Last week, I was in Las Vegas for AICPA Engage 2018. Yes, I gambled, ate at a buffet, and floated down the MGM Grand's lazy river, but only after I spent the day interviewing executives, firms, and thought leaders all about the profession and financial planning.

Did you know that this is new area in our firm? We are developing a digital footprint. Advisory and Radical practice management have now crossed over into financial planning. Watch out!

I love being behind the microphone because I get my questions answered. There is nothing cooler than having the opportunity to connect with the brightest people about how financial planning, NextGen leadership, technology, and the AICPA are pushing – well maybe, pulling the profession forward.

Here is a snapshot of my trip:

Jody Padar
  • I kicked off the broadcast with David Knoch, the president of 1st Global, and Ryan George, the assistant vice president of marketing and communications for 1st Global. We talked about how the variety of different pathways at the conference reflect the convergence of CPAs and financial advisers at a national level, and why financial planning is so important to the CPA profession.
  • I talked to Mark Koziel, the executive vice president of firm services at the AICPA, about everything that’s new in the world of CPAs, like the expansion of technology integration. He finds that these changes in the profession are global. He believes CPAs are only as receptive as their change management. “Anything new that comes at us, we should be able to adapt to, provided our change management,” Koziel said. The AICPA is helping to facilitate the conversation around transformation.
  • I spoke with Celeste Hernandez Revelli, who is the director of financial planning at eMoney Adviser. The product allows advisors to “collaborate with their clients on a deeper level and have that high touch engagement with clients,” Revelli said. We know that today’s high touch comes with high technology. Yes, it’s in the cloud! Have you thought about advisory services and what exactly that means to your firm?
  • I spoke with Bob Rounsfell, the PFS president of Rounsfell Financial Group about how firms and CPAs can provide wealth management solutions. “We got involved in wealth management because we thought we could do a better job than what our clients were getting from the advisers they were working with,” Rounsfell said. How many times have you had that exact same thought? Listen to his inspiring journey here.
  • And probably my most inspiring interview was with Lindsay Stevenson, the vice president of finance and tax at 1st Financial Bank USA and David Knoch, the president of 1st Global. They expressed to me how important it is to empower new CPA leaders, especially through experiences like the EDGE program for young professionals. The program has existed for seven years, but this is the first time it was hosted at Engage. “We had a great opening keynote and we were up and dancing during it. We were up and dancing and it counted as CPE,” Stevenson said. Lindsay reminded me of myself just 10 years ago when I was the “crazy one” pushing everyone to move. Her energy alone is inspiring.

To listen to these guests and many more, click here.

Jody Padar

Jody Padar

Jody Padar, CPA, MST, is the chief executive officer and principal at New Vision CPA Group and the author of The Radical CPA.