ICPAS Shines Spotlight on the Future at Annual Midwest Showcase

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By Deanna C. White

This summer, CPAs who want to stay ahead of the rapid-fire change and constant evolution that are intrinsic of their profession will head to the Midwest Accounting & Finance Showcase, hosted by the Illinois CPA Society (ICPAS).

The conference will be held Tuesday, August 27, and Wednesday, August 28, at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois.

The annual event for business and finance professionals will feature keynote presentations and educational sessions that cover topics ranging from strategies for confronting global business challenges and harnessing the future of technology to updates on health care reform, professional standards, and fraud. 

The two-day event, now in its thirty-third year, offers accounting and finance professionals the opportunity to gain insights from leading experts and discover innovative solutions to the most pressing challenges facing the industry today. 

Organizers say more than 2,000 professionals are expected to attend. Offerings are geared toward professionals at all levels of their careers and all environments, whether they work in a small business environment or at a large firm.

"The Midwest Accounting & Finance Showcase is one of the largest CPA events in the country", said ICPAS President and CEO Todd Shapiro. "It's a great way to gain insight on the latest developments in the profession while engaging with members and ICPAS staff."

This year's event will feature four keynotes:  

  • State of the CPA Profession, presented by William P. Graf, CPA, chairperson of the ICPAS Board of Directors and partner at Deloitte & Touche, LLP, and Todd Shapiro, president and CEO of ICPAS.
  • What Makes the Great Ones Great, presented by Don Yaeger, president of 180 Communications, Inc.
  • Technology Futures – 2013, presented by Dana "Rick" Richardson, CPA, CITP, technology futurist and president of Richardson Media & Technologies, LLC.
  • The Global Economy: Risks and Opportunities for the US, presented by Martin S. Eichenbaum, PhD, Ethel and John Lindgren Professor of Economics, Northwestern University.

Graf and Shapiro's keynote will delve into many hot-button issues, including the ever-increasing complexity in the areas of financial reporting, regulation, and tax reform; the impact of the Affordable Care Act; rapid change in and increased dependency on technology; and succession planning for small and midsized CPA firms.

Yaeger, a business leadership coach, seven-time New York Times best-selling author and longtime associate editor for Sports Illustrated, will discuss lessons on achieving greatness, learned from firsthand experiences with some of the greatest sports legends in the world. He will also discuss how to build a culture of greatness by discerning the business lessons that can be learned from great sports teams.

Showcase attendees will also be able to create a CPE program of study, with two days of educational sessions offering up to sixteen hours of CPE for $295. Attendees can select individual CPE sessions from seven educational tracks:

  • Accounting & Auditing
  • Corporate Finance
  • Intuit Academy
  • Practice Management
  • Tax
  • Technology
  • Technology Walking Tour

Along with twenty-four others, CPE sessions will include: 

  • Benchmarking Your Practice and Improving Your Bottom Line
  • Cloud, Mobile, Tablets, Smartphones – How CPAs Stay Connected 
  • Marketing Your Practice as a Tech-Savvy Firm
  • Small Business Tax Planning and Strategies
  • Health Care Reform Update
  • Collaborative Bookkeeping and Cloud Accounting Solutions

More than 100 exhibitors, including ADP, Becker Professional Education, Bloomberg BNA, CCH, CPA2Biz, Intuit, Sage North America, and Thomson Reuters, will be on hand.

Finally, ICPAS, known for its innovative and engaging programming for young CPAs, will also host programming geared toward the newest generation of financial professionals and will include a complimentary event for ICPAS student members on Tuesday, August 27.

Students will kick off the morning at the State of the CPA Profession keynote, followed by a private information session with Russ Friedewald, the executive director of the Illinois Board of Examiners, where students will learn about the process to apply and sit for the Uniform CPA Examination in Illinois. Students will also receive tips on how to navigate their way into the CPA profession from members of the ICPAS Young Professionals Group.

Whether attendees are students on the cusp of entering the profession or veteran CPAs looking to stay abreast of the latest issues and technologies, Shapiro says the conference is a great forum to explore the latest issues and continue to grow along with the profession.

"The showcase is a wonderful opportunity for ICPAS to detail how it advances the profession as a preeminent provider of education, advocacy, and information, while keeping the best interest of members as a central focus", Shapiro said.

For more information or to register for the Midwest Accounting & Finance Showcase, visit www.icpas.org/show.htm or call (800) 993-0393. For the latest news and updates on the conference, follow ICPAS on Twitter at @IllinoisCPA and look for hashtag #ICPASShow.

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