The Accounting Podcast

In this episode of The Accounting Podcast, Blake and David discuss the economic impact of Taylor Swift's "The Eras Tour," Microsoft's CoPilot price with AI, the SEC vs Ripple case decision, the launch of FedNow, and a bill proposed by two senators to ban lawmakers from owning stocks. They also dig into stories about Apple's work on AppleGPT, software spending rising 25% over the last 12 months, the 150-hour rule, and the lack of black accountants in the profession. They dive into a case study for good marketing in accounting, ClientEarth warning Big 6 audit firms to protect the planet, a WSJ editorial board blaming accounting shortage on Biden, and close with a few fast QuickBooks stories, and much more!

  • (00:04) - Preview: Taylor Swift's "The Eras Tour" economic impact
  • (00:53) - Welcome to The Accounting Podcast and a quick overview of topics for this episode
  • (03:16) - Microsoft announces CoPilot price with AI
  • (10:24) - SEC vs Ripple case decision
  • (19:08) - FedNow finally launched
  • (25:16) - Two senators are proposing bill on ban of lawmakers owning stocks
  • (27:50) - Blake checks in on the live chat
  • (28:30) - Apple working on AppleGPT
  • (30:46) - Software spending rose 25% over the last 12 months
  • (33:12) - Article on the 150-hour rule and lack of black accountants in the profession
  • (35:54) - Blake and David look at a case study for good marketing in accounting
  • (39:11) - Taylor Swift's billion-dollar impact on the economy
  • (42:15) - ClientEarth warning Big 6 audit firms to protect the planet
  • (44:31) - WSJ editorial board blames accounting shortage on Biden
  • (51:04) - Bench Accounting
  • (51:41) - 3 fast QuickBooks stories
  • (54:01) - Accounting startup Dougs raises $27 million
  • (55:06) - Shopify builds in a Zoom cost calculator
  • (56:59) - Shopify releases AI update
  • (01:00:49) - Blake reads some listener mail
  • (01:04:01) - Wrap up and where to reach David and Blake

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Show Notes
Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Josh Hawley to unveil a bill to bar executive-branch members and lawmakers from owning stock in individual companies
New comment on "339. 15-Year-Old Passes CPA Exam; NY Requires Independent Audits of AI Hiring Processes"
Taylor Swift's Economic Impact Has Caught the Eye of the Fed
After bootstrapping for 8 years, accounting startup Dougs raises $27 million | TechCrunch
Shopify's crusade against Zoom meetings now includes a cost calculator: 'Most of the modern work environment is broken'
Shopify Sidekick video
Bridging the Gap: Between the Generations 
☕️ NOW, FED ☙ Friday, July 21, 2023 ☙ C&C NEWS 🦠
KPMG Rolls Out Generative AI to Tax Pros, Launches Audit Pilot
QuickBooks Checking Simplifies Bank Feeds Matching
Big Six senior leadership missing in action on climate reporting and ...
FedNow launch: Fed's new instant payment system, goes live July 20
Accounting firms accused of missing climate risks in company audits
The Biden Accounting Jobs Boom - WSJ
QuickBooks Time Now QuickBooks Workforce
Why the CPA qualification’s 150-hour college credit rule is outdated–and inequitable
Bench Accounting Launches Breakthrough Solution for Business Owners Blending Personal and Business Finance
Microsoft Unveils AI-Infused Bing Chat Enterprise and Reveals Microsoft 365 Copilot Pricing
Better Late Than Never: Federal Reserve Platform Will Finally Bring Instant Payments To More Banks-And Customers       

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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] Taylor Swift's economic impact. So, you know, I is cool and everything and it's going to have a multi-billion dollar impact someday, Right? But you know who's having a multi-billion dollar impact right now? Taylor Swift and her-

David Leary: [00:00:15] For her bank account?

Blake Oliver: [00:00:15] Account. Yeah, her tour so. Taylor Swift single handedly Well she has a big team, right. But the Taylor Swift Enterprise is going to generate $4.6 billion. And that's just for this one tour.

David Leary: [00:00:29] Coming to you weekly from the OnPay Recording Studio.

Blake Oliver: [00:00:35] Welcome to the Accounting podcast. I'm Blake Oliver.

David Leary: [00:00:38] I'm David Leary.

Blake Oliver: [00:00:39] And we're back with you for another week of accounting news and analysis. David Developments, you're talking about the money in AI.

David Leary: [00:00:50] Yeah, there's lots of money in AI. Now. The math is crazy, but companies that are in the space are going to make off of AI.

Blake Oliver: [00:00:57] They've got to support those multi-billion dollar valuations that they've somehow amassed after just a few months. We'll see what Microsoft has in plan, how they're going to charge you more money to use their AI. I am going to talk today about crypto currency. Crypto is back in the news with the ripple decision in federal court. The SEC sued Ripple back in 2020 or 2021, and it's been working its way through the courts. There was a decision and now we have clarity.

David Leary: [00:01:27] But I'm glad you're covering this because I was I saw that I was like, I'm not I don't know. Isn't this two answers at once? I don't know. So I'm glad you're going to bring clarity to this.

Blake Oliver: [00:01:37] Yes. And so, yeah, I'm looking forward to doing this with you right now. And then I'm going to head up to Flagstaff to get out of the heat for a few days.

David Leary: [00:01:45] I. Thanks. That's a good, good trip in the summer for sure.

Blake Oliver: [00:01:47] We're going to go see the meteor crater, that big meteor crater out in the desert. Have you ever been there?

David Leary: [00:01:52] Yes, It's huge. Yeah, it's massive. It's like basically it's a big hole. You're going to go look at a humongous hole in the ground going to.

Blake Oliver: [00:02:01] Well, apparently the meteor that hit there, like I want to say it was 50,000 years ago, had the force of 150 atomic bombs. And I'm very excited to see it because I'm going to go see Oppenheimer soon. I got the.

David Leary: [00:02:15] Imax. I think that's on the list tonight. I think I'm going to try. Are you going to see it?

Blake Oliver: [00:02:18] Well, I got tickets to go see it with my brother when he's in town. And it's the 70 millimeter Imax version, The Christopher Nolan approved vision.

David Leary: [00:02:26] The vision.

Blake Oliver: [00:02:26] Version. Yeah. So I want to see a hole that was made in the ground by a giant, effectively, you know, interstellar atomic weapon that hit us well.

David Leary: [00:02:36] And what's great about this hole in the desert is there's not a lot of vegetation, so you can really see the whole hole versus there's other places in other parts of the world where meteors or asteroids have hit and it either becomes a lake or it's there's a lot of forest around it, and you can't really grasp the vastness of the hole. And so you get to see you'll like it. You'll see like little buildings down there and little cars and all that type of stuff.

Blake Oliver: [00:02:59] Well, what do you want to start with, David? You want to start with Ripple or do you want to start with.

David Leary: [00:03:04] Do you want to jump right into.

Blake Oliver: [00:03:05] Something?

David Leary: [00:03:06] I start with the money and I let's start with that.

Blake Oliver: [00:03:09] Okay. Okay.

David Leary: [00:03:09] You go first. Do money. Do it. All right. So Microsoft and we've been talking about this like Microsoft is going to roll out copilot. Their plan we've talked about how they're they've been beta testing it right They have an early access program with six 600 enterprise clients. And I think we talked about KPMG, Lumen Emirates, and these are the ones that are listed in this article. But I think we talked about other ones that were included in the previous ones. So basically you had 600 enterprises testing this in their their enterprise. Well, Microsoft announced they are going to charge what they're going to charge for copilot. That's built into like the office suite, whatever it's called. Now Microsoft 365, they're going to charge $30 per user per month.

Blake Oliver: [00:03:50] That seems like a lot. Do you know what they charge now per user for? Well, this.

David Leary: [00:03:55] Is Well, this is an additional fee.

Blake Oliver: [00:03:58] Right.

David Leary: [00:03:59] Right. So I for your employees inside of Microsoft Office. Now when they announced this this day, this was like three days ago Microsoft stock forced Microsoft stock price to become an all time high if they can.

Blake Oliver: [00:04:13] Yeah. If they can actually get companies to pay for this.

David Leary: [00:04:16] Well, considering they're testing it, they wouldn't roll out this price unless they probably have some data Now showing the productivity gains at enterprises are so great that this is a no brainer. I can spend $360 to increase an employee 20%, maybe 10%. I mean, what's $300 a year in productivity?

Blake Oliver: [00:04:36] Right. No, I totally see that. But like from what we've seen so far, like with the Windows copilot, chatbot that came out like it's not that impressive of So they must have big plans and they must expect huge productivity gains. I mean, I guess okay, let's compare this to ChatGPT plus, which is $20 per user per month. And it seems like that's going to be the baseline kind of price for this sort of thing. And it makes sense, right, Because a GPT is incredibly expensive to operate. I was listening to the All In podcast earlier this year and the guys on that show were estimating that it's ten times more expensive to process a GPT query than a Google search. And a Google search is like a few pennies, a search. And so Google can make money all day long because you search a few pennies and they display the ads and they charge way more for the ads than, you know, for the clicks that they get then then the search. But if like a search on ChatGPT or cloud AI is $0.30, like what's their revenue model? And that's one of the reasons people think that ChatGPT has gotten dumber recently, is that OpenAI is trying to cut their costs. And so they're they're using less expensive LMS.

David Leary: [00:05:56] That's interesting that use less electricity, less power, less powerful.

Blake Oliver: [00:06:00] It's a massive amount of processing power that these models use. So, okay, 30 bucks per user per month is what we're going to be planning on.

David Leary: [00:06:08] Yeah. And so, and I get it because and this goes off from every time we go to Sage Intacct or we go to Oracle's NetSuite conference and NetSuite rolls out some feature, they add some feature, and they're going to charge $45,000 extra a year for that feature. But what's going through everybody's brains, that's they're like, Oh, that's a whole body. I don't have to hire. And they're like, I'll pay you $45,000. And I think that's what this is going to be like. The people are going to weigh this against hiring bodies. Yeah. And it's the productivity boom is going to be there. So I'll tell.

Blake Oliver: [00:06:43] You, ChatGPT. Is totally worth it for me to pay for like 20 bucks a month. No brainer for what I do. But did that convince all these businesses to do it?

David Leary: [00:06:53] I said that before if I could get some sort of ChatGPT assistant thing that stored my preferences and my data and kind of grew with my set of data, 200 bucks a month easily. Yeah. Because that's way cheaper than an intern. Right? So there's no doubt there's money in this. And then I know we've talked about in the past how KPMG, all the big four are spending billions of dollars and making all this investments into AI. So there was an article, this was in Bloomberg Tax talking about how they've started to roll out generative AI to their tax pros. And they launched this other thing called audit pilot. And KPMG announced a few months ago that they were going to do $2 billion committed into AI internally. Well, this article talks about it's guessing maybe in five years that it's firms projects could return as much as $12 billion in revenue.

Blake Oliver: [00:07:42] 12 So this.

David Leary: [00:07:43] Is going to roll into their consulting arm, right? Yeah, they're going to.

Blake Oliver: [00:07:47] I mean, it seems like a lot of money. It seems insane. But just based on my own personal experience, it cuts the time for many of my tasks by half. And if you take that productivity gain and apply it to many, many jobs in the economy, it's billions and billions of dollars.

David Leary: [00:08:04] Yeah, because I'm going to be an enterprise and I'll be like, Oh yeah, I pay. I'm paying Microsoft for, you know, millions of dollars for this, their copilot. Yeah. But I don't think I'm maximizing its use. And then KPMG is going to come in and get a consulting gig with their AI expertise. That's the game. That's where this is all headed.

Blake Oliver: [00:08:20] I see. I see. You think. You think like a consultant? David, You should work for McKinsey or something.

David Leary: [00:08:26] I just see how, see how the math works on this stuff. But yeah, so that's a lot like the fact that Microsoft, Microsoft all time high stock price was hit as a result of this because and the investors are doing the math and I'm like, wow, that's a lot of extra just just revenue.

Blake Oliver: [00:08:41] Now I hope that firms will be able to apply this or add this per user because not every user who has Microsoft 365 in your organization is going to need the copilot assistant, at least at first. And I would really hate to have to upgrade my entire organization and pay $30 per user per month for something they're not all going to use.

David Leary: [00:09:05] So give me an example of employee that's on the office stack that doesn't need AI functionality.

Blake Oliver: [00:09:12] I guess it just depends on what the AI can actually do when they roll it out. Yeah. So for instance, the reason I'm thinking about this is because we use notion at earmark and notion rolled out built in AI and. They wanted to charge after the beta. They wanted to charge $10 per user, but it applied to all users in the organization. I couldn't just upgrade myself. You would have to upgrade everybody. We have a lot of users in there that are just there to like look at one database. I couldn't think of like what they would need the AI for and it would effectively double our price. So I said, No, sorry, I'm not going to do it.

David Leary: [00:09:47] If all it does for Microsoft is do the whole like, here's all the docs on my network that are related to the thing I'm working on. Yeah, like even that's worth it for each employee. It could be bucks a year, but we'll see. But the point is, is there's a lot of revenue coming in for the companies that are owning this technology or having expertise in this technology.

Blake Oliver: [00:10:07] Well, speaking of lots of money, let's talk about crypto cryptos back on the rise after the bubble popped. We may have a bubble 2.0 thanks to the latest decision by a federal judge in the SEC versus Ripple case.

David Leary: [00:10:21] And I saw a lot of like, like crypto people dancing and videos like TikTok. They were pretty pumped about this decision.

Blake Oliver: [00:10:28] The crypto bros are pumped because the judge said that they can continue to sell Ripple and by extension other crypto tokens on exchanges without being regulated by the SEC. It can stay unregulated and the decision really has people scratching their heads because it's it's half in favor of the SEC and half in favor of ripple and crypto exchanges. So it's kind of splits the baby in a really strange way. And I actually used AI to help me understand the case. I dropped the PDF of the judge's decision into cloud AI and I said, Help me analyze this. Please provide me an executive summary in plain English and tell me what this judge is saying.

David Leary: [00:11:17] Because I rewind a little bit is the basis of the argument. It's a security, not a security. Is that the.

Blake Oliver: [00:11:23] That's what the SEC sued Ripple for. They said Ripple is selling an unregistered security. And a security is like a stock, right? Stocks are securities and securities are regulated by the SEC. And Ripple was selling unregulated securities, which is a big no no. So so Ripple had two ways. It was selling its token. It created its own token called XRP and. This token powers international payments. So Ripple is not just a token. It's not one of these companies that just spins up a token and starts selling it. It actually has a business behind this token. So XRP is what you you pay money to buy XRP here in the US and then ripple behind the scenes exchanges XRP with an entity in another country and it.

David Leary: [00:12:10] Like a payments rail.

Blake Oliver: [00:12:10] Yeah, it's a payments rail. It bypasses wire transfers and other international traditional international payments. So that's really cool actually. Right?

David Leary: [00:12:18] I think. Do you remember Veem That was really big. Yeah, they kind of they're still around, but that was their initial product offering to some extent. That was their whole business model and their whole product. And I believe they were using payments.

Blake Oliver: [00:12:29] They're using Bitcoin to do it, not their own. Yeah.

David Leary: [00:12:31] Yeah.

Blake Oliver: [00:12:32] So, so Ripple Sold XRP this token to both institutional investors, like big institutions, like I don't know what would be a big one like Banks, right? Blackrock Fidelity. Yeah. And they also sold it to individuals on crypto exchanges. And the judge came back and said, When Ripple sells XRP to a big institution, a large institutional investor, that is a security because those institutions are buying XRP in anticipation that Ripple will succeed in their mission. Right? That's like buying a stock, right? And they're giving money to Ripple and taking this token. But when Ripple sells XRP on an exchange because the people buying XRP don't know who is selling it to them, it's anonymous. It's not a security. So the implications of this are huge because it means that institutional investors are protected by the SEC and are regulated. The sales to them are regulated. But if you sell a token to individuals, retail investors. It's not protected. It's not a security. So it depends whether it's direct or indirect. So the bank could buy the security. I mean, the bank could. The bank could buy XRP and then turn around and sell it to you, David. And you're not protected as if they sold you a stock. So imagine if stocks work that way, right? If like Netflix stock worked that way where if you bought it on an exchange as an individual, it wasn't considered a security and you didn't get any of the protections. It's very strange.

David Leary: [00:14:07] So this is why everybody's so excited, because I think this is what a lot of these tokens do. They just spin up their own marketplace and kind of sell them through an exchange, or you just go on.

Blake Oliver: [00:14:16] Binance Right. And you sell it on Binance or you sell it on on whatever all the different exchanges there are. Yeah. So they can keep doing business, basically. They just can't sell directly to institutions, which I suppose is a good thing because, you know, the thing that is really worrying is like, what if people's pensions start getting invested in these crypto tokens that are inherently worthless? Yeah, right. And that's the big criticism about crypto. And this is something you and I have talked about. We did an episode called Cryptos a scam. You know, crypto is not like a stock in that it's not tied. Most crypto tokens aren't tied to like future cash flows, right? Like when you buy Netflix, you're betting on them to make money in the future and that money is going to come back to you in the form of dividends someday. Yes.

David Leary: [00:15:01] Yes. There's actually money because of a business function, not money in the future because it got hyped up.

Blake Oliver: [00:15:08] Right. Crypto only gains in value because other people buy it. That's the definition of a speculative.

David Leary: [00:15:13] Investment scheme.

Blake Oliver: [00:15:14] Or a Ponzi scheme. Right? So like, at least there's that. We don't have to worry about people's pension funds, retirement funds from Prudential or whatever, getting invested in worthless crypto tokens. But it still means that the game can go on. And so we saw XRP pop 70%. The bubbles kind of come back and the people investing in it are, by and large, young men under the age of 40. And they're taking their paychecks and they're putting it into crypto. And the last time, the last go around, which just happened, the average investor, the average retail investor lost money. And it's going to happen again because these intangible assets that have no underlying economic value are going to get pumped up. And the whole thing is going to crash again. This is like history repeating itself very quickly and your average investor is going to lose money. I mean, this is exactly what happened in the 1920s, right before we had the SEC regulating stocks. Any company could go list on the stock exchanges and you could pump up the value by saying whatever you wanted to say. And there was no audits, right? Like, it's exactly like these crypto exchanges. Crypto exchanges are even more Wild West. Really?

David Leary: [00:16:33] So what does this mean? Like, is it just like we're going to see another it's going to do a run up. Crypto is great. Then it's going to drop again. Like, is this just it's dance now? Well, people making money are people who can time it.

Blake Oliver: [00:16:44] Yes, exactly. So basically. There's going to be another bubble. That's my my guess. These values are going to go up again because people are going to be able to pump it. There's no regulatory oversight. And so, hey, yeah, I guess if you're listening and you think you can time it, you can make a lot of money potentially, and your average investor is going to end up losing money because that's the way bubbles work when there's no real underlying value. Speculative bubbles work. So. So go ahead. I guess if you want to participate. I don't think it's ethical, though, if you think about it, to to participate in this, because whose money are you taking in the end? I suppose it's sort of like taking people's money when they play poker. But, you know, it's just I feel really sad about it because think about it, this is the future retirement future, you know, savings of like young people in this country, mostly young men. And we talk all the time about there's all this chatter about how, you know, people aren't starting families, they're not settling down and like having kids and and, you know, producing future taxpayers and all that stuff. Well, what what do you think's going to happen if people don't have savings? They're never going to buy a house. You know, they're never going to do that. It's like actually, the really dangerous thing is you're going to end up with an entire generation that has. No investments because they lost them in meaningless investments like crypto. And that's the most dangerous thing in politics, is when you have people who don't have people who are voters, who don't have any stake in the game. Yeah. Right. We want people to have investments in the markets because then they support the markets and they support reasonable regulation and that's what we want.

David Leary: [00:18:22] Home ownership. We want a lot of all these things. They seem like 30 year traps, but you're kind of invested in the success of the entire country if you jump into these traps.

Blake Oliver: [00:18:31] We want as many voters as possible to be invested in the success of the American Dream and the American experiment. And if they aren't, that's when you get really dangerous situations politically where, you know, politicians pop up who get support, they want to take it all and redistribute it, and people who don't have anything will vote for that.

David Leary: [00:18:53] We could transition from that into a Fed Now finally launched officially yesterday, the.

Blake Oliver: [00:18:58] Alternative to the 50 year old ACH payment network.

David Leary: [00:19:04] But Fed. Now it's hot. You know, they went on the press junkets and all the mainstream media, the all the tinfoil conspiracy hats came out. The Bitcoiners think this is a way to like, oh, this is this is a coin. It's an offering. It's a lot of like a lot of stuff going on. But essentially it really is fundamentally, to some extent, a instant payments platform to replace ACH. That's the easiest way to kind of think about it. That's what it is today. But have some stats on it, which is kind of interesting.

Blake Oliver: [00:19:35] So so launch. But I didn't see a lot of like fanfare around this. Like are people using it?

David Leary: [00:19:41] So even so, we have a sponsor on the show, Ford, Levi they're using it. I think there's another payments app called a win that's out there. They're building on it. I'm surprised, Emilio's and Veeam's and all the other payment players are not. Why they're not launching on this from day one is kind of confusing to me. Some of it is could be because they're already in bed with some of the bigger banks. So remember, if we're going to rewind, so ACH is kind of what everybody gets to use. Ach, right. It's an open thing. You think about Zelle, how only some banks work with Zelle. And they cut out the credit unions and the regional banks, like a lot of people couldn't play in that. And they also what the big banks did is they created something called the RTP network, real Time payments Network, to move money between each other in their own accounts. But in general, they cut everybody else out. And that's what put the Treasury on this march to build Fednow. And but there's in this article, this is a this was in Forbes. So this article in Forbes, they had some stats about the RTP. So the RTP in the first quarter transferred $26 billion over the RTP network. Pretty impressive, huh? But in that same quarter, 19.7 trillion was sent over. Ach.

Blake Oliver: [00:20:59] Wow. 19 trillion.

David Leary: [00:21:01] So it's 0.1. 3% is being used with real time payments right now. And then not only that, another 227 billion was sent on the federal Fedwire service for one time wire transfers. So like nobody's using this RTP network. Why? Because not enough people can be on both sides of that equation. So Fednow should help move these along. And then the prices for fednow are way cheaper, right? So we're going to see maybe it's only going to be four and a half cents to do a transfer. Right? Cool. So this is here, it's being launched, It's being rolled out. It's still small. Not all the smaller banks are on it, but there's services that are rolling out. Like, for example, a bunch of credit unions might all use some software to run their credit union. And that software is going to roll out Fed now and then. All those credit unions would then get fed now type of thing. So we're going to see it roll out more. But it is not a coin. It's not there's a lot of tinfoil hats that are out there. You should start going down the paths on Twitter. It's crazy.

Blake Oliver: [00:22:03] So you think do you think this is going to be a success? It's just going to be slow, Is that what you're saying?

David Leary: [00:22:08] It's probably a decade. Like if you think about like how many trillions are still in FX and how much back end you need to to change and modify to get there. And admittedly, like so forwardly is a sponsor and they're like, oh, you want to can we pay you through this? And I was like, I don't have time to say anything. New payment processes up like, like, you know, that's the other thing too, right? Like, like it's hard. Like, eventually we will set something up. But it's like people. People have to do things in their own schedule. You just can't. Like one day everybody switch on the 20th of July.

Blake Oliver: [00:22:43] So Fednow is less expensive than ACH? Yes. So how much less expensive?

David Leary: [00:22:49] What does ACH cost? Well, I.

Blake Oliver: [00:22:51] Know it costs. I mean, it can cost a business, you know, $0.50 to send an ACH. But I don't know what the processors are paying. So you're saying fed now is like $0.04 a payment?

David Leary: [00:23:01] Yeah, four and a half cents a payment.

Blake Oliver: [00:23:03] Yeah. I mean, I'm curious to know because if it's not like substantially cheaper, then people aren't going to switch. But if it's like ten times cheaper than I imagine, people will eventually switch or the processors will anyway, I'd be curious.

David Leary: [00:23:15] Is going to like and I think as word gets out the cost of this, Venmo charges people 1.75% to move money instantly to your bank account. Right. I think some of these services that are charging for these instant payments are going to have to come down in price like the whole market's going to have to come down because of this, which is good for consumers and small businesses in the end.

Blake Oliver: [00:23:36] So in other news, I saw something that I really, really like. Two senators are proposing a ban on US lawmakers owning stock. This would have been really helpful when the pandemic happened and we saw a bunch of lawmakers buy pharmaceutical stocks. In advance of the pandemic. They had nonpublic information about Covid, and then they went out and made a bunch of investments before anyone else could. And they profited handsomely. And there is nothing illegal about lawmakers owning stock. There is a rule that says they are not supposed to profit on nonpublic information, but it's very, very difficult to prove that anyone bought specific stocks because they had specific information. So in effect, they can do whatever they want. And Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Josh Hawley, very prominent in the news. Right. You hear about these two all the time and you wouldn't think of them as collaborating on anything they have gotten together to to propose this legislation. And what's interesting is that it is incredibly popular, According to The Wall Street Journal, something like 80% of voters support a ban on stock ownership by members of Congress. The president, vice president, Supreme Court justices and their families. That was according to a poll released Wednesday by the University of Maryland's Program for Public Consultation.

David Leary: [00:25:04] Yeah, they probably shouldn't be buying it while they're in office.

Blake Oliver: [00:25:08] I don't think they I think they should like, like most presidents do, they should put it they should sell their stocks. Well, right now, you can put it into like a quote unquote, blind trust, but you can have like a family member oversee the blind trust. And then I think this is what, uh, was it? Nancy Pelosi gets criticized for this, Like, somehow she's become a multi-millionaire through, you know, stock investments that her husband makes. I wonder how that happens. Right. So the idea is you would have to sell your stock and you would just invest in like broad based mutual funds. So you can bet on the American economy, which is good, but you can't bet on individual stocks. So yeah, I think this is awesome. I hope this goes somewhere because like if you want to drain the swamp, you know, like this is the way to do it.

David Leary: [00:25:56] Start with the lawmakers first.

Blake Oliver: [00:25:57] Start with the lawmakers. Of course, it's not popular in Congress, so we'll see if it goes anywhere. And I don't think these two, Kirsten Gillibrand and Josh Hawley, are very popular in Congress either. But I don't know.

David Leary: [00:26:10] Hey, Blake, we should check in with the the live stream folks that are popping in.

Blake Oliver: [00:26:13] Yeah. Hey, Tim in the live chat says crazy that CPAs have all this independence BS and Congress has none of that. Yeah it is a little crazy isn't it? Thank you Edgar Romeo HK for joining us. Great to see you here. Thanks for chatting with us. Let us know what you think about the stories we're discussing or anything else, Romeo says. Going back to the AI story, Copilot being a Microsoft Windows product potentially opens this up to anything that runs a Windows operating system, so lots of handhelds can potentially have it. That's true. Oh, and actually, on that front, I saw a story about how Apple is working on Apple GPT. So this makes me happy.

David Leary: [00:26:59] Cereal become useful.

Blake Oliver: [00:27:00] Siri will actually become useful. Yes. We won't be using it just to set timers and make reminders or send text messages anymore. The story was in the Journal. Apple Inc is quietly working on artificial intelligence tools that could challenge those of OpenAI Inc's alphabet, Inc's Google and others. But the company has yet to devise a clear strategy for releasing the technology to consumers. So. Yeah, I don't think there's much here other than they're working on it. They're building their own. Lm But, you know, Apple is generally not I don't think they're ever the first mover in any product category. That's what's really interesting about Apple. People think of Apple as this super innovative company, but they don't move first. They watch everybody else do stuff and the smartphone is a great example. They didn't invent the smartphone. There were many, many for years. And then when the time is right, they come in with the perfect smartphone and they reinvent the category like all the smartphones. Before the iPhone had keyboards and Apple said, No, let's just make the whole thing a screen. And everybody thought that was a terrible idea. How could you have a smartphone without a keyboard? And look where we're at? So they if anybody's going to make Siri smart or make a make a voice assistant, that actually is useful. I would bet on on Apple to do it from the consumer side of things.

David Leary: [00:28:21] Yeah and I could see where they could tie this into their privacy, their privacy marketing that they're doing a lot right now with their health care and tie that in like, hey, this would be a really a private ChatGPT for you or whatever they're called Apple.

Blake Oliver: [00:28:34] Gpt Yep. Yeah. And the privacy is important, right? Like that's one of the biggest selling points for me about using an Apple device is it's very difficult to hack. Somebody's got to want to. If somebody wants to hack you, they've got to they got to be like a state actor. So, yeah, if you're going to be sharing like all the details of your life with a GPT and it's going to have to have access to everything to actually be effective, it'll have to be able to peer into your emails, your messages. I mean, it will know everything about you. So it'd better be freaking secure. More tech news, David. Software spending rose 25% in 12 months, led by finance departments. This was in accounting today and they are citing a report from Cladara. Cladara did research that analyzed over 1000 companies and 40,000 software as a service transactions and found that finance departments saw a 105% increase in software spending year over year. That's doubling. That's insane. Customer support departments followed with a 79% increase. So what you're saying, David.

David Leary: [00:29:38] I think we're still on that. This has been true for like 30 years, right? That the tech gains you get from software offset bodies and it has not stopped.

Blake Oliver: [00:29:47] This is how we're going to solve the talent crisis in accounting is with software. I mean, the best place to be right now is, I would say, a VC specializing in investing in software that will automate accounting and finance, especially at big companies, because they're not going to be able to find the people to do the work. It's just it's not. And they're going to grow. They're growing fast, right? We're not producing enough grads. And the the leaders of our profession are not helping. They're making it worse. So this is this is the future. Software is eating the accounting and finance world.

David Leary: [00:30:24] Do you want to transition then into another article about 150 rule?

Blake Oliver: [00:30:29] Yeah, let's do it.

David Leary: [00:30:30] So this is a new article is in Fortune magazine. I'm going to mess up this name. So it's French, so it's. I'm going to guess Ghislain Saint Justine. She's the president and CEO of the National Association of Black Accountants. And her argument that the credit rule is outdated and inequitable, which is, I think your point of view a little bit, too.

Blake Oliver: [00:30:50] Yeah.

David Leary: [00:30:51] And what stood out in this article, I mean, it's you know, she covers the history of the 150 hour rule. We don't need to cover any of that here. We've beat that to death. But so less than 2% of CPA accountants identify as black and but other industries, she said like, for example, in the tech, we're just talking about tech, right? Black professionals account for 7% and it keeps growing in recent years. So black professionals are fleeing to tech, obviously, to make money, etcetera. So and then 2%, 2% in accounting, 2% in accounting.

Blake Oliver: [00:31:22] 7% in.

David Leary: [00:31:23] Tech, in tech. And then she talks about how we're always, you know, comparing accountants to doctors and lawyers. And she said, well, even they're for lawyers. It's 5.5% and doctors, it's 4% black representation.

Blake Oliver: [00:31:36] So they're twice as good at diversity.

David Leary: [00:31:40] And did you know this? And this is something that really blew my mind. Do you know that in California, Vermont and Virginia and Washington, you can take the bar exam without actually going to law school?

Blake Oliver: [00:31:52] Really?

David Leary: [00:31:52] What if you've completed a legal apprenticeship and have passed the statewide exam?

Blake Oliver: [00:31:56] What states is.

David Leary: [00:31:57] That? California, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

Blake Oliver: [00:32:01] Wow. You don't have to go to law school.

David Leary: [00:32:04] Just experience if you can pass the exam.

Blake Oliver: [00:32:07] I think that that would be the ideal situation. Let people go to school for accounting if they feel that they need it to gain the skills. But if you can pass the rigorous CPA exam with work experience that you and knowledge that you've gained on the job, why not? Why force people to go to these expensive universities?

David Leary: [00:32:28] And she talks about a lot of that. We talk about the cost of good school family, etcetera, etcetera.

Blake Oliver: [00:32:33] And it makes sense, right? You want you want a more diverse, inclusive profession. Take down the financial barriers that keep out people who don't have a lot of money. And giving them scholarships to me is just insulting. Right? Like that's the the response is like, oh, we're going to make it more affordable by giving out more scholarships. Okay. So now they have to come begging to you to do it. No, just take away the cost. Just make it cheaper in the first place. Yeah. You know.

David Leary: [00:33:03] So, yeah, it's still there. But, you know, I've been talking about, hey, like if we the pipeline, let's encourage people and I say it in jest, like, oh, we should have accountants taking pictures with sweet cars like crazy, good looking cars. Well, look like I stumbled across. This is I can't read it. What's their website name? It's so.

Blake Oliver: [00:33:22] Pma, PA Moelis and Associates.

David Leary: [00:33:25] Associates, and they are a niche accounting firm specializing for automotive repair shops. But look, it's two accountants standing in front of. It's at a Ferrari in a Porsche.

Blake Oliver: [00:33:33] Oh, that's awesome.

David Leary: [00:33:34] Like, it's it's finally happening. Oh, I love that it's finally happening.

Blake Oliver: [00:33:38] Oh.

David Leary: [00:33:38] So we have an accounting firm where the partners are standing next to sweet, awesome automobiles.

Blake Oliver: [00:33:43] This is great marketing. Okay, So for our podcast listeners, we are looking at an accounting firm website and you know what it looks like the colors and the branding. It's got like red and blue and black and white. It looks like a car brand and it's got this like italicized capital letters. It looks like a car brand or an auto parts store or an auto parts store. And their headline right there is Expert accounting and tax Services specializing in automotive repair shops and two guys standing in their regular street clothes next to their awesome cars in the parking lot.

David Leary: [00:34:16] I'm assuming those are their cars. For the sake of recruiting younger talent in the industry, we should say that's their cars.

Blake Oliver: [00:34:24] It's genius, Romeo says. Maybe if this industry was more lucrative, we would have way better representation. Yeah. I mean, part of the problem is that the salaries when you start out are low compared to other professions and and you don't get the big bump in pay for quite a while. So people quit and they go where they can make more money faster. And that's the problem with like the traditional partner model, the traditional accounting firm model, all the rewards are ten, 15 years in the future. We also have to fix that. And I think that the non partner model firms, the corporate model firms that are popping up, are going to lead the way. And we're seeing the bigger firms start to do that. Bdo has now becoming a corporation. My hope would be that they start offering stock options to their young people to get them in the door, give them a stake, give them equity earlier on, just like tech companies do. And that way you can you can spread out the wealth more for those younger people who can demand higher wages and demand a piece of the action, they get points right. Even if it's a small amount, it makes a big difference in their investment in the firm.

Blake Oliver: [00:35:26] So don't go Big Four. That's what HK says. It is lucrative. Just don't go Big Four go on your own. And if you own an accounting firm, if you start your own accounting firm, I think it's probably one of the fastest ways to wealth in this country. I mean, you can be a millionaire. Owning an accounting firm very quickly. I mean, heck, I didn't even know what I was doing when I started my firm and just a cellist. Within five years we were going to hit. When I sold the firm, we were on our way to $1 million a year in revenue that year, in five years. I was just a musician. There's a lot of demand for these services. If you are able to learn on the job, teach yourself cool stuff, technology. And if you have a personality and you want to talk to clients and like you don't even have to be that good at sales, I don't know that much about sales. I just like to talk to people and I could get clients. So, um. Where do we go from here? Oh, I got some fun stories. Can we just do some fun stories?

David Leary: [00:36:29] Yeah, let's do some fun stories and we'll do app news at the end. Yes. Uh.

Blake Oliver: [00:36:32] Taylor Swift's economic impact. So, you know, AI is cool and everything, and it's going to have a multi-billion dollar impact someday, right? But you know who's having a multi-billion dollar impact right now? Taylor Swift and her.

David Leary: [00:36:43] For her bank account.

Blake Oliver: [00:36:44] Yeah, her tour. So. Her her Swift Her Eras tour. Taylor Swift's Eras tour is the one she's doing right now, right that everybody's talking about. Hundreds of thousands of fans are going to see her. They are staying in hotels. They're eating at restaurants in Philadelphia. May saw the strongest month for hotel revenue since the pandemic began, largely due to the influx of guests for her concerts. Hotel prices more than tripled in anticipation of the tour in some cities, and the hotel occupancy rate in Allegheny County approached 100% during the Swift tour. And here's the number you want to pay attention to. The tour alone is expected to generate $4.6 billion in total consumer spending in the US.

David Leary: [00:37:27] Wow.

Blake Oliver: [00:37:29] Taylor Swift single handedly. Well, she has a big team, right? But the Taylor Swift Enterprise is going to generate $4.6 billion. And that's just for this one tour.

David Leary: [00:37:40] And this, again, goes to like that perceived value or, you know, having multiple things to sell or buy because they sell the hoodies and the shirts and obviously there's the food and the beverages and all that. And then like my daughter attended and I've seen all the, you know, you know, enough people now where you see other people's videos posting, you know, on the Instagrams and all that. And I was talking to my daughter about this yesterday. I'm like, you're paying to not hear her sing like it's so loud. And all these like, girls are singing so loud you can't actually hear her sing. And my daughter's like, But that's part of the experience, Dad. Like everybody crying and screaming like, that's part of the deal. So you're not even paying to hear her sing. You're just.

Blake Oliver: [00:38:20] You're paying. You're paying to be there. It's the experience of being being with the other fans. I'm sure It's incredible. It's got to be. Lori in the live chat says, On my way to the IRS tax conference, I sat next to a young man who was up in Kansas City for her tour tour. Yeah.

David Leary: [00:38:37] And she's a business machine.

Blake Oliver: [00:38:40] Who is it? That's a big swifty in the federal government. Is it Merrick Garland?

David Leary: [00:38:44] I don't know. Yeah.

Blake Oliver: [00:38:46] Yeah, it was, actually. Yeah. Attorney General Merrick Garland is a huge Taylor Swift fan. And so if you want to read some fun articles about that, just search Merrick Garland, Swifty. Like he's got collectibles and he regularly drops her lyrics into his legal arguments and discussions. So people started noticing this was happening, right, Because it's an inside joke.

David Leary: [00:39:14] So maybe. Maybe I could engage her to help. Grew the profession. They should be sponsoring her tour. Taylor Swift's tour presented by the Acpa. You get a lot of I kind of a fun article. I don't know if it's fun. It's just like it's silly.

Blake Oliver: [00:39:30] So but that's perfect.

David Leary: [00:39:32] This is an article from Client. It's in something called Client Earth. So if you go to, okay, it's like a, you know, like in a way, it's like a bad accounting firm website, you know, like when you go to the accounting firm websites and they do everything.

Speaker3: [00:39:47] Like.

David Leary: [00:39:47] This is like everything with the planet, like.

Blake Oliver: [00:39:51] Am I on the right side here?

David Leary: [00:39:52] Versus yeah, it's kind of a stupid animation. Takes forever.

Blake Oliver: [00:39:55] Hold on. I got to describe it. So it says Planet Earth. It's all of us. Oh, I lost the subhead. Okay, now we got the page loading. Let's protect all life on earth. We use the power of the law to protect all life on earth. Combining thousands of individual voices into one powerful force for change. Well, that sounds nice, David.

David Leary: [00:40:12] What's so wrong with it? Scroll down. You can see, like, all the stuff they're trying to do. Yeah, there's like a, you know, lots of services they're trying to do, but they're going after the big six accounting firms. And so they really keep tying it back to. So apparently they went after them. The firms invited them to go to some global public policy committee meeting, and then they just kind of ignored them since. And so lawyers for Client Earth are basically telling how they're not fulfilling their audit standards when they do not adequately consider climate risk threatening the integrity of the market, leaving them too open to legal challenge. And this goes on and on and on and on. And what it really feels like is they're just ignoring them and they're getting upset, so they're just threatening them more. I thought I thought the Big.

Blake Oliver: [00:40:58] Four were all about ESG.

David Leary: [00:41:01] Well, I think they're all about like in their consulting part, probably consulting companies about ESG. But it's not part of the audit, right? Like is there standards? You're not you don't have to audit and report this stuff. Right? Well, there's.

Blake Oliver: [00:41:15] There's there's proposed standards on ESG reporting that would then be incredibly lucrative to audit firms if they became the auditors of choice for ESG audits.

David Leary: [00:41:25] And they're arguing that this is putting investors at risk. And it's like, can we just get them to tell us if a bank's going to fail? Like it just feels very out of touch and it but it really feels like the vibe of this article is their feelings are hurt because the Big six are just ignoring them.

Blake Oliver: [00:41:44] Well, here's somebody else who's kind of glad you.

David Leary: [00:41:49] Got this article because I couldn't get to it. So.

Blake Oliver: [00:41:51] Wall Street Journal editorial board has opined on the accounting talent shortage there. Their headline is The Biden Accounting Jobs Boom. And my takeaway from this is basically that they're saying that Biden, the Biden administration is responsible for the talent shortage that we're having.

David Leary: [00:42:10] But I thought it was the other because I didn't get to see the article. But based on the headline and this one sentence I saw, I thought it was because of all these tax law they keep introducing that there's going to be more demand for accountants. So I guess that causes a shortage, right? The demand's up.

Blake Oliver: [00:42:24] And so the argument is that the Biden administration is increasing regulation, which then increases the need for accountants. And so, you know, let me just.

David Leary: [00:42:33] Straining it more.

Blake Oliver: [00:42:34] Yeah, let me just read the beginning of this. For all of you recent graduates, we have two words tax accounting. We were looking into the June jobs report. And what do you know, tax preparation and accounting rank among the fastest growing fields in the Biden economy. Hiring and finance information in many professional services has slowed in recent months, but the accounting tax prep, bookkeeping and payroll job category keeps growing at a solid clip. The field has added 30,800 jobs this year, and it's 2.7% growth rate since January. Exceeds that for professional business services and even leisure and hospitality. By the time President Biden entered office, the jobs lost at the start of the pandemic in accounting tax and payroll services had recovered Since January 2021, the field has added 138,400 jobs, compared to about 30,100 during the first two and a half years of the Trump administration. The Biden presidency is springtime for green eyeshades. Springtime for green eyeshades. Springtime for green eyeshades. I'm just thinking of that song, Springtime for Hitler. You know, from the producers. From the.

Speaker3: [00:43:39] Producers? Yeah.

Blake Oliver: [00:43:41] That's so yeah. Basically, the the argument here is that Trump and the GOP simplified things and Biden makes things more complicated. So that's why we need more accountants. And I find this very humorous because anybody who's anybody in tax knows that the complexity has increased in both administrations. Right. And plenty of stuff that the Trump administration did and then handed off to Biden like like pee pee pee and all that. I mean, that was all like, you know, like that was all. It crossed both.

David Leary: [00:44:17] Yeah. This is politicians. I don't know. Yeah, it's kind of an interesting headline article.

Blake Oliver: [00:44:24] So they're blaming the American Rescue Plan Act for including new or enhanced tax credits, you know, that require then more tax work. The Inflation Reduction Act added a bunch of green energy tax credits with complicated eligibility rules and bonuses. And don't forget the law's new 15% minimum tax on corporate book income. So the conclusion is all of this means more billable hours for accountants. They may have the closest thing to a recession proof job in this current era of progressive government. So I guess accountants should be voting for Democrats. Apparently, if they want to have lots of work to do. Which is funny.

David Leary: [00:45:01] I argue I've argued this before You should vote in one election, Democrats in the next election, Republicans. So they keep changing the laws. And then you have work forever, like because you're reversing the previous administrations and the new ones. That's the way to vote. You jump back and forth just to get change. Change is good for accountants.

Blake Oliver: [00:45:18] That's what change is good, right? Political stagnation is good if you don't want things to change either. So Romeo made a good point, right, in the article. We saw that the field has added 138,000 jobs. Accounting has added 138,000 jobs since 2021. Okay. We only produce 40 to 50,000 accounting grads a year. That's why this pain is happening.

David Leary: [00:45:43] And a massive amount are about to retire. Like that Cliff is here.

Blake Oliver: [00:45:47] Oh, it's already starting, right? Yeah, they're trying to get out. And that's also why it's a great time to buy a firm. If you want to buy a small firm from a practitioner in their 60s and most are most small firm owners are over the age of 60 now. Great time to do that. If you can get the right price and the price will continue to go down as buyers are not found. So it's a buyer's market for small firms. I mean, I'm seriously I would love to just like go raise a bunch of money and buy a bunch of small firms and put in the right technology. There's people doing this now. It's a great roll up business opportunity.

David Leary: [00:46:24] And it's not even and this is not just accounting like they're doing this. Old plumbers are wanting to retire. Well, like every industry. And there actually there's my understanding is Stanford Business School now has classes and there's a whole community around this, like going and buying legacy businesses and modernizing them. Yeah. Instead of doing a startup, right. I have an article that's kind of fun and strange that could transition us into app news.

Blake Oliver: [00:46:50] Well, we don't have that much time left and I've got listener mail, so why don't you do that? And then we'll do the listener mail.

David Leary: [00:46:55] All right. Yeah, I'll hammer this one out. So bench accounting. They had an article about this. Is your.

Speaker3: [00:47:02] Story watching a.

David Leary: [00:47:03] Breakthrough? Well, this is a quick one. Then we'll do the three quick, quick stuff and then be done with that fast. But they said they're going to introduce ten new product innovations and improvements this summer.

Blake Oliver: [00:47:11] So one personal [CROSSTALK] Sorry, is this one of those press releases that they didn't actually do anything yet? They're just talking about what they're going to do?

David Leary: [00:47:19] Yes, exactly.

Blake Oliver: [00:47:20] I'm so tired of this stuff with AI.

David Leary: [00:47:22] Like this is what we do for people. We plow through those kind of articles. But I do have three things about QuickBooks really quick. We probably should cover. Okay. So do you remember a few months ago, QuickBooks? A few months, maybe a last about eight months ago, QuickBooks launched this store and we could buy like, candles and stuff and then resell them. It was like a wholesale marketplace called Trotta.

Blake Oliver: [00:47:41] Yeah, I remember covering that.

David Leary: [00:47:44] Well, they killed. It's killed. They pulled support. Oh, no, they're going to. It's dead. They pulled that. So that's gone. They've simplified bank matching but it looks like in the article so it says QuickBooks checking simplifies bank feeds matching. And I read this like three times and I finally figured out it's the QuickBooks checking product. Those bank feeds are getting enhancements where instead of just doing like most of the bank feeds, look at like the amount and the date and then you still have to manually match a lot. It's going to start using the bank, the check numbers from the account and other other information. Now, where this is interesting to me is just how Intuit Payments is super convenient because it just works great. There's no more work to do in QuickBooks. If you're using Intuit payments and somebody pays you, right? It just does everything. Could a deeper integration to QuickBooks actually drive growth of QuickBooks checking? Right. Like where it makes sense to use QuickBooks checking because I have a QuickBooks checking account and I don't use it. Why? Because it was horrible.

Blake Oliver: [00:48:39] This is one of the benefits of relay is that the bank feeds don't break and you get all this extra data that you normally don't get from like a B of A or a chase. Yeah. Yeah.

David Leary: [00:48:46] And then you still have to manually match it because QuickBooks isn't doing it right. But that's another it's not reading all the extra data that Relay provides them. So there's that. And then the other thing that they're doing is they are now merging. So they have a lot of front end apps for employees or consumers even. Right. Well, one of the two apps they have is they add a timesheet app, which used to be QuickBooks Time, which was Tsheets. And then they had this app called Workforce, which is the old view my paycheck, which essentially view your paycheck, your W-2s, etcetera. They're putting the time app in that app now. So now that's one app. But is that the march into it's on now? What if they put Credit Karma in there? Right. What if they put their little payment thing is Intuit building a super app right further because that's a lot that's if they can get employees to do this that's 12, 1415 million employees they get onto an app and then, you know, TurboTax mobile is built in, etcetera. So those are the three big QuickBooks announcements.

Blake Oliver: [00:49:42] All right. Well, I'm going to hit through my app news as well. After bootstrapping for eight years, accounting startup Doug's raises 27 million. And if you haven't heard of Doug's, that's because they are French. They raised this money from a VC firm in Britain called Expedition Growth Capital. Doug's claims to generate 16.4 million inches annual recurring revenue, and they provide online chartered accountant services for small and medium sized companies. They have 14,000 clients. And their services include financial statements, certified tax filings, expense reports and payroll services. They're going to use the funding to double their team size by 2025 and expand to new countries, including Germany and the UK. So that's something to watch out for in Europe is Doug's d o u g. S, and I have no idea if that's how you say it in French, but that's what it looks like. It looks like Doug's.

David Leary: [00:50:42] I don't think you're saying it right, because it probably needs to sound fancier.

Blake Oliver: [00:50:44] Yeah, I'm not even going to try ... Shopify is crusading against Zoom meetings. They have internally built a cost calendar or cost calculator that appears on everyone's calendar. So when you book a meeting with three or more people, the tool uses average compensation data and meeting length and attendee count to determine the cost of the event. So a 30 minute meeting with three employees can cost between 700 and $1600 and adding an executive can increase the cost to over $2,000. The point is to reduce unnecessary meetings, and they say that it has already eliminated recurring meetings with more than two people. They are on track to eliminate 322,000 hours and 474,000 meetings in 2023.

David Leary: [00:51:37] Yeah, I've seen I remember a decade ago a decade plus people building plugins like this for outlook. I've like this. Every time we turn around. A company builds this as a plugin to their calendar program and thinks they're the first company that's ever done this. Like it's just it happens a lot and it gets a lot of attention though Like it's a good press thing though, gets you a lot of attention but don't necessarily any anyone I've even seen stick around very long. Like I think it's very gimmicky. People still are going to have meetings. They just ignore it. It's just you just pretend it doesn't exist.

Blake Oliver: [00:52:08] My favorite thing about this is that you can, you know, like companies will allow anyone to schedule a meeting with like ten people that recurs on a weekly basis that cost an insane amount of money. If you like. Calculate, calculate it. But they can't buy like a $100 computer peripheral without going through a process. Right. Like that's that's the inconsistency.

David Leary: [00:52:30] Yes.

Blake Oliver: [00:52:30] So if you trust people to, like, book these kind of meetings, which wastes an incredible amount of resources, let them just buy what they need or like.

David Leary: [00:52:38] A plane ticket.

Blake Oliver: [00:52:38] Or. Yeah.

Blake Oliver: [00:52:39] Instead of putting through this hassle. So Shopify also has released some AI stuff and they had a demo of it on a Twitter video that got 1.6 million views. I thought it would be kind of cool to to show this off. It's like a two minute video. So yeah, I hope you can hear this.

Shopify Clip: [00:52:59] So I've got something really cool to show you. I'm deeply excited about this start, this company almost two decades ago because entrepreneurship is hard, entrepreneurship is important and it needs to be easier. There's a million things you need to know when you're embarking on this journey and a million things that you will have to figure out along the way that you don't even know yet. Some people are lucky enough that you have someone you can call or you can text with questions. Some people do not. But imagine how much more entrepreneurship would there be in the world if everyone would have someone by their side who is? Deeply competent, totally committed to you. Available around the clock, with no judgment, with no fear, knowing everything there is about Shopify and entrepreneurship writ large. Technology has advanced so much in the last year that this is now possible and we are building this directly into Shopify and we could not be more excited about it. We believe like entrepreneurs are heroes.

Blake Oliver: [00:54:05] Okay, so let's skip to the actual kick. So. Let me make this. I can't make it fuller screen. There's a little sidebar that popped out and it says, I'm Sidekiq your Shopify assistant. Ask me questions and get help and blah blah blah blah, blah. What would you like help with? So just like windows, right? Sidebar Clippy.

Shopify Clip: [00:54:30] Every entrepreneur has tons of.

Blake Oliver: [00:54:31] So now the person is typing in. I had a drop off in sales from March to now. Why? And it says the dip of sales is probably due to minimal snow. These are summer months in many regions, so it's natural for sales to decrease. And this is a store that sells winter gear.

Shopify Clip: [00:54:47] It is actually the purpose of went.

Blake Oliver: [00:54:50] And found that now they're asking put everything on sale. All right let me get that sale started. And the the app has created an automatic discount of 10% on all products. You can click preview and then you can click apply.

Shopify Clip: [00:55:03] For you.

Blake Oliver: [00:55:04] And you can put everything on.

Shopify Clip: [00:55:05] Sale if not question.

Blake Oliver: [00:55:07] And. This is another one that's interesting. Add my new surf collection to the home page and it's going to automatically go and create a new section on the home page that.

Shopify Clip: [00:55:19] Has surf economic trends.

Blake Oliver: [00:55:22] Remove the snowboards and make my store look like a surf shop. So it's going to retheme the website. Now, it.

Shopify Clip: [00:55:27] Can't actually.

Blake Oliver: [00:55:28] Based on what you just told it to do, write new content for my hero banner focused on selling surfboards. Absolutely. Here's some catchy copy.

Shopify Clip: [00:55:35] And.

Blake Oliver: [00:55:36] It changes the website.

Shopify Clip: [00:55:38] So I've been part of a technology.

Blake Oliver: [00:55:40] I want to share this because it's just an example of the kind of the kind of like automation that we can come to expect inside of apps soon to help us do things that would have been a lot of tedious manual clicking and adding. And it can at least get us 90% of the way there. And then we go and tweak. And I saw that Wix is doing this as well. So now you're going to be able to create a website from scratch just using prompts.

David Leary: [00:56:02] Yeah, exactly. I think you're never going to. And this goes to code, right? There's a lot of stuff you're just going to describe what you want and it's going to slowly build it and building a website and change the color to this or this and doing that makes a lot more sense versus like drawing a picture of somebody and then always puts six fingers. It's probably going to when you ask it to put surfboards, hopefully it's going to put surfboards on your website. Yeah, but it's funny, though, because the way he presents that, though, it's like we're all in, right? It's very passionate. Like it was really well done video.

Blake Oliver: [00:56:31] We got some listener mail I wanted to read real quickly before we go. So we got a comment on a YouTube video. This was episode 339. We talked about that 15 year old who passed the CPA exam. Daniel said, I'm a pilot who's finishing up his master's in accounting because it's free, because I'm in the military lol. And it's funny being in aviation, seeing the pilot shortage and the insane changes, including salary that came with the shortage. Now I'm looking at the accounting field, rubbing my hands together, seeing the same signs we witnessed in the aviation world. Here we go again. We also got an Instagram message from Chris. Chris said, Love your podcast. I am a senior financial analyst with a decade of experience. I have a finance degree. I have worked some bookkeeping on the side. I would like to start a firm that specializes in just the outsourced accounting and fpna for small business. Have you considered doing an episode discussing this for non accounting majors? I have many concerns replacing my salary and clients being accepting of a non CPA finance professional are a couple of the main concerns. Great job on the podcast. You are inspiring an audience beyond just the CPA community. Thanks Chris.

David Leary: [00:57:44] If I could suggest Blake, that could be a good episode. We got to find somebody for you to interview, but a good episode of the On the Earmark podcast.

Blake Oliver: [00:57:51] Yeah, I would love to do that actually. And I know one firm that is not a CPA firm that has had a lot of success doing outsourced accounting and fpna, and that is Growth Lab Financial, led by Dan Gertrudes and Steven Byler over in I think they're in Maryland-

David Leary: [00:58:08] East Coast, yeah-

Blake Oliver: [00:58:09] Yeah. And and so I would say just regarding that question about whether or not you need to be a CPA to do this, if you're doing outsourced accounting and CPA work like managerial accounting, you know, advisory work, I don't think you need the CPA to get clients. You need to have good marketing to get the clients. Being a CPA always helps. Credentials always help. But you can overcome the difference if you don't have.

David Leary: [00:58:37] To outsource CFO and Fpna.

Blake Oliver: [00:58:40] And you know, only a third of CFOs are CPAs these days. So I would say, don't let that hold you back. I would say the CPA is definitely more valuable when it comes to tax because a lot of people associate tax with the CPA. I don't think they associate CFO with CPA as much as CPAs might think.

David Leary: [00:58:59] Yeah.

Blake Oliver: [00:58:59] So Growth Lab might be in Rhode Island, says Larry Bernstein. Yeah, I think that's right. Rhode Island. What did I say? Maryland. My bad.

David Leary: [00:59:08] Yeah. Us West Coasters. It's the States are all teeny up in that corner over there. You know.

Blake Oliver: [00:59:13] I learned the geography when I was in fifth grade, and I, uh ... Yeah.

David Leary: [00:59:20] This is accounting. We're not. We're not geography majors. This is not a history podcast.

Blake Oliver: [00:59:25] My apologies. I hope I have not offended our entire East Coast audience. It's hard to offend East coasters, though. So, like, you know.

David Leary: [00:59:32] Just tell them what your temperature is today and then they-

Blake Oliver: [00:59:35] So let's see, the high today is 114. So. All right. That's why I can't think-

David Leary: [00:59:40] So, if Blake suffers in hell the rest of you can enjoy.

Blake Oliver: [00:59:43] Yeah. All right. Well, that's all the time we got this week. David, if people want to find you online, where can they track you down?

David Leary: [00:59:48] Well, I'm on all the socials, @DavidLeary, but I wanted to just make sure everybody knows, especially any listeners that are in the Chicago area. And that's broad because I think two hours away is like Milwaukee. A lot of people could get to Chicago fairly quickly. We're going to be attending.

Blake Oliver: [01:00:03] Don't say anything because you don't know the geography that well, right?

David Leary: [01:00:05] David okay. I know that. I know that that exists, though. So we're going to be attending the unique conference 2023. The theme here is Bridging the gap, connecting generations and prioritizing your health. Right? So you can find your success. But they can both be speaking at this conference. A lot of the who's who in accounting, you know, it's going to be speaking, some of them have been guest on our podcast before, Um, go and register. It's going to be at the lowest Chicago O'Hare right by the airport. So you can land at the airport, stay very close at the convention center. I think it's might be called the Rosemont. Don't quote me on that because I don't know where I'm going, but go and sign up. We'll have the link in the show notes. Or you could just search for the unique CPA or bridging the gap and find the link that way.

Blake Oliver: [01:00:44] Search for unique CPA conference and you'll find it. It's going to be great. It'll be fun. I can't wait to go to Chicago that time of year. It'll be nice. Speaking of the weather and I went to school there, so meet up with some friends. Great. All right, David, Thanks, everyone who joined us live. You can always do so by subscribing to our YouTube channel. Do that and you'll get notified when we go live. And hope to see you next week. Bye, everyone.

David Leary: [01:01:09] Hi, everybody.