The Accounting Podcast

We’ve got an AI-packed episode this week! Ryan Lazanis demonstrates how AI and voice cloning technology can be utilized to streamline the analysis of financial statements. Blake and David examine various applications of AI in accounting, including tools for extracting key information from emails and documents, an AI-powered tax analysis tool, and the potential for AI to enhance advisory services. They also dig into some issues related to spam and scams in QuickBooks support, emphasizing the need for more granular requirements for accounting services and specialized education in areas like tax and much much more!

  • (00:00) - TAP 348
  • (01:02) - Preview: Why we need more CPAs
  • (01:45) - David finally gets with the TSA Pre program
  • (03:20) - Using ChatGPT to write a Medicare appeal letter
  • (04:41) - Chad took Beginning Walk/Jog to finish out his 150 hours
  • (10:03) - Reflecting on the Unique CPA Bridging The Gap 2023 Conference
  • (12:58) - Blake renewed his CPA license with 3 minutes to spare!
  • (18:49) - Professor pumps accounting on Wheel of Fortune
  • (24:14) - Accounting can make for a flexible lifestyle
  • (25:07) - ABC News investigates the Big Four in Australia
  • (34:21) - Is there a revolving door between Intuit employees and the IRS?
  • (38:54) - Using AI to automate a P&L walkthrough video
  • (48:41) - Doing tax research with AI
  • (52:26) - Annoucing the "Unofficial QuickBooks Accountants Podcast"
  • (54:00) - QuickBooks support scammer caught and punished
  • (57:20) - Sean asks: "Is it a CPA shortage, or a resource allocation problem?"
  • (01:02:46) - The CPAs education requirement for taxes is too low
  • (01:06:44) - Wrap up and remember to subscribe so you don't miss an episode

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Show Notes
“Tax prep giants are terrified. Their lobbyists are working overtime to try to keep the federal government from finally providing an easy, free way to file taxes. But we’re at a historic moment where we can get this done—so let’s keep pushing.” Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) August 17, 2023
Democrats are increasingly optimistic about the IRS' plan to offer free tax prep software and break TurboTax and H&R Block's stranglehold     
Democrats accuse tax prep firms of undermining new IRS effort on electronic free file tax returns
Danielle Booker, Ph.D., CPA on LinkedIn: #accountants #accounting #cpa #patsajak #vannawhite #wheeloffortune…       
‘The World’s Fastest Accountant’ Is Running Away From the ‘Boring Stiff Squares’ Stereotype
The 'revolving door' between accounting and the IRS
IRS agents are getting paid by private accounting firms: watchdog
No Cubicles Here! The Shockingly Sun-Kissed Life of Digital Nomad Accountants
MACPA Chair Christine Aspell looks to combat accounting ...
Passaic County Man Charged in $13 Million Technology Support ...    
Hundreds of IRS employees worked for accounting firms
I took "Intro to Philosophy" to finish out my 150 credits. I thought that was ridiculous. But this guy has me beat!
'The World's Fastest Accountant' Is Running Away From the 'Boring Stiff Squares' Stereotype
Jennifer Wilson on LinkedIn: Love this. Accounting is a cool, tech-forward, difference-making…
Tax Genii 1 4 Demo
How a sleeper issue inside the big four accounting giants could topple the economy

Get in Touch
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The full transcript for this episode is available by clicking on the Transcript tab at the top of this page

Creators & Guests

Blake Oliver
Founder and CEO of Earmark CPE
David Leary
President and Founder, Sombrero Apps Company

What is The Accounting Podcast?

The Accounting Podcast (formerly the Cloud Accounting Podcast) is the world's #1 accounting, bookkeeping, and tax podcast! Join us weekly for a roundup of accounting news, analysis, and interviews. Plus, earn free NASBA-approved CPE credits for listening with the Earmark app. Learn more at

Attention: This is a machine-generated transcript. As such, there may be spelling, grammar, and accuracy errors throughout. Thank you for your understanding!

Blake Oliver: [00:00:04] In caste practices, the fastest growing segment of accounting outsourced accounting. It's 50% or less our CPAs. And my concern with that is that if they aren't CPAs, then they aren't regulated and they aren't held to the same professional standard. And so if we want to maintain high quality as a profession, as an accounting profession, we need a lot of the accountants out there to be CPAs. And if it's only a small group, then we can't protect the public.

David Leary: [00:00:40] Coming to you weekly from the OnPay Recording Studio.

Blake Oliver: [00:00:48] Hello and welcome to the show. I'm Blake Oliver.

David Leary: [00:00:50] And I'm David Leary.

Blake Oliver: [00:00:52] How did you like your flight back from Chicago? You finally went and got TSA pre.

David Leary: [00:00:59] Yes, I finally got free. And it was funny because I was Michael Lee and I were going through TSA together and he forgot to take a water bottle out of his bag. And I got to basically be like, You are my wife when they're waiting on me to come through because they sent him through the line a second time. And so I got to stand on the other side of TSA pre just waiting pointlessly for somebody else to come through security. So but the backstory experience.

Blake Oliver: [00:01:24] The backstory for our listeners who don't know is that I've had TSA pre for years I love it and David refused to buy to pay for TSA pre for I don't know how long it's been around decades now since day.

David Leary: [00:01:37] One Intuit would pay for it and I just refused. I refused to get it. It's not about the paying for it. It's more of a stubbornness of we all should get that service, make a crappy line for them. Everybody else, the suspected people.

Blake Oliver: [00:01:50] Well, and now they have clear. So you can pay $189 every year if you want to skip the line. It reminds me of like Disney Fastpass. We've gotten to that level of airport security, but I'm glad you like it. I'm glad you are now a member of the club and you will not have to take your shoes off again. So congrats. We were in Chicago for the unique conference. The theme was Bridging the Gap. I had a great time. It was a lot of fun seeing our friends. And thank you to Randy Crabtree for putting that together and bringing us out there so we could be part of the event. I got to meet some listeners that I've never met before. Melanie came up to me and said hi and told me an amazing story about how she used I. It wasn't for accounting, though. It was to resolve a Medicare dispute. She's dealing with health issues with a family member, and Medicare denied a claim. And, you know, you get that letter and you have to respond. And it can be very difficult to know what to do. How do you write that letter to respond so that you're going to get the case resolved? Well, she dropped the letter into ChatGPT and said, help me write a reply to this Medicare dispute. And it worked. It gave her a great letter. She sent it off and resolved the issue. So it reminded me of how we used it to draft that letter to the IRS for our penalty abatement. David I think it's a great use case any time you've got those issues.

David Leary: [00:03:20] So the AI on their end can scan it and decide what to do with it. Yeah, it's like.

Blake Oliver: [00:03:24] Well, the humans on their end, right?

David Leary: [00:03:26] Like we just like defer everything to some bots and they solve all our problems. You think Medicare.

Blake Oliver: [00:03:30] Is using AI? David Not yet.

David Leary: [00:03:33] Yeah, who.

Blake Oliver: [00:03:34] Knows? But I bet you.

David Leary: [00:03:34] Insurance for customer service or inbound stuff, maybe. I don't know.

Blake Oliver: [00:03:37] I wouldn't be surprised if the insurance companies start doing it. The health insurance companies to process claims. I also met Chad at the conference. Chad's a CPA at Keeper and he told me a story about his 150 hour requirement, how he got his extra 30 hours because he didn't do a master's. His final class was a beginners walk slash jog. Yes. Beginners walk, jog. Not advanced walk slash jog. Beginners walk slash jog. I'm trying to imagine like.

David Leary: [00:04:13] Like how. Hey, how did this even become a class? Because like. If you're on campus, you're probably walking already. I don't know.

Blake Oliver: [00:04:24] That's Yolanda. Welcome. Is here in the live stream. Yelena says, I have had global entry for four years now and enrolled in clear this year. My credit card does cover the cost for both, so it's helpful. Oh, I need to check and see if my credit card does that. I might get it. But back to back to the current story, this 150 hour requirement. Chad then sent me in a follow up email, an actual picture of his transcript. And it really is there.

David Leary: [00:04:51] You're like, prove it. Show me the receipts.

Blake Oliver: [00:04:53] You were like, Prove it. Exactly. You know, so here it is on the screen for our YouTube viewers. Kpd 1145, beginning walking, jogging one semester hour. And he got an A in it. And he told me that all they did in this class was walk around campus for 30 minutes. There was no education, no instruction, no discussion. They just walked around campus. Yeah, right. Maybe.

David Leary: [00:05:20] Maybe this is an important part of the 150 because that way two years in, you can run from the accounting industry when you get burnt out. Maybe this is an important skill to have, right?

Blake Oliver: [00:05:29] Well, human park in the comments he said, how can you run the numbers or walk through a balance sheet if you haven't taken beginner walk slash running?

David Leary: [00:05:41] This is genius. Oh, what a way to kick this off. This is great.

Blake Oliver: [00:05:46] Well, so I always tell the story about how it was my intro to philosophy class that rounded out my 150 credits, and I credit that class with giving me the ability to question the nature of my reality and whether or not the 150 is even reasonable to ask of people and the ethics of requiring an extra 30 hours that are potentially meaningless. So I posted this on LinkedIn and I asked all of my followers, all of our listeners to tell us their stories. What class did they take to get the 150 That's even possibly more absurd than this one. And the responses are fantastic. Um, Wendy said, I took beginning and advanced bowling plus conditioning slash weight training for women. And that was because when when they went back, it was 20 years after The Bachelor. So I had to go get the credits, even though it was years and years later, Aaron said, I took Whitewater kayaking. Brad said, I have an equivalency of a minor in geology, thanks in part to lunar and planetary geology and Alabama dinosaurs. Leslie from the Minnesota Society of CPAs said. And yet we are getting pushback for wanting to augment the rules here in Minnesota.

David Leary: [00:07:12] Is there fishing? Is there a fishing class? That would be the best?

Blake Oliver: [00:07:15] Kate Casey from Dark Horse CPAs got a credit for a bowling class and a class on the Beatles. Intro to piano, James said, Intro to piano. And that resonated with me because I used my music credits to get a lot of my 150 because I was an undergraduate music major. Danny or Danny said Intro to Gerontology, which is the study of old people. History of music and art history. A good.

David Leary: [00:07:40] Degree. That's probably a good one to have for our space, right?

Blake Oliver: [00:07:44] It's good to understand the partners in particular, right? Yeah. She said. Interesting classes, but totally irrelevant to being a CPA and tax professional. Janet said. History of rock n roll at Unlv. Vladimir said Understanding jazz, what was supposed to be an easy day ended up being a tougher class than I expected, but I actually enjoyed it. Jazz is not easy. Jazz theory is harder than classical theory, in my opinion, and I'm a classical music major. Scuba diving. Matthew took scuba diving, golf and tennis for credit. Dion took women's studies. Erica took canoeing, vegetable gardening, national parks and dinosaurs, and Pav took a humor studies class.

David Leary: [00:08:25] Dinosaurs make sense, too.

Blake Oliver: [00:08:27] So there's more. There's many more comments. This was a very popular post, so I will have the link in the show notes. If you would like to add your comment and I would love to know what you did. Kevin in the live stream says, I was in one of the last paper pencil two day marathon exam groups think I would have had to go back to school to complete 150 had I not passed. Oh, gosh, that would be terrible. Right? Imagine you were in that group that failed the CPA exam right before the switchover, and then you had to go back and earn 30 semester hours because of that. I'd be terrified. Yeah. So that's my fun story. What do you got, David?

David Leary: [00:09:05] So I just reflecting on the conference a little bit. So I'll start with a fun story, then I'll just a couple of observations. So the fun story was because you weren't there this one night. This conference was all done at one hotel, so we didn't like leave and everybody was staying at the same hotel, basically in Chicago, at the Loews O'Hare. And, you know, just like every conference, people wind up in the hotel lobby, restaurant bar. And there's a lot of accountants in there. A lot of people that attend the conference are young and cool, like Blake hanging around, you know, Well, there's this one table, these three really old guys at 1130 at night, full ties buttoned up still. And the joke was we were kind of joking in the room like, where's the table with the accountants? And like it looked like old senior member owners of firms. Well, I wound up going over there and we we chatted them up and it turns out it was actually an engineer, a doctor and a surgeon. But they were not accountants, not there for the conference. It was not like, yeah, if you had to if you did not know and you were going to place money, you would place money on that table.

David Leary: [00:10:06] Not all the other tables that actually had accountants on it. So that was kind of the funny story there. But but the observations I saw is outside people coming to the accounting industry. So I met a lack of better words, a P guy, but I don't think he was P He's just a guy who bought an accounting firm but no background in accounting and now he has a cash practice and met somebody else who he was in the e-commerce space. He knows Merrill Johnson who we had on the podcast a few weeks back and saw like, Oh, there's opportunity here to do accounting and bookkeeping services for e-commerce people. And he's kind of out of the e-commerce business and he started a practice for e-commerce businesses. So, so meeting people at this small first time conference that really were completely from outside of the space and so so outside, people are coming in to do accounting work that you don't need a CPA for.

Blake Oliver: [00:10:59] And I saw a survey that backs that up. This is the latest cast survey that AICPA does or it might be Cpcomm. And I might we might have time to talk about it later. But the stat I saw was that about 50% of CAS staff and partners and anyone involved in a CAS practice are CPAs. It's only half. And that fits with the firm owners. I see. You know, half are CPAs, half are not people coming from outside. This is a consequence of the talent shortage. We don't have enough CPAs to fill this need, this really fast growing segment. And so other people are seeing the opportunity and they're coming in just like I did as a career changer. I did eventually go get my CPA, but it was a huge process and a lot of people aren't willing to do that. Go back and get the 30 hours or get the specific classes they have to have. It's a huge it's a big deal to do that. And it's a lot of red tape. So interesting, interesting observation. Private equity is coming in and it's not just at the big firm level. It's at small, smaller firms, too. So, you know what I did on the way back from the conference, David? On my flight back. I went through TSA pre in like two minutes and then I opened up my laptop in the terminal and I started doing my Arizona ethics class because my renewal was due at August 31st. And I had waited until the last day to really like.

David Leary: [00:12:23] Thank goodness you went to that conference too.

Blake Oliver: [00:12:25] I know I had to get my well. And also I just moved to Arizona a few years ago and this is my first renewal since moving my license over to Arizona from California. And so I wasn't really up on all the specific Arizona rules. And one of the rules that I became aware of earlier this month when I started looking into it was that 16 of your 80 CPE hours for your renewal period have to be in person or live webinars. And I've been earning all my CPE by doing this show and creating self-study courses which don't count as live. So I needed to be at that conference so that I could earn my remaining live CPE because apparently for some reason self-study is not acceptable. You've got to be in a classroom in order to really be a qualified, educated accountant.

David Leary: [00:13:16] But now that you're an Arizona CPA, you could get involved in the committees in about five years from now. Maybe self-study will be okay for Arizona.

Blake Oliver: [00:13:25] I would love that. Another quirk of the renewal process is that the renewal was due at 5 p.m. on the last day of the month, and it's by birth month. I'm born in August, so August 31st, 5 p.m. but I didn't see that 5 p.m. part. I thought it was midnight because why wouldn't.

David Leary: [00:13:46] Like my kid doing his homework?

Blake Oliver: [00:13:48] You know, I just you know, I made I made I made an assumption. And luckily, my flight landed before 5 p.m. and I submitted my renewal application at 4:57 p.m..

David Leary: [00:14:03] Amazing.

Blake Oliver: [00:14:04] And made it in timely. But I was thinking, why does it do it? 5 p.m. And then I realized it's because the rules are still based on when people sent in paper forms and it's it is received when it is received in the office is the time stamp. So it has to make it to the Arizona.

David Leary: [00:14:24] Close the office door.

Blake Oliver: [00:14:25] Board of Accountancy before they close the office doors at 5 p.m.. But they haven't changed that, even though now it's an online process. So I did it. I'm going to be a CPA for another two years at least.

David Leary: [00:14:37] That's good. We don't have to I don't have to rebrand and go remove CPA off your name and thousands of places we have it. This is actually good for us.

Blake Oliver: [00:14:44] I got one more thing to add about that, though, because it was like a four. It was a four hour ethics course and we haven't yet got ethics up on earmark, so I couldn't take it through earmark. And it's a state specific thing. We do have ethics up on earmark, but we don't have Arizona State specific ethics and the CPA specific ethics. So I had to take a self-study course from another provider and pay some money. And when I got the course, it was just a big PDF file, a giant PDF, and then a copy of the test. They gave me a copy of the test along with the PDF, and then the way I proved that I earned PDFs to PDFs, and then the way I would earn my credit was I would take a 20 question online test and I'd had to get I had to get 75% or better. So they gave me the test. They gave me the PDF, It counts for four hours, but you could just drop those 20 questions into an AI and say, Give me.

David Leary: [00:15:48] Tell me you did.

Blake Oliver: [00:15:48] That. Correct answers Well, I didn't do it to start. So first of all, the test was extremely poorly designed such that anyone with any test taking skills could eliminate at least two of the answers of the four multiple choice questions immediately and most most of the time, three of them. So I just went I went through, I read, I read the PDF and I went through and I took the test and then I dropped the entire test copy, pasted it into an AI, and I said, Give me the answers. And I checked my answers versus its answers. And we got the same answers and I submitted it.

David Leary: [00:16:24] Now, did you give the AI, the study guide too, or did you just give it the questions?

Blake Oliver: [00:16:27] I just gave it the questions. It didn't even have the study guide or the course materials. So I can pass an ethics exam too. I learned that.

David Leary: [00:16:37] Wow. Yeah, that's a big but.

Blake Oliver: [00:16:41] It just made me realize like how poor the ethics experience is because if you had no ethics, you could very easily take the exam and be done with it and not have ever even read the materials.

David Leary: [00:16:53] I mean, that's been I mean, there's been big firms. This has been going on, right? People cheating on the ethics exam, right? Yeah. This is not you're not the first person to think trying that. Blake. I know it's crazy. And thousands of times.

Blake Oliver: [00:17:07] The thing that's sort of strange for me is that we have this profession that is supposed to be super ethical, but we set up a system that allows you to succeed by being really unethical. So the system is unethical if you actually apply ethical thinking to the system of how we do CPE and how we test people on ethics. When you have a system that enables rampant cheating, the system itself is broken and unethical. Yeah, it's unethical to maintain that system. And yet that's what we have in accounting and we wonder why we have an ethics problem in accounting. Maybe it's because the system is designed to reward unethical behavior.

David Leary: [00:17:46] Yeah, it's one of those unintended consequences. Everything has them. Yeah. Yeah.

Blake Oliver: [00:17:50] So. You have, David, a fun video to play.

David Leary: [00:17:57] Yeah. I mean, not everything is bad news. And I think this is since we're on the fun theme and we've been laughing a lot, let's keep it going. So we have a video. So this is Danielle Booker, PhD, CPA. Apparently. I don't know how long ago this was. It looks like it was recent. Sometime mid-August, she was on the Wheel of Fortune.

Blake Oliver: [00:18:19] That's amazing. Okay. I've got the clip here. This was on.

David Leary: [00:18:22] Linkedin. I'll play the clip.

Blake Oliver: [00:18:22] You sent me. You sent me this, and I saw it also when Jennifer Wilson posted it up.

David Leary: [00:18:28] And I think people tagged us in it, They're like, you got to play this on the show. So, okay.

Blake Oliver: [00:18:32] So this is an account. This is an accountant who was on Wheel of Fortune.

Wheel of Fortune Clip: [00:18:36] And you are an accounting professor?

Wheel of Fortune Clip: [00:18:38] Yes, I'm an accounting professor. I teach accounting and auditing. And I'm really trying to get students to know that accounting is fun. And it's not just number crunching and it's the language of business. And you have a great opportunity by having a degree in accounting.

Wheel of Fortune Clip: [00:18:50] Is that a tough sell?

Wheel of Fortune Clip: [00:18:51] It is.

Wheel of Fortune Clip: [00:18:53] You're trying to get it out there right now.

Wheel of Fortune Clip: [00:18:54] But you had me.

Wheel of Fortune Clip: [00:18:55] Convinced there. And remember, everybody, accounting is fun. Yes. All right. Let's do another toss up.

Blake Oliver: [00:19:01] Oh, my gosh.

David Leary: [00:19:02] I got to clip that one.

Blake Oliver: [00:19:03] I'm going to clip that. And remember, everybody, accounting is fun. And we got to put that at the beginning of every episode.

David Leary: [00:19:08] Every episode.

Blake Oliver: [00:19:10] Remember Blake and David? Accounting is.

David Leary: [00:19:11] Fun. Yeah. So there's that article which is really positive. There was an article in a business journal magazine, but it had Christina Spell, who's now she took over as the Maryland Association of CPA. She's the new chair. Sorry. Before that.

Blake Oliver: [00:19:26] Before that, did we say the name of the professor who was in this video who was on did.

David Leary: [00:19:30] Before you press play? Okay. Say it again, Dan.

Blake Oliver: [00:19:32] Was it Danielle Booker? Yes. Okay. Danielle Booker, PhD over at Loyola. Sorry. Continue.

David Leary: [00:19:38] Oh, no, it's all right. And so just to stay on this theme, so the new chair of the Maryland Association of CPAs, Christina Spell, she you know, she's in this article and she talks about how the industry needs to start reaching out to the next generation of potential accountants earlier to change the narrative of accounting, the profession. And so that's so with Pat Sajak saying something like something like that, that's helping to change the narrative. And really, she she she frames this up as like it used to be, where colleges would try to create the impression. On young people of what accounting should be or accountants should be. And she's like, But that's not happening, because by the time kids are even at college, they've already learned from Hollywood how boring and unfun accountants are. Or like we had last week. They're learning from their accounting teachers in high school that accountants are miserable. So. So she wants to smash that narrative. And there was two other articles besides Wheel of Fortune this week. So there was an article going concern, pick this up. So I'm going to mess up this name. Eugene Amadzai. He is the world's fastest number cruncher. So he qualified to so he is a 100 meter at the World Athletics Championships. He's 31 years old. He basically learned that he was fast by running to catch the bus. And so lots of accountants, which is really crazy. A lot of accountants have reached out to say, congratulations, you're representing accounting accountants very well. But he has yet to get a new job offer. So which is an issue. And he's you know, he's he's like, we're not boring stiff squares at the office typing like it's another positive article about accountants.

Blake Oliver: [00:21:17] That's great. Does it say what his what his job is? Where does he work? What does he do in accounting?

David Leary: [00:21:24] He's British, focused on his running.

Blake Oliver: [00:21:27] He's a British accountant. That's what we know. And he's.

David Leary: [00:21:29] 30. There was an interview, but there's too much wind, so don't play it. It's really hard. There's too much wind in the background. He's actually at the track getting an interview. It's just. It's a little it won't be good to play on the show.

Blake Oliver: [00:21:39] Since he works for a subsidiary of Berkeley Group, Saint George PLC. They have been phenomenal. Honestly, I am always on top of my workload. I never slip behind. But if I need to jet off somewhere to in Europe to race at short notice, they are very accommodating of it all. I won't lie and say that it doesn't get tough at times and sometimes you do feel like you are stretched quite thin. But my missus is incredible. What a great guy. And it's great that his firm gives him the time to fly around and race. See, that's a good story, David. All right, now I've got to take us.

David Leary: [00:22:10] I got one more good feel good story. Can you take us down?

Blake Oliver: [00:22:13] I'll take us down after you Take us up.

David Leary: [00:22:14] Okay. Yeah, one more. So this was actually in HBCU lifestyle, Black college Living. So it's a Non-accounting mag, right? And the title of the article said No Cubicles here, The shockingly Sunkist Life of Digital Nomad Accountants. And basically it's an article. It might be a paid article. It's from a company called Accounting Plus. So it's like they might be like a cast coaching community or sales coach type thing. But it goes on to talk about the nomadic lifestyle you can have because of cloud accounting, how you can do beach accounting. And it really talks up all the tools that are available to have this magical lifestyle. And it's just another example of like, Hey, we got they're projecting a new image to people that normally would not know about this space, right? This is great. Hopefully, I don't want you to bring us down. This is a good a good kick here.

Blake Oliver: [00:23:02] Sorry, David, but I can't control the news. And we can only control the narrative so much as a profession. You can talk up accounting, you can talk up audit. But if the job itself doesn't live up to expectations, you're just going to create a situation where you're lying to people about the reality of it. And I believe that one of the fundamental problems we have is that two thirds of accounting grads go into audit. This is in the United States. Two thirds of them go into audit, and they are auditing mostly large public companies. And the audit profession in many ways is broken. People don't read audit opinions. Audit has become commoditized. It doesn't create value. It doesn't detect fraud. Investors don't rely on audits, and the financial statements that are being audited have become less and less useful over time. And you may not see this discussion happening in public in the United States, but it's really happening in Australia where there have been some major, major scandals recently, to the point where ABC News in Australia did a 15 minute investigative story called a Decline in the Big Four's auditing quality stokes fears of an Enron style corporate collapse.

David Leary: [00:24:21] So in this day and age of 12 second videos, 15 is the thing. Vest A lot of time in this?

Blake Oliver: [00:24:27] Yeah. I can't remember the last time I saw a 15 minute segment on NBC News or anything like that. So I just wanted to play some of this video. And David, I'm going to use you as a barometer. Just interrupt when you get bored because I assume that's when our listeners will get bored. Okay. And then we can link to the rest of it in the show notes. We won't play all 15 minutes.

David Leary: [00:24:52] What's a beautiful boat and a beautiful lake.

NBC News Clip: [00:24:58] These tranquil waters are a sanctuary from the cut and thrust of corporate life.

NBC News Clip: [00:25:06] I love going out in my little boat. When you're in a bad place, you dwell on those bad things that got you there. So going out on the water takes that away a bit.

NBC News Clip: [00:25:17] Tony Watson's career as a tax lawyer fell apart when he accused a construction giant of incorrectly claiming hundreds of millions of dollars in tax deductions.

NBC News Clip: [00:25:28] I told them that they were stealing from our children. They were stealing from taxpayers.

NBC News Clip: [00:25:34] It cost him his job as a senior partner at a top tier law firm.

NBC News Clip: [00:25:39] I didn't seem capable of being shut up voluntarily, so they had to do it for me.

NBC News Clip: [00:25:44] Now he wants to expose the roles of auditing giant KPMG and consultancy group PwC in the scheme. Do you think KPMG should have picked something up? Absolutely. Absolutely. We know how influential the big four accounting firms are in the public sector.

NBC News Clip: [00:26:06] I really do see these consultants as an infestation. They are going from senior levels in consultant firms and then into senior executive positions in government.

NBC News Clip: [00:26:20] They made at least $10 billion in government contracts over the past decade.

Speaker9: [00:26:26] The Big four are enormously powerful. Their tentacles spread across the whole of big business globally and locally, and that power is unchecked, untransparent, invisible.

NBC News Clip: [00:26:43] The operations of these giants in the private sector have received little public scrutiny. They're making huge profits from auditing the same companies they're consulting. It's risky business when they tell the truth, Proper.

NBC News Clip: [00:26:59] Decision making can be undertaken about where to make investments. When they fudge the truth, when they don't take their job seriously, we all stand to lose really significantly. The impact on our retirement of poor decision making is very, very real.

Blake Oliver: [00:27:26] Very good. I think that's a good point to start.

NBC News Clip: [00:27:28] Staggering nine.

David Leary: [00:27:30] Yeah, yeah. Because it touches on a couple of things, like just blatant fraud, right? Blatant lying and fraud. It touches on the the dance, right? Where, you know, hey, I work for Big Four now. I'm working for the government and I'm back at Big Four. Or maybe I'm in the, in our case, our country, the IRS and the PCAOB. And then the whole, you know, the third part where they just, you know, they're consulting contracts, they're doing.

Blake Oliver: [00:27:53] The consulting and the audits in the same firm.

David Leary: [00:27:56] Same firm.

Blake Oliver: [00:27:57] Right. Which creates an inherent conflict of interest that you cannot address with these ethics trainings.

David Leary: [00:28:05] You mean the 20 page PDF does not help cure that.

Blake Oliver: [00:28:08] So. If the national leadership in accounting wants to improve the image of accounting, you got to address these issues. Because. In Australia in particular, it's reached mainstream news, mainstream consciousness and the public has lost their trust. And here in the United States, I would say it hasn't reached that level yet, but all it takes is another Enron. And the way we're trending, I don't know if we have, actually. Solved the problems that led to Enron. When you look at PCAOB deficiency rates, it's very worrying that 40% of audits are deficient, according to the PCAOB. And I know we've talked to Jerry McGinnis, partner at KPMG, former office managing partner, who he told us, oh, he thinks the PCAOB, to paraphrase there, they're being a little too tough. But I mean, that's a really bad number. So we've reached out to the PCAOB to try to understand what those deficiencies mean. Does it really mean that these audits are super shaky? What is it? What is exactly is the situation of audit in the United States? Is it protecting investors or should we be worried? But to get back to the whole talent crisis discussion, you can't improve the image of accounting when the foundation is cracked. I'm mixing metaphors there, but I think you understand what I mean. Yeah.

David Leary: [00:29:41] I mean, there's you think about the whole we had a big discussion about this at the conference and the whole, you know, the working conditions and the working conditions. There's a lot of ironic cracks. Right. And even that makes ESG look silly. How can the accounting bodies be pushing for ESG when they can't get the firms to treat employees properly? Like that's a governance right and environmental that fits in that umbrella.

Blake Oliver: [00:30:04] So toxic workplaces fit under ESG in the governance side or the social side of things. It's part of it. That's why Tesla has gotten hammered by some of these ESG funds because of how they treat workers. So, yeah, you've got it's going to be a weird situation where you have big four firms auditing about ESG, and they themselves would probably do pretty poorly on ESG given how much they make people travel. For one thing, with all the environmental problems of travel and then the social problems of people overworking and dying at their desks and getting divorced and having no social lives and being physically.

David Leary: [00:30:41] Unfit from the paper and.

Blake Oliver: [00:30:42] Being stressed out and having high blood pressure and partners dying within five years of retiring. You know, it's not just a staff thing. The partners are overworked more than the staff even. They're prisoners of the system themselves. They may be making a lot of money, but they're stuck in a lot of ways, too. Golden handcuffs.

David Leary: [00:31:01] So I had some articles that tie to this a little bit because they bring this up, this dance, the back and forth, because this was this this kid on a lot of the headlines this week and saw it. The IRS agents are getting paid by private accounting firms. And you know, people go back and forth. And there's a study that came out and this was issued by the Treasury inspector General for Tax Administration, Tigta, Tigta. And this new report came out. And basically 496 IRS employees were identified with connections to large accounting firms or corporations. Of these, 241 had ties to accounting firms and 255 to corporations. And again, this is that. And guess who's involved in this article? In the release is Elizabeth Warren. Right. And again, it's that it's this like there's the potential for wrongdoing, but there's actually no wrongdoing that they're calling out.

Blake Oliver: [00:31:50] So I have to ask you something. Are these currently employed IRS agents?

David Leary: [00:31:55] It looks like this is current numbers from what I could tell from the article.

Blake Oliver: [00:31:58] Okay. So these are people working at the IRS who have ties back to corporations or audit.

David Leary: [00:32:04] Firms or current ish, because, I mean, it probably is hard to do. So maybe it's 2021 or 2022, but it's current ish. And the IRS said they responded with plans to strengthen its ethics training and review the case that the management systems. Right and this is fine and I didn't think it was that big of an article. But coincidentally, a week and a half ago, I had an article that we never really made the show. So a couple of weeks back, Elizabeth Warren and Katie Porter, a Democrat from California. Right. They sent letters to the executives of Intuit, H&R Block and American Coalition for Taxpayers Rights and the Free File Alliance demanding a lot of information because and basically, they're trying to attack the lobbying of this of the of the lobbying lobbying spend. Right. But they specifically asked this question and I noted it last week. So they were demanding in all these letters and this is from the Intuit letter since January 20th, January first of 2021, how many Intuit employees are external partners, have previously worked for the federal government in tax policy or other positions in the IRS or the Treasury Department, the Federal Trade Commission or elsewhere in the executive branch. For each of those employees, please provide the following. And this this big demand list, right? How much revenue will you lose if we launch a free tax file thing? And it's just it's a typical Elizabeth Warren letter of nothing, Right. Well, I made a note. I literally made a note last. I was like, she should have these numbers.

David Leary: [00:33:30] Like, how does she not have this? And then two weeks later, a week and a half later, they announce they have these numbers. But now, now this makes me think if they really know these 500 people have done all this and she's involved in the press release of this. She already knows if Intuit has employees doing it or not. So either it's a it's a nothing burger because I'm assuming, let's say Intuit had 50 employees working for the IRS, former employees. I think that would be the headline of this. Right, Unless she's slow playing her card or something. So I feel like the letter she wrote two weeks ago to the executives is a big nothingburger. It's just it's full. It's funny how like sometimes a show, an article like you recognize something in it, but it doesn't come together until two weeks. We see a different article and like, Oh, all right, this is all tied together. But again, it's it's the what? Let me read the quote here that. So this is this is from the Tigta report. Well, not a direct correlation. This can raise impartiality and impartiality concerns. So, again, it's like, you know, but but but Elizabeth Warren says accounting giants are abusing the public trust and taking advantage of the revolving door. So I don't know. Well, we'll see. But, you know, but again, this is an article that ties back, like you say, the foundation. Right. How do we how do we have good images like on Wheel of Fortune and then have articles like this?

Blake Oliver: [00:34:49] Yeah, Well, the term the term for what you're describing is regulatory capture. And that's when private industry makes its way into the regulators and gets the regulations the way they want them. And then you bring this has.

David Leary: [00:35:03] Been going on for the history of time. We've talked about this with the PCAOB and everywhere. And it's not just our industry, right?

Blake Oliver: [00:35:09] No, it's not just our industry, but it's happening in accounting and we know it's happening. And that's that's why. You know, you could make the conclusion that the reason that accounting standards haven't advanced is because there's the Big Four have captured the SEC and the PCAOB and get them to do what they want. And they don't want anything to change because change costs them money. They like it to stay exactly the way it is. All right. Let's get to Tech because we haven't talked about tech yet. And there have been some really cool advancements in AI. Examples of accountants using AI to create entirely new services to automate services in their firms and even to automate advisory. And I know everyone wants to do advisory. We all want to become CFOs and not be bookkeepers. And the question always is how do you do that at scale? How do you provide insights into financials when there aren't a lot of people who can do that kind of work? And our friend Ryan Lazanis did an incredible demo in a Zoom video. And I want to play this for you again. It's a little long. It's five, six minutes, so I might skip around a bit to show you what he's doing. In essence, he has figured out how to use AI to create an analysis of a set of financial statements for a client and then voice cloning technology to deliver a video with a narrative. Of going through the financials.

David Leary: [00:36:39] So this is like a second level. Because I've heard about some accountants that are like, Oh, I learned to scale a little bit better because what I do is I just record a loom and I just read through the financials and just send them the loom and that's it. He's like leveled that up. He's like, I'm not even going to be on the loom. I just put my I version of Me on the Loom. Okay.

Blake Oliver: [00:36:55] Right, right. So right now it's just an AI voice. But there are these AI avatar generators that are very soon going to be available off the shelf. So you could generate loom videos with AI potentially. Now, I know.

David Leary: [00:37:10] Actually here, Blake, I'm actually not here and.

Blake Oliver: [00:37:14] That's the next level is that's the that's the really scary future in which you can have a live avatar. And when you join a Zoom meeting with a sales rep, you don't know if that sales rep is real or not. Maybe the shibboleth will become popular again. There will be a you'll have to test the avatar with a special word that they can't say unless they're human or something. Anyway, I'm getting beyond myself. Let's let's watch Ryan Lazanis video. And if you like this, you'll like his newsletter, search future firm newsletter. And you can subscribe and get this kind of stuff in your inbox. Thanks, Ryan, for the video.

Ryan Lazanis: [00:37:50] This off completely. I'm just trying to demonstrate what the process looks like. There's definitely improvements we can make to it. But let's say you have a health checkup service that you provide health checkup services, something that I recommend you provide to your clients. It's basically an analysis of your client's past results based on a certain period and some suggestions on how they can improve in the future. It's a very simple service that you can add and it helps you be proactive and it's a value add for your clients. So let's say we're going to analyze the previous three months, the previous quarter, and I'm pulling this up in Xero.

Blake Oliver: [00:38:22] He's got a PNL on the screen.

Ryan Lazanis: [00:38:24] What I do is I would export this to an Excel document. I would then go into ChatGPT and I would make sure that code interpreter is enabled. You'd have to have GPT four, I believe, for this to be enabled. And then this is a very simple prompt and honestly, it's we can make it a lot better than this. But here, I'm just saying, you're an accountant who advises clients on how to grow their business, increase their profits, attaches a profit and loss statement for the last three months. Please analyze this PNL, explain to your client the main risks and opportunities, actionable steps that they can take to improve their business and profits. I think we can really drastically improve this, but this is the simplest prompt that I very quickly came up with. And here let's, let's say so. So ChatGPT then analyzed the file and came up with some risks, opportunities. And I'm not suggesting you copy and paste all this stuff, but I'm just going to do it for example purposes. I think we could use ChatGPT to kind of expedite the analysis process and then add our own flair to it, add our own. There might be some stuff that ChatGPT simply doesn't get right. You'd have to know your client obviously well enough. We don't want to just we don't want a robot doing the analysis for you 100% of the way. But we want to use the robot to help to help speed things up.

Blake Oliver: [00:39:45] So what Ryan is showing on the screen is ChatGPT is response to his prompt, which has some analysis, such as there's a significant drop in sales from July to August. This could indicate an underlying issue with product demand or market conditions.

Ryan Lazanis: [00:40:01] And maybe identify some things that we might have missed. So we would copy and paste this. And what I'm going to do is I'm going to put this into my voice cloning service, 11 laps. And again, I'm copying and pasting here, for example, purposes, for example, purposes only. But I'm suggesting that we should take this and make it a bit of our own. Okay. So here.

Blake Oliver: [00:40:34] So he's copied and pasted into a text box in 11 labs, which is the Voice cloning technology service.

Ryan Lazanis: [00:40:41] Here are the main risks and opportunities.

Blake Oliver: [00:40:46] So now he's typing in, He's cleaning up the transcript a little bit that it's generated.

David Leary: [00:40:51] Using his verbiage, right?

Blake Oliver: [00:40:52] Yeah, using.

David Leary: [00:40:53] Using. He would actually say Yeah.

Blake Oliver: [00:40:56] Now if you improve the prompt and gave it your tone of voice, if you were able to train it, then it could possibly generate a script in the style.

David Leary: [00:41:06] Of an accountant. A Canadian accountant. Yeah.

Ryan Lazanis: [00:41:09] All right. So I took 30s to very quickly massage this text. And what I'm going to do is I'm going to generate my voice. So I'll put this on pause while my voice generates and we'll take a look in a moment. Okay, so now I have generated a my voice for all this text that ChatGPT outputted, which ideally we are massaging. And now what we can do is we could simply pull up profit and loss and we can have a loom video, which ideally would be video off in this instance, and then we can simply dive right into this profit and loss statement you've provided. We'll take a look at the numbers and find the main risks and opportunities. Then we'll map out actionable steps to steer your business towards more growth and profits.

Blake Oliver: [00:42:04] So that voice you're hearing in the background now, that's the cloned voice. Yeah, sounds pretty close. Most people can't tell the difference.

Ryan Lazanis: [00:42:12] Here are the main risks and opportunities.

David Leary: [00:42:15] Let's just. Ryan has a natural tone that's a little robotic anyway, so that that tone rhythm. So it works really well actually for him, it works great.

Speaker11: [00:42:24] This could indicate an underlying issue with product demand.

Ryan Lazanis: [00:42:27] So I won't go through the whole thing here, but you can see how at some point in time we're going to be able to use a combination of chat, GPT, screen sharing and a voice clone with some involvement, obviously on your end to massage, massage, whatever is being outputted from chat GPT to actually scale up how we provide advice and how we communicate with our clients.

Blake Oliver: [00:42:54] And so. Obviously it's a lot of copy paste right now, a lot of switching between apps. But imagine if you automated this to some extent where financials get generated, a script is generated, a human reviews the script and approves it. The voice is generated and added to a video of the profit and loss.

David Leary: [00:43:16] Well, yeah. I mean, I think this is an opportunity for some either an app developer or you could have, you know, all these companies that specialize in building accountant or CPA websites like this could be a service they sell like, Hey, and we will take time. We will clone you and connect all these pipes so you can pump out, you know, it totally could be built. Somebody could build.

Blake Oliver: [00:43:37] This. This, to me is way more valuable than a dashboard.

David Leary: [00:43:41] But but somebody has to prove that accountants even care about getting this. I'm sorry. Clients care about getting this and they're going to do something with it. And at the end of the day, that's going to really push again. It's like dashboards and other stuff, like things get created and do do business owners even want this, you know, at the end of the day?

Blake Oliver: [00:43:59] Well, I think they I think they want the email analysis. They want a high level analysis that comes with the financial statements. If you're just sending a PDF, that PDF never gets opened because busy entrepreneurs do not have time to read financial statements, 90% of them. So in my network of accounting firm owners, the ones who are doing advisory, the number one thing they're doing that sounds really smart to me is provide an executive summary in the email. So in the email, here's five bullet points. Here's what you need to know this month about your financials. And if you want to dig in more.

David Leary: [00:44:34] It's an email or a text. It's it's like what we send out to what I send out for us with using fin daily. Yeah, it's just like six bullets. Here's the bank balance. Boom, boom, boom. And that's it. Every day we get that or but yeah, or even more. Could you do it in a text to people. Yeah.

Blake Oliver: [00:44:50] Or a zoom video with the tax return. That's what a lot of firms are doing now. So I give you the five ten minute Zoom video, walking you through the return. Here's what you need to know. If you have any questions, make a comment or schedule a time with me. So that's that's already happening. And this can automate it further, make it make it more scalable because making those Zoom videos only the preparer or the partner can do that. Not not the staff, but they could prep the video. They could prep the script even. Yeah. I got another video to play. Here's another cool AI application that I saw. This is called What is it even Called? I'm just going to start playing the video and we'll find out. Let's see here. This is called Tax Genie. This is tax genie. Considering a complex tax scenario and query carrying out deep legislation, research and producing what appears to be a logical and accurate conclusion.

David Leary: [00:45:53] And is this one of those concepts where they've pre-trained it on lots of tax regulations or something?

Blake Oliver: [00:46:00] I believe so. Okay. And apologies for the recording on the video is super boomy and it sounds like they're in a big glass conference room. I can't do anything about that.

Tax Genie Clip: [00:46:12] I'd like to make sure that you just scan your way through what I'm doing. So just pause it and you can read.

Blake Oliver: [00:46:19] I guess we have to pause and read, so. Okay, here's the scenario given to tax Genie is on 1st July 2023 James Family Trust will dispose of the units held in Demon Enterprises Unit Trust. Capital gains earned by James Family Trust will be distributed to Edward's J Enterprises Party Limited. There will be no ordinary income to distribute. Calculate the indirect small business participation percentage held by Edward James. The response is, given the scenario and legislation detailing direct small business participation percentage and indirect small business participation percentage, we need several steps to calculate them. And then it goes through multiple steps and calculates, you know the answer for this and it gets it to the percentages. So I guess I won't play the video because the audio is terrible. But I think it's an interesting specific application of AI for tax planning purposes, right, for what we do as accountants and tax professionals. And this kind of specifically trained LLM technology is going to become super common because super valuable.

David Leary: [00:47:33] And I think we're going to see something like this. I think next week we're attending some Intuit investor presentation and they're going to basically it's going to debut some sort of thing next week. We're going to see that via I guess it's kind of like a webinar we'll be attending and we'll see what it's alive. I think the specific ones, yeah.

Blake Oliver: [00:47:52] Notice that they don't call it a webinar. It's like a digital event. Yes, but it's basically a webinar. Yeah. So we talk about a new podcast that we are helping to launch. The first episode is out. The Unofficial QuickBooks Accountants podcast with Hector Garcia and Alicia Katz. Pollak is now up and you can get it on your podcast player's Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, wherever you listen. You can also go to Unofficial QuickBooks Accountants podcast, Transistor FM and listen. It's super awesome. David, tell us more about this show.

David Leary: [00:48:32] I mean, if you're a QuickBooks ProAdvisor and you want to stay in the loop of everything happening, QuickBooks Intuit, accountants related, you want to listen to this podcast because even like on our own show, you know, there's so much news. Like Intuit has stuff coming out all the time. I think I have five Intuit things in my my queue right now and they're probably not going to make the show but they'll make this show for sure, right? The very specific to QuickBooks and what's affecting the QuickBooks ProAdvisor small business owners could listen, but it's really probably going to be that ProAdvisor community.

Blake Oliver: [00:49:03] Yeah. So Hector and Alicia are going to do this every month. Episodes will come out weekly, bi weekly, all the latest news on QuickBooks. So yeah, if you use QuickBooks, you need to subscribe to this podcast. Hector is indeed the man. Dark Horse CPAs says that in the live chat. I couldn't agree more. No better expert on QuickBooks in the world. And he's got millions and millions of YouTube views on his QuickBooks videos.

David Leary: [00:49:34] It's fairly clearly branded unofficial QuickBooks. Unlike this next story I'm going to talk about Blake.

Blake Oliver: [00:49:39] What's the next story you're going to talk about?

David Leary: [00:49:41] David So I think anybody who's ran a Facebook group, a LinkedIn group, if anybody posts to Twitter or LinkedIn, you ever put the word QuickBooks and you start getting these spam posts in the replies and it's like, actually, I can share my screen. I'll show you the kind of how these feel a little bit. Let's share the screen.

Blake Oliver: [00:50:03] This is why I stopped using a lot of these groups.

David Leary: [00:50:06] Share screen window. Share screen. That's my Twitter. And you get these posts that are like QuickBooks payroll payroll and it's called QuickBooks payroll support, right? This Twitter handle. And they have these these these like really janky kind of half assed ads. It's got the phone number and it says QuickBooks payroll support phone. They show up over and over again. They get posted all over. And the funny thing I had a hard time finding because I've spent a decade blocking these all over social every time I get posted by one of these things. But even in my my own Feedly because I. I searched for the word QuickBooks when I prepare for the show and I had to block this one phone number because it just keeps popping up everywhere over and over again. Well, basically, what happened now, finally. Wait, wait, wait. Sorry. Hold on.

Blake Oliver: [00:50:53] What? Why? What are these posts? Why are why is somebody spamming QuickBooks and support all over the Internet?

David Leary: [00:51:01] Because it's a scam. It's a scam. Oh, so. So. So it's a scam. They pretend. How does it work? They The way the scam works is they. It's just like those Microsoft scams. Like you have a problem on your windows computer. Give me your credit card. I'll help you fix it. You know, everybody's seen these scams floating around the Internet, but these are very specific to QuickBooks and small business. So the Department of Justice just arrested somebody yesterday in connection to this. He scammed more than 7000 victims in the US market for a total of $13 million. So people are.

Blake Oliver: [00:51:34] Looking for the QuickBooks support number and they find his scam post and they call that number and they get scammed out of money.

David Leary: [00:51:41] Yes. And some of it maybe it's overcharging them for support. And so he so he has he operates his companies, some of them as software services, Feb Software Services, PA Bookkeeping Services, Febreze Consulting, QuickBooks Texas Tech Assist. Quickbooks US QuickBooks Accounting QuickBooks Support team. Like these are the companies that he presents himself as being some official QuickBooks support thing, and I don't think he's the only company doing it. I think there's so many of these happening, but they've arrested him and they're going to get him on wire fraud and essentially 20 years in prison or twice the gross profit caused by the offenses. And they but he they basically tricked people who don't know small business owners and elderly to pay a lot of extra money for tech support. They probably don't even fix the problem. Right. Right. And he pretends they're they pretend they're QuickBooks are into it. It's just this has been happening for a decade. These these stupid posts on social media over and over again.

Blake Oliver: [00:52:35] I've always wondered what that was. And now you. Now you have taught me. David. Thank you. Mystery solved.

David Leary: [00:52:41] This is we should all be celebrating like these should go away. That the Department of Justice is like crank crank. I should actually go unmute all everybody and see if it actually stops or if a different company pops up to do all this.

Blake Oliver: [00:52:52] Whack a mole, right? Probably mole. I have some listener mail. Two messages before we go. Perfect. Got anything else? David Okay, so this is from Sean. Sean said, Hi Blake. I'm a big fan of the growing family of podcasts. Thank you for all you've done to elevate and modernize the profession. On the accounting podcast, the topic of the accounting shortage regularly comes up. I wonder though, is it a shortage or a resource allocation problem? I ask because my specialty is small and mid sized nonprofits. I've gotten to see a lot of situations where CPAs end up doing a lot of bookkeeper and other duties that do not require specialized skills. That leaves me wondering if the future of accounting is just one where we see CPAs use surgically, basically just in situations where they need their specialized training. Does that make sense? Does that align with your experience best? Sean? David, I'll let you go first. Does that make sense and does that align with your experience?

David Leary: [00:53:47] Well, I think if I'm kind of getting the vibe of what he's talking about. So here's the new world peace coming in. We talked about this before. People are buying cars, practices, but but some function of that business is going to need an accountant. And maybe accountants are just like mercenaries. There's free agents like, hey, I need a CPA and I'm just going to bring in a CPA for this one little thing I need in my practice. And then that CPA is going to be a mercenary somewhere else. They're just like free agents or mercenaries that just come in and like do this one thing or this one piece of the bigger picture. They don't do it. They don't actually run a business. There's mercenaries. That's that's the vibe I'm getting. Went through my head.

Blake Oliver: [00:54:24] Yeah. I mean, we definitely seen that fewer CPAs needed for specific jobs. I mean, we just talked about it in the show in practices, the fastest growing segment of accounting outsourced accounting. It's 50% or less. Our CPAs. And my concern with that is that if they aren't CPAs, then they aren't regulated and they aren't held to the same professional standard. And so if we want to maintain high quality as a profession, as an accounting profession, we need a lot of the accountants out there to be CPAs. And if it's only a small group, then we can't protect the public. So we need to make it more accessible. We need to take away the red tape so more people want to be CPAs and want to be held to those high standards. That's that's my main concern. And and that counters the argument that, oh, it's good when we don't have a lot of CPAs because our wages go up. Well, no, I don't think they do, because as we have fewer CPAs, the value of the CPA will decline because it will become less omnipresent in the mind of the public. They'll stop thinking, I need a CPA for this, and they'll start saying, maybe I don't need a CPA for this. And when they start doing that for lots of stuff, that's when we are in trouble as a license.

David Leary: [00:55:48] Do you think in the same way? I think when it comes to regulation. Right. And needing to be licensed and and I think the big story is like, why do women, people that want to have a hair braiding business, they have to get licensed just to braid hair. Right. And do you think that might be the way to get more people to become CPAs is like you can't practice cash practices now unless you have a CPA license. Do you think do you think there's people in the profession possibly pushing for legislation that from that direction to instead of it just being silent on audits, It's more things?

Blake Oliver: [00:56:20] It would be I think it would be better if it were certainly better for CPAs if like you needed a CPA to do more things. And I don't understand why the leaders in our profession aren't advocating for that. That seems like it should be one of the top things they advocate for. Some states are better about it than others, at least in terms of using the term accountant. In Texas. You can't say you're an accountant. Practicing to the public unless you're also a CPA or working in a CPA firm. So that really increases the value of being a CPA firm or being a CPA. Is that other your competitors can't call themselves accountants unless they're also CPAs. They have to call themselves something else like consultants. So, you know, yeah, I, I'm worried that CPAs will become too niche and then then the value plummets. The reason that it was so it became so valuable over many, many years is because almost every accountant became a CPA. And now that's less and less and less likely. That's just my. That's my feeling.

David Leary: [00:57:21] Yeah. And I think in New York, they just after a decade push they. Overwhelmingly approved as the verbiage here. They're going to permit non ownership of CPA firms in New York.

Blake Oliver: [00:57:31] Which is now it still requires 51%. And that's the way it is in the other states that allow non CPAs to own CPA firms, which I think is good. But I think we got to keep it over that 51% for licensure. You know, for CPA firm ownership, we got to be the majority. And ideally it should be like, you know, two thirds if two thirds of accountants were CPAs, that would really go a long way to protecting the public because we can hold them to a higher standard than non licensed professionals. And you know, let's toss in the others there too. Like I'm not I don't want to leave out enrolled agents and certified preachy.

David Leary: [00:58:06] Now that you just renewed your CPA, you're gotten very well.

Blake Oliver: [00:58:10] I just spent my sent in my $275 ACH payment actually they let me use a credit card that was nice to relicense, so I got to get my value. All right. Here's a message from Glen. David. I mean, David, Glen. Hello, Blake and David. I'm a regular listener and actually shook David's hand at Engage a couple of months ago. I hear the 150 Hour brought up quite regularly and wanted to share my thoughts. I think we need to be more granular in terms of what services are being provided and what the minimum education requirement should be for those services. I think for CPAs who provide bookkeeping type services like Blake did, the 150 hour requirement is too high. You can learn all you need to learn in undergrad and are perfectly qualified to do that type of work for CPAs who provide tax services, I think the current requirements are actually too low. As it stands now, someone could get licensed as a CPA and provide tax services using the CPA brand while only taking a single tax class at the end of undergrad in a finance degree. I pivoted into an accounting career by getting a master's degree in tax. Having that dedicated year of training to get a solid foundation in tax has been invaluable to me. I see way too many unqualified CPAs doing taxes who just don't know many of the basics that they would know had they been required to get a master's in tax to use the CPA brand in their practice. On the flip side, I'm legally allowed to issue audit opinions, but I'm woefully unqualified to do so since I lack any training in that area. I did pass the audit section right on the number with a 75. I enjoyed the show and keep up the good work. And David Glenn brings up a great point. Thanks for listening. It is crazy that you can practice tax as a CPA only taking one tax class.

David Leary: [00:59:51] Like it shows, like the state of things. Like there's this and this goes, I don't want to spin this off in the one 50 hour stuff, But but the argument and the point of view is like, everything's working perfectly. And it's very obvious. Like there's there's holes in all of this everywhere. So like, it doesn't matter if South Carolina does a little bit or Minnesota does a little bit, that it's very fractured already.

Blake Oliver: [01:00:12] Yeah, but no, but but nobody admits that. It's like an emperor has no clothes kind of situation where everybody sees it, but nobody's willing to admit it at the levels of the profession where anything can actually get done. It's just all us small firm owners sitting here watching these. Clowns and suits and ties. That's how it feels sometimes. Like, what are they saying? This doesn't match up with anything. We all know it's broken.

David Leary: [01:00:42] I don't know. So how do you. Is it just come out immediately? Like, hey, we realized that or, you know, this goes back to like the plus like concept, like it's CPR plus like are there extra letters you start sticking on, you know, there's a T because you've taken a year of tax, not just one class of tax, because I think that's the bigger issue of all. This is me as a consumer or a small business owner. I see the CPA. I assume you're good at counting taxes, maybe audit in general, the it's usually taxes, right?

Blake Oliver: [01:01:17] That's the funny part. The public associates with the CPA most with taxes. And yet we don't have very much in the way of requirements for CPAs to do taxes. It's all about financial accounting. A lot of it's financial accounting and audit. I mean, this one section of the CPA exam, that's tax. So you got to know that to practice. But arguably, EA's have better tax experience and training. Because that exam then CPAs do. It's more focused. That's the argument I've heard EA's make and CPAs really don't like. Actually, I.

David Leary: [01:01:52] Heard an argument from somebody at the CPA at this conference that said, But you know, EA's don't have to take a business class. So I don't know. Like, you guys don't have to take any classes. The lesson here is I don't know.

Blake Oliver: [01:02:05] It's I don't know what the solution is, but I know that the situation is. Doesn't make sense.

David Leary: [01:02:12] Yeah. Admitting. Admitting where we're at is probably the step one.

Blake Oliver: [01:02:15] Yes. You got to admit, when you have a problem to fix it.

David Leary: [01:02:18] We should let everybody get on to their holiday weekend.

Blake Oliver: [01:02:21] Yes. I hope you have a great Labor Day weekend, David. Don't work too hard. That's like the main point of the holiday. So everybody listening should actually take time off. That was one of my favorite sessions at the conference, by the way, was I forget the speaker's name. I feel bad about that. But he was talking about how, you know, putting work before life, you'll never have enough time for life. Oh, and then Ne-Yo Carter Gray did a session on how to actually take a vacation, which I thought was very valuable, how to take a vacation and enjoy it. As an accountant. It can be really challenging to do that. And so she gave really good tips on how to actually take a vacation.

David Leary: [01:03:02] You know, Amy Vedder had her talk. And it's funny because I don't really to go to conferences a lot. I don't sit in the sessions very often because I don't need CPE, but usually I'm working the sales floor and the sales force. Gigantic And it takes days to talk to everybody you need to talk to. And so I went to a lot of sessions, so I saw John Garrett, which was nice, and Amy Veteran and then I'm in Amy Vedder session, which is really a little bit focused at disconnecting and focusing on the on the human side of these things. And I'm the only idiot in there like an asshole working on my laptop, you know? So take a vacation, trying to get trying to get the QuickBooks podcast launched an official QuickBooks podcast. So.

Blake Oliver: [01:03:38] All right. Thanks, everyone, who joined us live. Always fun to have you subscribe on YouTube. Get notified when we go live and you can email us The accounting podcast at earmarked me that's the accounting podcast at earmarked me or just head into the show notes to find out how you can reach out to us. We love getting stories from our listeners. That's where I got most of the stories for this episode was our listeners sending me links to that video from Australia. Thank you so much to our listener who sent that in. And with that, let's go enjoy the weekend.

[01:04:11] All right, everybody.