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We have gathered many well-known speakers from throughout the accounting profession who are prepared to share their knowledge with you. We promise you that each session will contain valuable takeaways that you can implement in your practice immediately. Here are the speakers who will be presenting at this live event:
Ed Kless VeraSage Institute
Ed Kless is a senior fellow at the VeraSage Institute, a think tank for professional knowledge firms. Ed joined Sage North America in July of 2003 and is currently the director of partner development and recruitment for the mid-market division. He facilitates the Sage Leadership Academy, Sage Consulting Academy and the Leadership Alumni Association. Prior to joining Sage Software, Ed worked with Tipping Point Advisors, an organization dedicated to the growth and development of software implementation companies. Before that, he co-founded Third Wave Business Systems, a Microsoft Business Solutions Partner, in 1996, which grew to 20 team members and 5 million in revenue. At Third Wave, Ed developed the implementation methodology and managed the front and back office consulting teams. Ed is a frequent contributor to industry publications and has spoken at many conferences worldwide.
Ronald J Baker VeraSage Institute
Ronald J. Baker started his CPA career in 1984 with KPMG’s Private Business Advisory Services in San Francisco. Today, he is the founder of VeraSage Institute, the leading think tank dedicated to educating professionals around the world. As a frequent speaker, writer, and educator, his work takes him around the world. He has been an instructor with the California CPA Education Foundation since 1995 and has authored sixteen courses for them. He is the author of six books, including: Professional’s Guide to Value Pricing; The Firm of the Future: A Guide for Accountants, Lawyers, and Other Professional Services, co-authored with Paul Dunn; Pricing on Purpose: Creating and Capturing Value; Measure What Matters to Customers: Using Key Predictive Indicators; and Mind Over Matter: Why Intellectual Capital is the Chief Source of Wealth; and his latest book, Implementing Value Pricing: A Radical Business Model for Professional Firms.
Mark Lloydbottom The "Father of Practice Management"
Mark is often referred to as the father of Practice Management in the UK. For over 25 years he has developed businesses all focused on providing services to enable firms to maximize their top and bottom line potential. During this time Mark has worked with over 2,000 accounting firms. Today he continues to work with firms in the areas of enhancing firm profitability, improving client service, firm owner marketing, firm strategic planning and partner development programs. Attend Mark’s seminars and you will gain a host of exciting yet easy to implement ideas that will enable you to return to your practice and be more successful. Improve client service, gain more clients, reduce your lock up – enjoy your work more than ever. Learn how you can achieve more in your firm. I guarantee that you will hear ideas that will excite you so that you can achieve your [new] goals.
Tony Batman Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of 1st Global
Tony Batman is a visionary entrepreneur whose accomplishments have profoundly impacted the accounting and financial services professions. A true leader in the industry, Tony has established a successful financial services business development and resource partner to leading wealth management firms and is a frequent speaker to professional groups on a variety of financial services topics. Tony is Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of 1st Global, a diversified financial services firm that is the business development and resource partner to leading tax, accounting and law firms. 1st Global works with these firms to provide comprehensive wealth management services to emerging affluent and affluent families, businesses, foundations and other institutions. Through 1st Global, he has created innovative educational programs, advanced support services and cutting-edge technology tools that cater to the wealth management advisor.
Doug Sleeter Founder and president of The Sleeter Group
Doug Sleeter's in-depth knowledge of accounting software solutions and his "systems" approach to solving accounting problems for the small and medium-sized business market have earned him the reputation of being one of the nation's leading small business accounting software experts. He has been named one of the "Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting" by Accounting Today magazine for the past four years and has been recognized by The CPA Practice Advisor magazine as one of the accounting profession's "Top 25 Thought Leaders" for the past two years. Doug consults with dozens of accounting software and hardware developers on product design, marketing, and distribution strategies.
Jim Buffington Intuit
Jim Buffington, CPA, is customer liaison and innovation leader for Intuit’s Accounting Professionals Division. He joined Intuit in 2002 and has held his current position since 2011. As customer liaison and innovation leader, Buffington partners with tax and accounting professionals across the country to drive product improvements that increase efficiencies across the workflow to help save accountants time doing the work they do every day. Prior to his tenure at Intuit, Buffington served as director of sales operations for JP Mobile, where he was responsible for developing strategic sales plans, managing forecasts, defining operating procedures, and product marketing. Buffington started his career as a principal CPA at Perry D. Reed & Company, a public accounting practice, where he led the audit, tax and consulting practices. Buffington received his B.A. in accounting from Texas A&M University and his MBA from the University of Texas, Dallas. He became a Certified Public Accountant in 1990. Jim is married, has three children and enjoys cycling and watching the Dallas Mavericks.
Tom Hood President, Maryland Association of CPAs, and multigenerational members of the MACPA
Tom Hood is the CEO of the Maryland Association of CPAs. He is a nationally recognized author, speaker, and consultant, and he won the AICPA Special Recognition Award for his contributions to the profession leading the CPA Vision Project in 2003. Tom is a graduate of Loyola College (B.A. in Accounting) and has a Master’s in Finance (Real Estate) from Johns Hopkins University and a Master’s equivalent in Information Systems from the University of Baltimore. He also obtained the Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP) certification and the Certified Global Management Accountant (CGMA) certification from the AICPA. Tom likes to say much of his success as a CPA is due to membership in associations. He is past-president of the Maryland Association of CPAs (1993-1994) and has served on several key national committees - the AICPA CPE Committee, Enhanced Business Reporting Committee and AICPA Special Committee on Mobility. He is also a member of the ASAE, World Future Society, XBRL Int’l, in addition to the AICPA & MACPA.
Michelle L. Long Long for Success
Michelle L. Long, CPA, MBA is the owner of Long for Success, LLC specializing in QuickBooks consulting and training services, coaching small business owners, speaking and writing. Michelle has a unique relationship with Intuit as an elite national trainer and presents "What's New for QuickBooks" to accounting professionals nationwide. She is a member of Intuit's Trainer/Writer Network and a consultant for product development. She is an Advanced Certified ProAdvisor with several other certifications too.
Ruth Perryman President of the QB Specialists
Ruth Perryman, MBA, CMA, CFE is the president of The QB Specialists, an Intuit Solutions Provider that was recently named Intuit's top seller for the western region and has provided QuickBooks help to thousands of businesses all over the world since 1996. She is an Advanced Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor and a member of Intuit's Trainer/Writer Network. She is also certified in QuickBooks Point of Sale and QuickBooks Enterprise.
Darrell Layman
Darrell began working for a local CPA in 1978 and became partner in four years. He became sole owner of the company after several years as a partnership. His firm provides accounting, tax preparation and planning and QuickBooks consulting. Darrell has his securities licenses and also provides financial planning services.
David Shill
David has been a financial planning professional since 1983. His background stems from his qualification as a Chartered Accountant SA.( the South African equivalent to a CPA) and the CFP® certification, which he obtained in both South Africa and the United States. He has been honored with numerous awards and recognition as a top financial planner both locally and abroad. David’s specialization has been in the areas of retirement planning and asset allocation techniques for minimizing investment risk and taxation. He has expertise in designing Qualified Retirement Plans to meet clients' business and personal objectives, as well as in assisting trustees in minimizing their fiduciary responsibilities. David has almost 30 years of experience in complex estate planning and insurance. He takes the time to educate his clients and insists on meeting with them on a regular basis, to make certain they remain on track for success. David and his wife, Judi, have been married for over 20 years and they have two grown children. David has his Series 7 and 65 and a Group I Life & Health Insurance license.
Ian Vacin Vice president of marketing at Xero
Ian Vacin is the Vice President of Marketing & Product for Xero and works from Xero's San Francisco office. Prior to Xero, Ian spent almost 9 years working at Intuit where he led the QuickBooks ProAdvisor Program and previously was the Offering Leader of Intuit's Mac Financial Software. Ian has over 15 years of experience in technology working as a product manager, marketer, engineer and entrepreneur with expertise in the design, development, and marketing of software solutions. He has helped companies ranging from Fortune 500 (Intuit, Intel, IBM, and Oracle) to early stage startups develop and deploy accounting, CRM, procurement, and software integration solutions. Ian received both a Master of Business Administration (Kellogg School of Management) and a Master of Engineering Management from Northwestern University. He also received a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from the University of California, Berkeley.
Jason Deshayes
A graduate of the University of New Mexico’s Anderson Schools of Management, Jason has been in public practice since 2003. Jason’s tax expertise lies in professional services, individual taxation and business startups. Jason also consults on other financial matters, including improving business and personal cash flow, practice development and management, business organization and succession planning. Prior to joining Robert F. Butler CPA, PC in 2008, Jason worked in a regional public accounting firm, as well as a mid-sized local firm. Jason became a Shareholder of the firm in January 2012. Jason serves as National President of the Active 20-30 US and Canada and has served in the past as President of the Active 20-30 Club of Albuquerque. Jason is a board member of the Children's Grief Center of New Mexico, a finance committee member for the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, a member of the Executive Committee for the Private Company Practice Section of the American Institute of CPAs and a board member for the New Mexico Society of CPAs. Outside of the office, Jason enjoys spending time with his wife, Tina, and their dogs. His hobbies include traveling and watching football.
Steve Chaney
Steve Chaney founded Chaney & Associates in 2002 to empower organizations to wisely steward their resources through client-outsourced accounting and business management consulting services. Headquartered in Roseville, California, the 10-year-old firm specializes in the not-for-profit niche, providing financial and tax expertise, including financial reporting, payroll, bill management and controllership services to churches and other faith-based organizations. As the first Gold Partner with Xero in the United States, Chaney & Associates has expanded its services to businesses, organizations, and associations by leveraging its progressive cloud-based accounting processes and business management proficiencies.

Being one of three national speakers on behalf of the AICPA/CPA2Biz for cloud based computing, Steve draws on 16 years of experience and knowledge to educate and consult others on how to leverage cloud-based platforms for efficiency and effectiveness within their organizations and CPA firms. Prior to starting Chaney & Associates, Steve worked as a corporate tax manager for hire with a big four firm.








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Sift Media US, Inc. is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: www.learningmarket.org.