Join      Renew      Advertise      Directory

Session Descriptions

Monday, June 21 | 8:15 – 9:30am

A. Ethics, Professionalism, and Performance – Chad Weinstein

Too often, we think of ethics only in terms of upholding professional standards or basic norms.  This session will consider how CPAs in industry can embrace ethical practices that promote more effective teamwork and stronger working relationships within teams and across enterprises.  Participants will reflect on practices that enhance professionalism, and techniques for engaging business leaders in constructive dialog. They will also learn proven techniques that foster moral courage on professional teams.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand and develop the interlocking capacities of moral motivation, clarity, and courage.
  • Practice ethical persuasion, a technique for changing minds while strengthening relationships.
  • Consider integrating seven deliberate practices of professionalism on your teams.
  • Develop mentorship practices that foster moral courage in colleagues and team members.

Monday, June 21 | 9:40 – 10:55

B1. Cloud Computing – Steve Yoss, Jr., CPA, MS

Technology continues to expand at an exponential rate, creating many opportunities for you to improve your company’s efficiencies and lower your operating costs. Firms across the nation are quickly realizing the need to adopt these new technologies or risk being left behind. This presentation gives an introduction to the Cloud, one of the fastest growing trends in Internet technology. The course discusses the differences between the different levels of cloud technology, applications vs. thin clients, the role of mobile apps, and various different types of Internet connections. Finally, many examples of actions your office can take to move to the cloud are explored, outlining the risks and benefits of these actions.

    B2. Getting Your Affairs in Order – Mark Sellner

    This how-to session presents a case-study format for the organization and maintenance of personal financial planning records. Even CPAs can use some help in preparing and organizing important documents to assist your family and financial advisors.  Learn what you should include to prepare a Personal Financial Planning binder containing easy access to critical records.  Topics include: Asset Allocation Schedule, Account Beneficiary List, Cash Maturities Schedule, Medical, Financial, and Social Media Internet Passwords, Copies of Wallet and Purse Contents, Banking Records, Investment Account Records, Retirement Plan Records, Social Security Statements, Health, Home, Auto, and Business Insurance Records and Final Wishes and Arrangements.

    B3. The Sweet Life – Christina Moffat

    As Christina celebrated her premier on the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars with a gathering of friends and family, she was also facing one of the most challenging moments of her life. She had hired her mother as her first employee and only seven months into her business, scored a 1000-cupcake event that transformed her business and allowed her to expand into her unique dream, a dessert bar and lounge. She consistently accumulated awards and accolades and was asked to film an episode of Cupcake Wars.  In the middle of this abundance, she was stopped in her tracks by two major life altering changes. As her heart was torn between family and business, Cupcake Wars called, asking her to film an episode. Christina continued to thrive, focusing on the core of her dreams and building her family. She encourages the audience with her story.

      Monday, June 21 | 11:10 – 12:00

      C1. Bitcoin & Blockchain – John Higgins

      Bitcoin and blockchain are two mega trends that have that have generated a significant amount of interest in the financial community. This presentation will provide you with a basic explanation of the evolution of the Bitcoin cryptocurrency and the blockchain technology that it is built upon. The information will be presented in a non-technical format so that you can develop a practical understanding of both of these emerging mega trends and their potential applications.

      C2. Tax Update – Mark Sellner

      This session provides an update of 2021 federal and state tax legislation, regulations, IRS pronouncements, and cases. Tax planning opportunities and tax pitfalls are highlighted, including:

      • The 2021 Tax Environment
      • Stimulus Update
      • Business Tax Developments
      • Farm Tax Developments
      • Real Estate Tax Developments
      • Individual Tax Developments
      • Tax Planning Checklist

      C3. Email Stress: 10 Steps for Managing the Mess! - Cindy Solberg

      Is your Inbox overflowing? Are you wasting too much time on email? Discover strategies, tips and ideas for reducing email volume, improving email quality, and organizing your Inbox.

      Monday, June 21 | 1:00 – 2:15

      D1. Effective Spreadsheets, Databases & Reporting Tools for Financial Professionals – Steve Yoss, Jr., CPA, MS 

      Users and organizations are generating new data at an unprecedented level. More than 90% of the known digital information that currently exists has been generated in the last two years. However, as the amount of data increases exponentially, the amount of meaningful information is not following at the same rate. Data is not useful if it cannot be clearly organized and understood by the target audience. Without processing, data is just random numbers on a page, broad uninteresting sales data, or a list of unrelated terms. This course will give the participants the necessary tools to turn data into meaningful information and will examine cutting edge ways to store, retrieve, report, and analyze data using databases and reporting tools. Financial professionals will walk away from this course with valuable tools and insights into understanding, managing, and utilizing data in an organized and meaningful manner.

        D2. Changing Workforce Issues and the “New Normal” – Larry Morgan

        Topics to be covered include:

        • Dealing with return to work issues
        • Shifts in the work environment
        • Employee expectations and values
        • Managing employees working remotely
        • Talent Wars- they’re back!

        D3. Hiring and Promoting the Best with "Matchmaker" Skills – Dr. Michael Monroe Kiefer

        Hiring is difficult, especially when the wrong candidate is selected! There is a more scientific way to make better hiring decisions. This session explains the concept of "talent matching" or matching people to job tasks. Every high performance team does this. You will learn how to gain personality style matching, talent matching skills and work ethic insights. You will also learn how to give a written follow up interview essay assignment to potential candidates. You will discover some of your natural talents for career planning as well.

        Monday, June 21 | 2:25 – 3:40

        E1. Working Effectively from Anywhere – Steve Yoss, Jr., CPA, MS

        The Internet and mobile technologies have revolutionized the way that 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 course 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 you can use to revolutionize your organization.

          E2. HR Compliance Update – Larry Morgan

          Topics to be covered include:
            • Handbook updates to make now
            • Compensation program issues
            • American Rescue Plan Act and employer responsibilities
            • COVID and what an employer can and cannot do and ask
            • Labor and employment law updates
            • Employee home office reimbursement for mileage and equipment

            E3. Mind Mapping for Planning/Problem Solving and a Decision Making Checklist – Dr. Michael Monroe Kiefer

            Everyone is looking for creative and fast ways to solve problems and make project plans. By using the mind map tool you can tap into your own creativity and harness the mind power of your entire team to make excellent plans and come up with "out of the box" ideas! You will learn right brain/left brain science and how to exercise your right brain regularly. Also a 10 point decision making checklist will be presented to help you make great decisions every time! 

            Monday, June 21, 2021 | 3:50 – 4:40

            F. Managing Your Energy, Not Your Time – Karen McCullough

            Learn how to re-charge your battery and energize others. Many of us race through life without ever taking a break: And no matter how hard we try, there’s never enough time to get everything done. If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. A recent study reports a probable cause for the widespread malaise. Nearly 75% of Americans state that, no matter how hard they work, they feel as if they are not moving forward and need better time management. In this program, you will discover how managing your energy and not your time is the key to better performance and a more fulfilled life. Karen shares her personal energy rituals and top ways to increase focus, stamina, and productivity.

              Tuesday, June 22, 2021 | 8:00 – 9:15

              G. Economics Update – Dr. Chris Kuehl

              Dr. Chris Kuehl is a conference favorite! His informative sessions generally include a good dose of dry humor. Dr. Kuehl is a Managing Director of Armada Corporate Intelligence.  He provides forecasts and strategic guidance for a wide variety of corporate clients around the world. He is the chief economist for several national and international organizations –Fabricators and Manufacturers Association, National Association of Credit Management, Finance, Credit and International Business and the Business Information Industry Association. He is also the economic analyst for several state CPA societies.

              Tuesday, June 22, 2021 | 9:25 – 10:40

              H1. Best Practices for Microsoft Teams Usage and Performance – Brian Tankersley, CPA.CITP, CGMA

              Microsoft Teams is one of the most exciting technologies available today. Businesses of all sizes now use Teams to communicate and collaborate and enhance control over critical workflows and information.  Yet most organizations running Teams have only scratched the surface of all it can do for them. In this session, you will learn about ten critical features in Teams that you and your team can use right away to make the most of this technology.

                H2. Self -Leadership in a Season of Uninvited Disruption – Jon Lokhorst, CPA, ACC

                The past year has been marked with uninvited disruptions and unprecedented challenges, and the realities of anxiety, stress, and fatigue make self-leadership more crucial than ever. Explore an inside-out approach to building the leadership capacity you nee to lead through the uncertainty and challenges that lie ahead. After all, you must learn to lead yourself before you can successfully lead others.

                  H3. An Internal Look at Financials – Jackie Brooks, Dustin Wheeler, Lisa Chaffee, Reid Mattson

                  During this session we will highlight how internal management of financial information can be augmented through the use of technology and financial metrics. While we explore a variety of technology dashboards and other software that support your organization’s mission and available resources you will also learn the appropriate and effective internal controls your organization can utilize to obtain good data during this pandemic. In addition, we will discuss the appropriate internal reports for all levels of management and departments while providing an overview of understanding and reporting programmatic, administrative and fundraising.

                    Tuesday, June 22, 2021 | 10:55 – 11:45

                    I1. Business Process Automation Panel –   Barry Maring, Clarence Sitter, Brian Smith, Jason Hulstien

                    I2. Develop Your Emotional Intelligence to Become a More Successful Leader - Jon Lockhorst, CPA, ACC

                    A substantial portion of the difference between star performers and average ones in leadership roles is attributable to emotional intelligence (EQ). It’s surprising, then, that EQ is overlooked as an essential leadership competency. This presentation highlights the importance of EQ and provides leaders with actionable resources to leverage EQ to develop better working relationships, build healthy teams, and lead change.

                    I3. Business Succession: How to Succeed at Succeeding Your Business – John Williams

                    For many business owners, selling or passing on a business or farm to family members can be as challenging as starting the business. Williams will address questions a business owner should consider while planning for a transition of the company and how to keep the company strong after leaving. The session will cover setting the company up for transition, transition techniques, and the tax effects of the transition.

                    Tuesday, June 22, 2021 | 1:00 – 2:15

                    J1. Tech Update 2021 – Brian Tankersley, CPA.CITP, CGMA

                    What technology trends significantly impact you? Which technologies will affect you and your business? This visionary session provides insights, choices, and recommendations. You will experience a summary of 5G, Wi-Fi 6E, and the latest hardware and software trends to help you make the best decisions. You are certainly going to discover at least one new technology you had not considered. This session provides strategic and tactical insight on technology choices.

                      J2. Predictive and Data Analytics – Jim Lindell, CPA, CSP, CGMA, MBA Thorsten Consulting Group, Inc.

                      Today’s accountant will follow the same path as the bookkeeper as yesteryear. The accounting profession must move from an aggregator of information to a storyteller and advocate for future actions. This session will review current trends in Predictive and Data Analytics and how these approaches and tools will influence organizations’ strategy and the accounting function. It will demonstrate some tools for big data analysis and emphasize the need to identify the story behind the data. The discussion will also help accountants view their responsibilities and careers in terms of descriptive analytics, diagnostic analytics, predictive analytics, and prescriptive analytics.

                      J3. Current Fraud Trends – Jennifer Louis

                      As our business environment shifts, so do trends with fraud schemes and perpetrators.  This course will give you the absolutely latest information with how to identify and mitigate shifting fraud risks in any entity.

                      Major Topics:

                      • Summary of the impact of fraud on entities worldwide
                      • Common fraud schemes and typical median losses that result
                      • How smaller entity fraud risk differs from those of larger entities

                      Tuesday, June 22, 2021 | 2:25 – 3:40

                      K1. Top Tips for Effective Revisions of Word and PDF Documents – Brian Tankersley, CPA.CITP, CGMA

                      The pandemic has most office workers looking for ways to make their document collaboration more effective.  While many people have used features like Track Changes and Comments in Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat, there are also tools for comparing and combining two documents, cloud-based tools for tracking and responding to comments, and even methods for converting PDF documents to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.  Attend this session and learn tips and tricks to make you and your team’s Word and Acrobat document collaboration more efficient and effective.

                        K2. Forecasting in Uncertain Times – Jim Lindell, CPA, CSP, CGMA, MBA Thorsten Consulting Group, Inc.

                        How do you determine cash needs, revenue volumes and impacts on your business when there are so many unknowns? This session will help focus CPAs on tools and techniques to understand the business environment better and map out a course of action to thrive in trying times. We will explore Scenario Planning, Monte Carlo simulation and sources to gain insight into potential outcomes and action plans.

                        K3. Accounting Update – Jennifer Louis

                        Both public and private CPAs must be current on changes to various potentially relevant accounting and financial reporting standards, including U.S. GAAP. This module provides recent and proposed changes to relevant technical standards most relevant to the preparation and fair presentation of current period financial statements.

                        Major Topics:

                        • U.S. GAAP accounting standards updates that have recent or current period effective dates
                        • Other relevant matters, including highlights of significant changes related to international standards

                        Tuesday, June 22, 2021 | 3:50 – 4:40

                        L. Surviving & Thriving – Peter Katz

                        Juno-nominated singer-songwriter Peter Katz uses his stories of surviving and thriving in the music business to motivate others to stay on their path wholeheartedly while adapting to change and embracing the unexpected along the way. How do you find the strength and courage to ‘stay in it wholeheartedly’ when life is constantly presenting you with new challenges? How do you stay connected to your bigger picture so you can create the positive impacts you wish to make? Through his powerful songs and stories, Peter leaves others inspired to show up with purpose every day.

                        Wednesday, June 23, 2021 | 8:00 – 9:15

                        M. Professional Issues Update – Anoop Mehta

                        Mr. Anoop N. Mehta, CPA, CGMA is SSAI’s President, leading the executive management team and overseeing the overall performance of the company. Mr. Mehta has the day-to-day responsibility for managing, planning, and implementing strategic goals of the company. He has more than 35 years of experience in government contracting, and has actively supported NASA and NOAA programs in an executive management capacity for SSAI.  Mr. Mehta is a Certified Public Accountant, licensed in the State of Maryland. Mr. Mehta was the Chair (2012-2103) of the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants (MACPA). He serves on the Government Contractors Committee for the MACPA, and chaired the committee for two years (2001-2003). Mr. Mehta is a member of the National Advisory Board of the Transamerica Retirement Services, and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, currently serving on the Council. 

                        Wednesday, June 23, 2021 | 9:25 – 10:15

                        N. Little Decisions, Big Results – Jim Lindell, CPA, CSP, CGMA, MBA Thorsten Consulting Group, Inc.

                        This session examines the decisions that drive our daily lives and businesses. Do you truly understand what brought your business, your department, or yourself into its current position? Identify the decisions that have directed you and determine how today’s decisions will create significant results in your business, department, or yourself. It also emphasizes that understanding that the little decisions can be controlled to result in a completely different long-term outcome.

                        Wednesday, June 23, 2021 | 10:25 – 11:40

                        O. Leading Your Hybrid Team – Kassi Rushing, APR

                        Twitter and Google are just two of many companies who are challenging the traditional models of work-as-a-location and moving toward permanent and long-term WFH practices. While work-from-home-forever is an idea that conjures up visions of a flexibility utopia, leading a virtual team–or more likely a hybrid workforce – requires new leadership skills and new management practices. If you want a high performing team that delivers results in this work from home normal, there are some critical approaches for leading you will need to adapt and adopt.

                        Visit Us:

                        3100 South Columbia Road
                        Suite 500
                        Grand Forks, ND 58201

                        Contact Us: 

                         (701) 775-7111
                        or (877) 637-2727

                        Connect with us:

                        Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software