My guest this week on the Accounting Success Podcast is Vincent Leo, from Insero & Company CPAs, in Rochester, New York.

Vince is a Partner in the Audit and Business Advisory Services Group. He has more than 30 years experience serving some of the area’s largest companies, and joined Insero as a Partner in 2002 from Arthur Andersen. He advises clients on technical accounting matters; private placements; public offerings; and mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures.

His areas of focus include accounting and auditing, Sarbanes–Oxley, enterprise risk management, and Employee Benefit Plans.

Check out our conversation here: https://itun.es/us/32T9db.c

Vince and I discussed how he’s propelled transformation within the firm, gained national credibility, and:

  • How Insero became one of the top employee benefit plan accounting firms in the United States
  • Benefits of 1/3 of business coming from outsourced project work
  • How racing cars helped Vince get recruited and hired at Insero
  • The problem with trying to drive change at the partner level (and what works better)
  • How to go from a sleepy local firm to having clients in 30 states

Insero & Company is a growing regional firm with five offices, 125 team members, and clients in 30 states. The firm is regularly voted “One of the Best Accounting Firms to Work for in the U.S.” by Accounting Today.

Firm specialties include government, not-for-profit, family businesses, employee benefit plans, and outsourced accounting.

The Accounting Success Podcast is available on iTunes and airs Wednesdays at 11:00 am. You can listen anytime by going to https://itun.es/us/32T9db.c and downloading the latest episode. Or, you can tune in on YouTube on The Accounting Success channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCf8iui-YUVIhTxVCSItxV0w

My guest this week on the Accounting Success Podcast is Ken Cerini, Managing Partner of Cerini & Associates, based in Long Island, New York.

Ken has one of those great American success stories, literally starting his practice in a garage – with a table, two folding chairs and a computer – and growing it into the dynamic, innovative firm that it is today.

Check out our conversation here: https://itun.es/us/32T9db.c

Ken has won numerous awards, and has been quoted in publications such as the New York Times, Newsday, Long Island Business News, and the Long Island Press.

Some highlights of our conversation include:

  • Why his office décor style is 12th Century Medieval, complete with swords and armor
  • What his wife told him when he announced his plan to leave the security of a Big 4 job to become an entrepreneur and business owner
  • How long he worked a side hustle paper route job while establishing his new CPA firm
  • Why he tells his staff that their job should not be the most important thing in their life
  • Business lessons learned from rock climbing
  • Why he’s seeking cemeteries and wineries as clients

Besides being Managing Partner, Ken is responsible for the firm’s not-for-profit and educational providers practice group. In addition to his extensive audit experience both at Ernst & Young, LLP, and Cerini & Associates, Ken has been involved in providing consulting services for nonprofits and educational facilities of all sizes throughout New York State. He is an expert in preschool special education. His specialties also include Forensic audits and fraud investigations.

Cerini & Associates is a full service accounting firm with a staff of nearly 50, four partners, and a foundation built on value-added ideas and integrity. The firm serves many industries, including healthcare, nonprofit, technology, special education, startups, school districts, and construction, among others.

The Accounting Success Podcast is available on iTunes and airs Wednesdays at 11:00 am. You can listen anytime by going to https://itun.es/us/32T9db.c and downloading the latest episode. Or, you can tune in on YouTube on The Accounting Success channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCf8iui-YUVIhTxVCSItxV0w

This week’s guest on the Accounting Success Podcast is Mario Costanz, founder and CEO of Happy Tax, Entrepreneur Magazine’s 2017 Fastest Growing Tax Business.

For those unaware, Happy Tax is a relatively new but potentially very disruptive player in the tax preparation space. Mario is leveraging technology and innovation to provide a convenient, transparent and reliable service for taxpayers while changing the roles and ownership structure for franchisees. The concept is quickly proving itself. Happy Tax is growing faster than over 3,000 other franchisors in the United States.

Check out our conversation here: https://itun.es/us/32T9db.c

In two short years, Happy Tax has over 600 franchisees, independent contractors and area representatives. We talked with Mario about his diversified past, his exciting present, and what’s in store for the future including:

  • How a high school dropout invented a new business model that turns the tax prep industry on its head
  • How to go from zero to Entrepreneur magazine’s fastest growing tax business in a little over two years
  • How he discovered his true calling while working as a New York City sanitation worker
  • The 6-week tax class that spearheaded Mario’s career
  • The lightning bolt idea that became Happy Tax
  • 3 reasons clients are attracted to Happy Tax over H&R Block and other tax preparers
  • Ways CPAs partner with Happy Tax to better serve their clients
  • Valuable lessons learned from business failures

Judging by traditional measures, one may not have predicted business success for Mario Costanz. Long before becoming a successful businessman, Mario was a high school dropout and New York City garbage collector. An entrepreneur at heart, he tried a number of other businesses, and eventually ventured into the tax business. Eventually he bought a Liberty Tax franchise and became the #1 ranked franchisee in the country.

He started Happy Tax based on an innovative and patent pending business model that’s already shaking up the tax prep industry. The company combines convenient come-to-your-door service, along with accurate, reliable and professional tax returns prepared by CPAs with a minimum of 5 years of training and experience.

The Accounting Success Podcast is available on iTunes and airs Wednesdays at 11:00 am. You can listen anytime by going to https://itun.es/us/32T9db.c and downloading the latest episode. Or, you can tune in on YouTube on The Accounting Success channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCf8iui-YUVIhTxVCSItxV0w

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With us this week is Jody Padar, CEO and Principal of the New Vision CPA Group, based in the Chicago area.

Jody is a radical pioneer and “change agent” who specializes in shaking up the accounting profession. If it feels like she is singlehandedly trying to drag the accounting profession into the 21st Century, well… maybe she is. Within her own firm, Jody has embraced cloud services and social media to shift the way she serves clients. Jody and her team provide proactive financial insight and practical strategies to their clients in real-time, not just during tax season.

Check out our conversation here: https://itun.es/us/32T9db.c

Jody is a highly sought after speaker and thought leader. She is the author of The Radical CPA: New Rules for the Future-Ready Firm, a book that sparked a movement within the accounting profession. She’s also about to release her second book, so I asked Jody to give us a little sneak peek. We examined the progress she has seen in the past 2 ½ years since her first publication.

  • The rude waking awaiting her when she joined her father’s accounting firm
  • How an old-fashioned 1040 firm begat a cutting edge ‘future-ready’ firm
  • How Jody leverages social media to bring on the right clients
  • Who inspired Jody by saying, “You are the future of the profession.”
  • How to use firm culture to drive transformation
  • Secrets to embracing an implementation mindset
  • One radical idea that Jody thinks will change the game in the industry – hint: it may already be in your kitchen
  • Why Jody is not worried about Baby Boomers retiring and there not being enough trained accountants to replace them

Jody is a regular contributor to a number of industry publications, including CPA Trendlines and Accounting Today, where she offers practical tips and advice on running a next-generation firm. For 5 years running she’s been named by Accounting Today as among the “Top 100 Most Influential to the Profession.” She has written for Forbes and is a regular contributor to Intuit’s QuickBooks’ Blog. She has also been interviewed by Inc., USA Today, International Business Times, The Washington Post, and CNNMoney.

Jody also has her own radio show called “Let’s Get Radical,” and works in partnership with several leading technology companies to spread the word about “digital CPAs.”

In her spare time she is an adjunct professor at Oakton Community College and a contributing member of the Intuit Trainer Writer Network.

The Accounting Success Podcast is available on iTunes and airs Wednesdays at 11:00 am. You can listen anytime by going to https://itun.es/us/32T9db.c and downloading the latest episode. Or, you can tune in on YouTube on The Accounting Success channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCf8iui-YUVIhTxVCSItxV0w

This week on the Accounting Success Podcast we’re venturing to the land Down Under with guest Chris Hooper, Accounting Futurist and CEO of Accodex, located in Adelaide in South Australia. Accodex is a hi-tech accounting firm providing compliance, administration and advisory services to startups and tech enabled businesses. The firm specializes in Cloud Technology and helping clients become more technologically literate. It’s an interesting model because Accodex has both business owners and accountants as clients.

The firm was named Australia’s Most Innovative Accounting Firm in 2015 – beating out PwC and KPMG in the process – and has achieved Platinum Partner status with Xero, the cloud-based accounting software.

Chris joined me from a pub, so at times it got noisy; but it’s worth putting up with a little noise to hear Chris’ insights. Check out our conversation here: https://itun.es/us/32T9db.c

In our short time together, we covered:

  • Ways in which Australian accountants are ahead of their American counterparts
  • The unusual arrangement that allows him to have both business owners and accountants as clients
  • How Accodex invented a new business model called a “Market Network” and how it’s changing the accounting profession
  • The 4 mega trends that make up the “Accountapocalypse”
  • What Millennial accountants have against accounting
  • Secrets to starting a successful firm from scratch
  • How to benefit from the globalization of the profession

Chris is an evangelist for the accounting profession and writes and speaks extensively about accounting industry trends. He’s a TEDx speaker and presenter at XeroCon on the future of the accounting profession. Chris has made it his mission to change the accounting game forever.

To read Chris’s acclaimed article, “I Am a Millennial Accountant, and I Hate Accounting” visit
http://goingconcern.com/i-am-millennial-accountant-and-i-hate-accounting

The Accounting Success Podcast is available on iTunes and airs Wednesdays at 11:00 am. You can listen anytime by going to https://itun.es/us/32T9db.c and downloading the latest episode. Or, you can tune in on YouTube on The Accounting Success channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCf8iui-YUVIhTxVCSItxV0w

This week on the Accounting Success Podcast is Josh Lance, Founder and Managing Director at Lance CPA Group, a virtual CPA firm based in Chicago.

Josh has many years of experience helping startups grow and develop through customized, value-added accounting, tax prep and coaching services. He spent most of his career at a top-10 national public accounting firm and then worked with high-net-worth individuals, managing cash flow and investments.

Check out our conversation here: https://itun.es/us/32T9db.c

What did we talk about? Here are some of the highlights:

  • How to make beer an integral part of your practice
  • How to attract clients from around the world without ever meeting them or taking them to lunch
  • Why clients are keeping important information from you (and what to do to fix it)
  • How to be an “accountability partner” to your business clients
  • The benefits of working with start-ups
  • Why Josh has eliminated hourly billing and offers an unlimited call and email policy
  • How to keep up with fast-changing technology

Josh is married to his college sweetheart Leesa, and they have 2 children. He enjoys spending his free time making wine at home, cooking, traveling, and cheering on his favorite teams: the Green Bay Packers and Everton FC in the English Premier League.
When he’s not spending time with his family, Josh is making strides to help small businesses reach their potential.

The Accounting Success Podcast is available on iTunes and airs Wednesdays at 11:00 am. You can listen anytime by going to https://itun.es/us/32T9db.c and downloading the latest episode. Or, you can tune in on YouTube on The Accounting Success channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCf8iui-YUVIhTxVCSItxV0w

This week’s guest on the Accounting Success Podcast is Hitendra Patil, Director of Practice Development at AccountantsWorld and also the author of a terrific new book called “Accountaneur: The Entrepreneurial Accountant.”

Gleaning lessons from neuroscience, technology, and behavioral economics, “Accountaneur” shows tax and accounting professionals what it takes to succeed in today’s dynamic competitive environment. In my opinion, if you are an accountant and you are breathing, “Accountaneur” is a must read. It’s especially timely given the changing accounting landscape and presents eye-opening insights into today’s emerging opportunities for accounting and tax professionals.

Check out our conversation here: https://itun.es/us/32T9db.c

Hitendra’s unique training and experience make him the perfect guest to discuss this week’s topic: that fascinating, mysterious, and occasionally beguiling entity known as the CPA mindset.
We delved into the CPA mindset – the good and the not-so-good – and explored what mindset changes we need to consider to maximize our potential. We also touched on:

  • Why the most successful entrepreneurs see risk as opportunity
  • What your clients are telling Facebook that they’re not telling you
  • How accountants could be the happiest people on earth
  • Lessons learned from Bill Gates and his “lazy employee” theory

Plus, Hitendra offered listeners a valuable gift. Any podcast listener interested in acquiring “Accountaneur: The Entrepreneurial Accountant,” can receive a 15 percent discount at: https://store.cpatrendlines.com/shop/accountaneur/ . Just use discount code acc15p.

Hitendra holds advanced degrees in business and science, and has spent decades working in technology-driven businesses, mostly in the financial services industry. He has been in the trenches with accountants and CPAs for over 10 years as the leader of a company producing work for accountants – giving him rare insight and perspective on our industry’s challenges and opportunities.

The Accounting Success Podcast is available on iTunes and airs Wednesdays at 11:00 am. You can listen anytime by going to https://itun.es/us/32T9db.c and downloading the latest episode. Or, you can tune in on YouTube on The Accounting Success channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCf8iui-YUVIhTxVCSItxV0w

The Accounting Success podcast is going from the spoken word to the printed word in an agreement announced with CPA Trendlines. “How Summit CPA Group Is Pioneering Virtual CFO Services” is the first article in a series featuring select guests from The Accounting Success broadcasts.

The series features accounting thought leaders and CPA firms who are doing things differently compared to their peers.

The first feature article is a good example. Jody Grunden and Adam Hale of Summit CPA Group (Fort Wayne, IN) are carving out a niche in virtual CFO Services. Since 2002 the firm has grown from one accountant to 16 and reached $3 million in annual revenue (projecting $4 million in 2017) – adding two to four new clients a month. All this is achieved with staff members who never come into the office, working with clients they’ve never met in person.

Other articles in the series will feature industry pioneers and entrepreneurs that are pushing, prodding and pulling the industry in exciting new directions . . . and changing the face of accounting.

CPA Trendlines is the bible for “actionable intelligence for the tax, accounting and finance community.” Tens of thousands of accountants subscribe to the publication for industry trends, strategies, and how-to insights. Busy CPAs appreciate its concise, no-fluff, information-rich articles.

With us this week on The Accounting Success podcast is Kyle Bryant, co-founder at Market Street Partners in Chattanooga, TN.

Kyle is an up-and-coming leader in the industry. Although a relatively young firm, Market Street Partners has experienced success almost from Day 1. We explore their unique path to growth. And we talk a bit about all the exciting things happening in Chattanooga, also known as “Gig City,” because it has the fastest Internet in the Western Hemisphere. Chattanooga has become a high-tech center, attracting top talent and birthing new startups at an impressive clip.

Check out our conversation here: https://itun.es/us/32T9db.c

Some of the topics Kyle and I discuss:

  • How to go from zero to 10 employees and 400 clients in one year
  • How associating with a business incubator can lead to fast growth
  • Ways to ‘Wow’ clients
  • How Millennials are creating a new kind of accounting firm
  • Why Chattanooga has become the Silicon Valley of the east

The Accounting Success Podcast is available on iTunes and airs Wednesdays at 11:00 am. You can listen anytime by going to https://itun.es/us/32T9db.c and downloading the latest episode. Or, you can tune in on YouTube on The Accounting Success channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCf8iui-YUVIhTxVCSItxV0w

On the podcast this week is Tom Angelo, the Managing Partner of Spire Group, PC and Spire IT in Clark, New Jersey.

With roots dating back over half a century, Spire Group, PC is a full-service CPA and Consulting firm specializing in accounting, assurance, tax, business advisory and technology services. Clients include startups, closely held family businesses, nonprofits and governmental entities, and high-net-worth individuals. The firm provides a breadth of services from business valuations and litigation assistance to Cloud computing to outsourced CFO consulting.

Tom has over 20 years of experience working with clients in the not-for-profit sector, including membership, health and welfare, and trade associations. In addition, he has worked with a variety of for-profit industries including manufacturing, retail, distribution & trucking, and professional services.

Check out our conversation here: https://itun.es/us/32T9db.c

My conversation with Tom covered several topics, including:

  • How Spire’s technology services grew over 40% in 2016
  • Why Tom is more entrepreneur than accountant
  • The difference between creating income vs. creating long-term value
  • The secret to keeping employee turnover to 2%
  • Opportunities in “the Internet of things”

Spire Group was named by Commerce Magazine as one of their “Companies That Care” for Spire’s generosity as a firm and their good work. Spire Group was also named an honoree for Inc.’s “Best Workplaces” Award.

Spire IT, meanwhile, is an affiliate of Spire Group and provides management and support of vital IT infrastructure – with services such as:
– Managed Network Monitoring
– Cloud and Remote Access Solutions
– Offsite backup and disaster recovery &
– Hosted Cloud Solutions

The Accounting Success Podcast is available on iTunes and airs Wednesdays at 11:00 am. You can listen anytime by going to https://itun.es/us/32T9db.c and downloading the latest episode. Or, you can tune in on YouTube on The Accounting Success channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCf8iui-YUVIhTxVCSItxV0w