Bob the CPA:Â Â Â Â This is Abacus. I'm Bob the CPA. My guest today is Greg Kyte. We're gonna talk a little bit about how he's making CPE just a little more fun.
Greg Kyte:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Comedy CP, it's the great place where I have sound. Where I can combine both my expertise as a CPA, and my experience as a stand-up comedian, to make some really fun, really engaging and entertaining, but also very content driven continuing education courses.
Bob the CPA:Â Â Â Â But first he'll tell you exactly how he changed careers, from math teacher to accounting.
Greg Kyte:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â It was challenging, but it wasn't as challenging as my brain thought it would be.
Bob the CPA:Â Â Â Â And finally there have been some recent changes in the CPE world, so I've asked Matt Briggs in from Encoursa to come back and give us a quick update. All this coming up on Abacus. Let's go. Learn everything you need to know to have a successful and fulfilling accounting career. Whether youâ€™re on the partner track or you're making your own path, this is Abacus.
What's up everybody? This is the Abacus show where I bring together the best spot leaders, teachers and accounting professionals from all over the world to share their experience, to help you become a top performer. For those of you who don't know Greg, here's a quick rundown. He's a former math teacher turned corporate controller, who does stand-up comedy and combines it with CPE to create a fun learning experience.
And if that wasn't enough he also is a co-host of the Thrival Podcast. This episode is just a little bit longer than usual, but there was so much good stuff I didn't want to cut any of it out. Greg and I are going to cover how he started his career as a math teacher, why he hated it, and how he made the change to accounting. He'll tell us what he's doing now on a day as a controller, and what that job actually looks like, and then we'll get in depth on continuing education. Including a few things Greg would change if he could, and why he uses humor to engage his students and help them learn. You can get a summary and links to everything we talk about today in the show notes for this episode at abacusshow.com/207. Now here's the interview with Greg Kyte.
Greg welcome to the Abacus Show.
Greg Kyte:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Thanks I am glad to be here, thanks for finding me.
Bob the CPA:Â Â Â Â I know actually you were recommended by multiple people but most recently Caleb over a, founder of Going Concern, I was talking to him last week and you were the first name that popped up. He's like "You gotta talk to this guy. He's hilarious". It's great to have you here.
Greg Kyte:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Nice. Nice, yeah, I blogged for Caleb on Going Concern. I think I started in maybe 2012 and the trolls on their site, they didn't wear me down until this year. I was contributing regularly for him.
Bob the CPA:Â Â Â Â That's some resilience. That's kind of how comments go over there.
Greg Kyte:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Exactly, yes, yeah, totally.
Bob the CPA:Â Â Â Â You said obviously you were writing. You're doing stand-up comedy and CPE now, kind of putting all that together, but I was surprised to learn you started out as a math teacher. Would you mind kind of just walking us through your career and how you've made the decisions to get to where you are today?
Greg Kyte:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Sure, yeah. When I was, I'll go way back, when I was in middle school actually, when I was in eighth grade, my mom whose a pharmacist, she's retired now, but she was a pharmacist. She opened a drugstore out in Mount Lake Terrace, Washington, it was a partnership, with her and some other folks that took over this pharmacy and the partnership went to deep into the toilet within about a year, a year and a half. I think it was when I was in eighth grade that her partners just said "Screw you Mrs. Kyte. We're out of here", and they left her high and dry and she needed an employee to run the register. I started doing that, and before too long, I think when I was a sophomore, like 15 or 16, sophomore in high school.Â I started learning how to do the books for my mom's drugstore and I was doing the nightly reconciliations, things like that, that we had to do just to keep deposits. Things like that, just to keep things going at the drugstore, and I loved it.
I love the bookkeeping stuff. And I also excelled a lot in math, in school. Fast forward to when I was a student at the University of Washington, trying to figure out what my major should be. I was really good at math, but I really enjoyed the little bit of accounting that I'd been exposed to, so I had to figure out what the right choice was for me, for the rest of my life and I choose math. And at that point I didn't know what anyone would do with a math degree except teach, so I went into math education, which landed me at Dixon Middle School in Provo Utah for, I guess I was there for eight years.
And I also spent a year at the very beginning of my career as a teacher and at the end as a high school teacher. And I pretty much didn't like it at all, I pretty much hated it. And I even knew, even my first year of teaching I was kind of like "This isn't really for me" so I waited tables and then I got married and then I realized health insurance was awesome. So I went back to teaching, cause that's the only career I can go into that offered benefits. But it still wasn't for me. I tell people the left education, mostly cause I couldn't stand those little bastards. Back then it was pretty obvious cause it's like well my first choice was math, that was the wrong choice, so what else could I do?
The other thing I didn't like about teaching, like anybody who's an educator will tell yah, the money is pretty crappy. The dream of home ownership seemed like it was getting further and further away while I was a teacher as well. So I thought the plan B, or at least the two plan A's that I had to choose from, so there's the de facto plan B was accounting. I went back to, it was in 2006, so yeah 10 years ago. I went back to school and it took me two years to get an accounting degree, and then two years after that to get my MBA in accounting emphasis, and then it took me about four months after that to bang through the CPA exams. I was licensed at the beginning of 2011. I stopped teaching in 2008, started working for a CPA firm, that burned me out really quick but I got hired by a client and that's the job I still have. Working as a controller for the Medical Office Buildings, which turned out to be a fantastic, challenging and exciting place for me to work.
Bob the CPA:Â Â Â Â That's an awesome story, cause I feel like there's a lot of people who I see asking questions online, or kind of emails I get, that are worried if they didn't think accounting was right for them right after school they can't go in that route of go work for an accounting firm. Get your CPA later in life. Did you find it was very challenging? More so if you had gone straight into accounting? Or did you kind of make up for it in life experience? Or how did that work for yah?
Greg Kyte:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â I think the transition was, it was challenging, but it wasn't as challenging as my brain thought it would be. Cause I had thought about making the switch for a lot of, at least contemplated it, and I just figured that going back to school, since I was married, I had kids, there's all this stuff that I didn't have way back when I went to college the first time and that I thought would make it difficult. But I found out that there's plenty of ways to do ... When I did my undergrad I did as many independent study and arm length courses as I could. Like I said that was 2006, 2007, 2008, that I did that stuff, and the last 10 years, your options for online education have exploded.
There's way more opportunities to be able to get that education in ways that will support whatever life style you currently have. It was hard but it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. As a matter of fact, even during that time, I was still able to do quite a bit of stand-up comedy while I was ... More than I had expected, I guess even in retrospect, more than I probably should have. I mean I got great grades and I don't know where exactly I found the time to do all of that, but it even took its toll on that, cause I had to give up on a lot of dates and my NBA course was called an executive NBA course so we met for four hours every Friday night and four hours every Saturday morning. So Friday nights is kind of a key time to be available to do things like stand-up comedy, so yeah. It did take its toll on that stuff, but it was doable and I made it work.
I guess in hindsight it's hard to say whether it would've been easier had I jumped straight into accounting because when you have a mid-life career change, I was in my late 30's, mid 30's, I think I was in my mid 30's, when I made that change. I realized from the get go that I had to catch up 10 years on my peers, so I went after it pretty ... I was very, well I guess I want to say aggressive, but that's maybe not the right word, but I was going after it pretty hard. To try and catch up with people I maybe did stuff that didn't make a difference.
I remember I read every issue of the Journal of Accountancy for those four years that I was in school. Cover to cover, every damn word, and just because I felt like I needed to know more about what I was doing, and I had to catch up. I was a little more aggressive, I got very involved with our state society very early on. Which is actually how I landed my first job at that firm, is because they were like ... First off they were so excited that a student would come to the chapter luncheons. I was like a rockstar just for showing up for that, that was nice. But they also have this weird perception that if somebody has the drive to come to the chapter meetings for the state society, that for some reason that means that they must be the fantastic accountant in process. Maybe not necessarily true, but it was enough of a smoke screen that I got that job, and I was able to get my foot in the door. They hired me right after I just got my bachelors in accounting, even though the firm policy at that time was that they were looking for people who were more CPA ready. People who had already got their 150 hours, things like that.
I think there was some challenges because I didn't come up in the profession. But the benefit was I had more of the eye of tiger to really go after.
Bob the CPA:Â Â Â Â As long as we're on the subject, would you mind walking us through what you do today, as a controller? I think a lot of people hear that title and they hear it as something they could possibly do after maybe a public accounting stint. But I think a lot of people are still unsure what that actually is. Would you mind walking us through, maybe a typical week or month end, or something like that?
Greg Kyte:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Sure. I'll do my best. One of the things that I think is that there's a lot of different, from controller position to con ... There's a lot of variations. If you were working in an accounting firm, depending on which department youâ€™re in, I think the expectations are pretty set. Once you get into industry I think there's a lot more variation in terms of what your actual responsibilities entail. But for me, I basically get to shepherd five different LLC's, who have very very minimal activity. For those two LLC's that I'm in charge of, that's basically is once a year, some bookkeeping and tax returns. Which in the past, those tax returns I found out, through a CPA firm, just for 2015 since there easy returns and I can do it a lot cheaper in house then the CPA firm is. I actually brought those tax returns back in house.
There's another LLC that I manage that's actually a storage facility that's part of one of our buildings, like a public self storage thing. That involves ... I'm a one man show for that so I actually do everything for this weird little storage facility. Everything from marketing to orientating new storage clients to our storage facility, to running the quick books, to running an automatic credit card payments. And even with that, again that was another return that in the past we fund that off to the CPA firm but for 2015 I did that in house, and just a notable thing, I made a nice glaring mistake on that tax return. So I get a file an amended state return for those guys.
But part of the learning curve, and that's actually one of things that I like, a lot of people say that controllership gets really boring cause you do the same thing every week and every month and every year and it's just very very routine. I've found that in my position, I've got a lot of antinomy, with where I work, so I'm able ... If I feel like I'm ready for a new challenge, I can pull things back from the CPA firm that we work with and start doing those things in house. That's kinda how I keep myself sharp and challenge myself. But then the two, the two, main LLC's that I work with ... It's actually each LLC, basically the whole thing that LLC owns, is a medical office building.
For each of those LLC's I do all the accounting with the leases, with the owners distribution. So again there's a lot of bookkeeping we do. There's a lot of finance that we do. I meet with bank to get big loans that we then divide up to all of our owners, who owns suites in our buildings, so yeah. There's a finance component, there's a lot of accounting. I do a lot of the grunt work for the CPA firm every year when we do our taxes. There's a lot of communication I do with our owners. We have about, I think we've got about 10 owners at one of the buildings, and we've got about 25 owners at the other building. There's a lot of communication I do with the owners just about the financial health and the different activity. All the different things that are coming up. Whether it's refinances coming up, and we just had last year, one of the buildings was on a long term land lease, that we ended up being able to purchase the land. And that was a giant 1.5 million dollar deal that I got to walk from the very beginning to the very end.
Another thing for me as a controller, something that I didn't anticipate but that's a very regular part of my job, is that I work very closely with our attorney. He's not in house attorney, but he's a guy that we contract with to do all our different legal work, and so I've become kind of a junior attorney for these companies. Reviewing leases, reviewing a lot of documents. Even sometimes I'll plate, if I don't feel like paying $400 to our attorney to write up a promissory note or something like that, I will just take his own promissory note and I'll cannibalize it and make my own and figure. I'm adhering to Utah State law regarding practicing lawyer ship without a license, and that everything's gonna work out just fine with that. But yeah. Legal stuff is another big component of my job that I didn't expect. It's boring on one end, cause nothings worse than reading through a 38 page lease, but it's interesting to just get those skills and to grow in that way.
Bob the CPA:Â Â Â Â That's really interesting. It seems like youâ€™re wearing a lot of hats so that's something I think people like to hear about is just like what will I actually be doing. So thank you for that.
Greg Kyte:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Right. And I guess another thing about being a controller as opposed to working in public accounting, is again just with the economy that I have. Cause I'm a one man accounting department. Which again I think that's pretty unique, but again, like I said before, I think most controllerships are probably very different from other controllerships. Depending on what the company is and how big your department is, and all that sort of stuff. But I came into a really chaotic and messy situation, that I've been able to implement a lot of systems, stream lined a lot of the processes within all five of these LLC's. Even to the point where, like at this point, just all by myself I am doing the work that we at one point had seven different people on board doing, including me. I was one of seven people and now we simplified it and just through attrition we've come down to where I'm doing all that work that seven people were doing.
I still have a fair amount of slack in my day to do things like write blogs posts, and be interviewed by people for their Podcasts, and things like that. I've got quite a bit of flexibility and freedom in my schedule to even do things that aren't necessarily directly tied to my job, but because of the advances I was able to find and implement in terms of efficiencies with how we run the accounting of these businesses. That's really affording me a lot of career capital I think is the word people use. I have a lot of career capital where I've got flexibility. I've got discretion in how I use my time and that's really been great for me for pursuing all these other side interests that I have.
Bob the CPA:Â Â Â Â And you have a few. It's good you have the time.
Greg Kyte:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Yeah, yes.
Bob the CPA:Â Â Â Â I guess speaking of, maybe jumping into the CPE side of things now, since you're doing the comedy CPE. I was wondering if you could kind of tell us what are your thoughts on CPE in general and the current level of requirements? Do you think it's adequate? Do you think it's too much? Just in general what are your thoughts on CPE?
Greg Kyte:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â In general I think that CPE requirements are bull(beep). Can I say bull(beep) on your Podcast?
Bob the CPA:Â Â Â Â You certainly can.
Greg Kyte:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Okay then I will stay with that word choice. In general I think that the CPE requirements are bull(beep). As accountants we live in an industry where there is a ridiculous amount of change, and especially if you're in tax, but it's not much lighter if you're in audit. Right now what we're working with, the changes to lease accounting, we're changing revenue recognition accounting. Those are the fundamentals of our profession that are being changed. That's like telling a physicist that there's going to be some dramatic changes to the laws of gravity and that theyâ€™re going to have to pivot to be able to make sure that their bridges still work. And that's what we're working with. And anybody who takes their job seriously, has to take continuing education seriously. A requirement for continuing education is basically just the profession saying "Hey we're gonna force people to track this stuff and to make sure that the people, that the bad players, that the lazy people in our profession, aren't being so lazy". I think that we naturally in this profession understand the amount of updating, keeping our knowledge current is required to do what we do well.
I'd say that that's probably saying ... I work with a lot of doctors like I said my buildings in medical office buildings. And it's the same thing with them. They've got continuing education requirements for doctors and obviously they have lives at steak. I get it but I'll still say that it's bull(beep). That being said, it is a requirement that everybody has to live by. I would say that 80 hour is, I guess for us in Utah it's 80 hours every two years. Most days if you average it out, it's 40 hours a year, I think that that's probably on the light side of what people should be doing. But regardless it's required and so that puts us into this position where we have to not only get things that are officially sanctioned and licensed and certified as continued education, but we've got to track those things. So we find ourselves in these situations, in these educational situations, that are less than ideal.
I did a, I think it was just last year, I was very interested in taking an eight hour online fraud course that was presented by Cal CPA. Very very interested in this fraud course because one of the courses that I teach with comedy CPE is a fraud course. So I was very very keyed in. I really wanted to try to observe and see all this material, not just to get my own CP out of the way, but also, and not just to learn cause I think fraud is something that as a controller I need to make sure that I'm on top of, but even then I'm sitting in this webinar for eight hours and you just realize after about two and a half that there's a very finite limit to the amount of time that human being can actively engage with their computer screen, with somebody ... It wasn't even a live webinar it was like several weeks prior to this and I was just clicking on the little I'm still listening button as long as I could. Very suboptimal way of getting your education is by just flogging through an eight hour webinar.
There's a lot of things that are less than ideal in our continuing education. And one of the things that I find with the comedy CP is that I do an ethics and I do a fraud class, and I guess it's just maybe a fear that I have. That people look at something that says comedy CP and they say "Oh this guy is just, he's just screwing around for a couple of hours and calling it CP and that's it" and that's totally not the case. All of the stuff is very content driven, both from the ethics side and from the fraud side, but what I'm able to do is I'm able to not only present it in a more effective way because there's been studies that show that if educators infuse their content with humor that it's more memorable. Which totally makes sense because people remember stuff that's funny and if you're being funny people are more engaged in they're tracking with you more closely. Not only that, if they're thinking "Oh this guyâ€™s gonna say something funny", you realize the first time you use space out and you miss something that everybody else laughs at you go "Oh I need to stay keyed into the conversation to be able to get the jokes when they come up".
Additionally, humor is an incredible, it's a great criticism tool.Â When we're able to look at statistics. If we're able to look at fraud cases. If we're able to look at things, if we look at them with trying to make fun of those things. What we're finding with those things that we're able to make fun of those different things, is that we find the problems with them. And by exposing those problems I think it takes us even a deeper level of education with those topics.
Another thing, I also have some opinions on nano learning, which I'm not sure if you're familiar with that it's a new thing. I know they have it in Maryland and I think Ohio, but it's where you can get CPE Certified for as little as 10 minutes. Which at first I thought that was a joke because nobody's gonna really learn anything in 10 minutes and then I realized that that actually would be a great way to deliver a specifically ethics content. If you live in a state that has an ethics requirement, if you were required to take your ethics in 10 minute doses like once week, that would be an effective way to keep ethics on the top of your mind throughout the year. Which I think is the best way to help ensure the most ethical behavior from people in our profession.
Bob the CPA:Â Â Â Â Yeah I hadn't really heard much about that. I've kind of seen the term before but I never really looked into it. But I can't imagine taking a 100 different courses and having to find those all in like .... It seems like it would be very time consuming to try and go through and take a bunch of 10 minute courses, as opposed to like a two hour course.
Greg Kyte:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Right. And I think there's some ... I don't think you'd want to do some big estate tax learning type of course in 10 minutes increments, but I think there are some topics that would lend itself to that.Â You know at first I poo pooped it but know I think I'm a believer.
Bob the CPA:Â Â Â Â And so we'll we're still talking about CPE, I'm gonna ask you one of my favorite auditor walk through questions.
Greg Kyte:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Okay.
Bob the CPA:Â Â Â Â If you had a magic wand and you could change anything about CPE, what would it be?
Greg Kyte:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â If I had a magic wand and I could change anything about CPE, what would it be? I think my magic wand would make it so that everyone could take continuing education live with instructors who are funny and fun and engaging, but didn't skimp on the content as a result. Because I think that's not just the best way to get your learning, but I think it's also the most enjoyable way to keep your skills sharp.
Bob the CPA:Â Â Â Â For anyone interested. Are you traveling around the country giving these performances for the comedy CPE? Or is it always up in your area? Or do you do it online? Or how does that work?
Greg Kyte:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â I don't do any online, I mean again, I know that that's the biggest challenge that I have to comedy CPE, is that my preferred method of delivery is live. The vast majority of what I'm doing is a different conferences throughout the country. I'll get plugged into those conferences. For instance, just a couple weeks ago I was out in Oklahoma doing a conference doing a conference for the Oklahoma Society. In August I will be at Zerocon out in San Francisco. This fall I'm gonna be at the Thrival Deeper Weekend Conference out in Greenville South Carolina. It's mostly me plugging in the content that I do into other peopleâ€™s live event. Eventually, I'd love to be able to figure out a nice interactive way to do this stuff online, but as of now I haven't found anything that really satisfies what I'm looking for in terms of a delivery method online.
Bob the CPA:Â Â Â Â And then since you obviously can't attend your own performances, and I'm always looking for a new places to find CP, where do you actually take your CPE?
Greg Kyte:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â I do mine in the worst ... Because again, I feel like I do tons of learning just on my own, in various settings and various things that most of which aren't NASBA Certified and won't count for my official CPE, so the fact that I just need to get a lot of stuff under my belt, I typically do all mine in the most boring way which is the CPE Express that you can get through the AICPA. Which is like a couple hundred bucks for a yearâ€™s subscription for all you could need for continuing education. But that's online individual learning, so it's reading and clicking through a bunch of slides and taking quizzes. Which is a painful way to do your continuing education.
This year I'm planning on actually switching that up and I'm wanting to get my CFE designation. I think just getting my CFE will probably take care of most, if not all, of the 40 hours that I need for this year.
Bob the CPA:Â Â Â Â I guess one real last quick question. Where is the best place for people to find you online?
Greg Kyte:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â The best place to find me is through my website, which is just gregkyte.com. I mean really, my last name is spelt K-Y-T-E. If you Google Greg Kyte, I'm the only guy.
Bob the CPA:Â Â Â Â That makes it easy. All right, thank you so much Greg. We really appreciate you coming on the show today. This is awesome.
Greg Kyte:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Okay, thanks it was fun to be here.
Bob the CPA:Â Â Â Â Thanks again to Greg for coming on the show. You can find links to everything we just talked about in the show notes for this episode at abacuashow.com/207.
One of Greg's points in the interview you just heard, was that most of us don't have time or attention span to sit through a four to eight hour webinar to meet our CPE requirements.Â And even if we do it's not the ideal way for most of us to actually learn and retain information. There's actually some interesting developments in the CPE world this year that are trying to change all that.
The first is news from NASBA, and the second is something being tried out in Indiana. Now I'm no expert in this stuff so I asked my friend Matt Briggs from Encoursa to come back on the show and get us up to speed.
Matt Briggs:Â Â Â Â Â Â So a lot of big changes coming from the CP industry that will impact us. One as of right now, the other one is coming up fairly shortly here. If we start with nano CP. That term means a lot in the industry lately. We only heard about it first last year, and so NASBA and the ICPA, they have this board together, they come out with standards for CPE issuers to abide by. And last year they purposed incorporating nano CP. What nano is, it's 10 or 20 minute long self-study courses.
Bob the CPA:Â Â Â Â Matt told me there were a couple reasons NASBA was considering nano CPE. First a lot of people want a mobile solution, so you can sit on the train in your commute and get some CPE on the go. As Greg mentioned this could work but it might not be ideal for every topic. Another reason nano CPE is being considered, is to make it easier for you to make CPE part of simply doing your job. So instead of using Google to learn about a new technical issue, you could take a short 10 to 20 minute CPE course. And that way you're getting CPE credit for on the job learning you're already doing.
Matt Briggs:Â Â Â Â Â Â Those are the kinda the two reasons that they proposed nano CPE. What they do is they ... The issue that's through their standards, and it's usually always in a draft form first, so last year the course is in draft form. They give everyone some time to voice their opinions and write comment letters to them and to say they got some comment letters would be an understatement. They got just a ton of comment letters. Some offered praise for nano, but more of them were more concerned with the concept of nano CPE. Notably the New York State Societies CPA's, two other boards and other societies, issued concerns as well and so what the NASBA Board says they kind of stepped back a little bit.
They went back and made a few tweaks to their proposed standard and they made it very clear that nano is supposed to be incorporated as a tool to help people do their jobs better. They defined it as an interactive knowledge transfer mechanism. I think they really were concerned and they really want to move forward cautiously before making these standards final. With that said, the new exposure draft went out and their expected to make it final September 2016. Which is coming up here in a couple of weeks so we're all expecting that to go final.
Bob the CPA:Â Â Â Â All right and then I guess what is Indiana up to? You said they have some cool stuff going on.
Matt Briggs:Â Â Â Â Â Â Yeah, yeah. Kind of on the whole lines of trying to find better ways to make CPE more incorporated into the CPA's job, and again they kind of took an initiative, so they purposed competency based CPE. So competency based CPE is a way for CPA's to get CPE based on accolades and less on, you know, just meeting a certain number of hours in a classroom or on a computer screen just watching a presenter.
Bob the CPA:Â Â Â Â Right now if you're in Indiana, you should be able to take a competency based ethics course that gives you credit based on completing the desired learning objectives and not based on how many hours you spent in class or on a webinar.
Matt Briggs:Â Â Â Â Â Â So they, instead of making it an option for all CPE that's required for a new license, they just did it for the four hour ethics requirement. In Indiana you have to renew your license every three years, and so now CPA's can kind of use these competency based programs to get their ethics requirements and I expect Indiana to kind of keep an eye on this. So far everything has gone good but I expect them to go role this out and the rest of CPE requirements to if this goes good.
Bob the CPA:Â Â Â Â Those of you that heard Matt on the show in season one, now that we talked about his company Encoursa. It's a free online platform that helps you keep track of all your CPE hours and find some new courses. Lately they've been creating some of their own free CPE webinars so I asked Matt to tell you guys a little bit about it.
Matt Briggs:Â Â Â Â Â Â We got a lot going on, yeah, we keep adding people to Encoursa. We're adding a lot to our course catalog. We actually recently just launched our own platform that hosts our own webinars. We went through the process of getting approved by NASBA to issue our own continuing education credits. We kind of launched a separate platform where we do that and then those webinars our included on the Encoursa application as well. We focus mostly on free or very cheap webinars. They don't really focus too much on NASBA updates or standards or anything like that. It's more about process improvement type webinars. We want everyone to leave all of our webinars taking something that they've learned and they can apply it right away at their job. That's kind of where we've been going. We kind of went in that direction and it's going good.
We had one that was focused entirely on Excel, so as CPA's we spend sometimes 90% or more of our day in Excel and we had an Excel guru. His names Jim Clyde, he owns ExcelCEO.com. They call it cheap excel officer and so he came on and presented and he basically just went through five of six really awesome formulas and techniques about CPA's and other financial professionals can use as their going through their data in their day to day jobs. You could tell, just responses from the audience. I think the light bulbs just went off right away it's like "Wow this is going to save me so much time".
We had another presenter on recently, and she talked about forecasting techniques, so everyone kinda uses their own techniques when they get client data for forecasting. And she went through, also Excel, but she really focused it almost entirely on forecasting. She showed people some tools and tricks and ways to set up the forecasting models.
Bob the CPA:Â Â Â Â Where is the best place for people to find these webinars or do you have a calendar of what's coming up? Or where is the best way for people to be notified of upcoming webinars so they can see if there is anything that their interested in?
Matt Briggs:Â Â Â Â Â Â Yeah, so two ways. Of course Encorsa.com, it's a web application that's where people can sign up, they can track their CPE, they can upload their course supports, set up their deadlines. Then there's also the market place for continuing education courses. We have courses there from many different vendors, including Gencast which is our own platform where we do our own webinars. You can find courses there if you already a user of Encoursa which is 100% free to sign up for. Otherwise, if you don't want to go directly to Encoursa, you can go to Gencast.io that's G-E-N-C-A-S-T.I-O and we have a list of webinars coming up. We just launched it a couple months back but those are all NASBA approved for continuing education webinars and you can find those there and register directly from there.
Bob the CPA:Â Â Â Â All right Matt thank you so much for coming back on. I really appreciate you stopping by to fill us in on what's going on in CPE right now.
Matt Briggs:Â Â Â Â Â Â Hey thanks Bob and just to let you know ... We talk to so many people that's in the industry every day and we've heard so many people say good things about your Podcast. Keep up the great work.
Bob the CPA:Â Â Â Â Hey thank you, I appreciate that. It's always good to hear good feedback.
Matt Briggs:Â Â Â Â Â Â All right thanks Bob.
Bob the CPA:Â Â Â Â Thanks for listening. If you're new to the show, you can catch up on all of our past episodes and get access to tons of training courses, cheat sheets, articles and downloads by vising abacusshow.com.
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