What Happens in Vegas... Helps Professional Accountants and Their Clients

Annual AICPA convention draws professionals for topical education

Nearly 1,000 CPAs from across the country have gathered at the Aria Casino and Convention Center in Las Vegas for the American Institute of Public Accountants' annual Practitioners Symposium and Tech+ Conference. The main keynote speaker for the Monday opening session of the conference was inspirational speaker and author Curtis Zimmerman.


Following Zimmerman, the annual "Tech Update" keynote was given by Randy Johnston, an expert with more than 30 years experience in IT issues relating to the accounting profession. In his adress, Johnston, who is VP of Network Management Group, Inc. (NMGI), spotlighted several areas that firms need to be aware of in the near-term, particularly cyber security. He noted that accounting practices are one of the top targeted professional services by computer hackers, who aim to get at sensitive client information.


Johnston also explored many changes involving IT infrastructure for larger practices, discussed anticipated growth in Ultra HD Video over IP, and let attendees know of some of the features likely to be in the iPhone 5 (facial recognition, improved interoperability) and in Windows 8.


Activities actually started on Sunday evening with a welcome reception and two additional "tweet up" receptions. One tweet up, an in-person get-together of people who ordinarily interact via Twitter, was sponsored by FreshBooks, followed by another sponsored by the CloudSolutions Alliance, which includes Fujitsu, SmartVault, Copanion, SpeedTax, XCM Solutions and FreshBooks.


Sessions on Monday and Tuesday, and early Wednesday were offered to CPAs, with primary tracks including tax, practice management, opportunities, accounting and auditing and various technology-focused topics.

The Tuesday keynote was delivered by Randy Johnston, a longtime accounting technology thoughtleader and well-known speaker, who presented his annual Tech Update.