2012-11 Newsletter
 
WAA Newsletter November 2012
In This Issue

From the President
Skpe Like You've Never Skyped Before
Education Offerings
Member Profiles
Chapter News

Education

Registration is now open for all WAA 2012 Education Programs.  Below is the list of programming.  Click on the event link for details on registration pricing as well as the link to the online registration form.

 

Around the State

Chapter Events

We have four active chapters around the state.  These chapter officers have been diligently working to bring relevant education to the chapter members and with creating a quality collaborative peer meeting environment. 
 
Go to www.waa.org/chapters to find out what is happening in your chapter.

Our Leadership

Board of Directors

Chapters

Committees

Chapter Listservs

All WAA members have been subscribed to their chapter listserv based on the chapter listed in their profile.  Download these listserv instructions to learn how to subscribe if you do not currently have a chapter affiliation listed on your profile, to unsubscribe, or to change the email address you want subscribed to the listserv.

In Memorandum

If you are aware of a WAA member who has passed on please contact editorial@waa.org.

Advertising

This newsletter is distributed to over 300 accountants in Washington State.

New rates coming soon!

To advertise, please email the WAA office at office@waa.org.

Editorial Content

The principal aims of this publication are the advancement of the accounting profession and communication among our members. Opinions expressed herein are those of the individual writers and not necessarily those of WAA or the Editor. Please submit articles and comments to editorial@waa.org.

The deadline for submissions is the 20th of the month preceding publication.

 

The IRS provides a very informative annual calendar.

Small business owners find this a valuable resource throughout the year.  Supplies are limited and the calendar is free.

If you would like to learn more about the IRS calendar please contact Rizwan Chaudhry at rizwan@nwaccountants.com

 

The mission of the Washington Association of Accountants is to promote and protect the right of every member to practice accounting and taxation; to provide the services and professional education necessary to maintain and improve professional competence.

From the President

by Jerry Gintz

Working with clients, long-distance:


Skype!  If you don’t know what it is, go here right now.  Do you have clients move out of the area who still want to work with you – maintain the relationship?  We do.  Every year we experience this fact of life (of our profession).  To those of you who actually conduct client interviews, Skype is the tool for you.  It allows you to stay connected and to conduct face-to-face client interviews, long-distance.
 
This past year, I conducted face-to-face Skype client interviews with shared desktop (just as though the client was in my office), with a young couple in England, a couple in PA, a client relocated in Bend, OR and a couple relocated to SC, with Boeing, just to mention a few.  These were all local clients before they moved away.   I use Lacerte and the interactive method, with dual monitors – the client sees what I see.  When I shared with them that I could work with them via Skype, they loved the idea.  Being all younger clients, they were well informed about Skype (Face-time) and how that technology translates into real-time collaboration.
 
This year we intend to offer Skype interviews to a select number of local clients, just to test-drive the idea at the local level.  The younger generation is queued up for this kind of service.  With portal services, which allow for secure sharing of source documents, conducting a client interview with clients from their home office or kitchen table (even in England) is a snap.   With e-file, pdf tax return upload and EFT payment options, the opportunity to work outside our traditional local area of service is blown wide open.  
I encourage you to look into this new way of collaborating with your clients; especially as a way to retain those clients needing to relocate during these tough economic times.   As the adage goes, it’s less expensive to retain a client than it is to acquire a new one.   Test-drive Skype in your office and see if you can put it to work in your practice, to give YOU an advantage.
 

Skype Like You've Never Skyped Before


by Astrid Arola


I just recently started using Skype myself (I have Jerry to thank for that, he has been forcing me out of my comfort zone and started using Skype for the WAA Board Meetings), but I’m already excited about the possibilities. For those of you who have never tried it, or have only used it for one-on-one conversations, I found some instructions I’d like to share.

How to Use Skype:

  1. Download - it is available for your computer, iPad, cell phone etc. from Skype.com
  2. Create an Account – you can use your Hotmail or FaceBook accounts to skip this step if you have one.
  3. Add Contacts –search by e-mail address, phone number, full name, or Skype name (if they’ve given it to you).
  4. Start Skyping! – you can call them, video chat or even send text messages when they are off-line.

How to Make Conference Calls:

  1. Go to your Contacts – you can either “Create New Group” under the drop-down menu in Contacts on the Toolbar (for groups you will be conferencing often, like…oh I don’t know…your fellow WAA Chapter Members!) or you just click on the first contact and then drag & drop any other contacts you wish to add to the conversation. (voice conference calls are free, but there is an extra charge for video conference calls)
  2. Click the second green button that says “Call group”.

           IT’S THAT EASY!!!

I hope you try these out & find Skype as useful as we do. Please feel free to add me and Jerry Gintz to your contacts! Technology is amazing and it never stops getting better.
 


Education

by Cynthia Polley - Education Committee

WAA has a great lineup of education this fall.  In addition to the annual Gear Up fall tax update seminars, there are some new options to help brush up on tax law, train staff, or prepare for the RTRP exam.  WAA has something to offer almost everyone.  Whether you are looking for a live seminar or a study course, WAA has it all.  Be sure to take a look at the options and register on the website at www.waa.org. If you haven’t looked at the website for a while, you will be pleasantly surprised.  It looks GREAT!  

The Income Tax SchoolNOW A SELF-STUDY CLASS
The format of the Comprehensive Income Tax Class has changed.  We found that September 8th was just too early for some people to commit to a 10-week course.  The class is now being offered as a self-study course.  Registration will remain open through the end of the year.  Once you begin the course, you are given 6-months to complete the class.  So it’s not too late to take the class after all! Register today at www.waa.org.  

RTRP Live Seminars
Presented by: Hettick & Bell Enterprise Awareness
CPE Credits: 8-Hours

This live presentation and the accompanying study guide are designed to assist the un-enrolled and new tax practitioner in achieving a passing score on the Registered Tax Return Preparer minimum competency exam. The presentation will not only cover the necessary subject matter but also offer practical first hand insight on the test taking experience. The study guide is a 373 page manual that consists of 7 chapters dealing with the 2011 Publication 17 and includes a current copy of the Circular 230. Relevant review questions at the end of each chapter will challenge and prepare the student for the exam. Register today at www.waa.org.

FAST FORWARD ACADEMY
Fast Forward Academy is our newest online education product.  Whether you need to study for the RTRP, the EA or the CPA exam, this online study course will provide you with the knowledge and experience with the simulated online exam that will help you pass the exam the first time.  You will find the Fast Forward Academy courses at our online education section of the website.  Register today at www.waa.org.

FAST FORWARD KICK-OFF EVENTS
We are holding four Fast Forward Kick-Off events, one at each chapter.  Call your friends and co-workers and plan to attend a Kick-Off event in your area.  The kick-off events are designed to bring people together, to register for the course and to provide an overview of the program to help people get off to a good start.  Each event will be held at the chapter meeting location.  The events are free, but you do need to register. Register today at www.waa.org.


GEAR UP FEDERAL TAX UPDATE
CPE Credites: 8-Hour CPE
Date: January 11, 2013
Location: TBA

This course offers practical insight into the ever-changing world of federal taxation. Federal Tax Update is a one-day, fast-paced seminar that covers the latest developments affecting individuals, corporations, pass-through entities, and estates and trusts.

Written and taught by practitioners for practitioners, it is designed to provide you with practical, working knowledge of the latest tax law changes. This highly popular seminar will enable you to effectively, and confidently complete tax planning, compliance, and consultation engagements during the coming year.


Member Profiles


Update your member profile today!
One of the problems many member-based organizations face is keeping current information about their members. We want to know about you and stay in touch. Please check your WAA profile today to make sure it has the current phone numbers, e-mail, business address and any other information that may have changed over the years. We’d also love it if you uploaded a recent picture so members that haven’t met you can put a face to the name!

For those of you that aren’t aware of all the features of the Member Section, you can also:
Under “My Profile” (hover over tab) – Change Contact Preferences, Review E-mail History & View Previous Transactions (for any classes/seminars/meetings you registered for & get the receipt)
Under “My Features” (hover over tab) – View Committees (members, messages & files), View E-List you are subscribed to (messages & members of the Chapter you are in)
Chapter Officer Information – You can find all sorts of information and forms that can be downloaded and modified to make your chapter duties easier.


Chapter News

Northwest Chapter
by Dale Offret, President

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, ships at sea, ‘tis once again time, as the Northwest Chapter announces another beautiful day in the Pacific NW and in Western Washington, to come join us for some great fun, professional networking, continuing education, and comradery with a twist!  Open every 1st Thursday of the month, noon to 2PM at Max Dale’s in Mt Vernon, or by appointment, - what more could you possibly want?

 The chapter meetings continue to focus on relevant, interesting, up-to-date topics with a twist of fun.  At last month’s October meeting, we had James McCafferty & Kevin Hoult from the Economic Development Association of Skagit County, they presented the topic of, “Helping Small Businesses”.  It was filled with lots of helpful information for all of us.

Our November 1st meeting was cancelled so our members could attend the 18th Annual IRS Working Together Symposium at the Seattle Center.

On December 6th we have Shawn Gagnon, CPA, bringing us the topic of Personal Bankruptcy Issues & Debt Forgiveness.  

On January 3rd we have Patrick Reed from the Secretary of State, Division of Corporation and Charities bringing us up to date on changes. A new type of Corporation has now been established……come see what it is all about….

On February 7th we have our annual roundtable. Everybody gets to bring their questions…and we get to answer them. Great networking opportunity.

Our chapter members continue to be very active at the chapter and state levels:

  1. On October 16th The NW Chapter sponsored a Kick-Off event presentation for Fast Forward Academy (An Online preparation course for RTRP exam).The presentation was given by Kathy Jolly with other WAA members participating. It was very successful by having eight attendees and five signed up for the course.
  2. On October 29th, we held our mini seminar with our guest speaker Kathy Bastow presenting “Advanced QuickBooks for Accountants”.  This was the most asked for topic, so I hope you attended and got all your questions answered!!!
  3. We are planning our 2nd Annual “Tax Season Kickoff” in January 2013. We had so much fun last year (playing “who am I?”) and hope to have more fun this year. Stay tuned for more details.
  4. The Northwest Chapter is hosting WAA’s 2013 Annual Convention. Kathy Jolly is the Chair and Cindy Polley is the Co-chair. The suggested theme is on “Technology”.  Stay tuned. More to come.

Check us out at www.WAA.org


2012 Live Seminar Dates


November 1, IRS Working Together Symposium (Seattle Center)

November 12-13, 1040 Individual Tax and Ethics (Lynnwood) NW Chapter Hosting

December 3-4, 1040 Individual Tax and Ethics (Auburn)

December 6, Shawn Gagnon - Personal Bankruptcy Issues & Debt Forgiveness (Max Dale’s, Mt Vernon)

January: 2nd Annual Tax Season Kickoff  party (to be announced)


Puget Sound/Tacoma Chapter
by Pam Cody

Our Non-Profit Seminar on September 25 was outstanding!  Speakers Ralph Flick, Sue Brabham, and Pauline Stieff, were informative and entertaining.  Sue got high marks from our attendees for her depth of knowledge on the Form 990 and related schedules.  Ralph alerted us to potential legal and tax pitfalls when setting up a non-profit, and Pauline offered useful grant-writing tips.  Thanks to all of you who attended, and thanks to the Tacoma LaQuinta Inn staff for giving us impeccable food and service.

On October 2 we had another great chapter meeting with Aaron Deggs from the Dept. of Revenue.  26 people attended the meeting, including three new WAA members.  Aaron gave us insight into the audit and appeals process, and strategies on requesting a private ruling.

For our next chapter meeting on November 6, Shawn Gagnon will speak on “How to Read an S-Corp Tax Return Like A Pro.”  When a new client asks you to look over their prior year 1120S to see if their preparer did a good job, do you know what to look for?  Shawn will show us how to quickly identify potential problems or issues on an S-Corporation return.

Don’t miss our Hoppin’ Holiday Hoopla on December 11, featuring a dessert auction fundraiser for the WAA Scholarship Fund.  We’ll have a special guest speaker, too!
Both meetings are at the Tacoma La Quinta Inn, at 7:00 A.M. See you there!



Spokane Chapter

by Hazel Flynn-Parkison

Education, Networking, Fun …

The next Spokane Chapter WAA Bisk Study Session will be held on Wednesday, November 14th at 3:00 pm at Wayne Vinson’s office (2132 West Northwest Blvd., Spokane).  Bob McKinley, Wayne Vinson and Paul Smart offer a study group using the Bisk educational materials which earn CPE for CPAs and EAs. The cost for the study group is $90 for eight 2 hour classes or $20 per class and includes the study materials.  The classes are held on the third Wednesday of the month except no classes will be held in March and April.


View Monthly Meetings, Mini-Seminars and Register for Education Events on WAA.org website under Education>Calendar of Events.

 

 
Washington Association of Accountants l 2150 N 107th St #205 Seattle WA 98133 l 800-733-6286 l office@waa.org l www.waa.org