Accounting & Audit
Aaron Berson, CPA, MSA – 2019 40 Under 40 Honoree
Sep. 23, 2019
Aaron Berson, CPA, MSA
Fringe Accounting Co.
New York City
I always find I have some difficulty with this question, I never want to sound boasting or pompous as I believe with all my being that we need to stay humble and help each other as equals. However, this past year I have had a number of new career highlights! To start, receiving this honor for the third year in a row feels amazing and I am so thankful to CPA Practice Advisor. Secondly, being asked to speak at AICPA Engage was amazing and educational to say the least. Third, I made a relatively large career move, actually two, leading me to be at Fringe Accounting, building an amazing firm! I would say though my biggest highlight this year was looking back at what we built at my previous firm over a few short years. Let me elaborate, we built an amazing CAS Practice with technology at its core, we had great clients and a great team. However, what amazed me the most was when reflecting on my time there, we built an amazing culture within the group. This was due to the entire team and I claim absolutely no credit for it as I had not set out to build that, however as a team we did. Looking back and realizing that the entire team were friends first (still are) and colleagues second I was intrigued. Than realizing we were also friends with our clients not just a vendor or an outside party I was inspired. That is what we are building again at Fringe.
What are you doing to make a difference in the profession, your community, the world?
I don’t like to look at things inside and outside the firm. However, I am always looking to teach. One of my favorite things is to see someone’s face light up when they finally grasp a new concept. In this vein I am always trying to help expand others realms of understanding and have been working on launching a youtube channel along this idea, Challenge SALY (Same as last year) to help practitioners and business owners challenge their way of thinking and embrace technology and change! It is not live yet, however, keep an eye out as it will be soon!
My favorite book and speaker I heard this past year is one and the same. The Best Story Wins by Matthew luhn is amazing. Listening to him tell the story that he has captured inside his book was captivating and left everyone feeling inspired, emotionally drained and yet energetic. I was able to listen to him speak at DCPA in December and it was great. He speaks about story telling and in his book converts this to lessons and anecdotes for business not just the silver screen.
What do you see yourself doing professionally in 10 years?
It’s very difficult to say what I will be doing in 10 years. The amount of change we have seen in the last 10 is astounding! All I can say is I hope I will still be doing certain key items on a daily basis. Those are learning, helping business owners, helping my team, playing with new technology, and chasing a few squirrels here and there 😊. On serious note, I know the daily tasks will be different, however, I believe in 10 years from now the underlying principles will be similar that we work in on the accounting side. I do believe we will be having completely different and new conversations and I will be acting more as a data interpreter and story teller than only an accountant
What accounting conferences do you normally attend?
I try to attend the larger conferences each year that draw a wide range our attendees. To name a bunch Expensicon / Xerocon / QuickBooks Connect / Scaling new heights/ Accountex / Various industry-specific conferences. Some of my favorite are those geared towards a particular industry, not to mention you are often one of only a few accountants in the room. I find these the most fun as you get to learn something new at every one and hear how similar our professions disruption is to so many other industries.
I try to attend a number of conferences and change them up year by year. Some of the larger ones I can think of from recent memory are: Expensicon / Xerocon / QuickBooks Connect / Scaling new heights/ Accountex / Various industry-specific conferences. I would encourage anyone looking to become an expert in any industry to attend some conferences for that industry. You will learn what is important, how they think and as an added benefit you will be one of very few accountants in the room.
What websites/magazines do you use to keep up on news of the accounting profession?
/ Vendor Blogs / Cloud Accounting Podcast / Social Media at large Macpa.org, NYSSCPA.org / State Society publications – Journalofaccountancy.com / Accountingtoday.com / CPA Practice Advisor / The CPA Journal.