Get ready for the post-PC world, says accounting thoughtleader

SECAUCUS, New Jersey – May 15, 2013 – More than 1,200 CPAs and financial professionals are in attendance at this year’s New Jersey Business and Accounting Show and Conference, which started today with a keynote by Rick Richardson, CPA.CITP.

In its 19th year, the annual conference is held at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus and is the New Jersey Society of CPAs’ largest annual technology gathering. The show offers two days of educational sessions by many of the top leaders in technology for accountants. Attendees can earn up to 12 hours of CPE during the event, including a combined four hours of CPE credits during the two free general session keynotes that open each day’s sessions.

The conference was called to order by Gerard Abbattista, CPA, the president-elect of the New Jersey Society of CPAs, who is a partner at EisnerAmper LLP, who commended the show for offering a wide opportunity for professionals to earn free and low-cost CPE.

The opening keynote was delivered by noted CPA and technologist Rick Richardson, who has been recognized as one of CPA Practice Advisor’s Thought Leaders and is a member of the Tax & Accounting Hall of Fame. This was the 11th year that he has offered the opening keynote, which focused on “Technology Futures for 2013.”

Each year, Richardson presents his visions of technology trends shaping the profession, spotlights the key areas accountants should pay attention to, and then provides near and long-term technology predictions. He also does a quick recap of how his previous predictions have fared.

For trends this year, his key focus areas were on technology companies, platforms, hardware, communications and “Big Data.” He noted the remarkable progress Apple and tablet manufacturers have made in transitioning the market away from PCs and toward a much more mobile environment.

“We are nearing a post-PC world where fewer people care about personal computers,” Richardson noted. “Replacement cycles are lengthening as people adapt more mobile technologies, and the use of multiple devices is common. Mobile development is outpacing PC development,” and so is the revenue.

Also speaking at the show today are, Jim Bourke, CPA.CITP, CGMA, a partner at WithumSmith+Brown, who will discuss the Bring Your Own Device trend, and why it's a postitive if managed properly. Former CPA Practice Advisor Executive Editor Gregory L. LaFollette, CPA.CITP, CGMA, will offer two sessions: “How Smart Accountants are Capitalizing on the ‘Cloud Burst’,“ and “Accounting Services: Harnessing the power of the cloud."

Flagg Management has been the coordinator of the conference since it started in 2005. Located across the Hudson river from Manhattan, the show also draws several attendees from the New York area.

“I think it’s a miracle that a thousand CPAs from across the state can get up at 5am and say goodbye to their spouse, then drive for an hour or more to get to the show,” said Russell Flagg, president of the event management group. “I suspect it’s the desire on part of CPAs not only to get free and low-cost continuing education, but also to network with colleagues and get up to date on technology and other issues that they want to make sure they don’t overlook.”

The keynote scheduled for Thursday morning will be delivered by James W. Hughes, Ph.D. , of Rutgers University. He will focus on how the economy, fiscal cliff, sequester and Superstorm Sandy are continuing to affect business in the state and region.

Sponsors of this year's conference included CPA Practice Advisor, Intuit, Sage, Thomson Reuters, the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, Sage, a Wolters Kluwer business, among others.

Flagg Management also ordinates many other financial and professional conferences across the country, including the California Accounting & Business Show and Conference, which will be held June 3-4, in Los Angeles.