2014 Controllers Conference


Return to Controllers Conference

8:30-9:20 a.m. General Session
  Lessons from the Playing Field:  What Sports Can Teach CPAs 
John F. Levy, CPA, MBA, Board Advisory

The Duke of Wellington is credited with saying: “The Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing-fields of Eton." From before the 19th Century to today, sports have molded our business and professional leaders. Sports can teach today’s CPAs about many of our most critical business issues including strategy, culture, metrics, management, innovation, adversity and sustainability. This opening session will explore lessons we can all use from great, and not so great, moments in our professional and amateur sports. Quit feeling guilty about playing those extra nine holes or watching “March Madness” during business season. You’re learning important business and professional skills!
9:25-10:15 a.m. General Session
  Financial Management — 10 Tips for Success and 13 Signs of Failure 
William F. O’Brien, CPA, MBA, Santa Clara University

Today’s effective financial leader must establish on-going credibility and adaptability to be effective. Finance professionals operate in a landscape of constant flux, yet financial management’s fundamental success skills do not vary. Hear veteran speaker Bill O’Brien discuss why some financial managers succeed while others fail. 
10:30 a.m.-12:10 p.m.  Breakout Sessions
A. Crowd Funding: What Every Financial Manager Should Know   
Don Minges, MBA, Executive Education, Inc.

Crowd funding is a fundraising method that usually uses the Internet. Organizations may raise money through donations, pre-selling or by selling debt or equity. Finance professionals should learn about this new financing method. Crowd funding is not appropriate for all organizations. Risks, advantages, disadvantages and costs exist. This session provides a crowd funding overview, discussing key considerations for each crowd funding type. 
B.  Black Swans: Prepare for the Unexpected (A&A)
John F. Levy, CPA, MBA, Board Advisory

Did you ever hear the phrase, “What you don’t know can hurt you?” Nassim Nicholas Taleb, in his book “The Black Swan,” postulates that it is exactly what we don’t know that can hurt us the most. The risks we need to be most concerned about are the risks we cannot identify or predict. Taleb terms these risks as “Black Swans.” In this session, we will describe some historical black swan events and, more importantly, discuss how CPAs and their organizations can be prepared for a future we cannot even envision. 
1-2:40 p.m.  Breakout Sessions
A.  Spotlight on Private Company Accounting (A&A)
William F. O’Brien, CPA, MBA, Santa Clara University

The Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) formed the Private Company Council (PCC) and the AICPA issued the Financial Reporting Framework for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (FRF); attempting to simplify private company financial reporting. Be careful! What you think you may see is not necessarily what you are going to get. Behind each alternative approaches lurks disagreement and complexity. Non-public companies must determine which approach to financial reporting is best for their stakeholders. You must evaluate many considerations such as systems, financing sources, internal staffing and professional support. Join us as we discuss these issues and more. Learn about the potential political conflicts that could undermine the smooth implantation of these reporting models. Take time to understand the issues before you leap into the unknown! 
B. Profit Improvement — 10 Tips
Don Minges, MBA, Executive Education, Inc.

When a company is having poor financial performance, the financial person is often the first to go. Whether times are good, or times are bad, asking the tough questions and making sure the organization is efficient and stays efficient are part of the financial manager’s job. Proactive efforts by financial managers can prevent the need for a company to “catch up.” This session provides 10 techniques for improving your company’s bottom line.  
 2:50-4:30 p.m. Breakout Sessions
A. Ethics and Sustainability
John F. Levy, CPA, MBA, Board Advisory
Many people have deep concerns about the future of our world, our country, our businesses and our families. Today we face critical questions of corporate strategy and our ability to compete in increasingly more global and more competitive markets. The global recession forced many to be more efficient just to survive. This session discusses ethical issues of developing a sustainable business model and why running a responsible company is good business. 

B. Achieving Strategic Success: Your Personal P.I.T. Crew
William F. O’Brien, CPA, MBA, Santa Clara University 

Learn about the three tools that can turn aspirations into achievement. Leave this interactive and entertaining session with the insight for transforming your financial team into your company’s catalyst for strategic success. The three tools are Strategic Planning (P-Planning), Performance Based Management (I-Initiation) and Balanced Scorecard Reporting (T-Tracking). Discuss how to use these tools effectively as you race to achieve strategic success. The P-I-T Crew can make your department a winning team. 

4:30 Adjourn