Wednesday, November 29, 2017 – Friday, December 1, 2017 | 8:45am – 4:30pm

New England Practice Management Conference

The start date for this course has passed. Registration is no longer available.

Speed Coaching with Jason Blumer & Julie Shipp!

Jason Blumer, CPA, Thriveal CPA Network and Blumer & Associates, CPAs
Julie Shipp, Blumer & Associates, CPAs

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND! Throughout the conference, Blumer will be holding 15-minute speed coaching sessions for attendees to learn how best to improve their firms. Come with any issues or pain points that you're experiencing. These quick coaching services are an ideal opportunity for you to learn a great deal in a short amount of time! Email Katlyn Ribeiro at to reserve your time today.


Mohegan Sun Hotel Reservation

If you would like to stay at the hotel for the duration of the conference, please use the link below. In order to guarantee a room at the lowest rate, please make reservations by November 8, 2017. If you have any questions, please email Katlyn Ribeiro at


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

 1:30 - 1:50 p.m.



1:50 p.m.  –  2:00 p.m.

Opening Remarks

Richard O’Connor, CPA, MST, Johnson O’Connor


2:00 – 4:00 p.m.  

Cyber Security: Things to Do to Keep Your Firm Safe & How to Monetize This Space

James Bourke, CPA, CITP, CFF, CGMA, WithumSmith+Brown, PC

Whether in public, private, government or education, every CPA has a responsibility to exercise due professional care when it comes to protecting private data. In this session, Bourke will review best practices for everything from password selection, to Wi-Fi connectivity, to phishing attacks. He’ll also give a 30,000 foot view of the new AICPA SOC for Cybersecurity Attestation Examination Engagement and show you ways to monetize this revenue stream for your firm.


4:00 – 5:00 p.m. 

Networking Break and Check in

5:00 – 6:00 p.m.  

Professional Issues Update

Amy Pitter, Massachusetts Society of CPAs

Regarded as one of the profession’s top thought leaders in Massachusetts, Pitter will draw upon her extensive professional insights and experience to address the issues at the forefront of accounting. Pitter will tap into larger-scale issues affecting the industry, including staffing, globalization and technology and discuss what firm leaders should start doing now to get ahead of impending changes and reach new success.

6:30 – 7:30 p.m. 

Cocktail Reception sponsored by MS Consultants at SolToro Tequila Grill

Sponsored by: MS Consultants

Thursday, November 30, 2017


7:30 – 8:30 a.m. 


Sponsored by: Office Tools Professional


8:15 – 8:30 a.m. 

Opening Remarks

Amy Pitter, President/CEO, Massachusetts Society of CPAs

Laura Gannon, CPA, Gannon CPA, LLC


8:30 – 10:00 a.m. 

Building a Progressive, Sustainable Firm

Jennifer Wilson, Convergence Coaching, LLC

Our profession is facing significant change. Leaders who recognize this and drive cultural change stand the best chance of remaining relevant, competitive and sustainable. Together we’ll explore strategies to prepare for and drive changes to ensure you retain your competitive advantage, including: Engaging a leadership culture centered letting go, “getting better,” being open to change and failing forward, enhancing the value you bring to clients with a broader, advisory approach and technology to maximize the client experience and empowering and engaging your talent including embracing flexibility and bringing young professionals along faster. Attendees will leave this session ready to build an inspiring culture that makes talent and clients proud to work at – or with — his/her firm.


10:00 – 10:30 a.m. 

Networking Break and Visit Exhibitors

Sponsored by: Fieldstone Financial


10:30 – 11:45 a.m. 

Concurrent Sessions (choose one)


A.) Advanced Recruiting Ideas to Drive Practice Growth

Jennifer Wilson, Convergence Coaching, LLC

Finding the best and brightest can be a challenge in any market, but with today’s talent shortage, it’s harder than ever. Attend this session to learn real-life recruiting strategies, garnered from our work with some of the best HR professionals in accounting, to help elevate your recruiting efforts and enable you to source both on-campus and experienced hires more effectively.


B.)Working Safely and Effectively from Anywhere

Randy Johnston, MCS, K2 Enterprises

The Internet and mobile technologies have revolutionized the way businesses operate. We're no longer constrained by having to operate in a specific location or during specific business hours. Organizations can, now, effectively communicate and do business with customers and staff based anywhere in the world. One of the most important aspects of this changing workplace is the virtual office, which allows a user to work anywhere in the world. This session is an in-depth look at how an organization can improve collaboration, communication and operations by implementing virtual office technology. We'll look at solutions to simplify and streamline communications, business process management, going paperless and more.


C.) Doing It Right – The Keys to Successful M&A

Chris Bond, Murphy Business & Financial Corporation
Laura Kevghas, Seed to Harvest LLC

The purchase and sale of professional services firms can be tricky. Along with due consideration given to cultural fit, parties on either side of a transaction must fully explore everything from differences in marketing and operations to fee structure and finance. Before you begin – or continue – the process of buying or selling a practice, be sure to attend this lively, interactive session. By doing so, you’ll learn the nitty gritty of steering a transaction, covering everything from valuation, timing, offering, due diligence and closing. This seminar will address the myriad reasons why most proposed mergers and acquisitions fall through, among them a lack of preparation and misaligned expectations.


D.)The Profession's Move Towards Advisory Work: What is an Accountant?

Jason Blumer, CPA, Thriveal CPA Network

Just as our clients are changing, the accountant must change also. We'll explore what should be changing about the role of the accountant and how they can position themselves to be seen as an Advisor, not only a technician. Also, there will be a Q&A at the end, so bring your toughest accounting firm growth questions for the speaker, Jason Blumer, CPA.

E.)Demo Room: Tangible Property Regulations-Increased Tax Savings with New Revenue Procedures

MS Consultants

New IRS Revenue Procedures and clarifications have made the Tangible Property Regulations (TPR) even more attractive to taxpayers than when they were issued in 2014. In addition, a vast majority of the tax savings opportunities provided for under the TPR still exist for 2016 and beyond.  This breakout session will provide an overview of the new revenue procedures issued in 2015 and 2016 and how to apply them, explain how to expense previously capitalized assets, how to take advantage  of the new de minimis amounts and review many other provisions in the regulations.  Practitioners will be provided information to turn the regulations into a revenue generator for the upcoming tax season.

11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 


Sponsored by: TaxPoint Advisors


12:30 - 2:00 p.m.

Built for Legacy: 3 Keys to Sustainable Team Excellence

Pete Smith, SmithImpact

Success in the accounting industry isn’t built on fluke excellence or isolated great performances. The best teams, and organizations are those that are able to sustain high levels of performance year after year. To do that, it requires that business leaders understand three fundamental aspects of success: 1: identity matters; 2: little things matter; and 3: an unwavering attack on complacency matters. 

2:15 – 3:30 p.m.  

Concurrent Sessions (choose one)


F.) What’s NOT Being Said Needs to Be Understood

Pete Smith, SmithImpact

The biggest fallacy regarding communication is that 100% of it exists in body language, tone and words. There’s so much more to being an effective communicator and it requires a deeper understanding of what’s not being said. In the world of marketing, content is king. However, in the world of communication, context is king, and great communication begins with extraordinary self-awareness.


G.) Security Blocking & Tackling

Randy Johnston, MCS, K2 Enterprises

Anti-virus, encryption and spam filtering are fundamental protection techniques that all organizations should have deployed. However, with risks multiplying daily, are you using the right security technologies? Should you consider more protection capabilities? In this session, you will learn about today’s risks and the best techniques and tools to protect your information technology and the sensitive data in your organization.

 H.)Strategic Thinking & Developing Your Plan

Brendan Keegan, velocityHUB

Many firms get caught in the day-to-day, tactical actions of getting the job done. Often, they forget to step back and think strategically. Strategic thinking is the mental process for creating the future for yourself, your team or your firm. It is necessary for building plans, generating growth, achieving goals, making decisions and finding new opportunities. In this session, you’ll learn the power of strategic thinking, how to develop a plan using a proven strategic planning methodology and tips to being strategic starting now. Each participant will walk away with a 10-point action plan.

I.) Digital Currency, Blockchain and Their Impact on the Industry

Amanda Wilkie, MBA, PMP, MCSA , WithumSmith + Brown, PC

Digital currency and the technology behind them continue to make waves in both accounting and technology, so much that to the extent that last year was labeled blockchain's proof of concept year. This sessionwill review the latest developments in digital currency laws and regulations, successful blockchain applications and what they mean to you.

J.) Demo room: Clarifying the new R&D Tax Credit Regulations

Tax Point Advisors

The PATH (Protecting Americans against Tax Hikes) Act in December, 2015 made the Federal R&D tax credit open to many companies which previously didn't qualify.   Beyond PATH, though, several other changes during the year afford a new opportunity for many more companies to claim this valuable tax incentive. In Tax Point Advisor's (TPA) session, TPA will review the specific components of PATH Act's changes to R&D credits, and other lesser known but very beneficial enhancements made during the year. Clarification on the new R&D Regulation for the PATH ACT.

  • new R&D tax credit offset to Alternative Minimum Tax:  requirements to qualify for AMT relief
  • mechanics of applying the new AMT offset
  • treatment of credit carry-forwards from 2015 and earlier years and the interplay of these with AMT.  Techniques for creating credit utilization of carry forwards will be discussed
  • new R&D credit payroll tax benefit:  requirements to qualify for the payroll tax offset. 
  • software development:  new changes allowing claiming a credit for INTERNAL USE software for first time in 30 year history of R&D credit
  • enhancements to the Alternative Simplified Credit
  • new simplified rules for Controlled Groups claiming the R&D credit
  • Massachusetts changes to the MA R&D tax credit program

 In addition to the above updates and more, TPA will present on the "basics" of the R&D program for those course participants not yet familiar with the history, qualification requirements, application, and benefits of Federal and state R&D credit programs.  Particular emphasis will be placed on often "hidden" qualifying industries, such as construction contractors (electrical, mechanical, and HVAC), job shops across many industries, and certain service firms (e.g., engineering firms).



3:30 – 4:00 p.m. 

Networking Break and Visit Exhibitors

Sponsored by: Fieldstone Financial


4:00 – 5:15 p.m.


Firms will be divided by size

  •  Roundtable 1  - Less than 1 million gross revenue
    Arthur Arsenault, CPA, Arsenault and Cline, CPAs, Inc. and Laura Gannon, CPA, Gannon CPA, LLC
  • Roundtable 2 – 1-3 million gross revenue
    Buzz Travers III, CPA, Aaron Smith PC, Mark O'Reilly, CPA, Richardson & Company, PC,  Timothy MacLellan, CPA, CGMA,PFS, Morgan & Morgan PC
  • Roundtable 3 - 3-5 million gross revenueRichard K. O'Connor, CPA, Johnson O'Connor
  • Roundtable 4 - 5+ million gross revenueRonald L. Loberfeld, CPA, CGMA, Abrams Little-Gill Loberfeld, PC,  David Richards, CPA, CRR LLP

Our Favorite Apps

Randy Johnston, MCS, K2 Enterprises

Smartphone and tablet computer users recognize the importance of running apps on their devices to achieve peak productivity. In this session, you will learn about the favorite apps used by members of the K2 team along with why you should consider installing these apps on your devices. Included in this session are apps for iOS and Android powered devices. Do not miss this chance to increase your productivity by putting the best apps to work for you today!


Demo Room: Harbor Strategies: Retirement Planning Insights: Health Care, Social Security, and Medicare means Testing

Recent surveys indicate that RISING HEALTH CARE COSTS is the number one concern of those entering retirement. Knowledgeable professionals are taking action to prepare their clients for retirement. Harbor Strategies Group has partnered with HealthView Services to address these areas of concern that all professionals need to more about.

Founded in 2008 by a team of financial and health care industry executives, and expert physicians, HealthView Services (commonly referred to as HVS) is the nation’s leading producer of health care cost-projection software. The company’s primary objective is to prepare current and future retirees for the impact of health care costs, and the firm’s suite of tools, which covers Medicare costs, long-term care expenses, and Social Security optimization strategies, provides a holistic approach to financial stability in retirement.


 6:00 – 7:30pm 

Cocktail Reception, sponsored by TD Bank
VISTA Lounge at Wombi Rock

Sponsored by: TD Bank


Friday, December 1, 2017


7:15 – 8:15 a.m. 

Roundtables by Topic – Exhibit Hall

  • Staffing
    Richard K. O'Connor, CPA, Johnson O'Connor  
  • Seasonality/Workload Compression

    Ronald L. Loberfeld, CPA, CGMA, Abrams Little-Gill Loberfeld PC

  • Pricing
    Kathy L. Parker, CPA, MST, Rodman CPAs

  • Growth – Future of the profession – Where do we want to be in 10 years?
    Andrew Schwartz, CPA, Schwartz & Schwartz PC    
  • Transitioning Partners – Moving clients to new partners

    Jeffrey Levine, CPA, Alkon & Levine PC

  • Software
    Arthur Arsenault, CPA, Arsenault and Cline, CPAs, Inc.


 7:30 – 8:25 a.m.  


8:25 – 8:30 a.m. 

Opening Remarks

Laura Gannon, CPA, Gannon CPA, LLC


8:30 – 10:00 a.m.

Rethinking the "Profession"

Jina Etienne, CPA, CGMA

 Let's have an upside-down discussion. Rather than focus on best practices for recruiting and maintaining talent or firm practice management, let's work backward. We'll start by imagining a company that is vibrant, modern, savvy and growing. What does it look like? What are the company's values? Then, we'll explore the attributes of people who would want to be owners, clients and employees. As demographic shifts drive new and different client and employee expectations, firms must evolve into holistic workplaces that embrace those changes. Perhaps the best growth strategy is as simple as re-defining you firm’s culture in these terms. The result might be a clearer sense of who you are as an organization and what strategies you need to truly become the optimal firm that reflects communities where we work and the clients we serve.

10:00 – 10:15 a.m.

Networking Break and Visit Exhibitors

Sponsored by: Fieldstone Financial


10:15 – 11:30 a.m. 

Concurrent Sessions (choose one)


K.) The Art of HR & Diversifying Talent in the Accounting Industry

Mathew Heggem, SUM Innovation

In this seminar, we cover the “Art of HR” and the next great frontier for the accounting profession, a true diversification of talent. We will discuss the importance of culture, creating a strong talent acquisition strategy and look at ways to improve everything from the hiring process to performance reviews, so that you can position your accounting firm for the next generation of great talent.

L.) Demystifying Data Analytics and Applying It At Your Firm

Nate Coughran, CPA, Founder and Lead Instructor, BostonExcel

By the end of 2020, it is estimated that there will be 50x more data than there was in 2012. Practitioners must be proactive to keep up in this big data age. How is your firm doing? The words “big data” and “data analytics” are scary to many people. The purpose of this seminar is to demystify these topics and introduce manageable ways your firm can utilize data analytics to increase profitability and add value to your clients.


M.) Driving Growth Through Innovative Thinking

Brendan Keegan, velocityHUB

Business growth requires innovative thinking and innovation can be small changes or big overhauls. In this keynote, we’ll discuss the innovation levels, the 12 dimensions of innovation and how this can be applied to tax and accounting firms. As the leaders of their firms, managing directors and partners have a great opportunity to develop innovative thinking, learn from trends in other industries and companies and apply a process for bringing in new clients. Each participant will walk away with a 10-point action plan.

 N.) How the Fastest Growing Firms are Spending their Marketing Budgets (based on Hinge/AAM research)

Alison Simons, Simons Marketing, LLC

CPA firms are allocating nearly 5% of revenue to marketing budgets (including compensation). In this presentation we'll discuss the difference between how high growth and lower growth firms are allocating their budgets and how to adjust your marketing priorities to focus on the activities that provide the best ROI. Whether you're a firm with a partner in-charge of marketing or a firm with a dedicated marketing team, there will be actionable ideas for firms of every size in this presentation.  

This presentation uses research including the Association for Accounting Marketing/ Hinge Marketing 2017 Marketing Budget Benchmark Study.

O.) Demo Room: Why the Clouds Rocks: A Demonstration of OfficeTools and our Cloud Offerings

Office Tools

Come and see live in a software demonstration how Office Tools software improves delegation, tracking and workflow while increasing client service, manager awareness and firm profitability.

 During this 1 hour demonstration we will cover how to improve workflow, manage staff and seamlessly integrate more processes and applications. All of this is the basis for cutting down administration costs and increasing billable time in firms. We will review areas of the software which include contact management, staff calendaring, time tracking and integrated document flow. With this product you will no longer miss deadlines, lose documents and spend late nights managing a firm. The many features we combine together create the leading Practice Management program called Workspace (tm). Available in Desktop, Cloud Hosted and SaaS versions, this software can actually transform your firm and helps your firm reach it's optimal potential.

  • Learn how the cloud provides better security.
  • Discover why firms are ready to implement practice management system like never before.
  • Find out what a thorough review of your workflow procedures can do when combined with Cloud offerings.


11:40 a.m. – 12:50 p.m. 

Concurrent Sessions (choose one)


P.) Overcoming the Barriers to Individual and Organizational Change

Carol Hoopes, Creative Collaborations

How can CPA firms create a culture and mindset that moves beyond ingrained habits and patterns of behavior that impede growth and change? This session is specifically designed to help individuals, teams, and organizations make personal and collective changes that are most important to them but have proven resistant even to thoughtful plans. Participants will undergo an immunity to change mapping process that will help them uncover competing commitments and hidden assumptions that get in the way of progress and understand how to move beyond these barriers.

Q.) The Future of Audit and AI

Venkat Srinivasan, Rage Frameworks

Advances in artificial intelligence technologies especially natural language processing have significant implications for how audits will be conducted in the future. Adoption of these technologies will likely to lead to large-scale, disruptive change in how an audit is done.This talk will provide both a conceptual framework for how AI-driven automation can influence audit processes and audit firms, and illustrate the framework through some real life examples. It will draw on successful experiences with these technologies in the context of some large audit firms.

R.) How to Introduce New Revenue Streams Into Your Firm That Are Predictable, Repeatable & Scalable

Ian Welham, HaydenRock Solutions
Bryan Eberle, HaydenRock Solutions

The accounting industry is experiencing rapid change, with audit, tax and compliance services becoming commoditized. As a result, many CPA firms are looking to add new revenue streams to reboot or expand their practice. Attend this session to learn which advisory services would most benefit your clients today and how to know on a month-to-month basis how much revenue will be generated.

S.) The Essentials of Human Resources: Balancing Compliance, Paperwork, and Productivity to Increase the Bottom Line

Laurie LaBrie, Integrated Human Resources

Hiring, firing, independent contractors, State law, Federal law, time off, inconsistent performance…these are everyday challenges for business owners and managers.  Most leaders list managing employees as the toughest part of their job.
In this session, we’ll look at some of the more challenging state and federal regulations, as well as the life cycle of an employee from hiring through separation.

T.) Successfully Integrating Financial Services into Your CPA Practice

Dierdre Collins, Harbor Strategies Group,
Paul Saganey, Integrated Financial Partners
John Pastore, Integrated Financial Partners
John Cataldo, Esq. Intergrated Financial Partners

Arthur Arsenault, CPA, Arsenault and Cline CPAs, Inc.
Mitch Smith, Universal Insurance Services

In line with what President John F. Kennedy said in 1961 "landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth" our goal is not just adding financial services into a practice but doing so successfully. This session will provide attendees with substantive information about adding financial services to their practice and the benefits of doing so for their clients. We will cover revenue and valuation opportunities as well addressing regulatory obligations and perceived risks. 


12:50 – 1:30 p.m.  


Sponsored by: GTM Payroll Services

1:30 – 3:00 p.m.

Communicate Effectively, Resolve Conflict, Build Trust & Lead High Performance Relationships

Steve McClatchy, Alleer Training and Consulting

If you are in business today, then you are in the business of relationships. The skills of communicating effectively, setting expectations, gaining commitment, building trust, getting others to follow through and resolving conflict can be the most important skills you will develop. In this presentation, you will learn the keys to success in each of these areas and how to build relationships strong enough to handle the pressures and tensions inherent in creating, building, leading and sustaining a fast-changing, high-performance organization. If your success is determined by your ability to work successfully through others and you’re ready to develop skills that will help you in today’s ultra-competitive, hyper-connected, multi-generational, global business environment, this is a presentation you won’t want to miss.

This seminar qualifies for the Workforce Training Express Fund program. The course code for this program is 1114427
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Conference Credits

This course is 18.00 credits

Conference Fees

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AICPA Member

Conference Cost

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The start date for this course has passed. Registration is no longer available.