California requires bot disclosure, texting clients after hours, Walmart lays off hundreds of accountants, and more

Blake and David discuss the latest cloud accounting news, including a California law that means chatbots have to disclose they’re not human, a survey showing that 73% think it's OK to text clients after business hours, Walmart's recent layoffs of hundreds of accountants in Charlotte, an MYOB glitch that sent personal payroll information to the wrong recipients, the no. 1 challenge blocking controllership transformation, stats showing that representation of black accountants in the profession has improved little over the last 50 years, and a proposal to allow for adaptive-learning CPE.


Show Notes

Get in Touch

Thanks for listening! Follow and tweet @BlakeTOliver and @DavidLeary. Find us on Facebook and, if you like what you hear, do us a favor and write a review on iTunes. Interested in sponsoring the Cloud Accounting Podcast? For details, read the prospectus.



This episode of the Cloud Accounting Podcast is sponsored by AutoEntry. By using AutoEntry, you can stop typing data into your accounting system. AutoEntry can turn your stack of paper, be it bills, receipts, bank statements, sales invoices, and vendor statements, directly into transactions posted into QuickBooks, Sage, or Xero. Regardless of your small business client engagements, once-a-year tax-only engagements, write-up or catch-up work, monthly bookkeeping that you do in-house, a client doing bookkeeping themselves, AutoEntry is the perfect fit for all of them. AutoEntry can even handle the tricky details like line items, billable cost, customers, jobs, classes, employee expenses, or reimbursements, even multi-currency. To learn even more about AutoEntry, head over to That is Cloud Accounting Podcast dot promo forward slash A-U-T-O-E-N-T-R-Y.
Blake Oliver: Welcome to the Cloud Accounting Podcast. I'm Blake Oliver.
David Leary: And I'm David Leary.
Blake Oliver: How was your Fourth of July weekend, David?
David Leary: It [00:01:00] was good. It was stable. How was your Fourth of July week?
Blake Oliver: Well, I saw the picture of you at the pool reserving the cabana, or the chairs, or something before everybody else got there at 7:00 a.m.-
David Leary: Yeah.
Blake Oliver: And you were wearing your Cloud Accounting Podcast shirt.
David Leary: Of course. I mean, there's new eyeballs. I don't know who's going to be at a public hotel, resort, golf coursey-thing. I'm going to wear a Cloud Accounting Podcast shirt.
Blake Oliver: That was great. That made my day.
David Leary: It's the eyeballs.
Blake Oliver: I had a very nice long weekend. We got Friday [00:01:30] off at work, which is just fantastic. On Friday, I drove down with my son and my wife to Encinitas. Some of the listeners of the show may know that my son was born deaf and has cochlear implants, so we went down there to have the audiologist run diagnostics. It's so cool. They plug him into a laptop and tune up his cochlear implants so that he can hear.
David Leary: The way those work, right, every year, they'll increase the strength a little bit?
Blake Oliver: Yeah, yeah. They start at lower levels of [00:02:00] volume, and volume isn't the right word because it's actually voltage, but yeah. They have to kind of up it over time as he learns how to interpret those electrical signals that are going into his brain, and it's working great. He's going to be in mainstream kindergarten.
David Leary: And they can't do this through the cloud yet?
Blake Oliver: Not yet. They're working on it, I know. He has Bluetooth. He comes with Bluetooth enabled. He has a microphone that his teacher wears in the classroom, and it's connected to his cochlear implant processors by Bluetooth. It's pretty amazing. Whenever [00:02:30] people get a little down on technological progress and say, "Hey, why don't we have flying cars yet or, you know, cloud accounting is moving so slowly," I say, "You know, we have basically cured deafness for children in our society, and we kind of just didn't notice because it happened so gradually over 30 years, but it's there." I mean, this is like as futuristic as Geordi from Star Trek with his visor.
David Leary: Yeah, I think my dad has something in his heart that connects to a machine that connects through Wi-Fi and sends data back to his doctor.
Blake Oliver: That's so cool. [00:03:00]
David Leary: So he doesn't have to go to the office, so yeah, I think things are chipping away. What about earthquake?
Blake Oliver: Oh, yeah, yeah.
David Leary: Your move's over, is your place still standing? What's that about?
Blake Oliver: Yeah. I mean, the earthquake was far enough away that it ... For people who are not from Southern California, it's a pretty scary experience to have the ground shifting underneath you, but for people who are from here, we had the earthquake and then everybody was back to work five minutes later or whatever they were doing. It didn't even phase us.
David Leary: You're just resilient. It's no big deal. Got it.
Blake Oliver: I mean, for the people who are right living above it that [00:03:30] was a different story because that's a massive thing, you know, your roads are cracking and stuff, but in L.A. we were fine.
David Leary: Should we jump in for this week? I know we got one review.
Blake Oliver: Headline is Retired CPA. Good day, gentlemen. Thank you for your timely and entertaining podcast. I retired from my CPA firm at the end of last year at age 60. I was in charge of our IT department for most of my career and am now doing QBO consulting and some tax prep to stay sane. I also do the bookkeeping for my church. The information you discuss keeps [00:04:00] me in the know with all things Cloud. I'm considering signing up with QB Live to see if I can keep active, use my tech and QBO skills. Thanks again and keep up the good work. That's from Dan Martin, CPA. Thank you so much, Dan.
David Leary: Perfect. Yes, thank you.
Blake Oliver: That was really nice.
David Leary: Oh, and it's five stars. It was a five-star review.
Blake Oliver: You know they're all five stars, so …
David Leary: They're always five stars. If it's not going to be five stars, don't bother writing it.
Blake Oliver: As always, if you want to leave us a review, it really helps us reach new listeners, so do us a favor and go to iTunes, or Stitcher, or whatever your service is of choice and give us one of [00:04:30] those reviews, and we will be sure to read it on the air.
David Leary: Absolutely. Where should we jump in at? Do you have any articles, something exciting?
Blake Oliver: I have a bot story, David.
David Leary: Okay. More bot stories.
Blake Oliver: Apparently, accounting is not the only industry where bots are a problem or a concern. Of course, we all are aware of the issues with bots on social media and potential election campaign meddling.
David Leary: Or LinkedIn messages.
Blake Oliver: LinkedIn messages. Yes, that's probably the biggest day-to-day pain point we all [00:05:00] have. Well, the great state of California, my home state, has passed a law that goes into effect, well it already went into effect last week on July 1st. It is a law that is requiring any online chat bot trying to sell you something or get you to vote a certain way or just communicate with you to disclose that it is, in fact, a bot.
David Leary: Got it. So any online conversations, any chats, anything I'm doing, if it is a bot, it just needs to disclose that.
Blake Oliver: Yeah. 
David Leary: Kind of in the same way, like, hey, I'm going to record this phone call, and I have to disclose that before I record [00:05:30] the phone call.
Blake Oliver: Yeah, and so there's always some gray areas and confusion, and litigation is going to be necessary to sort this out, apparently. Even though the law was intended to force bots online like social media bots and whatnot to disclose they're a bot, it's going to have ramifications for many, many businesses who are using bot technology. So, if you have a, David, what are those chat options on people's websites, what do you call those?
David Leary: Intercom.
Blake Oliver: Yeah, if you're using Intercom or some [00:06:00] similar service where people can chat with you on your website, right now you can make it look like they're talking to a real person, and they may not realize they're not talking to you or some persona you've created. Well now, according to this California law, you're going to have to disclose that. Even though the law was intended for other things like social media, it applies to all chat bots potentially. There's a big question. There's this Quartz article that I recommend you check it out if you're using chat tools on your website and with automation. The headline is "A California Law Now Means [00:06:30] Chat Bots Have to Disclose They're Not Human," and that was actually published back in October, on October 3rd. The law didn't go into effect until July 1st of this year.
David Leary: That's interesting because a lot of these chat... especially the chat tools, something like we just talked about Intercom, it's great, right, because you can set it up to start the conversation and possibly route the customer on the other end to the right answer like, "Hey, here's how you can find out the status of your W-2," or whatever it might be, and it hands it off to you to finish [00:07:00] that conversation as the human, so that's kind of interesting. We talked about CallJoy last week.
Blake Oliver: Yeah.
David Leary: Does this apply to voice as well because you get a lot of these spam calls where if you accidentally say yes, they're interacting with you and then the call changes.
Blake Oliver: Yeah, that's a good question. I'm not sure. I'm going to be looking into this, and I'll hopefully keep everybody posted on the developments.
David Leary: This is on your beat. It's in your backyard.
Blake Oliver: Yeah. What's new, you know, what's hot in your neck of the woods, David?
David Leary: My neck of the woods, it's hot. We're in Arizona. It's [00:07:30] super, super hot. I saw an interesting one, it was on Small Biz Trends, which is on American Express's website, and it says 73 percent... so there was a survey done. 73 percent think it's okay to text clients after business hours. Now this is all small businesses, it's not an accounting focused article. The interesting thing was is this article almost leans or slants saying like, yeah, this could be a career-threatening move. It could piss off your customers.
Blake Oliver: Oh, really?
David Leary: I'm thinking if [00:08:00] this many people are doing it, it's obviously okay. I've been on both sides of this where I've, as a small business owner, I've texted people outside of hours. Even when I was at Intuit, people who have my cell phone, we text back and forth outside of business hours. As a customer, I've texted or WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, like, whatever's available if I know that person I'm trying to communicate is available on that means, right?
Blake Oliver: Well that's funny that they put it as a negative because I've always seen it, especially when I was freelancing, as a positive. My [00:08:30] clients were happy when I would get back to them at 8:00 p.m. because that's... They were business owners. They're always working, right? They want to get stuff done. If I would wait until the next day, that would be a downside of working with me. If anything, the danger of texting with your clients after work hours is that they'll think you're available all the time and you won't be able to set boundaries for yourself if you ask me.
David Leary: Yeah. It kind of turns this article into an etiquette type article, like the 2019 business text etiquette. I feel [00:09:00] like it's missing all the benefits of it or something.
Blake Oliver: Yeah.
David Leary: I just think this survey data doesn't align with the etiquette.
Blake Oliver: Yeah.
David Leary: Right? I guess users, our listeners, right, what do you guys think on this? Is texting cool?
Blake Oliver: Well this is very relevant because in the panel discussion with Liz Mason, Byron Patrick, and Rachel Fisch at AICPA Engage, this was one of the questions that we talked about: Do you text with your clients? Liz said, yes, well she used to with her personal number. It [00:09:30] got so bad she actually had to change her number and got a new number, but she still does text with her clients and the way she does it is with RingCentral. She has her voice over IP phone lines, and these apps now let you do text messages through those, so you can have clients texting you at your work number, and you don't have to give them your cell number.
David Leary: So you can put boundaries around it?
Blake Oliver: Yeah. So you can mute the app, right, put on 'do not disturb' at a certain time, so even if they're texting you at 8:00 p.m., you're not getting those and getting stressed out. She said the worst part [00:10:00] was getting stressed out by work after hours.
David Leary: I imagine. I saw a small article on Bill Murray and how Bill Murray, to kind of get some balance in his life, because every single day he'd just get hundreds of emails and voicemails et cetera about, "Hey, I got a role for you, I got a role for you," and so years ago he set up an 800 number that's just like a big voicemail box, and he only checks it whenever he feels like it every so often, and that's how he keeps some balance in his life.
Blake Oliver: Well speaking of balance [00:10:30] and, perhaps, work-life balance, some accountants at Walmart are going to get a lot of work-life balance on the life side soon. I spotted an article back in June in Going Concern about how Walmart is laying off 569 accountants due to a permanent closure of a Walmart division in Water Ridge in North Carolina. This follows United Airlines laying off 100 folks in Houston in July, also [00:11:00] planning to outsource this work.
David Leary: Didn't Delta also do something?
Blake Oliver: I feel like I hear about these every few months, but it's interesting because we talk a lot about the talent shortage, right, there's not enough talent in the accounting world, but then we also see layoffs like this, so what is it? Is there a talent shortage or are our jobs doomed? I think, of course, the answer is it depends. I'm guessing that a lot of these accountants were probably part of some really, really antiquated [00:11:30] old school processes pushing paper around, and this is just my total speculation, but I'm guessing that Walmart decided it's going to be easier just to outsource the whole thing to a new division than to retrain all these people. I don't know. What do you think?
David Leary: I think that's something we kind of discussed when we had Jotham on with Gappify. This whole kind of, like, you could take time to have your staff and your IT department and everybody else ramp up on robotic process automation, or [00:12:00] you could just punt the whole thing and have someone else do it all for you, so you're right. Maybe that's what this is. It's not so much a replacement of talent. I'm sorry, it's more of a replacement of talent, but not really a shift in the number of people needed to do it. 
Blake Oliver: There's got to be cost savings in the number of people, and so that's also sort of where the difference is in terms of talent shortage versus threat of automation. It's like with firms, right? About 25 percent of firms are growing really [00:12:30] fast and innovating and the other 75 percent aren't. I'd be willing to bet that among accountants themselves, as individuals, about 25 percent are really embracing automation and technology and the other 75 percent aren't. The 25 percent that are that are probably listening to this show are going to do really, really well and the ones who aren't even aware of all this stuff out there are the ones who are going to get that pink slip and not even realize it was coming.
David Leary: Yeah. I wonder, because these articles obviously are doom and gloom, right, but I wonder [00:13:00] how many are actually are... there's going to be new hires in the room. Where I'm going from on this is if you think about how hard it is to change behaviors-
Blake Oliver: Very, very difficult.
David Leary: It's very, very difficult. I look at companies like Intuit, right, and I've talked to LivePlan. I've talked to Sabrina at LivePlan. I looked at Intuit, and there was about a five-year period where they'd lay off 600, that would get the headline, but then you'd rehire 400, then lay off 700 rehire 800 over the same- [00:13:30]
Blake Oliver: Right, right.
David Leary: It would happen year after year for about five years straight. But that's kind of how Intuit changed its mindset from being a desktop company to a Cloud company.
Blake Oliver: Yeah, yeah.
David Leary: I've talked to other apps that have done this transition, and when you start digging under the covers, they're like, "Oh, yeah. We had to get rid of all our engineers and all our product managers to create the new Cloud offering we have because the old ones just couldn't do it," and so I think you're right. As accounting departments at Fortune 500s are becoming more [00:14:00] efficient and they're using automation, they're using software, maybe using Cloud, it's probably easier for them to rehire a different mindset than try to change people's minds because they hang up a sign like "We're going to be innovative now or we're going to be Cloud" and this could be really what's happening there.
Blake Oliver: Yeah, you said it perfectly. An interesting detail in this, and maybe some of these people will get rehired, the work that was being done in Charlotte at Walmart is being outsourced to Genpact, a professional services firm [00:14:30] that opened a digital innovation hub last year in Bentonville, Arkansas, the city where Walmart is headquartered. Basically, the firm that is getting the work is in Walmart's backyard.
David Leary: Well I think if you want to do any business with Walmart, you have to open the satellite office in Bentonville because you travel there so much. I think there's... Rubbermaid, everybody's got companies there. If we want to have Walmart as a sponsor, we'll probably have to have to have an office in Bentonville.
Blake Oliver: I'm not willing to do that.
Closing the books is a manual, error-prone, and time-consuming process. In fact, 82 percent of accountants find the month-end close to be a negative experience. 78 percent report having to reopen the books, and three out of four say they're not confident in their close. Meanwhile, management wants numbers faster than ever, and investor scrutiny on financial reports has only increased. There has to be a better way than email, Excel checklists, and endless status update meetings. 
FloQast was built by accountants for accountants to help them close faster and more accurately. It provides a single place to manage the month-end close, aligning people, processes, and documents in one collaborative platform. The bottom line, teams relying on FloQast on average close three days faster. Learn more at That's F-L-O-Q-A-S-T.
Blake Oliver: All right. What's next?
David Leary: What's next? There was a glitch, which actually people need to stop saying the word glitch in general because it's not. It's either a software bug or somebody made a mistake or [00:16:00] there was a hack, but glitch is getting used too much, you know, oh, a glitch crashed a plane, a glitch did this. Anyways, I'll read the headline, so this is for Australia. "MYOB Glitch Sees 220 Payment Summaries Sent in Error". I thought it was like there's a form, a tax form of 220 payment summaries, but this is actually how many that were sent. I think these are the yearly payment summaries. I'm guessing because the articles don't say, it sounds like this could be like a W-2 [00:16:30] here in the States, and so these were emailed out to... It would be like my W-2, Blake, getting emailed to you.
Blake Oliver: Oh, that would be very, very bad.
David Leary: It's very bad. What complicated this, not complicated this, which kind of made it worse is communications. MYOB is in the middle of rolling out single-touch payroll in Australia, which a lot of businesses have to now get on, and so their support lines are longer, et cetera, et cetera, so that complicated it. The scary thing about this was [00:17:00] that this was going on, where does it say it specifically?
Blake Oliver: For like a month, right? It was between June 1st and June 28.
David Leary: Yes. This happened a couple times, and then they wound up shutting down their email servers. They're working with the ATO, which is the Australian Tax Office to get things resolved on this because they're looking at this as a data breach in a way because personal data is getting out there. I'm [00:17:30] guessing our friends there on the From the Trenches podcast will cover this and talk about this, and so I think if you want a deeper understanding of this, tune into that podcast because I think those guys will definitely cover that.
Blake Oliver: I'm looking forward to that episode. I have a poll for you, David.
David Leary: Okay.
Blake Oliver: I subscribe to the Deloitte Controllership Digest, and this was in the June 2019 issue. Actually, I think I've shared out one previously. They did one on blockchain in controllership.
David Leary: I remember that.
Blake Oliver: Remember how zero readers were [00:18:00] using blockchain in controllership like it's not a thing?
David Leary: But it had a significant response, right? There was, like, 1,200 responses if I remember correctly. It was a decent size.
Blake Oliver: I don't know if they give the sample size, but they have a very large readership, obviously, as it's Deloitte, and so the most recent poll is also interesting. The question was for June: What is your organization's biggest challenge associated with controllership transformation? 51 percent said, "Balancing key resources between transformation projects and everyday needs." Of [00:18:30] course, transformation projects is just a fancy corporate word for technology change, putting in new tech, right?
David Leary: Mm-hmm.
Blake Oliver: Does this surprise you, David? This is the biggest challenge above developing a longer-term vision, which is only 20 percent. Prioritizing or coordinating among many potential projects, that's only 18 percent. Gaining executive buy-in for investment, only seven percent. Building compelling business cases for individual projects, four percent. [00:19:00] This means to me that controllers, the people responsible for the accounting function in corporate America are not having trouble getting buy-in from the CFO and the CEO to spend money on tech. They aren't having trouble building the business case for it, maybe they would have years ago, but now I think everybody is kind of aware that this transformation is necessary to happen. The hardest thing they're having trouble with is just making time for it. Fifty-one percent, balancing key resources between transformation projects and everyday needs.
David Leary: I'm surprised it's that low.
Blake Oliver: Really?
David Leary: I feel [00:19:30] like that's a struggle for all of us, right, is everybody has these bigger projects they need to do or get done and just the day-to-day fires just keep it from happening, and so for half the people everything's so smooth that it doesn't get in their way?
Blake Oliver: No, this is their biggest challenge. For over half the people, that's their biggest challenge over anything else that was offered, any other options.
David Leary: Okay, got it.
Blake Oliver: Yeah. To me, that's pretty significant, and it's way more than any of the other responses. That, to me, is [00:20:00] a time management issue. Accountants are too busy. We don't have time to actually invest in our technology, our people, transformation. That's what I hear time in and time out. That was my problem when I was in public accounting as I was so busy billing hours I never had time to work on putting in new tech stacks, or I had to eat those hours, had to do that after hours. Very frustrating, couldn't get buy-in from the leadership to prioritize that. I think it's the same thing in corporate [00:20:30] America, too, and so we have to figure out how do we make time?
We have to have time to invest, not just run the treadmill over and over and over again. I think that if you're a software developer and you understand that pain point, that people are busy, and they're too busy to go through your complicated setup, if you can make that more streamlined and you can hold the accounting team's hand or you can hold the accounting firm's hand and do it for them, you're going to [00:21:00] be much more successful, or if you can automate that, just whatever you can do to make your tool simpler to setup and use and easy to support, the more successful you'll be with accountants. It's worth the investment in that as opposed to other industries where people are willing to do their own support. Do you know what I mean?
David Leary: Well based on the other article you had about Walmart, essentially, you probably need to figure out how to make time to do this because, eventually, upper management's going to say, "Hey, it's been three years. We've funded this, we've [00:21:30] given you the budget you need, let's just give it to somebody else to do and we'll just outsource it."
Blake Oliver: Good connection there. I didn't even think of that. That's what'll happen. You'll just get outsourced if you don't modernize. 
David Leary: That would not be good. I have an article that came out of Bloomberg Tax, and the title of the article is "Fifty Years, Little Progress for Black Accountants," and it's a little bit of a long-read article, but some of the stats in it were very kind of... were pretty interesting. Roughly nine percent [00:22:00] of all 1.9 million accountants and auditors in the US are Black according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In comparison, roughly 13 percent of all US residents are Black, so it's not perfect distribution, right? This is where it gets really scary, though. The number of Black accountants drops off significantly in the smaller subset of certified public accountants. Of 650,000 CPAs in the US, only 5,000 are Black according to the National Association of Black Accountants. [00:22:30]
Blake Oliver: Wow, really? It is that low? 
David Leary: It's very, very low.
Blake Oliver: That is crazy.
David Leary: It hasn't changed in the past two decades while Asian and Hispanic colleagues have grown more than 12 percent and seven percent, respectively. The industry still is overwhelmingly white and male, and we've talked about that lots of times in the past.
Blake Oliver: Wow. That is just staggeringly low representation.
David Leary: I did get an interview with Jina Etienne. She [00:23:00] does Diversity at Grant Thornton. I did have an interview. I was able to connect with her at Scaling New Heights, hopefully, we should get that episode out maybe after this episode, the interview with her. She raised a lot of thoughts on diversity and she looks at it as until these numbers change at the college level, it's never going to change down the road, so it has to change way earlier in the profession or these numbers just won't trickle in.
Blake Oliver: Yeah, I can see in [00:23:30] the article the funnel just drops off, in that Black accountants represent nine percent of students enrolling into accounting bachelors programs, but only four percent of new hires by firms, and then only one percent of firm-employed CPAs. Let's see. What else, what else? There's some new proposed CPE rules. This is an exposure draft. The Statement on Standards for Continuing Professional Education, CPE programs. This was issued in May 2019. The [00:24:00] thing that caught my attention is that the AICPA and NASBA are considering offering CPE credit for adaptive learning programs. You may ask what is adaptive learning?
David Leary: I was just going to say that.
Blake Oliver: Yeah, so if you've ever taken the GMAT for business school, that's an adaptive exam. The way it works is that you get a question, that question has a difficulty ranking that's hidden from you. If you get it right, you get a more difficult question. If you get it wrong, you get a [00:24:30] less difficult question.
David Leary: Oh, that's the Microsoft really pioneered that for getting your certifications for back in the day for all Microsoft products.
Blake Oliver: Yeah, and the benefit of it is, if it's a well-designed exam, you can test somebody's ability in a much shorter time than giving them an entire question set because you're just incrementing the difficulty up or down depending on how they're doing live. That philosophy can be applied to a lot of things, and self-study is one of those things, so [00:25:00] these new proposed regulations will allow companies to offer adaptive learning programs.
What's interesting is I was thinking to myself how is it going to be possible to assign an hour credit value, a time-based credit value for CPE, which is time based to something that is adaptive where it may take me a different amount of time to complete than you, David? You might do it really quickly and I might take forever or vice versa, and somehow you've got to come up with [00:25:30] is that worth an hour? Is it worth two hours? Is it worth half an hour?
The way they're going to do it, map the values, I guess to a time-based system, is you have to do a sample, like a trial. A group of people have to take your class and they have to be representative of the group that you'll be marketing the course to, so if it's CPAs, then you have to give this... I think it's a minimum of seven CPAs have to take your course and then you have to average the completion times to get the actual amount [00:26:00] of credit that will be offered. As somebody who provides CPE, I'm like, hmm, how can I game the system? You get the seven slowest CPAs you can find and still call it a representative sample set and have them take your course because then you can offer a lot of CPE for it.
David Leary: Yeah, the whole timing of how long it takes to learn something is total crap in general. Where you really see this-
Blake Oliver: David, you just called into question our entire CPE program, which, you know, that's like [00:26:30] the number one thing you have to do every year as a CPA other than your ethics exams and whatnot.
David Leary: Well you'll see this a lot with corporate training and compliance, right? 
Blake Oliver: Mm-hmm.
David Leary: Corporations might have to have you every year you need to do a sexual harassment training, or every year you need to do security training because you have to be in compliance because CEOs sign off on these, hey, our whole staff has done this training, right, where were compliant, everybody's done this. What I've seen [00:27:00] is, though, those tests over time went from, oh, you used to just be able to go at your own pace, right? 
Blake Oliver: Right.
David Leary: If you're relatively aware of security procedures, you can kind of bang through that training pretty quickly and just kind of skip to the questions, answer the questions, like, you know, don't open an email that looks like it has a fake link from FedEx et cetera, et cetera, right?
Blake Oliver: Yeah, yeah.
David Leary: Well what they did over time because they want you not... people [00:27:30] must not be doing the training if they go too fast because it was about doing the training, not whether or not you actually have the knowledge. Then what they did is they put times on all of these things. Like you have to spend six minutes on this section, six minutes on this section. I don't necessarily know if they'll stick to this because I think, eventually, they'll probably switch it back to you need to have so much minutes on this topic. It's impossible that you could just quickly read it and know the answer or [00:28:00] comprehend it quicker.
Blake Oliver: Yeah. It's so dumb. This is the problem with time sheets. We're valuing inputs not outputs. It would be a lot harder to give CPE and administer CPE for the entire accounting profession with some other metric, so I guess time is the best one we've got. But, yeah, the result is a lot of crappy CPE courses that people take just to get their hours, and they're not actually learning anything. I guess with adaptive, I mean, it is better [00:28:30] in that the value is going to be the average of the group. So, if you're a really smart CPA, maybe you'll be able to take adaptive courses and get all your CPE for the year done in 10 hours as opposed to 40. I think that's better even if we're still using an approximated time value, at least the smart people or the quick people don't get penalized for being able to learn faster than everybody else.
David Leary: Then, I mean, somebody could also argue that maybe CPE needs to have different formats because maybe some people they could do it audio-wise [00:29:00] on a podcast, right?
Blake Oliver: Yeah. We should be able to offer CPE for the Cloud Accounting Podcast. That would be really cool.
David Leary: I heard that we might be able to do this for Canada, though. There's different requirements.
Blake Oliver: Oh, yeah?
David Leary: Yes. That's a whole side topic we'll get into another day. I have two hypothetical articles we could cover, but I think you have one on the Florida and Bitcoin ransom stuff again.
Blake Oliver: Yeah. I'm going to save this for next time. I got to get going. If you don't mind, we'll wrap it up here.
David Leary: Yeah, that works.
Blake Oliver: If you want to get in touch with me or David online, you should connect [00:29:30] with us on Twitter. Follow us. I am @BlakeTOliver. How about you, David?
David Leary: And I'm at @DavidLeary.
Blake Oliver: Where else should people follow the Cloud Accounting Podcast, David?
David Leary: Cloud Accounting Podcast is on all the socials, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn.
Blake Oliver: Also, subscribe to our newsletter. Go to, click the blue subscribe banner, and you'll be signed up for email notifications when new episodes come out, that way you can click the link in the email and go to the show notes and have all the articles right at your fingertips. And that's it for me this [00:30:00] week.
David Leary: I'll talk to you later, everybody.
Blake Oliver: Have a good one. Bye.
David Leary: Bye.

Join our newsletter!

Get notified about new episodes and other updates from Blake and David

Got it. You're on the list!
Podchaser - Cloud Accounting Podcast

Copyright © 2020 Blake Oliver