What have our Business and Industry CPAs have been up to?  Our recent big, big, BIG B&I event was the annual CFO/Controllers Conference on Tuesday, September 20, 2016.  Did I say big?  We had 130 CPAs attending and 15 others – the most ever!  The Spy remembers when this drew less than 50 to the Chapter office.

Tuesday, even with eight different CPE classes, we still finished before rush hour.  Our four sponsors, Branch Banking & Trust (BB&T)Business Bank of Texas, NABrown, Graham & Company, PC and Wells Fargo, provided yummy breakfast, lunch, desserts, snacks, beverages and door prizes.  Even better, the sponsors helped keep the cost for each B&I member down to a rock-bottom bargain. BB&T also had a Yeti cooler for a door prize!

Armed with my laptop (there’s power and WiFi for everyone at Norris!), I slipped quietly into my spot, planning to read email, but soon came to my senses.  Sure, people will tell you to go to these things to score great CPE, but the networking is invaluable. I walked around the room, visiting with old friends and making new B&I kindred souls.

As we munched on breakfast tacos, Billy Petty from Heyman & Associates, PLLC used true crime cases to highlight simple weaknesses that allowed rogue employees to buy hundreds of thousands of dollars in luxury items with company assets.  Billy emphasized prevention and ways to help the prosecutors get the bad guys.

Jackie Lyons of Finance 360 Group gave a wonderful overview of the new revenue recognition standards, nicely organized to help us work through this step by step.

We heard about the ludicrous growth and lessons learned at Kendra Scott Design from their CFO, Brian Kelly.

A whole group of CPAs, mostly guys, won Kendra Scott prizes!  That’s a nice surprise, taking home gift-wrapped jewelry goodies to your sweetie.

Next, we focused on the Austin economy, with Brian Kelsey of Civic Analytics.  Brian’s stunning slides tell Austin’s story of relentless growth and population influx.  Brian also addressed challenges such as the disparate economic impact of Austin’s housing boom.

Valerie Gray of RSM US LLP gave us an inside look at the kinds of engagements Business Valuation folks do, the techniques they use, and the many ways they can help small, privately-owned companies.

For lunch, we filled our plates with fajitas and listened to Judy Osborn, Attorney at Law explain how to adapt to the new overtime rules which will have a direct impact on most small businesses.

Next, George Rendziperis from Weaver gave an overview of the new developments with Sales and Use Taxes.

Finally, Michael Tompkins of CPA Technology Group went over the latest computer security hazards and how to protect one’s company and family from the current crop of hackers.

Remember to save the date for next year’s conference: Thursday, September 21, 2016 at Norris Conference Center.