Trump CFO Pleads Guilty to Tax Fraud

Deloitte roasted on TikTok; Trump's CFO pleads guilty to tax fraud; Yellen sets priorities for IRS to spend $80 billion; Sage acquires Lockstep; Voyager customers plead for their money back; Microsoft Excel update enhances team communication; Tether changes accounting firms

David: [00:00:00] Do you want an easy-to-use interface for your clients? Do you want to optimize client workflows? Do you want to spend less time on clients’ books and more time on growing your firm? Do you want to become part of a growing community of client-focused, growth-minded accountants and bookkeepers? Stay tuned to hear more from our sponsor, FreshBooks, later in the episode.

Blake: [00:00:23] My point is that Defi and blockchain, they don't solve the problem of trust. And that was the false promise of crypto was, “Oh, you don't have to trust anyone. We don't need middlemen. We don't need banks anymore.” Right? But you still do have to trust the people who wrote the code. So, you're just replacing one trusted person with another trusted person. You're replacing Wall Street with San Francisco.

David: [00:00:50] Coming to you weekly from the OnPay recording studio, this is the Cloud Accounting Podcast.

Blake: [00:01:00] Welcome to the Cloud Accounting Podcast. I'm Blake Oliver.

David: [00:01:04] I'm David Leary.

Blake: [00:01:05] Great to see you again, David.

David: [00:01:06] You as well. We're going to see each other in person in three days. But if you're listening to this now, Blake and I are sitting next to each other again.

Blake: [00:01:15] We will be at Xerocon in New Orleans. New Orleans? Nola, I'm just going to say Nola. Xero's first event since COVID. Looking forward to it. And by the time this episode comes out, the conference may be over. So, to everyone we saw there, thank you for coming to say hi. It was great to see you.

David: [00:01:37] Hopefully, we get it out before then. With a little luck.

Blake: [00:01:40] So, David, you know, it's not just Xerocon that's new for us. You had a big announcement this week.

David: [00:01:46] Well, yes, we had a big announcement this week.

Blake: [00:01:48] We had a big announcement.

David: [00:01:49] We officially launched Earmark Media.

Blake: [00:01:53] Earmark Media.

David: [00:01:54] Which is the mix-mash of our two companies together. And so, we're offering podcast advertising, podcast production, CP course creation, video testimonials as services to Accountants, bookkeepers, apps plus who might want a service like this. Anybody who likes this.

Blake: [00:02:14] Yeah, and anybody who wants a podcast to do what we're doing here. We've learned how to do this. We've learned best practices over the last four years, and we want to help you do it, too. So, if you want to, like David said, if you want your own show, talk to us. If you want to advertise on shows, we've got a network of shows now. We're creating CPE content that's new, that's different, that's not your same old boring webinars. We're going to be doing live streaming and case studies. We can help with customer case studies as well. So, this is our foray into the world of a media empire. That's right. We also had news from one of our- well, what I thought was going to be one of our potential competitors. You put out the announcement about Earmark Media, and then the very next day, AccountingWEB announces that they're shutting down their U.S. operations.

David: [00:03:11] And it's not so much competitor as people were working with as well. Like, we went to the AccountingWEB summit and we were on board to go next year. Right? Like, it wasn't- so, it's-

Blake: [00:03:23] I mean-

David: [00:03:23] Yes, competitors, we're both media companies, but like, also, they’re our partner, you know? We did things together.

Blake: [00:03:28] Right. I mean, does that mean I should be worried? Like, did we screw up the timing on this? Why did AccountingWEB shut down? Now, it's not the UK AccountingWEB that shut down. That's the bigger entity. That's always been the parent entity where it started. It's the U.S. one that stopped.

David: [00:03:43] So, the parent entity is a company called Sift, S-I-F-T, and they own a couple of media brands that are accounting-driven, they own some small business brands. They have like an HR news website as well, and then they have some events they put on. So, they kind of have a stack of things, but they're all very UK-focused and based on- they did some math, calculator-type stuff, and their decision is- and I'm going to read from their press release here on the website. “Following rising costs and decreasing margins over the last 12 months, with an increasingly commoditized U.S. advertising market, Sift, the owner of AccountingWEB has made the decision to close its U.S. operations on September 1st, 2022.” And that's after AccountingWEB in the U.S. has been 23 years.

Blake: [00:04:29] I had no idea it was around that long.

David: [00:04:31] It’s existed that long, yeah.

Blake: [00:04:31] Yeah. I guess, you know, Earmark Media will have to fill the gap. So, if you were working with AccountingWEB in the U.S., get in touch with us. David, where should people go if they want to work with us at Earmark?

David: [00:04:44] Well, the great thing is the company is called Earmark Media, and we have this amazing website. It's Earmark.me.

Blake: [00:04:51] Earmark.me.

David: [00:04:52] Dot me. So, short for media.

Blake: [00:04:54] So, just think Earmark Me.

David: [00:04:55] Earmark Me. Just put the dot in there, though. I don't know where that- if you don't put a dot, I don’t know where you're going to wind up on the Internet, so.

Blake: [00:05:01] Yeah, I'm really excited to be working with you and producing. I think we have like half a dozen shows now that we produce. We've got Oh My Fraud, we've got your Accounting Twins Podcast, David. We've got The Good and the Bad and the Ugly by Lorilyn Wilson. We've got Team Pays, Awkward Conversations. I'm sure I'm forgetting.

David: [00:05:21] Well, Billy DeClercq. Right? Is that his last name?

Blake: [00:05:24] Yeah, Billy DeClercq.

David: [00:05:25] He was on the Expensify episode. He is- we're going to help launch a law-focused podcast, but like an accountant’s edition of that.

Blake: [00:05:36] Yeah, it's called Laying Down the Law, and it combines comedy and business law, and it's going to be available for CPE on the Earmark App. It's hilarious. It includes improv of all the cases that are discussed in the show. So, if you like improv comedy and you like business law, two things I love a lot, then you're going to enjoy it. So, that's coming soon.

David: [00:05:58] So, watch your podcast feeds for the shows. I have other news. I still do not have my electric car.

Blake: [00:06:05] Your Mustang.

David: [00:06:08] And nobody- I cannot get an answer from Ford or anybody where this car is. But what did happen, the IRS did clarify and offer guidance clarification on the electric vehicles because they changed all the rules for the tax refunds on that in the new Inflation Reduction Act. So, previously, it was 7,500 for EVs, but it was supposed to expire. And now, they've extended this out to 2032, and they've also did a separate tax credit for a used version. So, before, you'd only get the tax credit on a new vehicle. And then the other part that they did is they did adjust it. So, based on your annual income. So, there's caps on you can't take the credit if you're- because that's a big criticism like, “Oh, rich people, their loans can afford electric cars,” so they've eliminated them from getting the rebate. And then the third part is, there's a provision in here that if you purchase it after August 16th, 2022, the final assembly has to occur in North America. So, it's all obviously broad because that means it could be built in Canada or Mexico and, you know, but there's nothing about you actually have to have the car delivered. That's the piece the IRS should clarify. You actually have to buy the car to get this credit.

Blake: [00:07:24] Well, David, since you brought up the Inflation Reduction Act, that means I get to follow up on it from last week. So, what's new since then? Janet Yellen. Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, has set a six-month time frame for the Internal Revenue Service to compile a plan detailing what it's going to do with the $80 billion in enforcement funding that it's getting over the next decade. And I think that’s important-

David: [00:07:52] Can I just pause you for right there? Because you said $80 billion of enforcement funding, is that like an article title or is the narrative turned into that now? Because I thought this 80 billion was for all over the IRS improvements and some portion was for enforcement but are you reading that from an article? I just picked up on that.

Blake: [00:08:10] I just- yeah, I read that from an article on Accounting Today. And that's actually wrong because it's 46 billion for enforcement. The other portion of that 80 billion is earmarked for other purposes. So, it's funny, even the press are getting the wrong info.

David: [00:08:26] Even the Accounting media is not presenting this properly to the masses. Like, we've got to present what this $80 billion is. We just talked about this last episode. What happens with that information? Continue on.

Blake: [00:08:38] Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, there are four priorities for the $80 billion in IRS funding, according to Janet Yellen. Number one, clear the backlog. There were 9.7 million unprocessed individual 2021 tax returns as of August 5th, according to Rettig, the IRS chief. Number two, improve customer service. The agency only answered 11% of phone calls during fiscal 2021, according to the Taxpayer Advocate. So, there's a lot of room for improvement there. Number three, overhaul the agency's technology systems, which are still using- I think the most recent version of Windows they use is XP.

David: [00:09:20] You said that last episode.

Blake: [00:09:22] Yeah. And the oldest computer systems they use are COBOL, and it's the green screen terminal. So, they have a lot to do there. And the last priority is number four is higher IRS employees to replace retiring workers. So, this is where that whole 87,000 number is misleading. Because it's not like they're going to hire 87,000 net new IRS employees tomorrow. First of all, that money is over ten years. So, it's $8 billion a year for ten years. And they have to replace 50,000 IRS workers who are going to retire over the next five years. So, that means only- even if they hired 87,000, they’d only have 37,000 net. But there's going to be more that retire in the five years after these next five years. So, you know, it's not exactly this huge increase. The IRS workforce is 78,661 full-time employees. So, you know, it's not going to- I mean, maybe they'll get to like 100,000, is my guess, eventually.

David: [00:10:25] If everything goes right. Right? They put positions that people actually want to work for. Like, there's a lot that has to happen for them for that kind of hiring to occur.

Blake: [00:10:32] They've got 10,000 workers retiring every year. So, they're going to have to hire 10,000 a year just to replace the ones that are retiring. So, I don't think they're going to actually be able to increase the number of people. Like, that’s-

David: [00:10:45] Well, if you think about the environment of our market, like, nobody can hire accountants. And I'm not saying that like somebody who works for the IRS is the exact same person that's going to work for an accounting degree from a CPA. But if you compare it to the general population of people that are going to work, chances are the overlap of that circle is very close, right? The same person you're going to possibly get to become a CPA is probably the same body that you could possibly convince to work for the IRS. You're not stealing a bunch of plumbers and bringing them over to our industry. So, there's already a limited amount of people interested in this kind of work at all. Like, how do you know- that's going to be difficult?

Blake: [00:11:21] So, the Tax Foundation, TaxFoundation.org did a good analysis, probably that everybody else should have done before they freaked out about this. They made a beautiful table that lays out what the IRS is spending now on enforcement, operations, support, business systems, modernization, and taxpayer services. And then the projection. And then another column that adds the additional funding, the $80 billion over the ten years and figure it out the percentage increase. So, what is actually the increase in the budget for each of these line items in the bill? So, enforcement is going to increase 69%. Operations support will increase 53%. The business systems modernization, which is the computer systems, that will increase 153%. So, that gets the most. Funny enough, Taxpayer Services only gets a 9% bump. So, the total increase of 52% in their budget over the next ten years.

So, honestly, really not like that much considering that their budget has decreased every year. And I wish that like this was more widely reported and known. Other items in the Inflation Reduction Act that we haven't talked about? I just learned that it potentially doubles the R&D tax credit. So, right now, the research and development tax credit is 250,000 and now it can go up to 500,000, half a million dollars. And that's something that benefits a lot of small business startups, being able to get a credit on your payroll taxes. So, it's like money right back in your pocket if you have people on payroll. And I know that like R&D tax credits, that's a huge growing thing that a lot of firms are getting into and have gotten into. Yeah. So, that's an opportunity there.

David: [00:13:09] From January next year, we're going to see a lot of startups chasing that money because the business model is like, “We'll help you get that credit and then we'll take a piece of the action.”

Blake: [00:13:18] That’s right. Yep. And that's all my follow up on the Inflation Reduction Act.

David: [00:13:29] This episode of The Cloud Accounting Podcast is sponsored by Relay. Blake, we just discussed the announcement that we have launched Earmark Media, and one of the things we've had to do with a new business venture is open a bank account.

Blake: [00:13:42] And we used Relay do it, with both of us being in two different cities. You in Tucson, me in Scottsdale. Going to a physical bank branch together was impossible, so we had to do something else. But with Relay, we were able to open the account online. I invited you and we added our initial capital.

David: [00:14:01] It was easy. I just accepted the invite, connect to my bank account and did a transfer. And did you also, Blake, did you see that they've rebranded?

Blake: [00:14:10] Yes. I was able to get a sneak peek. And I got to say, I love it. Especially their new tagline “On the money.”

David: [00:14:18] I love that I'm going to get a new Relay card. My other one's a little haggard and beat up from using it too much, and it looks like it's going to have tab. Do you know when this goes live?

Blake: [00:14:26] It's live right now.

David: [00:14:27] Great. If you want to see the new Relay, head over to cloudaccountingpodcast.promo/relay. That is cloudaccountingpodcast.promo/relay.

I saw- so, it's not inflation reduction related, but it's the last time the government put a bunch of money in the economy. I saw you tweeted about- I think you said you put out a tweet or somebody is finally covering it in mainstream media about how the COVID fraud is going to be $163 billion or something. Thank you.

Blake: [00:15:00] Yeah. Yeah. So, The New York Times had a story, and I think it was on their front page about PPP fraud. And really, just summarizing, a lot of the stuff we've been saying over the last, how many years is it now? The headline is “Prosecutors Struggle to Catch Up To a Tidal Wave of Pandemic Fraud.” And we predicted this. We said there's so much PPP fraud. It could be $100 billion or more. Nobody's really sure just how much there is. There's so much fraud out there. So many tens of thousands of fraudulent PPP loans were made and they've only prosecuted like a couple hundred so far.

David: [00:15:41] And it's like the dumbest, most obvious ones.

Blake: [00:15:44] Right. Yeah.

David: [00:15:45] No business existed, and they went out and bought 15 Ferraris. Like, it just- those are the guys getting caught right now.

Blake: [00:15:51] Yeah. So, that's what the gist of this article is. And it's got examples of the people that have been charged, but also examples of people who may never get charged. Because if your PPP fraud was less than, say, $10,000, it's actually more expensive for the government to go after you for that money. So, they may just never even prosecute the small-time crooks, which kind of disturbs me that people will get away with this. Now, we did get an extension of the statute of limitations. A bill passed the Senate and the House and Biden signed it. These bills give the federal government more time to catch and prosecute fraud related to PPP and EIDL. It extends it from 5 to 10 years, so they've got more time. But in two years, they've only gone after a couple of hundred people. So, you know, I don't think it's going to ever get prosecuted, most of these cases. And yeah, it's going to be one of the biggest frauds in history. When the historians look at it, it's going to be in the history books for fraud. And yeah, it's just- and I want to say like, it's not a- I think some people get upset when I talk about PPP and the fraud because they were really involved in it.

Blake: [00:17:04] Like, if your firm was helping clients get the PPP money, you feel good about that. It improved your relationships with clients. You did a lot, and I did that too. I helped a client get PPP and it was great. It kept them in business and all that. And I understand there's a lot of good that came out of the programs, but that doesn't mean we ignore the bad stuff. And both administrations were in it. The Trump administration and Congress passed the first round, and then the Biden administration and Congress did the second round. So, it's a bipartisan thing. And the real lesson here is not that it was bad. It's just, it was implemented in a way where there was no reconciliation. There was no check and balance to make sure that the payroll that people were reporting was actually real, or that even the businesses existed. And I think we could do a lot better next time.

David: [00:17:49] And that's like the minimum. It probably should have at least been that. You knew some business would get more than they should have, or you knew that was going to happen. But the amount of just falsified, made-up businesses that were created is insane. And that's the part that's very, very questionable. So, there's two other quotes-

Blake: [00:18:06] One second. One second. If you want to go dig into this more, check out Oh My Fraud. Go to ohmyfraud.com, that's the podcast by Greg Kyte and Caleb Newquist that we produce. And episode 13 is called A Plethora of Pandemic PPP Fraud. And they dig into this, and explain exactly how easy it was, from Greg's experience applying for it on behalf of his client, or his company that he works for in-House. And it's a real eye opener, and there's some really funny fraud stories. I mean, as funny as fraud can be, like, what people spent the money on. And I think my favorite is the Pokémon card.

David: [00:18:45] The Pokémon card.

Blake: [00:18:45] It was like a- some guy spent tens of thousands of dollars on a Pokémon card, collector's item.

David: [00:18:52] I was just seeing some numbers from this article. So, they have 500 special investigators working on this COVID fraud stuff, but they also have cases being pursued separately by the FBI, Secret Service, Postal Inspector Service, Labor Department and the IRS. This is according to the New York Times. And then the other crazy number here is the Labor Department currently has 39,000 investigations in progress, and they're digging into 2 million loan applications that are suspected of being fraudulent.

Blake: [00:19:19] 2 million.

David: [00:19:20] She’s right. Maybe that statute of limitations of ten isn't even long enough. Like how long- this is a very, very long time they're going to go after this.

Blake: [00:19:28] All right. So, sticking with fraud, let's talk about another controversial topic. Donald Trump, the Trump Organization, and his CFO, Allen Weisselberg. Allen Weisselberg, CFO of the Trump administration, pled guilty, Thursday, to 15 felonies for what he admitted was a tax fraud scheme he committed while finance chief at the former president's company.

David: [00:19:56] And what I remember about this story is when you brought it up originally, you were amazed because the reason he kind of got caught is he was meticulous. Like, he had an Excel spreadsheet of every little thing he got for free from the Trump Organization where he took advantage of. Because he didn't want to feel like he was getting screwed out of his salary or something.

Blake: [00:20:12] Yeah, it's kind of amazing. So, he admitted, Mr. Weisselberg admitted that he willfully avoided paying taxes on 1.76 million in income, evading hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes. And the way he did it was, I guess, pretty simple, really, if you want to evade taxes. He received compensation from the Trump Organization, not as salary, but as what do we call them, fringe benefits. So, the Trump Organization would pay for leased cars. I think they were Mercedes, a Manhattan apartment. It paid for private school tuition for his grandchildren, among other things. And they kept meticulous records of this compensation. And of course, we all know you can't do that. You can't pay people with these fringe benefits in order to escape, you know, payroll taxes and income taxes.

David: [00:21:03] Or if you're going to do it, do it with somebody not tracking it so meticulously on his own personal finances like that.

Blake: [00:21:08] I know, right? Or you know, he was a good accountant and he wanted to make sure that he was fairly charging the Trump Organization for his services.

David: [00:21:18] And so, he was found guilty. But how long was he with the Trump Organization before?

Blake: [00:21:23] Oh, my God. Like his whole career. He's worked for the Trump family for 50 years. He's 75 years old. 75. He's worked for 50 years. He's going to go to jail for five months. And this is the thing that everybody who loves politics is getting all excited about. It's that he agreed to testify in the same case against the Trump Organization itself. So, Weisselberg was charged as an individual. The Trump Organization has been charged as a business. And so now, he's going to have to testify honestly in that case. So, we're going to see if, you know, is the Trump Organization found guilty of tax fraud? Now, what's also interesting is that Donald Trump himself has not been charged with anything here. I just wonder, like, how is it possible? Think about this. How is it possible that Donald Trump didn't know that this was happening? Right? If that's his claim, and I think that is his claim, that he had no idea.

David: [00:22:18] Possibly. But let's look- like, do you think this guy's, like, going at all Trump, “Hey, can you pay for my grandkids tuition? I'm going to put it on the business,” and Trump’s like, “Yeah, okay, do it.” Like, it does feel like it could be removed. I can buy into that. It feels like this conversation- Trump's too busy tweeting to do other stuff. Like he's got time to be like, “Oh, yeah, which grandkid is it? Oh, great. Yeah.” I don't know. It does feel like there's some separation.

Blake: [00:22:43] So, I guess it-

David: [00:22:44] Or I think it's more of a, like, it was like a do-whatever-you-want policy.

Blake: [00:22:47] Maybe it was, right? So, you know, but I mean, if I were Trump, then I'd be really mad about this, right? I'd be upset that Weisselberg was defrauding-

David: [00:22:55] It’s true. Took advantage.

Blake: [00:22:56] My organization for $2 million. Like, I want that money back. So, yes. So, that's the Allen Weisselberg guilty plea. And now, the trial of the Trump Organization is going to begin on October 24th. So, this drama is going to be going on right in the heat of the political election season. Yeah.

David: [00:23:19] We live in a fun industry. Fun, fun.

Blake: [00:23:21] You know, you can't escape politics when you're in accounting. I got another-

David: [00:23:26] I only have app news, so whatever you have.

Blake: [00:23:28] Go ahead. You have app news? Okay.

David: [00:23:31] It’s all we got left.

Blake: [00:23:32] Well, I got to follow up on Tether. Tether, our favorite issuer of Stablecoin and one of the biggest banks in the world, if you call it a bank. Let's see, the current value of Tether in terms of the currency is like- it goes up and down, obviously, but 67.6 billion as of August 18th or so. So, it's the largest Stablecoin issuer. And listeners of the show know that I've been very skeptical of Tether because it's this mysterious organization that's run by a few people from island nations, and they've never had an audit. They get these attestation reports which, like, I'm very hazy on what actually is done in an attestation report of their reserves. It's not an audit, right? And they have been promising- Tether has been promising that they will get an audit, a full audit, since 2017. Five years, they have been saying, “Oh, yeah, we're going to get an audit. It's just, as soon as we can, we're going to get an audit.” They haven't done it yet, but they started putting out these attestation reports every quarter, that were signed by this firm with three people in the Cayman Islands. And now, they've switched accounting firms. So, they've switched to BDO Italia. So, the Italian BDO.

David: [00:24:59] So, I guess pick somebody because I think I remember we covered it when they were- I forgot it was a firm out of the U.K., I think, like a sub firm. And they canceled off that firm, broke away. And then did they just not have anybody for a little while?

Blake: [00:25:12] So, MHA Cayman is that subsidiary-

David: [00:25:14] That was the one.

Blake: [00:25:15] -that was the firm in the U.K. that's under investigation. So, that didn't look so good. So, they had them doing the attestation reports on the reserves, and now, they've switched to BDO Italia. But they also didn't say that they're going to get an audit from BDO Italia. BDO is just going to do the attestation report, for whatever that's worth. But I assume that it means that they're- if it's not an audit, they're not digging into these reserves to actually make sure that like, the commercial paper that Tether holds is actually legit or exists. You know, I mean, there's speculation that Tether was invested in commercial paper in Evergrande, which is that real estate company in China that has completely collapsed, and is collapsing. So, it's just crazy.

You know, like, this is what happens when you have a world without regulation in crypto, is you've got a company that oversees a Stablecoin that's worth $67 billion. They're supposedly backing that Stablecoin with U.S. dollars and commercial paper and all this stuff. But we don't know because there's been no audit. It's just like, does nobody care about audits anymore? Is this how irrelevant audits are, and the auditing profession is to the world that it's okay that this happens, that this exists and people aren't up in arms about it? Like, nobody seems to care. None of the people who hold this Stablecoin are talking about it. Like all the coverage in the crypto publications is positive. Saying like, “Tether makes progress in transparency,” but there's no transparency, so I just find it ridiculous. Staying on crypto, Voyager is one of those crypto exchanges/banks that went bankrupt recently along with Celsius. They are in court now in a bankruptcy case, and there have been hearings now where the depositors have been able to talk and explain what's going on, and express their views.

David: [00:27:06] And this is because they're currently- they haven't- the bankruptcy hasn't been declared yet. Right? Or they want to declare but it has to move on by a judge.

Blake: [00:27:13] Yeah, they declared bankruptcy. Yeah, they declared bankruptcy. And now, it's in bankruptcy court. I mean, I'm not like totally up on how all this stuff works, but they're in court and this is where the judge is going to decide what creditors get what money in what order, and all that stuff.

David: [00:27:27] Because once they're under the protection of bankruptcy, these people probably can't get their money.

Blake: [00:27:32] Yeah, only through the court, if the court decides. Right? And there is some money left. So, everyone's trying to get in line for it. So, Voyager Digital has 3.5 million customers that are now potentially, going to lose everything that they had with Voyager. 3.5 million customers. That's why I'm skeptical about crypto after all this, because all these people are getting hosed, potentially. And there's some really sad stories that were detailed in this hearing. There is a woman named Magnolia. She said she had $1 million trapped on the Voyager platform, including $350,000 that was earmarked to pay for college for her children. She said it had taken her 24 years to save, and she had sacrificed spending time with her kids in order to build that nest egg. “I do feel like we're paying the ultimate price for them being fiscally irresponsible. They had our trust, they had our money, and they did not run this company properly.” And Voyager is the one that has been criticized for stating falsely or implying very- like, they made it seem like these accounts were FDIC-insured because they had a partner bank. But the accounts, the money in them, was not. So, they were acting like a bank and they were making people feel like they were a bank, and that their money was safe. But actually, it was an unsecured loan.

David: [00:28:51] Your heart goes out to these people. But at the same time, like, I don't know. It's this whole crypto thing. Like, I actually- like, yes, you have to do this check mark on your taxes now. Right? I had crypto, but I think now, you're going to just- with your clients, you're just going to have to have difficult conversations with people about crypto. Frankly, they're probably even embarrassed to tell you, “Oh, I put 10,000 into this crypto thing and it completely vanished.” But I don't even know how you're going to get your clients to be honest about their crypto at all. Not that they're trying to hide money, it's just, it's embarrassing at this point.

Blake: [00:29:25] Yeah. Jacob Redburn said he had deposited 100 Ether or about $200,000 at today's price onto Voyager's digital trading platform. “I have spent years saving, investing and trading crypto assets to build what was a life-changing amount of money that I would one day sell to provide college and other needs for my family.” He wrote that the CEO “straight lied to us” when he said a week before the filing that the company had no issues. And that happened, right? The CEO was telling everybody that everything's fine until it all suddenly wasn't. Donald A has 31,000 frozen on the Voyager exchange. He said, losing this money with no end in sight has been unbearable for his family. “I wake up most nights and just walk up and down the stairs, contemplating on my own mistakes, and wondering if this will ever end. My anxiety has been a struggle.” Yeah, real people are getting hurt by this. A lot of real people. And so like, that's why when I see the people pumping crypto, which they've kind of stopped doing now with all this bad PR, you know, like I just- I thought that was disgusting when Matt Damon did it at the Super Bowl, when all these celebrities did it, when Mark Cuban did it. It's just totally unethical. And especially when people who are in our profession do it, then it's really bad to me. Like, our job is to be guardians of the people's money.

David: [00:30:43] I don’t know. I know that last weekend, I went to Orangetheory class and yellow- it was either a Maserati or a Ferrari or Lamborghini. It was in that range. One of those cars, right? Bugatti, I don't know. Just make up these $200,000 yellow- is yellow. And the license plate said Ethos. So, I'm assuming he's a Bitcoin bro.

Blake: [00:31:03] Probably.

David: [00:31:03] Like, so, some people made money on this.

Blake: [00:31:04] Oh, yeah, some people made a lot of money on it. And the way they made money was by getting it from people who didn't know better. And then when everything fell apart, you know- like, these Voyager guys are fine. They're still making money, they're still paying themselves, even though they're in bankruptcy.

David: [00:31:19] Now, I don't know for sure that he is in Bitcoin or have you, but with the license plate Ethos, I'm assuming.

This episode of The Cloud Accounting Podcast is sponsored by FreshBooks. FreshBooks accounting software is built for owners and their accountants to work better together. It's a full general ledger with financial reports, bank feeds and journal entries. And it's an easy-to-use platform, which means clients can feel comfortable tracking their day-to-day finances. FreshBooks has your favorite app integrations too, like Gusto for payroll and Tally 4 to create easier, less manual tax returns. These features are just the beginning. Through its accounting partner program, FreshBooks supports a growing accounting community where they really want your feedback on expanding the platform's features. Partners get a ton of other perks, too, like a free FreshBooks account, access to a dedicated support team, membership within an exclusive online community, and a Library of on-demand training materials. Learn about collaborative accounting and the benefits of working better together with FreshBooks by heading over to cloudaccountingpodcast.promo/freshbooks. That is cloudaccountingpodcast.promo/freshbooks. FreshBooks, work better together.

Blake: [00:32:41] So, here's a silver lining. Revenue from crypto scams is down 65%. And that's probably because people are getting wise to crypto, and they're not investing in scams anymore. Unfortunately, crypto hacks are up 58%. That's a recent report from Chainalysis. So, hacks are a real problem, especially for Defi, because decentralized finance is this whole layer of technology that's built on blockchains. And all a hacker has to do is find a weakness in the code, and the code is public. So, they just look around for weaknesses. Code is not perfect, right? People find weaknesses in Apple's code. They find weaknesses in Microsoft Code. Like, so, you think that these Defi projects are going to be perfect? No. And all they do is find a weakness and they can drain hundreds of millions of dollars, in many cases, from these things. There was just another story about that recently.

David: [00:33:35] Well, I think I saw a thing about these crypto companies came on so fast that they were launching without any security review. Yeah, they were just built not thinking security forward at all.

Blake: [00:33:47] Yeah. So, my point is that Defi and blockchain, they don't solve the problem of trust. And that was the false promise of crypto was, “Oh, you don't have to trust anyone. We don't need middlemen. We don't need banks anymore,” right? But you still do have to trust the people who wrote the code. So, you're just replacing one trusted person with another trusted person. You're replacing Wall Street with San Francisco.

David: [00:34:13] Or if we're lucky, you're lucky it's engineers in San Francisco. It's really like questionable guys in questionable countries all around the world.

Blake: [00:34:21] Oh, yeah. And in that story I mentioned, I think the number was like $1.9 billion in hacks last year, and a billion of that was North Korea. So, we're funding the North Korean government with unsecure Defi projects, where they're just stealing the coins. So, here's something to bring it back to, like, real life and what we deal with as accountants. The IRS has expanded the crypto question on the draft version of the 1040 for 2022. So, in 2021, the question was, at any time during 2021, did you receive sell, exchange or otherwise, dispose of any financial interest in any virtual currency? And this got a ton of press when it was originally announced because now, “Oh no, we're going to have to like, say yes or no, as to whether or not we have crypto. And if we say no and we do, that's tax fraud.” So, we had to talk to clients about this, and get them to own up and fix this. Well, in 2022, it gets more detailed. Now, it says, “Did you, at any time in 2022, A, receive as a reward, award or compensation, or B, sell, exchange, gift or otherwise dispose of a digital asset or a financial interest in a digital asset? See instructions.” And presumably, this change is to encompass other forms of digital assets, besides cryptocurrency, such as NFTs, Non-fungible tokens. And many of them rose rapidly in value last year and then they have now declined. So, people who sold at the peak, and then, you know, they may have a lot of gains that they now no longer have NFTs to sell to like pay the taxes and all that stuff. So, it's going to be another fun year.

David: [00:36:11] Before we jump to app news, shall we do listener feedback and reviews and then get into app news?

Blake: [00:36:15] Yeah, we got some reviews?

David: [00:36:17] Yeah, we got a review. This review is on Apple podcast. It is five stars. This is from the screen name Not as Happy as Can Be. “One of my favorite aspects about Blake and David's podcast about accounting is how much I learn about the ins and outs of the pop culture element of the accounting world. I'm an accounting student who is new to many of the business’s terms, general knowledge that most accountants should know. I also enjoy the rapport with one another. Thank you both for sharing your knowledge with us.” Thank you Not As Happy As You Can Be. Hopefully, you're happier when you listen to our podcast.

Blake: [00:36:51] Thank you for listening. We got an email that I'm going to save toward the end about the CPA pipeline problem. I actually have something I want to play for you before we get to app news. This is a TikTok video, and the reason I want to play it is because it goes to the pipeline problem. And it shows you how the younger generation is just aware now, of what it means to go work for a big accounting firm and why this, I think, is impacting recruitment. When you're a young person in college and you see this video, it really makes you think about your path. And it has 1.3 million views on TikTok. So, anyone who thinks that, like, what I say is harming the profession when I say that like, wages are low, they haven't kept up, like, none of these young people are listening to me in the big context of things. They are listening to these people on TikTok and Instagram.

David: [00:37:55] And you frame this up. Is this a male or a female? Is it somebody who’s older or younger? Like, who made this TikTok?

Blake: [00:38:02] This is a young female influencer on TikTok talking about Deloitte's compensation.

David: [00:38:08] Okay.

TikTok Influencer: [00:38:10] In an absolute PR disaster, Deloitte have released their pay grade, and this was apparently to try and lure bright, young graduates to come and work for them. The graduates apparently earn around $65,000 a year, which is a fine graduate salary for a normal job. But working at a big full consulting firm, it's not a normal job. They demand, basically, to devote your life to them. They make their graduates work 12 to 14 hours a day and they're paying them, what, $65,000? It's an absolute joke. It's modern-day slavery. They bill these graduates out at $200, $300 an hour, and how much do they pay them? $20 an hour. Tell me how it makes sense. This is why I hate this business, and why people are flocking away from large corporations in record numbers. Because they've realized that they are getting absolutely [INAUDIBLE].

Blake: [00:39:13] That's what social media is doing, is for better or for worse, it is exposing what it's like. And people are questioning this. And think about ten years ago when we didn't have these social media platforms, or 20 years ago, especially, you didn't know this stuff as a student. You just did what your professors told you. You did what your parents told you. And now, there's a whole new source of information. I mean, this is the source of fake news. It's also the source of real news.

David: [00:39:45] Yeah, it'd be interesting to get the Accounting Twins take on this and just watching them, right? Because one's going public, one's going private. But they've talked about this in the show. Like, I think right now, because they're still doing internships and they're still in the training phase, and that type of thing, it's going to be interesting, you know, especially with Norma, one of the candidates who is going public, what it's like when she's out of that phase, almost like the honeymoon phase, right? Imagining not firms- like, very day one, like you're doing 60 or 80-hour weeks, right? There's like a honeymoon phase. So, it'll be interesting to see as this evolves, where her opinions of this change, possibly. Or hopefully, not. maybe this next generation is just like, “I'm not going to do it. I'm not going to work that time. Sorry.”

Blake: [00:40:24] Right. Yeah. Yeah.

David: [00:40:25] They're not going to fire them because they're not bodies, right?

Blake: [00:40:28] They don't have enough people, right? So, 1.4 million views on TikTok. A real video about Deloitte. Ready for app news?

David: [00:40:38] Yeah, let's do that.

Blake: [00:40:45] I'll let you kick things off, David.

David: [00:40:47] So, I got- first piece of app news I have is crypto-related, and it's actually kind of a good piece of crypto.

Blake: [00:40:53] Uh oh.

David: [00:40:54] Maybe, possibly. So, there's an app called Request Finance and they have introduced that they are now going to have a feature, a payroll feature, called Salaries to help Web3 teams automate their crypto payroll. So, let's say in our new organization, Earmark, we're only going to accept crypto, and our employees were only going to pay in crypto.

Blake: [00:41:16] I feel like we definitely should accept crypto, just to put out a press release that we accept crypto.

David: [00:41:24] We’d get a lot of extra- maybe we might get customers we didn't even know we're targeting just because of that. But anyway, just getting back to the point. So, I clicked through and I looked at Request Finance’s page because one of the things they talked about in this, is how people were using their platform to try to do payroll already. So, they're basically like a Bill.com/Melio/Venmo/FreshBooks, right? So, you can move money and pay people through there, but it's really kind of more business-to-business type movement. But people were trying to use that to pay people salaries. So, they naturally evolved a little. The only really concerning thing about this- well, actually before I get into that part, so, they've already processed over 220 million in invoices, salaries and bonuses for more than 2,000 enterprises. So, it's a real app. Real systems, real money is moving around. But the thing that was a little concerning is that naivete that these companies have, right? So, yes, they've now added payroll, but they're- one of the things they've mentioned is they aim to introduce more features that can able- enable localized payroll. I think they did this then realized like, “Oh my God, there's tax laws in every jurisdiction.” Like, the Nexus part of this, and like, in over their head now. Right?

Blake: [00:42:39] What's the name of this company? Like, what's the website?

David: [00:42:43] It is Request Finance in the website is www.request.finance.

Blake: [00:42:49] Request.finance. So, they do- so, they were doing like global payments, and now, they- yeah, like, that's the problem is local rules, right? And that's why it's really hard to build a payroll company that can serve globally. It's impossible to do it as a startup.

David: [00:43:10] And the app’s nice. I mean, it looks like if I run to pay you with this version of cryptocurrency, and then you want to receive it in the other fiat currency, like, it enables all that. So, it's- I think they're going to get in over their head really quick when it comes to payroll.

This episode of The Cloud Accounting Podcast is sponsored by Liscio. I have to admit, I love email, but as soon as I'm in the zone, heads down, focused, working on a task, something may require me to go look at a related email to the task at hand. I jump over, open my inbox, and just like that, I get distracted and derailed by hundreds of other unrelated emails. By the time I find the email I was looking for, I've wasted a half hour or more. If you and your team are still using email to communicate with your clients, I suspect you have a story similar to mine. Even if you don't, using email with your clients is probably a bad idea. It's like sending postcards back and forth. Anyone it can read, not very secure. And let's admit it, clients are probably ignoring your emails anyways. Maybe it's time to move all your client communications out of your email inbox and into Liscio. Liscio allows you to have secure real-time communications with your clients via a mobile app that includes reminders, task management e-signatures, documents scanning and uploading, and unlimited storage. If you are ready to significantly improve your staff's focus, collaboration and relationships with clients, head over to cloudaccountingpodcast.promo/liscio. That is cloudaccountingpodcast.com promo/liscio.

Blake: [00:44:41] So, what do I got? We're going to Xerocon. So, let's talk about some of the latest product news from August. Xero is retiring their old reports, and they are asking everyone to make the switch to the new reports. This is global, so, it's not happening immediately. It's July 31st, 2023. So, not this year, but next year.

David: [00:45:07] Yeah. 12 months to enjoy the old reports.

Blake: [00:45:09] Yeah. Now, I would have been opposed to this as a Xero user maybe last year, but I feel like the new reports have gotten good enough now where I don't use the old ones anymore, so I'm okay with it.

David: [00:45:22] And are they- do they have full parity? Is somebody going to be like, “I had this one custom report or this one report in Xero I always need, and it doesn't exist in the new reports world.”?

Blake: [00:45:30] I mean, I don't know, but probably, right? There's always that person. But I feel like it's gotten a lot better now. I don't use the old reports. I'm sure there's some people who still do. Make your request known before they turn it off. Also, with Xero, quotes and purchase orders reporting. Based on customer feedback, they've now enabled quotes and purchase orders to be added to the receivable and payable invoice reports from a checkbox within the More button. There's also eight new common format reports to help get you started. So, you can check those out by using the search bar in the report center or opening the side panel of the invoice reports, and you can add them to your management report pack for sharing outside of Xero. There's also changes to the add and edit page, and contacts, which is going to have a new design, makes it easier to add a new contact or add existing contact information. Really, just changing the look and feel of that. Now, you can do a bulk merge in contacts, saving you time when you're merging multiple contexts, instead of having to do two at a time. You can now edit fields on an invoice after payment. Some fields, not all of them. That's a popular feature in their classic invoicing, and now, the upgraded invoicing will do that as well. So, this is interesting, kind of the approach that Xero has taken, where when they build a new version of a feature, they have the new one and then they have the old one, and then they try to get you to move to the new one, which I think is a good idea, in general.

David: [00:46:53] And for a while, a lot of startups were doing that. And then, it's funny. And I remember QuickBooks doing it with some features, but it seems like it should just be there.

Blake: [00:47:03] At the beginning.

David: [00:47:03] Like, and not only that, just keep the old one around even longer. Like, what's the race to deprecate it? Just say, “We're not going to add new code to the old feature,” and just let people use the old UI, because to some extent, it's a skin, right?

Blake: [00:47:15] Well, I think supporting it can be difficult, right? Because now, you've got to have support people who know how to use both versions. And there's differences.

David: [00:47:20] Especially if you have clients, you know which one they're on. It's confusing.

Blake: [00:47:23] Oh, man.

David: [00:47:24] Yeah, it can be- I could see. All right.

Blake: [00:47:26] So, in that march to make the new invoicing better than the old one, they've got invoice reminders in the new invoicing now. I guess they didn't have that before.

David: [00:47:37] The invoice reminders, which I- they're pretty aggressive if you- the default settings, which I found out when we invoice people for the first-time podcast. They're very aggressive.

Blake: [00:47:44] Oh yeah, because I turned- I turned them on and they were you were getting emails from people saying- well, that's because David, you're not going in and reconciling our Xero file every day like you should, as a good-

David: [00:47:55] Well, we don't we get paid every day. So, it's not like- there's not that much revenue coming in to make it worth my time to open it every day. But yeah, but yes, the- I think it was like- gave people four days, and it was sending out the notifications. So, we had to give a little elbow room. And we could say that they work. It's just, they make me look stupid.

Blake: [00:48:15] What do you got, David?

David: [00:48:16] I got Sage and QuickBooks news. So, Sage had two pieces of news. One, in Canada, they're going to roll out a Canadian release of their Sage payroll. And this is going to integrate- help them integrate their accounting payroll and HR functions in a unified platform with Sage accounting. So, that's going on. But the more interesting move Sage did, is Sage acquired a company called Lockstep. So, we've talked about Lockstep before. Lockstep is its accounts payable, accounts receivable software. They have their own API. But then they had that interesting move they made a year ago where they almost like- there’s like this community-type play, like a communication channel. Do you remember that? I was covering that.

Blake: [00:48:58] Yeah. So, what Lockstep does is different than just being a regular AR API app that I really like. And you can check it out at Lockstep.io. What I like about it is they start with the inbox. So, it's a shared email inbox designed for accounting to manage and automate customer and vendor workflows. So, a lot of accounts payable and receivable is sending messages back and forth, with vendors and customers. So, why not do that in a shared inbox, like a support inbox? So, they combine that with links to the accounting system, so that it's easy to use. And yeah, it just seems kind of like a no brainer to me. If they can integrate this, if Sage can integrate this with their cloud products like Intacct, it could be huge. It could really streamline collections and payables for a lot of businesses.

David: [00:49:44] So, do you think that this move- because we were at Sage Intacct’s conference last year and they announced that they added bill pay. And you could see where it had some stuff from their- some of the bill scanning stuff that they probably got in the auto entry acquisition. You could also see where they partnered, I think, with the bank, HSBC, for the payment side, under the covers. And you got- it was Intacct Bank, right? They had their own bank now, and that did all the bill pay. So, when I saw this acquisition, I was like, “Well, they already just built all this and announced this.” So, this might be really, like you just said, it's for the inbox. That's the move here. And then we could talk about QuickBooks, too.

Blake: [00:50:19] Yeah. What's new with QuickBooks?

David: [00:50:21] QuickBooks launched a new product called Trada, T-R-A-D-A, I was confused by what this was. Did you- have you been to the site or have gone to it yet?

Blake: [00:50:33] Yeah, I thought it was like a marketplace. And it is- I think it is a marketplace, but you know, like you could buy stuff. So, I was thinking this is like a Shopify competitor where like, you go to the website and-

David: [00:50:48] Because that's why they bought MailChimp, right? Mailchimp has ecommerce stores, and that's what I thought it was as well when I first saw that.

Blake: [00:50:52] Exactly, yeah. I thought it was stores for QuickBooks users, but it's not quite. I mean, it is a marketplace, but it's, how would you describe it?

David: [00:51:01] It's really a B2B marketplace. So, let's say tomorrow, Blake, you- and this is where I'm trying to wrap the vision of where this fits in Intuit’s head. Tomorrow, Blake, you decide you want to open a candle selling business on your own. You can go to the website, tradamarket.com, you can sign up, and then you can buy candles from manu- wholesalers and suppliers. You can buy those candles at wholesale for a discounted price, shipping to you. And then you could take your candles to the farmer's market or whatever you want and sell your candles. And that's- so, it's a B2B-type marketplace like that. But it was just confusing because I don't know exactly where- what Intuit’s real play is in this, right? Unless they're going to tie it back to these ecommerce stores so it would be full circle, like, “Oh, Blake, you can open a ecommerce store to sell candles, and you could source the candles through our supplier network as well.” I don't know what the long-term play is. It's kind of confusing. And then I actually signed up and went through the process. And you get all the way to the end to pay, and it's Stripe. There's not even Intuit payments in here. So, it's very confusing what is Intuit’s move of this. And it turns out- I questioned this on Twitter and I did get a reply- it turns out this is part of the TradeGecko acquisition.

Blake: [00:52:17] Acquisition, oh.

David: [00:52:19] And the QuickBooks Commerce. So, it's just- I just have a lot- it's confusing to me. It's got a lot of questions. We'll see where it goes. I just don't see how it's aligned. In the meantime, we still don't have tags in the API, right, of QuickBooks.

Blake: [00:52:30] Well, I mean, I see this as helping to streamline a lot of the hard work of businesses, right? You've got the retailers who are on QuickBooks, and you've got the wholesalers or the suppliers who are on QuickBooks, and you can connect them so that the retailers can just purchase inventory, and that kind of makes sense. They- QuickBooks can be in the middle of that and capture a fee.

David: [00:52:56] Well, I don't see any connections of data here happening.

Blake: [00:52:59] Right. Well, and eventually.

David: [00:53:00] Other than the word by QuickBooks underneath the logo, I don't see any logical connection to Intuit products or offerings in any way, shape or form. Not even the payments. You would think they would force you to use the Intuit payment system to pay them. It doesn't make sense to me.

Blake: [00:53:16] So, if you want to check this out for your clients or for yourself, or you're just curious, go to Trada, T-R-A-D-A market.com. Tradamarket.com. You can shop for your retail store or you can apply to sell. So, David, when you finish setting up your wholesaler account, I expect that retailers will be able to purchase Cloud Accounting Podcast candles.

David: [00:53:38] Well, this is not branded-type merchandise.

Blake: [00:53:41] It’s not.

David: [00:53:41] It's like others that’s made like- actually, this is kind of funny because I just was clicking [CROSSTALK] on stuff. And I-

Blake: [00:53:45] I thought it was branded. It is branded merchandise. It’s like-

David: [00:53:49] You're buying somebody else's brands. It's not where- it's not one of those sites where we upload our logo and we brand goods.

Blake: [00:53:54] No, no, no.

David: [00:53:55] It’s not that.

Blake: [00:53:55] But we could- we could make Cloud Accounting Podcast candles. We could put them up on Tradamarketplace.com and then a store in Santa Monica could go buy our candles.

David: [00:54:05] Oh, yes, yes, yes, yes. Other people could- we could create wholesale goods. That's true. I mean, people could buy in bulks of 25 or more, Cloud Accounting Podcast stuff. Okay. Yes, we could-

Blake: [00:54:16] Yeah, exactly. We got to do volume here. T-shirts, candles.

David: [00:54:17] We could do it on that path. That might be the way to go. But the other thing I thought was weird too is, you know, Intuit as a merchant service, and they have these rules. You cannot buy cannabis, you can't do- you can't even be in those related businesses, you know, the prohibited list. And I was just- when I signed up, I just clicked on a random product, and it was like, coffee mugs with pot leaves all over it, right?

Blake: [00:54:42] Right. Yeah. Yeah.

David: [00:54:44] I was like, “I don't think Intuit is okay with that,” but it just- this just shows like, it feels like a side project of some team at Intuit, and it's just not real. Maybe not even thought out well, I don't know. We'll see where it winds up a year from now.

Blake: [00:54:58] We will see. Here's what I got. AuditBoard Launches third-party risk management. This is as reported by Accounting Today. The third-party risk management solution is an extension of AuditBoard's Connected Risk platform. The solution allows for tasks like periodic monitoring of vendor control environments and vulnerabilities, the ability to create custom risk assessments or use one of its templates to assess vendors, and track mitigation efforts, and automate the risk scoring of workflows, among other features. The software can operate in tandem with AuditBoard’s Cross Comply product, which allows organizations to manage their own information security compliance programs. Third-party risk management centralized.

David: [00:55:44] I have something from a product called AuditClub.

Blake: [00:55:48] AuditClub.

David: [00:55:48] AuditClub.

Blake: [00:55:49] From AuditBoard to AuditClub.

David: [00:55:52] AuditClub. This is Audit Service Center for CPA firms. So, I think reading this, it looks like it's a Auditors as a Service model. So, if you need some flexibility in your staff or talent, they can help source that, but they can also do it fractionally. So, you can actually- it looks like you even outsource an audit. Like, “I don't have time for this,” you kind of can outsource it, and then get it back like a package, like it's an Audit as a Service. It's a yeah, it's worth checking out.

Blake: [00:56:21] Yeah, it's interesting to me. It looks like- and you can go look at AuditClub.CPA. It really looks like they're taking this offshoring model that the bigger firms have been using, and they're giving it in smaller chunks to smaller firms. So, if you're an audit partner and you are starving for staff, and you don't have people, which we all know is a problem, you can go and sign up with AuditClub and they'll provide you auditors to work on your engagement. I'm going to guess they’re, you know, in India or the Philippines or whatever. That's my guess. And then they do the work. You send them the work, they do the work, they send it back and they're using software, workflow software that they've built to do it almost like it's a software company, right? Software audit as a service. And I think this is going to be- this is going to be big, I feel like, because with the labor shortage, how else are audits going to get done?

David: [00:57:24] And so, the domain is AuditClub.CPA, which means CPAs are involved, right? And if you scroll down to the bottom of the team, and you can see the team, and it's led by former audit partners from Big Four regional and local firms. And they are a licensed accountancy corporation based in the United States. And they have a sentence underneath the- I'm assuming these three guys are the founders, but the sentence, it says, “Supported by our team of chief auditors and specialists based throughout the United States.” So, maybe none of it- you think-

Blake: [00:57:54] Oh, maybe I'm wrong.

David: [00:57:55] There is no layer that goes overseas?

Blake: [00:57:57] That's a good question.

David: [00:57:57] But then again, that's a question. Are there that many- is there this many auditors floating around in the U.S. market that just have elbow room to like pick up extra shifts here? I don't know.

Blake: [00:58:06] I don't know. Maybe that's what they're doing, and maybe it's in the U.S. I could be wrong. If you know, let me know.

David: [00:58:11] And it's interesting how they do it-

Blake: [00:58:12] I just feel like if they're not doing it overseas, they're missing out. Like, they got to be sending the labor. They got to be doing the work over there if they're going to make margins on this, right?

David: [00:58:24] Yeah. And so, you might find it interesting. So, jump over if you're on the website, click on Membership.

Blake: [00:58:29] Okay. Membership.

David: [00:58:30] And scroll down. Because they're treating this as a- even though they don't have their prices fully published, but it's like they're treating it as a pass, the way they've priced this. And like the- it's a monthly pass, a monthly subscription, and you know, you get, for 3$,700 a month, or 3,750, technically, you get this set of features. So, it's priced very interesting as an ongoing service for you, if you see that.

Blake: [00:58:56] Mm-hmm. My last app story is the killer app of all time. David, what is that? What is the killer app for accountants?

David: [00:59:08] Excel?

Blake: [00:59:08] Excel, yes, Excel.

David: [00:59:10] I just- you threw me for such a loop. Like, I was literally, like, I'm racing through thousands of apps in my brain. Excel. That’s so unexpected.

Blake: [00:59:17] Microsoft Excel, yeah. So, there's a new update with Excel, and I'm kind of surprised it's just coming out. I've been using Google Sheets for my needs, it’s great. Like, I'm on Google Apps. I don't need fancy Excel features for most of what I'm doing. So, I don't use like Excel, and the like the Microsoft 365 stuff. So, I didn't know this is new, but this is. Now, you can collaborate better in Excel and spreadsheets through the use of @ mentions, which you've been able to do for a long time in Google Sheets and Google Docs. You could make a comment, you could type an @ symbol, and you could start typing the name or email address of the person you want to chat with, and you can make a comment, and it'll send them a notification. Well, yes, now you can do that. You can use @ mentions in Excel to create, assign, and track tasks within your workbook. The feature has a general availability date of October 2022, and it's already started rolling out to some select users. Only desktop Excel users will get the feature for now, with the new addition available to users across the world. So, only the desktop Excel users will get it, at the moment.

David: [01:00:26] Well, let's be honest. How many people are using Excel in their browser?

Blake: [01:00:29] Not many. Yeah. So.

David: [01:00:32] I venture to guess none of our listeners do, unless it's like an odd- like, the client invited you there and you clicked on, and the first thing you do is like download file, right? That might be the only time you're in the cloud.

Blake: [01:00:43] So, this may be a thing, David. Like, we were actually talking the other day about chat and the ability to do this in a lot of apps. Like, every new app has this feature. You can @ mention, you can comment on every page. It's really helpful because you can comment, the person gets a notification, they click the link, they go right to where you're looking at. And I thought to myself, “Why the heck don't we have this feature in QuickBooks and Xero?” Like, why can't I, if I'm looking at an invoice, go down into some comments, or maybe there's a sidebar with comments, and @ mention you and you get a notification, and we can chat about it and all the chat is on that page? It just seems like missed opportunity.

David: [01:01:20] The bigger question, why is it not here yet? Because I feel like it's been teased at QuickBooks Connect and it's been teased, like, something like this is coming. Third parties have built like browser plug-ins to do this kind of stuff. Third parties are building functionality in their own app, like Receipt Bank or AutoEntry might put something in to communicate about an expense transaction. But like, you're right. Like, why is it not here yet in the accounting set of apps? It just doesn't make any sense because you're communi- it's the perfect place to do it. And then the more shocking one is you have QuickBooks Live. Like, this is my bet that when Intuit feels the pain, they're going to build it, right? And so now, QuickBooks Live, how are you communicating back and forth with these people about specific transactions, or a line item on a transaction? I agree. Why is this not here?

Blake: [01:02:08] So, I know I teased this email about the CPA pipeline problem. I'm going to save it for next episode because we're already at an hour and-

David: [01:02:15] I think you should play it because that episode is like through the roof of listeners, and this helps build more momentum.

Blake: [01:02:24] I'm going to save it for next episode.

David: [01:02:26] Teaser.

Blake: [01:02:27] I don't- I want to talk about it and it's a long email, so, and I want to read it because it's somebody who has been in our profession for a really long time, decades, and retired, and has a different take on why we have the CPA pipeline problem. Not necessarily disagreeing with what I've brought up with the 150 hours, and the work-life balance and the hours and firms, but something else. And so, you'll just have to tune in next week to hear what that is.

David: [01:02:55] That is an official teaser. That's amazing.

Blake: [01:02:58] Yeah. And in the meantime, David, where can people reach you online?

David: [01:03:02] I'm online. I'm just everywhere on all the socials, @DavidLeary. But the best would be to find me at the Ignition Party in New Orleans on Tuesday night, or whatever other party-

Blake: [01:03:13] It’s too late.

David: [01:03:14] -is happening on Wednesday night or Thursday.

Blake: [01:03:16] By the time people are listening to this, it's already over. So, hopefully you saw David. What's the next thing you're going to after Xerocon?

David: [01:03:24] I think we're going to next-

Blake: [01:03:27] Suite World.

David: [01:03:28] Suite World, right? Yeah.

Blake: [01:03:28] Suite World in Las Vegas. So, if you're going be at Suite World, come see us. And we have a lot more time at Suite World because it's a little more spread out, and they don't have so many things that we go to. So, it's a little easier for us to meet up with people.

David: [01:03:41] And not as many people know us as Suite World. So, it's easier for us to really give quality time to fewer people. Because I feel like at some of these other ones, it's too many people know us, but Suite World, like nobody even knows us at Suite World. We’re like nobodies.

Blake: [01:03:53] At Suite World, people are walking around in their business suits and they're like, “Who the heck are these guys in their Cloud Accounting Podcast T-shirts? So silly.” Yeah.

David: [01:04:02] So, what about you, Blake? If someone wants to go with you before some event.

Blake: [01:04:05] I am @BlakeTOliver. Follow me on LinkedIn. Connect with me there. Just say you're not a bot. I'm on Twitter and Instagram, and send me a voicemail. You can do that, Blake@blakeoliver.com. Actually, you know what? No. Use Blake@earmarkCPE.com, send me a voicemail. We listen to them, we play them on the air. Voicemail people, you are special to me because we love hearing our listeners and we really appreciate that. And that's it for me this week, David, I'll see you here. Well, I will see you in New Orleans on Tuesday.

David: [01:04:40] Bye, everyone.

Blake: [01:04:41] Bye.

David: [01:04:45] Time for the classifieds.

Do you dream of starting a bookkeeping business, but you don't know where to start? Join the Bookkeeping Biz Workshops, a live, four-day workshop series hosted by Serena Shoop, CPA. You'll learn where to start, what it takes, what tech to use, how to build a business, not a job. Plus, how to get comfortable on discovery calls. The workshops begin September 20th, so register today at BKworkshops.online. That's BKworkshops.online.

Blake: [01:05:15] Hey, podcast listeners, it's Blake, and I wanted to let you know about a new show I'm working on with CPA/comedian, Greg Kyte, and blogger/former CPA, Caleb Newquist. It's called Oh My Fraud, and it's a podcast all about financial crimes. That's right. A true crime podcast for accountants, by accountants. Caleb and Greg are going to come together every couple of weeks to unpack their favorite frauds and explore the circumstances, psychology and interpersonal dynamics involved. They also fully indulge in victim blaming the defrauded widows, orphans, infirm and feeble minded – because who can resist? If you fancy yourself a trusted advisor or prefer your true crime with spreadsheets instead of corpses, listen to this show to learn what to watch out for, and to keep your clients, your firm, and even yourself, safe. To subscribe, go to ohmyfraud.com or search Oh My Fraud on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

David: [01:06:13] Want to get the word out about your newsletter, webinar, party, Facebook group, podcast, e-book, job posting, or that fancy Excel macro you just created? Why not let the listeners of The Cloud Accounting Podcast know by running a classified ad? Hit the show notes for the link to get more info.

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