December 7, 2016 8:00am – 4:25pm Map & Directions 602-431-0001

Technology for Accounting Conference

Online registrations are currently closed, please call (602) 324-6847 for additional registration options


The Technology for Accounting Conference is focused on providing CPAs in all fields of accounting with the tools and skills needed to keep up to date with changes in technology.  What do you know about Bitcoins and the Blockchain?  How about Cloud Computing?  Are there opportunities to build relationships between those in Finance and IT?  Learn how the Arizona Technology Council has been making strides in our state legislature to show the value of technology in raising social and economic standards in Arizona.


Desert Willow Conference Center
4340 E Cotton Center Blvd Ste 100
Phoenix, AZ 85040-8908

Registration Time



Non-CPA Staff:
Non-CPA Staff (100% club):
Non-CPA Staff (sole proprietor):



7:30 – 7:55 a.m. Registration & Continental Breakfast

7:55 – 8:00 a.m. Welcome
Michael Nyman – Conference Committee Chair

8:00 – 9:30 a.m. How Bitcoin and the Blockchain will Revolutionize the Accounting Profession
Doug Sleeter, The Sleeter Group
“Blockchain technology has the potential to do for global commerce what Postscript did for the publishing industry.” – Doug Sleeter 2016
The era of banks and governments exercising centralized control over commerce is waning quickly. Digital currency, blockchain technology, and smart contracts are disrupting nearly every institution across the global economy. Why is this important for the accounting profession? Because today’s Internet is flawed when it comes to trust. For all the incredible benefits of the Internet, there is no way to verify accuracy or authenticity of anything posted on the web. This lack of trust is the big problem that blockchain technology seeks to resolve. Blockchain technology facilitates a complete redesign of global commerce. From how business transactions occur, to how records are kept, to how governments exercise control over their economies and currencies. In this session, you'll learn what blockchain technology is, why we need it, and how it will impact your business in the future.

9:30 – 10:20 a.m. Cyber Security: A Special Focus on Cloud Computing
Michael Peters, Continuum GRC, Lazarus Alliance, Inc.
When contracting with a cloud service provider, such as a data center (Platform as a Service (PaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)), it is important for companies to ensure that their provider possesses the cyber security-related certifications and compliance standards that are applicable to the company’s industry. Data centers, as well as service providers (Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS)) who contract with data centers, all play a part in this cloud ecosystem and ultimately may make-or-break your business. Taking a pragmatic and well-informed approach to cloud cyber security is essential.

10:20 – 10:35 a.m. Networking Break

10:35 – 11:25 a.m. What’s Hot in Excel
Catherine Jennings, P3.World, The Focus Group Consulting, LLC
In a time when organizations are doing more with fewer resources, why work so hard when you can work smart? Why not let Microsoft Excel do the heavy lifting while you get on to projects that really matter. Join this engaging session to learn tips and tricks that will wow your colleagues, not to mention your boss. From transpositions to formatting techniques to special features, this hour invested in learning will return hours of time saved.

11:25 – 12:15 p.m. Finance and IT: Working Together More Effectively
Bill Richardson, Richardson Management Consulting, LLC
Have you ever worked with your IT group or a consultant to implement a new financial system? Have you tried to upgrade a technology solution? Have you tried to get enhancements made to your application software? Was it fast and easy? Or was it difficult, took too long and frustrated everyone involved? All too often joint business/IT initiatives fail to some degree. They can fail spectacularly and be cancelled after millions of dollars and thousands of hours, or they can just fail to deliver the benefits hoped for when started. In this session we’ll discuss how the skills, experiences and capabilities we take for granted every day can be easily applied to these initiatives to dramatically improve their chances for success.

12:15 – 1:30 p.m. Lunch

1:30 – 2:20 p.m. Cyber Fraud: Scary Stories and Then Some
Bob Minniti, Minniti CPA, LLC
Is your firm, your company, or your client at risk for cyber fraud? Have you assessed the risk of cyber fraud for your audit client? In the 21st century you cannot simply ignore this threat. Have you considered the risks for viruses, DOS attacks, ransomware, spyware, and other cyber fraud threats? This course is designed for individuals who would like to obtain a basic understanding of the risks of cyber fraud. We will discuss various types of cyber frauds and how the criminals commit the frauds. We will review some of the legal and ethical implications involved. Examples of real world cases will be provided to help develop an understanding of the risks involved. We will review policies, procedures, hardware, software, and internal controls that can be used to help prevent an organization from being victimized.

2:20 – 3:10 p.m. Tools to Run Your Small Business Like a Big One
Tanya Luken, Tanya Luken CPA, PC & Kyle Grove, Cloud IT
Technology has made it possible to run your small business like a big one. How can you take advantage of the latest tools? Learn how to run your business from anywhere and how to benefit from employees working remotely. Identify ways to target your audience and use big data for customer insight. Discover practical tips for business card scanner and apps to organize your contacts. And lastly, learn how to impress your friends and coworkers with Google Easter Eggs!

3:10 – 3:25 p.m. Networking Break

3:25 – 4:25 p.m. Technology Paves the Road for Success
Steven G. Zylstra, Arizona Technology Council
If you keep tabs on business news in Arizona, you likely have read or seen stories about how hot our startup technology scene is. Our state is home to dozens of business accelerators, incubators and maker facilities that are bringing new innovation to the marketplace. And the rest of the planet is taking notice. For example, the Global Accelerator Report 2015 named Phoenix-based Seed Spot as one of the top 20 global startup accelerators in the world and Arizona State University was ranked number one on U.S. News & World Report’s list of “most innovative schools”. Join Zylstra to learn how technology is paving the road for success for Arizona’s workforce and economy in this informative look at Arizona’s innovation sector.


Manuals will be furnished electronically only. We encourage laptops and readers at the conference.

Event Leaders

Grove, Kyle

Rating: 3.70

Kyle Grove is the Director of Sales and Business Development at cloudIT. cloudIT is an IT and cloud services provider that utilizes technology to improve the business processes of its clients. His current leadership opportunity with cloudIT brought Kyle to Arizona from Portland, Oregon. He previously had a successful five-year stint with Paychex, as well as four years building an advertising company as a small business owner. Throughout his career he has developed a passion for servicing clients as well as team building and culture shaping. Kyle spends his free time golfing and exploring Arizona.

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Luken, Tanya L.

Rating: 4.12

Tanya Luken is a CPA, and business owner, helping non-profits and small businesses with their accounting and operations for over 15 years. She currently owns and manages a public accounting practice in Phoenix, Arizona. Tanya enjoys all aspects of accounting and has been focusing on becoming the accountants accountant. She specializes in project and overflow work from other accounting firms. When she isn’t running her business, Tanya travels and is currently working on a “50 under 50 list” (50 goals to accomplish before she turns 50). And, she loves Chuck Norris jokes!

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Sleeter, Doug

Rating: 3.70

Doug Sleeter is a visionary in the small business and accounting technology world. As an evangelist for Adobe and Apple in the 1980s, he drove success of desktop publishing solutions on the Macintosh. He is the founder of the Sleeter Group. a world leader in consulting services for small businesses and software developers.

Doug has deep experience as a staff accountant, seminar instructor, and he has authored several textbooks and consultants reference guides on QuickBooks. He is the host of the annual Accounting Solutions Conference and trade show, which is attended by hundreds of accountants from around the globe and sponsored by leading software developers in the accounting technology world.

CPA Practice Advisor has recognized Doug as one of the "Top 25 Thought Leaders" in the accounting profession for the past several years, and Doug has been named to Accounting Today's "Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting" each year 2008 through 2015. Doug was recently awarded the 2013 Small Business Influencer Champion Award. He's also a regular columnist for the Sleeter Report blog and the CPA Practice Advisor.

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Jennings, Catherine

Rating: 4.23

Catherine Jennings, Co-Founder of, specializes in in leadership development, both from an academic and practitioner's perspective. Through consulting, coaching, and training and development, she has leveraged strengths, minimized challenges, and maximized productivity in organizations, teams, and individuals. Active in the area of leadership development for more than 20 years, Catherine passionately believes that true leaders dream more, learn more, do more, and become more.

As a social entrepreneur, Catherine is living her dream of providing meaningful service while making the world a better place. Catherine has spent significant time in China working with the World Academy for the Future of Women, and serving as the Director of the 8th and 9th International Women's Symposiums. She is an internationally acclaimed speaker and presenter who is known for her engaging and energetic style.

Catherine also provides consulting and training to engage individuals and organizations around the world in the use of various technologies to increase efficiency, effectiveness, and the bottom line. Catherine has found a way to channel her passion for teaching to make learning technology fun!

Catherine holds an MBA from Grand Canyon University and is a Doctoral Candidate at Northcentral University. Her current research is directed at women's leadership development with a focus on international communities. She is currently a Professor of Business Communication at Eller College of Management, University of Arizona.

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Minniti, Robert K.

Rating: 4.72

Dr. Robert K. Minniti, is the President and Owner of Minniti CPA, LLC. Dr. Minniti is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Forensic Accountant, Certified Fraud Examiner, Certified Valuation Analyst, Certified in Financial Forensics, Master Analyst in Financial Forensics, Chartered Global Management Accountant, and is a licensed private investigator in the state of Arizona. Dr. Minniti received his doctoral degree in business administration from Walden University, received his MBA degree and Graduate Certificate in Accounting from DeVry University’s Keller Graduate School of Management, and received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from the University of Phoenix. Dr. Minniti taught graduate and undergraduate courses in forensic accounting at DeVry University, Grand Canyon University, Kaplan University, Northwestern University, and the University of Phoenix. He designed graduate and undergraduate courses for Grand Canyon University, Northwestern University, and Anthem College. He is a writer and public speaker. He has experience in forensic accounting, fraud examinations, financial audits, internal audits, compliance audits, real estate valuations, business valuations, internal control development, business continuation planning, risk management, cyber security, privacy laws, data security, Sarbanes-Oxley compliance work and business consulting. In addition to his practice Dr. Minniti is an instructor teaching continuing professional education classes for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Compliance Online, Wolters Kluwer CPE Link/CCH, AccountingEd, Global Compliance Panel, Clear Law Institute, CPE Solutions, Canopy CPE, BankersWeb, Global CPE, The Institute of Management Accountants, the National Association of Valuators and Analysts, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, the Institute of Internal Auditors, various state CPA Societies, and corporate CPE training. Dr. Minniti is currently serving as a board member on the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts' (NACVA) Litigation Forensics Board (LFB) and as a committee member on the Arizona State Board of Accountancy's Law Review Advisory Committee.

For Additional Information

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Richardson, William K.

Rating: 3.97

Bill has over 25 years of experience implementing financial, procurement and project accounting systems in a broad range of industries and clients, some very large and some very small. In almost every project, he’s been ‘stuck in the middle’ between the various business organizations involved and the IT organization. Most of his experience is as a consultant, both for very large, global consulting organizations, and with small, regional consulting firms. He’s also been part of the Finance organization in companies trying to team with IT to implement and upgrade systems.

Being comfortable with both ‘finance speak’ and ‘IT speak’ gives Bill a unique perspective on how the two groups can dramatically improve results by working together better.

Bill has been a CPA in Arizona, and a member of the Society, since 1990. He’s been a member of Society’s IT Steering Committee since 2013.

Bill is a Chartered Global Management Accountant and a Certified Information Technology Professional with the AICPA.

He’s also a Project Management Professional with the Project Management Institute.

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Peters, Michael

Rating: 3.55

Michael Peters is the CEO of Lazarus Alliance, Inc., the Proactive Cyber Security™ firm and Continuum GRC and has served as an independent information security consultant, executive, researcher and author. He is an internationally recognized and awarded security expert with years of IT and business leadership experience and many previous executive leadership positions.

From a credential perspective, Michael holds an Executive Juris Doctor in Cyberspace Law; a certified MBA in IT Management, undergraduate degree in IT Security, C|CISO, CISSP, PCI QSA, CRISC, CISM, CCE, CMBA, SCPA, SCSA and he is an ISSA Fellow and Hall of Fame recipient.

Peters is the serial entrepreneur and innovator behind the IT Audit Machines™, the Policy Machine™, Cybervisor™, “Your Personal CXO™” information security network, the Security Trifecta™ philosophy, Survival Guidance series of audit protocols, and the globally popular Holistic Operational Readiness Security Evaluation (HORSE) Project™. He has also been responsible for a plethora of innovations, efficiencies and business enhancements for his employers throughout his career.

As the author of multiple books and publications, most recently the Security Trifecta, Securing the C Level, Governance Documentation and Information Technology Security Policies Demystified as well as thousands of social media networking, professional network syndication, and industry feature publications. He has contributed significantly to curriculum development for graduate degree programs in information security, advanced technology, cyberspace law, and privacy, and to industry standard professional certifications.
He has been featured in many publications and broadcast media outlets as the “Go to Guy” for executive leadership, information security, cyberspace law, and governance. Michael’s influence reaches deep into the international business community. As a highly accomplished, senior IT corporate officer and recognized expert in IT operations, systems, data, and network security, risk and privacy, At his current career position, Michael’s leadership and influence has reached deeply into the international business community for dozens of corporations of all sizes throughout the world.

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Zylstra, Steve

Rating: 4.00

Steven G. Zylstra, Sc.D. (Hon.) serves as president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council, a role he assumed in December of 2007. He is responsible for strategy, development, operations and accomplishment of policy development, business goals and objectives and all financial matters related to the Council.

Zylstra is a vocal spokesman for the value technology can provide in raising social and economic standards in Arizona. He is a leading advocate for improving science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.

From 2000 to 2007, Zylstra served as president and CEO of both the Pittsburgh Technology Council and Catalyst Connection. He concurrently served as president and CEO of the Pennsylvania NanoMaterials Commercialization Center and the Doyle Center for Manufacturing Technology, both Technology-based Economic Development (TBED)-focused organizations. Additionally, Zylstra was president of the Pittsburgh Biomedical Development Corporation, an affiliated organization of the Pittsburgh Technology Council that invested in start-up biomedical and biotechnology companies.

Prior to arriving in Pittsburgh, Zylstra was the director of business development for Simula Technologies, Inc., of Phoenix, Arizona, since 1995. Simula specialized in the research, development, testing and manufacturing of high-technology transportation seating and safety systems, advanced polymers, composite technologies and ballistic armor systems.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in Automotive Engineering Technology from Western Michigan University, Zylstra was employed as a design engineer for the Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Michigan, as a design engineer for Ford Aerospace & Communications Corporation in Newport Beach, California and as a senior design engineer and technical manager for Bendix Guidance Systems in Teterboro, New Jersey.

From 1984 to 1995, Zylstra served as general manager of General Pneumatics Corporation, Western Research Center (WRC), in Scottsdale, Arizona. During his tenure at WRC, the company was granted 19 Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program awards.

While in Arizona in the 1980’s and 1990’s, he was a co-founder and member of the Governor’s Arizona Science and Technology Council, as well as a co-founder and past chairman of the Arizona Innovation Network. Zylstra also was a member of the Governor's Arizona Partnership for the New Economy, and he served as director and Executive Committee member of the Arizona Technology Incubator. He also served as chairman of the Governor’s Strategic Partnership for Economic Development, High Technology Industry Cluster. He was a past director of the Arizona Technology Development Authority, and he was a member of the Governor’s Council for Workforce Development Policy. Zylstra also served as past chairman of the industry advisory council of Arizona State University’s Corporate Leaders Program, as well as a director of the Arizona State University Research Park in Tempe and Arizona-based Scientific Monitoring, Inc.

Zylstra currently is a member of the Arizona District Export Council and (U.S.) Council on Competitiveness and serves as chairman emeritus of the Technology Councils of North America (TECNA). He is a fellow of The Aspen Institute’s Communities That Work Partnership.

He serves on numerous committees and boards including the Arizona Bioscience Roadmap Steering Committee; Arizona Career and Technical Education Quality Skills Commission; Arizona Department of Education - CTE Quality Skills Commission; Arizona District Export Council Board; Arizona Science Center Board of Trustees; Arizona Pathways to Prosperity Initiative; Center for the Future of Arizona’s (CFA) Pathways to Prosperity State Working Group; CEMOSoft Advisory Team; Computing Technology Industry Association’s (CompTIA) Global Trade and Market Access Committee; EWI Manufacturing Innovation Center Advisory Board; Industry Partner Board of the University of Arizona, College of Engineering; Information Systems Executive Advisory Board in the Department of Information Systems, W.P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University; Maricopa Community College Workforce Development Leadership and Innovation Council; Metro Phoenix Export Alliance; Paradise Valley School District Center for Research, Engineering, Science and Technology (CREST) Advisory Board; Phoenix Coding Academy Advisory Council; Science Foundation Arizona’s STEM Network Advisory Council; Sonoran Schools Advisory Board; Sun Corridor Inc. Board of Directors; Teach for America – Phoenix Corporate Working Group; and Wilkes University – Mesa Advisory Board.

Zylstra is also an Ex-offcio member of the Board of Trustees of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and also chairs its Board of Stewards.
Zylstra holds a bachelor’s degree in automotive engineering technology from Western Michigan University. In 2011, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science in Technology from the University of Advancing Technology.

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