Attestation Update – A&A for CPAs

Technical stuff for CPAs providing attestation services

Why separate blogs for nonprofits, accounting, and coping with change? Why so much discussion on banking and energy?

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  • Why do I have so many blogs?
  • Why are there separate blogs appealing to the nonprofit world and CPAs?
  • Why do so many posts talk about banking?
  • Why so much discussion of energy production?

Might be time to mention again how my writing is organized.

The basic idea is that blogs need to have a narrow focus in terms of topics or issues. Then the blog will gather an audience of people with that interest. Cover too many topics and everyone will lose interest.

That means I have split up the core of my writing into three blogs, each designed to appeal to a different audience. People interested in one of those areas may not be interested in the other topics, so I assign my posts to the blog that will have readers who will be more interested in that discussion. The main blogs are:

Nonprofit Update (nonprofitupdate.info) addresses financial issues in the nonprofit world. This includes tax, accounting, management, and general trends in that world. Obviously there is a heavy emphasis on accounting.

Attestation Update (attestationupdate.com) deals with more technical accounting and auditing issues of interest to CPAs. This includes audit rules, compilation and reviews, fraud, and internal control.

Outrun Change (outrunchange.com) focuses on the radical changes taking place around us. The pace of change is so fast that we all risk being overwhelmed. We have got to run really fast to keep ourselves from becoming obsolete. That means we need to, wait for it …. outrun change.

A major area of writing on this blog is around what I call the open frontiers. The time after the Civil War was an open frontier in the west with unlimited opportunities for explorers and settlers. Likewise today, in 2014, there are wide open frontiers that provide grand opportunities for those with open eyes who are bold enough to set out for the frontier. Today’s open frontiers are:

  • energy,
  • private space exploration,
  • publishing,
  • education, and
  • technology.

Energy, especially the expansion in oil production from shale fields, is a major focus of Outrun Change. Even more controversially, I spend time surveying the economic destruction and environmental devastation caused by alternative energy.

Why nonprofits and why accounting?

I am a CPA providing audits, reviews, and compilations with a focus on serving the nonprofit community, with a further focus of the religious nonprofit world.

Therefore the two lead blogs are dealing with issues of interest to the nonprofit world and CPAs.

Why banking?

While working at two of the big international firms, then called the Big 8, I spent a lot of time working on audits of financial institutions. I was developing expertise in the financial industry when I left the Big 8 world.

I went to work in the accounting department of a bank. Was in the holding company with three subsidiary banks. There were about half a billion dollars of assets.  (It is odd to write that sentence – the volume of total assets at what was a medium-sized bank in New Mexico early in my career is now merely a rounding error in the dollar fine from just one of the many financial fiascos in the banking industry.) Got some great experience there.

Then I moved back into auditing, working for a firm that focused on serving the religious nonprofit community. Many clients of that firm had deferred giving programs. Those clients had lots of investments, which meant I was back to auditing security portfolios. Also enjoyed auditing a couple of denominational extension funds, which are very similar to banks but with less regulatory oversight.

So you can see that I have lots of experience in and around financial institutions. I enjoyed that work and continue to be interested in that world. That is why you will see so many posts about banking.

Discussions about banking seem to fit best with the topics in Attestation Update, so that is where you will find my writing on the financial industry.

Why energy?

I am fascinated by the boom in oil production. Started paying attention a few years ago. When our son finally realized there was little work in California (and zero work with a future), he packed his bags and headed to the frontier of Williston, North Dakota.

He and our daughter-in-law are building their life together there. That has redoubled my interest in oil generally and Bakken specifically.

Thus, you will find a huge amount of writing at Outrun Change on oil, North Dakota, and Williston.

Write about what you enjoy and an audience will find you

Another thing I’ve read about and experienced personally is that bloggers can’t wish an audience into existence. The best path to writing success is to start writing and let the audience find you.

So, I write about what captivates me. Feel free to join in with those conversations that are interesting to you.

I hope my blogs are a blessing to you.

Written by Jim Ulvog

November 10, 2014, 8:57 am at 8:57 am

Posted in Other stuff

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