It’s a Wrap! My Takeaways from the 2019 Long Island Tax Symposium
It was great to end my conference travels right here in New York for the 2019 Long Island Tax Professionals Symposium. I followed my own advice on setting goals for the conferences I attend, but these takeaways and highlights were unexpected!
Try to take at least one “in-person” update course per year on the software you use and depend on in your office. I was thrilled that this year we were able to enhance Technology Day with a full day QuickBooks OnLine certification course, taught by amazing instructor Carla Caldwell, CPA. As I welcomed our QBO course attendees I was so glad that several of my staff members were in attendance.
In our office, we typically take annual training classes via live on-line training portals as a way to keep updated on current enhancements in the software we work with. While most are live stream webinars, taking training classes in person adds an additional dimension. On site training enables us to learn from other attendee’s questions and to discuss implementation with our fellow staff members and other attendees as the information is fresh in our minds. I also think that the excitement generated when working/learning with over 100 other software users in a well-appointed conference facility enhances the learning experience.
Implement, implement, implement. I have been on the “conference trail” for three weeks, networking and taking photo’s with old and new friends during breaks. During my trip to Florida with Elizabeth from my office, I learned the “timer” trick for taking selfies. This week instead of taking pictures of groups as they posed, I taught them this trick too. Now my photos include full faces and I have passed on the tip to others. Now if I can only stop talking and smile…
Volunteer to speak at your professional conferences, you may learn something new.
We earn triple the number of continuing education credits when we present a course or speak on a panel. The time we take to research and prepare the presentation eclipses the presentation time itself. However, the main benefit may just be what you learn by collaborating with your fellow panel members and the reactions from your attendees. Of course, it always feels good to give back.
Volunteering in your professional group can keep you up on your game.
Our conference executive committee spends hours preparing for our 3 day event with more than 80 sessions and 40 sponsors plus at least one amazing key note speaker per day. Countless brainstorming meetings about programs and enhancements as well as after conference survey meetings will highlight most problem areas. We think we have everything under control, then, during the event when you notice something is just not flowing well, you have an opportunity to solve that hitch. You’ve now averted a problem hopefully designing yet one more process for an even better experience for current and future conferences.
The value of a well attended conference may just be the power of 600 plus professional tax practitioners giving feedback to those tax commissioners who can effect change. Charles P. Rettig the 49th Commissioner of the IRS presides over the nation’s tax system, which collects approximately $3.4 trillion in tax revenue each year. One of his missions is to really modernize the IRS through updated software systems and processes. He has indicated that our membership can offer guidance through the tax committee of National Conference of CPA Practitioners (NCCPAP), my professional group.
Keynote Joseph Carzo, Director, Audit Division, NYS Department of Taxation and Finance took questions from the floor and as a result has a list of systemic issues that we practitioners were able to detail. The collaboration between the profession and the public sector who governs will enable glitches (such as incorrect automatic notices and adjustment denials) in the system to be reduced and/or eliminated or resolved quickly.
Don’t be shy about asking for testimonials. At the symposium, we (NCCPAP) provide great speakers in a convenient setting and feed our attendees very well. The information provided over the 3 days helps the attendees perform their job better, provide insights about tax law and makes them better CPA’s. Most attendees I request a written or video testimonial from are happy to comply. They see the value they are receiving and want to let others know about their experience. I compare this to the testimonials businesses post and share. They go a long way towards giving insight to the business and provide potential clients with additional information to base their decisions on. So ask your clients for testimonials and then make sure to share them on your website.
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