how to implement and manage the solution best for you and your team.

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

  • List major Cloud technologies that can work for your organization
  • Recognize opportunities created by Cloud, on-premise, and hybrid solutions
  • Define your needs and what solutions are available to meet these needs based on what is available from technology vendors

Self Service Business Intelligence With Power BI

With Microsoft’s Power BI tools, “Business Intelligence” (BI) is moving mainstream and you can and should learn how to build powerful BI reports to help you and others gain meaningful insights into your data. Building upon the strengths of PivotTables and Data Models, Power BI tools such as Power Pivot, Power View, Power Map, Power Query, Power Sites, and Power Q & A provide self-service business intelligence options to the masses. Join us in this session for a fascinating look at how you can incorporate these tools into your reporting repertoire.

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

  • List the Power BI components and describe the primary usage scenario for each
  • Create Data Models from multiple data sources and “feed” the Power BI tools information from these Data Models
  • Develop visualizations in Power BI to help all information consumers understand the real meaning of the data

Tech Update 2015

Technology can help or hurt your organization. Hardware and software businesses are in upheaval. Examples include the “New Microsoft” and the influence the new CEO and board will have on the future company direction, cloud strategies by major publishers, and the divestitures taking place with companies like HP. Don’t you want to know the best solutions for you? Understand the impact of the rocky road or smooth path of Cloud migration, backup and managed service options, the support of mobile strategies, and the Internet of Things. This technology roadmap session will guide you on a safe path to be an early adopter while helping you to avoid mistakes.

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

  • List key solutions applicable to your organization
  • Describe key technologies to use or avoid
  • Discuss the impact of cloud and mobile
  • Define “The Internet of Things” and discuss its relevance

Technology Policies to Protect Your Organization

With so many internal and external threats to your organization, complicated by the mixture of Cloud, on-premise, and hybrid solutions, the complexity of protecting your data is increasing. More than ever, your policies and internal control procedures can help you protect your sensitive and confidential data. In this session, you will learn about critical policies that you need to have in place, including acceptable use policies, encryption policies, and mobile device management policies. You will also receive samples of recommended policies, along with guidance for implementing them, and the potential impact of inaction. One idea or recommended action learned in this session could prevent a catastrophic loss in your firm.

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

  • List the major risk factors that lead to policy needs
  • Define cyber insurance and identify the need for cyber insurance policies
  • Describe the categories where policies are needed for your firm

Top Ten Technology Articles You Should Have Read

K2 Enterprises team members are often asked how they keep up with the rapid and never-ending changes in the world of business technology.  The answer is simple – hard work and lots of reading and research.  In this session we share what we think are the best of the best with respect to articles about technology changes, trends, and significant advances.  The list of articles are chosen are a consensus of the K2 team and represent what we think are the best of the best with respect to explaining practical new technologies and technology trends.    

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

  • Identify the top three technologies that experts believe have the potential for significant impact on enterprises in the next three years
  • Differentiate between the general perception the accounting community has about the security of Cloud computing and the reality of the security of Cloud computing
  • Identify employee evaluation techniques that represent the best of recent research and trends

Using Tables, PivotTables, and Queries to Automate Reporting

Many accounting reports start out as lists of information.  Users push this data into Excel from a general ledger, ERP, or some other database.  Then they transform the data into reports by inserting and deleting rows and columns and adding calculations. This approach takes lots of time and is highly prone to errors.  Using the database features of the Excel’s Table feature, you can streamline this process and at the same time significantly reduce the risk of errors.  Combine these new capabilities with live data queries and Excel reporting can be faster and easier than you ever imagined.   Attend this session to find out how create better Excel reports with less time and effort.

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

  • Identify the two key features of Excel Tables that can be used to streamline reporting
  • Describe how the =SUMIFS( ) function can be used with Excel Tables to create accounting reports
  • Differentiate between “push” and “pull” techniques for importing data into Excel

Welcome to the New World of Microsoft

In quiet and not-so-quiet ways, Microsoft has changed. Previously considered to be a software company, Microsoft now sells hardware, software, and subscription-based and Cloud-based services. With the Surface and Surface Pro and the acquisition of Nokia’s phone business, Microsoft is making waves with tablets and mobile phones. In the traditional software market, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Dynamics solutions, the venerable Windows operating system, Windows Server, and many other titles remain available, but licensing options have changed. In the Cloud, tools such as Azure, OneDrive, and OneDrive for Business continue to gain traction. In this session, you will learn about many of the tools and services available from Microsoft, how they can increase productivity, enhance security, and provide greater access to mission-critical information. You will also learn strategies for managing licensing costs and how to deploy Microsoft hardware and software most effectively.

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

  • Identify key new Microsoft tools available for businesses and individuals
  • Distinguish between various Microsoft Office 365 offerings including approximate subscription costs and included components
  • List three benefits of using Microsoft operating systems on all computing devices (phones, tablets, Ultrabooks, laptops, desktops)
  • Compare and contrast various licensing options for Microsoft software
  • Differentiate Microsoft offerings to competitor tools and identify strengths and weaknesses

Windows 10 – You’re Going to Love It!

Based on initial reviews and our tests of Windows 10, most users are going to love Microsoft's new operating system. Built on the innovative foundation of Windows 8 (outstanding performance, heightened security, and cloud integration), Windows 10 returns the tried-and-true Start Menu, introduces Universal apps that interact with the Desktop and the Taskbar, and incorporates a boot process that bypasses the Start Screen on PCs without touch capability. Slick new features, such as a common notification area, virtual desktops known as Task Views (think multiple monitor functionality on a single monitor), mobile device management, and data protection push the innovation envelope in Windows 10. Attend this session to see what all the excitement is about.

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

  • Identify ten new features of Windows 10 that will improve staff productivity and end-user experience
  • List advantages and disadvantages of adopting Windows 10
  • Use the improved user interface effectively in performing day-to-day business tasks
  • Summarize the problems likely to be encountered when upgrading a large number of PCs to a new operating system

 

 

2016 Conference Session Descriptions for Minnesota

 

A New Day, A New Technology Way

As technology continues to evolve, so too must our business practices. Failing to capitalize on new ways and techniques for completing tasks mean that we may be leaving tremendous amounts of productivity on the table. Further, not matching our business processes to today’s technologies can jeopardize the security of sensitive information. In both of these cases, the end result is that our organizations are not as competitive as they can and should be.

Don’t get left behind! Join us for this session to examine how you can take full advantage of today’s technologies to advance your business practices, processes, and workflows so that you and your team are working at peak efficiency.

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

  • Process routine transactions, such as expense reports and accounts payable invoices, more efficiently;
  • Take advantage of bank feeds to reduce data entry;
  • Improve accounts receivable collection periods;
  • Generate more accurate business forecasts;
  • Facilitate real-time communication and data sharing amongst team members; and
  • Provide dynamic, interactive financial and operational dashboards to those with a “need to know.”

Accounting Software Update

The world of accounting software has changed, radically, over the last five years. While Cloud offerings have held the spotlight in the recent past, the traditional software vendors have responded with hosted and hybrid Cloud offerings of their own. These new options give businesses of all sizes the ability to access data and collaborate from anywhere, with some providing near real time reporting of key performance indicators. Join us in this session to learn about available accounting, reporting, and analytics options for your organization and/or your clients.

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

  • Explain the differences between on premises, hosted, hybrid, and cloud-based application deployments;
  • Identify accounting solutions that are suitable for your organization’s business requirements; and
  • List relative strengths and weaknesses of leading accounting, reporting, and analytics solutions.

Adobe Acrobat DC - Big Changes for PDFs

With the introduction of Adobe Acrobat DC, Adobe changed the game on how we work with PDF documents. More than just “another new software version,” Acrobat DC offers a number of new outstanding productivity features that you will want to take advantage of including the ability to collect and send documents for e-signatures, fill and sign forms on mobile devices, and collaborate with other users through the Cloud. Features such as these, coupled with significant changes in licensing, means that Acrobat DC is a substantially different product than its predecessors. Join us in this session to learn how to take advantage of all that Acrobat DC has to offer.

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

  • Distinguish between Acrobat DC and its predecessors and between the Standard, Pro, and subscription-based offerings within the Acrobat DC family;
  • Utilize new features in Acrobat DC, including sending and tracking documents online and collecting e-signatures on PDFs;
  • Edit and markup PDFs using Acrobat DC’s re-designed user interface;
  • Collaborate on PDFs with others using Acrobat DC’s Cloud options; and
  • Manage and manipulate PDFs with Acrobat DC on mobile devices and tablets.

Best Technologies for Small Businesses

Small businesses face unique challenges when attempting to implement technology. Is the Cloud the right place to do business? What about licensing issues? Should I upgrade my hardware and software? How much is all of this going to cost? Each of these questions – and many more - has likely been asked countless times in small business environments regarding technology. In this session, you will get the answers you need to make better technology decisions for your small business. Join us in this session to gain a unique perspective on the best technologies for small businesses.

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

  • List key solutions applicable to your organization;
  • Recognize key technologies to use or avoid;
  • Identify the impact of Cloud and mobile technologies on small businesses; and
  • Define “The Internet of Things” and its relevance to small businesses.

Technology Solutions for a More Profitable and Productive CPA Firm

Would you like to work less while continuing to provide great client service, superior team member experiences, and the right partner profitability? Applying the right technology to the problems of your firm can accomplish all three of these objectives. In this session, learn about the new and best approaches in technology for CPA firms.

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

  • List client opportunities;
  • Identify services you can add to your firm;
  • List five items to improve in your firm; and
  • Implement at least one new idea learned in this session.

Reporting Reimagined: How to Create Stunning Dashboards with Power BI Desktop

Microsoft has created an alternative environment for creating user-interactive dashboards without Excel. The free Power BI Desktop application allows business professionals to create stunning dashboards using quick and easy drag-and-drop processes, similar to Power View, but without the need to invest in a premium-priced version of Microsoft Office. Power BI Desktop opens a new era in data analysis and reporting. Don't miss this opportunity to see this amazing new reporting tool in action.

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

  • List the advantages of working with Power BI Desktop and list the relevant limitations associated with using Power View to produce similar reports;
  • Identify how to acquire Power BI Desktop and a PowerBI.com subscription;
  • Differentiate between tables and data models and create and work with data models in Power BI Desktop;
  • List ways in which data can be displayed and presented on a Power BI report; and
  • Create Power BI reports that present information better than ordinary tabular reports.

Critical Tips for Avoiding Identity Theft

Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the United States, with approximately 10 million occurrences every year. On average, it will cost the victim several hundred dollars and dozens of hours to resolve. It can cause irrevocable damage to an organization's reputation and change public opinion. This session will examine the major causes, factors, and outcomes of identity theft and organizational security breaches.

Participants will be presented with current examples from a wide range of industries and attack types. This session will describe how to identify when theft occurs, what information is most at risk, where the stolen information is used, and best practices on how to prevent it from occurring.

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

  • List and classify potential threats in technology areas that leave organizations susceptible to privacy breaches, data theft, and distribution;
  • Contrast the potential benefits and risks of allowing internal staff to use their personal technology devices for organizational projects;
  • Build an action plan to safeguard personal and organizational data from potential threats;
  • Identify the threat factors and areas of risk based on industry profile; and
  • Implement data security best practices for personal and organizational information.

Excel's Top 15 All Time Hints and Tips

Take your Excel productivity and efficiency to a new level by learning about fifteen of Excel’s greatest features and functions. In this session, you will learn how to turbocharge your Excel workbooks with features such as Fuzzy Lookups and Inquire, along with tips for solving rounding issues and reducing spreadsheet errors. After you complete this session and implement the tips you learn in it, your Excel productivity will be at levels you may have never thought possible.

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

  • List multiple ways to select just what is seen in a range;
  • Implement the Fuzzy Lookup add-in;
  • Address rounding issues in your Excel workbooks;
  • Identify three ways to sum data other than the SUM function; and
  • Work more efficiently in Excel and reduce the opportunity for errors.

Fraud in the Cloud - New Risks in a New Environment

Cloud-based applications have changed the way we work, play, and access information.  The benefits and risks associated with software-as-a-service (SaaS) and hosted applications are very different than traditional on-premise information technology. 

Some traditional items used in an on-premises forensic investigation, like the transaction audit trail, user access logs, and computer access logs, are often difficult to obtain for Cloud solutions, and may even be unavailable by the time you or your client suspect a crime.  In this session, you will learn about some of the new risks associated with Cloud solutions as well as some techniques which can be used to limit these risks.

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

  • Define phishing and explain how it is used to gain access to systems and data;
  • Identify at least two of the data breaches covered in the materials and list at least one control which could have mitigated or prevented the data loss in the breach; and
  • List and explain at least three significant issues associated with a Cloud-based fraud investigation.

Get Organized with Evernote and OneNote

Evernote and OneNote are two of the best tools available for managing your daily activities and related data. Yet few business professionals take advantage of either of these tools and, consequently, items seem to “slip through the cracks.”

Participate in this session to learn how to take advantage of Evernote and OneNote to become better organized in your professional and personal lives. Beyond basic note-taking, you will learn how to link and embed other documents – even including audio and video files – into your notebooks and even how to use Evernote and OneNote in multi-user environments. If you are seeking to stay in control of the ever-rising volume of information to which you are entrusted, then this session is a must for you!

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

  • Identify the relative strengths and limitations of Evernote and OneNote;
  • Create and manipulate digital notebooks for managing business and personal information;
  • Link and embed other files and documents into your digital notebooks; and
  • Share your digital notebooks with other team members to facilitate collaboration.

Integrating Excel with Word and PowerPoint

Excel is the accountants' tool of choice for analyzing data, and their analyses often find their way into formal reports and presentations. Most accountants and business professionals use simple cut-and-paste processes or re-key their analyses to integrate them into Word and PowerPoint, but these Microsoft Office products offer a full range of options for integrating data among and between them. This session contains all of the tips, tricks, and techniques necessary to ease the process of integrating Excel with Word and PowerPoint.

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

  • Use linked or embedded Excel analysis to automate the process of updating documents or presentations;
  • List the five ways in which Excel data can be pasted into Word;
  • Identify the processes of linking or embedding multi-page Excel objects into Word;
  • Modify the Quick Access Toolbar to facilitate working with hyperlinked documents; and
  • Link data cells from Excel into Word text, such as in notes to financial statements.

 

Our Favorite Apps

Apps are the new way to solve many different business issues. How can you find appropriate apps? How should apps be integrated with legacy systems? Should you create your own apps? Can apps do as much as traditional systems? Attend this session to get a broad overview of useful apps.

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

  • Identify relevant new apps for today’s busy professionals;
  • Describe apps to watch and how to identify up-and-coming apps;
  • List apps that can improve your firm; and
  • Implement apps as a competitive strategy.

PivotTables: You Can Do it, We Can Help

PivotTables remain Excel’s most powerful feature, yet, many business professionals continue to avoid using them. In this session, you will learn why you should work with PivotTables and how you can create simple, yet powerful PivotTables with ease. And perhaps best of all, once you master fundamental PivotTables, you will set the stage for even greater productivity by continuing to leverage their usefulness!

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

  • Identify the six major components of PivotTables and why you should use PivotTables as one of your fundamental Excel tools;
  • Arrange source data so that you can build PivotTables with ease;
  • Group PivotTable data to provide meaningful summarizations; and
  • Add calculations to PivotTables to enhance their usefulness.

Profiting with Excel's Best New Features

Excel is a staple of the business professional’s toolbox, yet, all too often, new features remain undiscovered and underutilized, leading to inefficiencies and errors. In this session, you will learn about key new features added to Excel 2013 and Excel 2016 and how to put these features to work. Among the new tools you will learn about are Data Models, Flash Fill, and Enhanced Drill-Down and Around on PivotTables. You will also learn about six new charts added in Excel 2016 and how to use PowerPivot, Power Query, and Power View for business intelligence. Join us in this session to learn about the best new features recently added to Excel and how to put them to work for you and your team to increase productivity, accuracy, and profit.

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

  • Identify and implement three types of automated data analyses in Excel;
  • Use Flash Fill to split, combine, and rearrange data quickly and easily without using commands or complicated formulas;
  • Utilize Excel’s Data Model and identify their impact on PivotTable analysis;
  • Create Charts and PivotTables more quickly than ever; and
  • Obtain insights into data using business intelligence features in Excel.

QuickBooks Online - Advanced Features and Functions

With approximately 1.5 million small businesses now running QuickBooks Online (QBO), accounting professionals must recognize that Cloud-based accounting is here to stay and begin to understand some of the advanced features in QBO that can help small businesses succeed. In this session, you will learn about many of the advanced features available in QBO such as inventory management, audit trails, customized reports, importing and exporting data, bank feeds, and linking QBO data directly into Excel. If you are not using QBO to its fullest or, are a bit curious about the advanced features available in the service, then you should make plans to participate in this session to learn more about what QBO can do for small businesses.

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

  • Configure QBO to take advantage of advanced security features;
  • Manage inventory effectively, including choosing between costing options;
  • Import and export data to/from QBO;
  • Utilize bank feeds to streamline recording and reconciling transactions;
  • Create ODBC connections to link QBO data into Excel for reporting and analysis; and
  • Customize QBO-based reports and set-up automatic report distribution schedules.

Securing the Perimeter - A Management View

Security is, and should be, on everyone's radar. Whether you control security choices or not, you can raise your awareness and ask the right questions by attending this session. Understand the changes in firewalls, anti-virus, encryption and other tools so you can ask the right questions of your team or contractors. This session will also help you understand the risks you currently have and provide ideas on how to mitigate and minimize your exposure.

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

  • Assess the relevant security risks in your organization;
  • Identify specific tools and techniques to protect sensitive data;
  • List five methods to improve security; and
  • Implement security procedures to improve organizational security.

Your Next "Computer" May Be a Single Mobile Device

With ever-increasing power built into tablets, convertibles, and smartphones, do you really need a desktop or laptop computer anymore? If you could run all of your applications and services from a mobile device that is connected to a full-size monitor and keyboard, would this cause you to re-think future computer purchases? Across the spectrum of major mobile operating systems – Android, iOS, and Windows Mobile – it is becoming increasingly possible to operate exclusively from a single mobile device and, in this session, you will learn just how practical it may be for you to do precisely that. If you are trying to simplify your technology footprint, join us in this session to learn whether you really need, yet, another new computer.

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

  • Identify the necessary features in a mobile device so that it can serve as a computer replacement and distinguish between market-leading mobile devices;
  • Utilize Cloud-based data storage and synchronization tools when operating solely from a mobile device;
  • List and implement necessary security features and tools if operating exclusively from a mobile device; and
  • Implement potential solutions to common issues when using a mobile device in lieu of a computer.

Tech Update 2016

There is more new technology to consider this year than almost any other year in the last decade. Hardware and software businesses are changing quickly, the Cloud impacts business decisions, mobile strategies are becoming more clear, and the Internet of Things is a game-changer on all fronts. In this keynote session, you will learn how to create a technology roadmap that helps improve organizational efficiency and avoid pitfalls.

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

  • Identify fundamental and critical technology solutions;
  • Differentiate key technology categories;
  • List technology that can solve problems for you; and
  • Implement appropriate and current technologies using guidance from this session.

Windows 10 Tips and Tricks

You've made the move to Windows 10. The Start Menu has returned and its Cloud integration is obvious, but most everything else is unfamiliar. This session will help you setup and customize Windows 10 and improve its performance, security, and privacy. From navigation to setting default applications to configuring backup, this session provides the needed guidance. Plus, we will introduce you to virtual desktops, the digital assistant, the unified notifications area, and provide a detailed overview of the Settings area – where you can configure the core of Windows 10 settings. Don't miss this opportunity to jump start your transition to Windows 10.

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

  • Modify default settings that impact security, privacy, and performance;
  • Use the new interface effectively in performing day-to-day tasks;
  • Differentiate between File History and conventional backup methods;
  • Implement BitLocker whole disk encryption to reduce the risk of compromising client or customer data; and
  • Configure Task View (virtual desktops) and Cortana (your personal digital assistant) to ease your daily workload.

Workflow to Benefit You and Your Clients

Workflow provides an opportunity to improve your practice along with team member and client experience. Improvement in both manual and automated processes can minimize missed deadlines and due dates, improve scheduling of resources, and reduce the amount of effort required to complete engagements. This overview will list opportunities in your firm where workflow can make a difference in the amount of effort from your team to provide client deliverables. Learn how to develop your own customized workflows for your practice, and discover tools and techniques for implementation.

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

  • Identify opportunities to use workflow;
  • List key processes in your firm;
  • Implement improved workflow processes and technologies for improved productivity.

Microsoft Outlook - Organizing the Inbox

Microsoft Outlook is the most utilized business application in the world today, but for many users, dealing with Outlook is the most frustrating part of their day. This session is designed to help Outlook users better organize and manage their email communications. It contains coverage on how to reduce e-mail interruptions, triage the Inbox rapidly, find related messages quickly and easily, organize the Inbox with folders, categories, and rules, and use drag-and-drop to create new tasks and appointments. The information provided in this session will ease your frustration and improve your productivity in using Microsoft Outlook.

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

  • Identify related messages quickly and easily using Conversation View;
  • Create Quick Steps to automate routine, recurring processes;
  • Employ drag-and-drop to create new appointments, tasks, or contacts from email messages;
  • Use folders and categories to organize the Inbox ;
  • Apply rules to automate the process of filing email messages; and
  • Utilize AutoArchive to automate the process of cleaning the Inbox.

 

 

2016 Conference Session Descriptions

 

A New Day, A New Technology Way

As technology continues to evolve, so too must our business practices. Failing to capitalize on new ways and techniques for completing tasks mean that we may be leaving tremendous amounts of productivity on the table. Further, not matching our business processes to today’s technologies can jeopardize the security of sensitive information. In both of these cases, the end result is that our organizations are not as competitive as they can and should be.

Don’t get left behind! Join us for this session to examine how you can take full advantage of today’s technologies to advance your business practices, processes, and workflows so that you and your team are working at peak efficiency.

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

  • Process routine transactions, such as expense reports and accounts payable invoices, more efficiently;
  • Take advantage of bank feeds to reduce data entry;
  • Improve accounts receivable collection periods;
  • Generate more accurate business forecasts;
  • Facilitate real-time communication and data sharing amongst team members; and
  • Provide dynamic, interactive financial and operational dashboards to those with a “need to know.”

Accounting Software Update

The world of accounting software has changed, radically, over the last five years. While Cloud offerings have held the spotlight in the recent past, the traditional software vendors have responded with hosted and hybrid Cloud offerings of their own. These new options give businesses of all sizes the ability to access data and collaborate from anywhere, with some providing near real time reporting of key performance indicators. Join us in this session to learn about available accounting, reporting, and analytics options for your organization and/or your clients.

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

  • Explain the differences between on premises, hosted, hybrid, and cloud-based application deployments;
  • Identify accounting solutions that are suitable for your organization’s business requirements; and
  • List relative strengths and weaknesses of leading accounting, reporting, and analytics solutions.

Adobe Acrobat DC - Big Changes for PDFs

With the introduction of Adobe Acrobat DC, Adobe changed the game on how we work with PDF documents. More than just “another new software version,” Acrobat DC offers a number of new outstanding productivity features that you will want to take advantage of including the ability to collect and send documents for e-signatures, fill and sign forms on mobile devices, and collaborate with other users through the Cloud. Features such as these, coupled with significant changes in licensing, means that Acrobat DC is a substantially different product than its predecessors. Join us in this session to learn how to take advantage of all that Acrobat DC has to offer.

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

  • Distinguish between Acrobat DC and its predecessors and between the Standard, Pro, and subscription-based offerings within the Acrobat DC family;
  • Utilize new features in Acrobat DC, including sending and tracking documents online and collecting e-signatures on PDFs;
  • Edit and markup PDFs using Acrobat DC’s re-designed user interface;
  • Collaborate on PDFs with others using Acrobat DC’s Cloud options; and
  • Manage and manipulate PDFs with Acrobat DC on mobile devices and tablets.

Best Technologies for Small Businesses

Small businesses face unique challenges when attempting to implement technology. Is the Cloud the right place to do business? What about licensing issues? Should I upgrade my hardware and software? How much is all of this going to cost? Each of these questions – and many more - has likely been asked countless times in small business environments regarding technology. In this session, you will get the answers you need to make better technology decisions for your small business. Join us in this session to gain a unique perspective on the best technologies for small businesses.

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

  • List key solutions applicable to your organization;
  • Recognize key technologies to use or avoid;
  • Identify the impact of Cloud and mobile technologies on small businesses; and
  • Define “The Internet of Things” and its relevance to small businesses.

CPA Firm Technology Solutions

Would you like to work less while continuing to provide great client service, superior team member experiences, and the right partner profitability? Applying the right technology to the problems of your firm can accomplish all three of these objectives. In this session, learn about the new and best approaches in technology for CPA firms.

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

  • List client opportunities;
  • Identify services you can add to your firm;
  • List five items to improve in your firm; and
  • Implement at least one new idea learned in this session.

Create Stunning Dashboards with Power BI Desktop

Microsoft has created an alternative environment for creating user-interactive dashboards without Excel. The free Power BI Desktop application allows business professionals to create stunning dashboards using quick and easy drag-and-drop processes, similar to Power View, but without the need to invest in a premium-priced version of Microsoft Office. Power BI Desktop opens a new era in data analysis and reporting. Don't miss this opportunity to see this amazing new reporting tool in action.

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

  • List the advantages of working with Power BI Desktop and list the relevant limitations associated with using Power View to produce similar reports;
  • Identify how to acquire Power BI Desktop and a PowerBI.com subscription;
  • Differentiate between tables and data models and create and work with data models in Power BI Desktop;
  • List ways in which data can be displayed and presented on a Power BI report; and
  • Create Power BI reports that present information better than ordinary tabular reports.

Critical Tips for Avoiding Identity Theft

Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the United States, with approximately 10 million occurrences every year. On average, it will cost the victim several hundred dollars and dozens of hours to resolve. It can cause irrevocable damage to an organization's reputation and change public opinion. This session will examine the major causes, factors, and outcomes of identity theft and organizational security breaches.

Participants will be presented with current examples from a wide range of industries and attack types. This session will describe how to identify when theft occurs, what information is most at risk, where the stolen information is used, and best practices on how to prevent it from occurring.

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

  • List and classify potential threats in technology areas that leave organizations susceptible to privacy breaches, data theft, and distribution;
  • Contrast the potential benefits and risks of allowing internal staff to use their personal technology devices for organizational projects;
  • Build an action plan to safeguard personal and organizational data from potential threats;
  • Identify the threat factors and areas of risk based on industry profile; and
  • Implement data security best practices for personal and organizational information.

Excel's Top 15 All Time Hints and Tips

Take your Excel productivity and efficiency to a new level by learning about fifteen of Excel’s greatest features and functions. In this session, you will learn how to turbocharge your Excel workbooks with features such as Fuzzy Lookups and Inquire, along with tips for solving rounding issues and reducing spreadsheet errors. After you complete this session and implement the tips you learn in it, your Excel productivity will be at levels you may have never thought possible.

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

  • List multiple ways to select just what is seen in a range;
  • Implement the Fuzzy Lookup add-in;
  • Address rounding issues in your Excel workbooks;
  • Identify three ways to sum data other than the SUM function; and
  • Work more efficiently in Excel and reduce the opportunity for errors.

Fraud in the Cloud - New Risks in a New Environment

Cloud-based applications have changed the way we work, play, and access information.  The benefits and risks associated with software-as-a-service (SaaS) and hosted applications are very different than traditional on-premise information technology. 

Some traditional items used in an on-premises forensic investigation, like the transaction audit trail, user access logs, and computer access logs, are often difficult to obtain for Cloud solutions, and may even be unavailable by the time you or your client suspect a crime.  In this session, you will learn about some of the new risks associated with Cloud solutions as well as some techniques which can be used to limit these risks.

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

  • Define phishing and explain how it is used to gain access to systems and data;
  • Identify at least two of the data breaches covered in the materials and list at least one control which could have mitigated or prevented the data loss in the breach; and
  • List and explain at least three significant issues associated with a Cloud-based fraud investigation.

Get Organized with Evernote and OneNote

Evernote and OneNote are two of the best tools available for managing your daily activities and related data. Yet few business professionals take advantage of either of these tools and, consequently, items seem to “slip through the cracks.”

Participate in this session to learn how to take advantage of Evernote and OneNote to become better organized in your professional and personal lives. Beyond basic note-taking, you will learn how to link and embed other documents – even including audio and video files – into your notebooks and even how to use Evernote and OneNote in multi-user environments. If you are seeking to stay in control of the ever-rising volume of information to which you are entrusted, then this session is a must for you!

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

  • Identify the relative strengths and limitations of Evernote and OneNote;
  • Create and manipulate digital notebooks for managing business and personal information;
  • Link and embed other files and documents into your digital notebooks; and
  • Share your digital notebooks with other team members to facilitate collaboration.

Integrating Excel with Word and PowerPoint

Excel is the accountants' tool of choice for analyzing data, and their analyses often find their way into formal reports and presentations. Most accountants and business professionals use simple cut-and-paste processes or re-key their analyses to integrate them into Word and PowerPoint, but these Microsoft Office products offer a full range of options for integrating data among and between them. This session contains all of the tips, tricks, and techniques necessary to ease the process of integrating Excel with Word and PowerPoint.

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

  • Use linked or embedded Excel analysis to automate the process of updating documents or presentations;
  • List the five ways in which Excel data can be pasted into Word;
  • Identify the processes of linking or embedding multi-page Excel objects into Word;
  • Modify the Quick Access Toolbar to facilitate working with hyperlinked documents; and
  • Link data cells from Excel into Word text, such as in notes to financial statements.

 

Our Favorite Apps

Apps are the new way to solve many different business issues. How can you find appropriate apps? How should apps be integrated with legacy systems? Should you create your own apps? Can apps do as much as traditional systems? Attend this session to get a broad overview of useful apps.

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

  • Identify relevant new apps for today’s busy professionals;
  • Describe apps to watch and how to identify up-and-coming apps;
  • List apps that can improve your firm; and
  • Implement apps as a competitive strategy.

PivotTable Refresher

PivotTables remain Excel’s most powerful feature, yet, many business professionals continue to avoid using them. In this session, you will learn why you should work with PivotTables and how you can create simple, yet powerful PivotTables with ease. And perhaps best of all, once you master fundamental PivotTables, you will set the stage for even greater productivity by continuing to leverage their usefulness!

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

  • Identify the six major components of PivotTables and why you should use PivotTables as one of your fundamental Excel tools;
  • Arrange source data so that you can build PivotTables with ease;
  • Group PivotTable data to provide meaningful summarizations; and
  • Add calculations to PivotTables to enhance their usefulness.

Profiting with Excel's Best New Features

Excel is a staple of the business professional’s toolbox, yet, all too often, new features remain undiscovered and underutilized, leading to inefficiencies and errors. In this session, you will learn about key new features added to Excel 2013 and Excel 2016 and how to put these features to work. Among the new tools you will learn about are Data Models, Flash Fill, and Enhanced Drill-Down and Around on PivotTables. You will also learn about six new charts added in Excel 2016 and how to use PowerPivot, Power Query, and Power View for business intelligence. Join us in this session to learn about the best new features recently added to Excel and how to put them to work for you and your team to increase productivity, accuracy, and profit.

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

  • Identify and implement three types of automated data analyses in Excel;
  • Use Flash Fill to split, combine, and rearrange data quickly and easily without using commands or complicated formulas;
  • Utilize Excel’s Data Model and identify their impact on PivotTable analysis;
  • Create Charts and PivotTables more quickly than ever; and
  • Obtain insights into data using business intelligence features in Excel.

QuickBooks Online - Advanced Features and Functions

With approximately 1.5 million small businesses now running QuickBooks Online (QBO), accounting professionals must recognize that Cloud-based accounting is here to stay and begin to understand some of the advanced features in QBO that can help small businesses succeed. In this session, you will learn about many of the advanced features available in QBO such as inventory management, audit trails, customized reports, importing and exporting data, bank feeds, and linking QBO data directly into Excel. If you are not using QBO to its fullest or, are a bit curious about the advanced features available in the service, then you should make plans to participate in this session to learn more about what QBO can do for small businesses.

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

  • Configure QBO to take advantage of advanced security features;
  • Manage inventory effectively, including choosing between costing options;
  • Import and export data to/from QBO;
  • Utilize bank feeds to streamline recording and reconciling transactions;
  • Create ODBC connections to link QBO data into Excel for reporting and analysis; and
  • Customize QBO-based reports and set-up automatic report distribution schedules.

Securing the Perimeter - A Management View

Security is, and should be, on everyone's radar. Whether you control security choices or not, you can raise your awareness and ask the right questions by attending this session. Understand the changes in firewalls, anti-virus, encryption and other tools so you can ask the right questions of your team or contractors. This session will also help you understand the risks you currently have and provide ideas on how to mitigate and minimize your exposure.

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

  • Assess the relevant security risks in your organization;
  • Identify specific tools and techniques to protect sensitive data;
  • List five methods to improve security; and
  • Implement security procedures to improve organizational security.

Should Your Next Computer Even Be a Computer?

With ever-increasing power built into tablets, convertibles, and smartphones, do you really need a desktop or laptop computer anymore? If you could run all of your applications and services from a mobile device that is connected to a full-size monitor and keyboard, would this cause you to re-think future computer purchases? Across the spectrum of major mobile operating systems – Android, iOS, and Windows Mobile – it is becoming increasingly possible to operate exclusively from a single mobile device and, in this session, you will learn just how practical it may be for you to do precisely that. If you are trying to simplify your technology footprint, join us in this session to learn whether you really need, yet, another new computer.

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

  • Identify the necessary features in a mobile device so that it can serve as a computer replacement and distinguish between market-leading mobile devices;
  • Utilize Cloud-based data storage and synchronization tools when operating solely from a mobile device;
  • List and implement necessary security features and tools if operating exclusively from a mobile device; and
  • Implement potential solutions to common issues when using a mobile device in lieu of a computer.

Tech Update 2016

There is more new technology to consider this year than almost any other year in the last decade. Hardware and software businesses are changing quickly, the Cloud impacts business decisions, mobile strategies are becoming more clear, and the Internet of Things is a game-changer on all fronts. In this keynote session, you will learn how to create a technology roadmap that helps improve organizational efficiency and avoid pitfalls.

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

  • Identify fundamental and critical technology solutions;
  • Differentiate key technology categories;
  • List technology that can solve problems for you; and
  • Implement appropriate and current technologies using guidance from this session.

Windows 10 Tips and Tricks

You've made the move to Windows 10. The Start Menu has returned and its Cloud integration is obvious, but most everything else is unfamiliar. This session will help you setup and customize Windows 10 and improve its performance, security, and privacy. From navigation to setting default applications to configuring backup, this session provides the needed guidance. Plus, we will introduce you to virtual desktops, the digital assistant, the unified notifications area, and provide a detailed overview of the Settings area – where you can configure the core of Windows 10 settings. Don't miss this opportunity to jump start your transition to Windows 10.

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

  • Modify default settings that impact security, privacy, and performance;
  • Use the new interface effectively in performing day-to-day tasks;
  • Differentiate between File History and conventional backup methods;
  • Implement BitLocker whole disk encryption to reduce the risk of compromising client or customer data; and
  • Configure Task View (virtual desktops) and Cortana (your personal digital assistant) to ease your daily workload.

Workflow to Benefit You and Your Clients

Workflow provides an opportunity to improve your practice along with team member and client experience. Improvement in both manual and automated processes can minimize missed deadlines and due dates, improve scheduling of resources, and reduce the amount of effort required to complete engagements. This overview will list opportunities in your firm where workflow can make a difference in the amount of effort from your team to provide client deliverables. Learn how to develop your own customized workflows for your practice, and discover tools and techniques for implementation.

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

  • Identify opportunities to use workflow;
  • List key processes in your firm;
  • Implement improved workflow processes and technologies for improved productivity.

 

 

 

2013 Conference Session Descriptions

Backup, Business Continuity, And Disaster Recovery: Why All Three?

As long as we have our data, we can recover from business interruptions and disasters. However, are you sure you have all of your data properly backed up? Participate in this session to learn the best ways to backup your data, including over the web, with backup appliances, and other techniques. Additionally, in this session you will learn how to integrate your backup technology with your business continuity and disaster recovery plan. Can you really afford to take chances with your data?

Cloud Document Management 101

Managing documents in the Cloud is a new ballgame with new rules.  The objectives are the same: safe, reliable document storage with all information accurately indexed and easily accessible.  However, there are questions that we must answer before moving to the Cloud. What are the issues? What differentiates alternatives? What security questions should we ask? What are the applicable laws and regulations?  Get your answers to these questions and others, including long-term management issues, by participating in this session.

Collaborative Bookkeeping And Cloud Accounting Solutions

Many small businesses have replaced after-the-fact write up and bookkeeping software with real time Cloud-based solutions. These solutions automate much of the data entry by importing transactions from financial institutions, facilitate better teamwork between managers and accountants, reduce workload compression by spreading the work throughout the month, and provide timely reporting on an ongoing basis. Participate in this session to learn how you can revolutionize your accounting and reporting processes, regardless of whether you are in public accounting or industry.

CPA Firm Tech: Maximizing Partner Income

The list of technologies available to public accounting firms seems to stretch to infinity; mobile technologies, the Cloud, document management, collaborative bookkeeping, tax prep and research, audit and engagement binders are just some examples. Where does each of these – and others – fit into your firm and how can you use them to increase efficiency, productivity, and partner income? Participate in this session and learn to take advantage of today's most profitable technologies for public accounting firms.

Dashboard Reporting Tools And Techniques

Dashboard reporting of key performance indicators (KPIs) in real time is an unmet goal for many organizations.  Participants in this session will review sample dashboards, learn about key terminology for describing dashboards, and identify techniques for effectively communicating KPIs to all stakeholders.  Participants in this session will also learn how to develop strategies to accumulate data, create summary reports, and present and distribute data on Excel or Web-based dashboards.

Excel 2013: Best New Features

Microsoft has upped the ante with outstanding new features in Excel 2013, such as recommended PivotTables and charts, Power View, GeoFlow, PowerPivot, and advanced workbook auditing with Inquire. But that is not all! Instead of using VLOOKUP to relate data, users can relate Tables directly using Relationship, and they can now open each workbook in its own Window without losing the ability to copy and paste between other open workbooks. Participate in this session and learn how to put the power of Excel 2013 to work right away.

Excel Guru’s Toolbox

Beyond PivotTables, which many users consider Excel’s most powerful feature, Excel has many other great features and add-ins. In this session, you will examine the top Excel features and add-ins to make you more productive. Examples include Fuzzy Lookup, Analysis ToolPak, ActiveData, Conditional Formatting, Evaluate Formula, Custom Views, the Camera, Slicers, Sparklines, top hot keys, and much more. This is a must-see session if you want to improve your Excel skills.

Excel’s PowerPivot And Power View: A Dynamic Duo!

Two new Excel features – PowerPivot and Power View – provide unparalleled options for analyzing data and preparing interactive reports. With PowerPivot, you can make your PivotTables even more potent, while Power View offers visualization techniques to enhance the appearance of your reports. You will learn to put the power of both of these amazing tools to use immediately by participating in this very practical session, which is sure to help you improve your analytical and reporting processes.

How To Create The Virtual Office

What does it take to move your office to the Cloud? How will you set up virtual desktops and virtual servers and manage the risks associated with each? You know the benefits of moving to the Cloud, now experience what the transition looks like. In this session, you will learn not only what it takes to get the job done, but also observe live demonstrations of setting up Cloud-based servers and desktops. Relax - it is much easier than it sounds!

Mobile Strategies For Success

Mobility is not the next big thing, it is today’s thing! In this session, you will learn about options for successful mobile computing including Smartphones, Tablets, remote access, and other enabling technologies and which tools are right for specific tasks. You will also learn how mobile applications extend key products, help you to provide better client/customer service, and enable doing business in innovative ways. Attend this session and learn about the best devices and apps to maximize your team’s productivity when away from the office.

Office 2013: What’s In It For Me?

Ready or not, Office 2013 has arrived! With Office 2013, Microsoft unveiled a number of new features sure to improve productivity across all of Office’s familiar applications. In this session, you will learn about these new features, how to put them to use, and how to handle the upgrade process, including the potential to transition to Office 365 to save money on licensing. You will also learn about the deep integrations between Office 2013 and Windows 8, setting the stage for even greater levels of productivity.

Our Favorite Apps

Smartphone and tablet computer users recognize the importance of running apps on their devices to achieve peak productivity. In this session, you will learn about the favorite apps used by members of the K2 team along with why you should consider installing these apps on your devices. Included in this session are apps for iOS, Android, and Windows powered devices, so do not miss this chance to increase your productivity by putting the best apps to work for you today!

PDF Forms: Retire The Typewriter!

Many businesses, including CPA firms, keep an old typewriter in the office to fill out forms they receive. During this session, we will show how easy it is to convert these forms into fillable PDFs using Adobe Acrobat. Topics covered include using field auto-detect, adding fields, and placing calculations in forms, as well as other important tips that will allow users to create forms and finally retire the typewriter sitting in the corner.

Tech 101: Don’t Get Left Behind

It is hard to keep up with the rapid advancements in practical technology while staying on top of your day-to-day responsibilities. Prepare better by watching live demonstrations of the top solutions for busy professionals, including on-premises software, Cloud solutions, and all types of hardware.  These are the best of the best with respect to products and services for improving productivity and quality of work life.  Attend this session and learn how to complete work easier and faster with leading technology.

Tech Update 2013

In 2013, hardware technologies will settle down while the effects of software changes, Windows 8, and Office 2013 will begin to have an impact on organizations of all sizes.  This, coupled with trends in the Cloud, security, and other evolving technologies, means the overall pace of change will continue full throttle. Stay up to date on the technologies that will affect busy professionals in 2013 by participating in this fast-paced and highly informative cornerstone session.

The Very Best QuickBooks Features

How well do you know QuickBooks? If you are not taking advantage of features such as Client Data Review, QuickBooks Statement Writer, and Batch Transaction Entry, you may be leaving significant efficiencies on the table. In this session, you will learn how to use the very best features QuickBooks offers to professional accountants, including those in public practice and those in industry. This is a great chance to ramp-up your productivity with QuickBooks!

 

 

Subcategories

CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION FOR ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL PROFESSIONALS