Count Me In®

Nov 16 2020 17 mins 244

IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) brings you the latest perspectives and learnings on all things affecting the accounting and finance world, as told by the experts working in the field and the thought leaders shaping the profession. Listen in to gain valuable insight and be included in the future of accounting and finance!

Ep. 88: Karin Baggstrom - How Has COVID-19 Accelerated Business?
Sep 21 2020 21 mins  
Karin Baggström is the co-founder and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at STARZPLAY (, the leading subscription video on demand (SVOD) service that streams to over 20 countries across Asia, Middle East and North Africa. As the CFO, Karin has driven the development and implementation of the company’s financial strategy and operating model. She has played a key role in securing investments, from the first seed investment to the later rounds, through to its subsequent growth and expansion taking STARZPLAY to its market leading position with more than 1.7 million subscribers. Thanks to a sound financial strategy, STARZPLAY is now on the brink of profitability just over five years from its launch, a very short time frame for an SVOD service in an emerging market. Karin has spent the best part of the last two decades working with technology start-ups throughout Europe and more recently in the MENA region. Before joining STARZPLAY, she co-founded a taxi-app start-up that pioneered in Stockholm and in 2012 she joined the HBO Nordic venture, a joint venture between HBO Inc. and a Swedish technology services company. In this episode of Count Me In, Karin talks about how the digital transformation in finance and accounting has played a role in the STARZPLAY business model, explains how her company has reported an increase in the number of subscribers throughout this pandemic, and shares her thoughts on how difficult times can accelerate business. Download and listen now!

Ep. 73 - Mazars USA: CARES Act, PPP, and Business Planning
Jun 22 2020 20 mins  
Mazars USA LLP is a global accounting, advisory, audit, tax, consulting firm assisting clients in the most competitive industries in the world. In this episode of Count Me In, three professionals from Mazars joined us to talk about the CARES Act and PPP loan, and discussed what they've been able to do to help their clients navigate through these uncertain times. John Confrey, CPA has more than 7 years of public accounting experience, providing attest and advisory services primarily in the real estate industry for both public and private companies. John’s clients include SEC Registered Investment Advisors, real estate private equity funds, separate accounts for institutional investors, Real Estate Investment Trusts, and residential building owners and managers. Ryan Vaughan, CPA has over 10 years of diversified public accounting experience providing tax and consulting experience to emerging, mid-market, and large multi-national companies. Ryan leads the Chicago Tax practice and Tax Credits & Incentives practice providing tax services to companies in a multitude of industries including manufacturing and distribution, energy, technology, real estate, retail, financial services, and health care. Alisha Jernack, CPA has more than 10 years experience servicing entrepreneur’s and small businesses. She specializes in financial reporting, tax and advisory services to family-owned and owner-operated businesses in trucking, warehousing, logistics, and heavy-haul businesses, as well as various manufacturing and distribution industries, and various service industries. John, Ryan, and Alisha talk about the proprietary analysis tool they developed, explain the kind of value their clients have realized from this model, and discuss what these events mean for business going into the future. Download and listen now!

BONUS | Wendy Tietz - Leading Online Learning
Mar 28 2020 13 mins  
Wendy Tietz, Ph.D., CMA, CSCA, CPA, is a professor in the Department of Accounting in the College of Business Administration at Kent State University, where she teaches financial accounting and managerial accounting. She teaches in a variety of formats, including large face to face, hybrid synchronous web-based, and asynchronous web-based. She authors a blog, Accounting in the Headlines, which has real-world news stories and resources for use in the introductory accounting classroom. Wendy has been published in several accounting journals and is the co-author of two accounting textbooks (Managerial Accounting, Braun & Tietz, 2017, 5th ed, Pearson Education and Financial Accounting, Thomas, Tietz & Harrison, 2018, 12th ed, Pearson Education). She has won numerous teaching awards at the college, university, and national levels and remains involved in IMA at the local, state, and global level, as well as serving as a member of AAA, AICPA, and Ohio Society of CPAs. Wendy is extremely passionate about introductory accounting education, social media, engagement, and educational technology. All these passions have been combined in today's business environment as she, like many others, has been forced to teach exclusively online and incorporate different social media and engagement strategies through educational technology to continue with her accounting curriculum. To learn from Wendy's experiences and hear some practical steps for leading online learning, download and listen to this episode now!

Ep. 56: Peter Margaritas - Storytelling in the Foreign Language of Accounting
Mar 23 2020 20 mins  
Peter Margaritis, CPA, CSP, is a keynote speaker, improv virtuoso, podcaster, and the author of “Improv Is No Joke: Using Improvisation to Create Positive Results in Leadership and in Life” and “Taking The Numb Out of Numbers: Explaining and Presenting Financial Information with Confidence and Clarity.” In this episode of Count Me In, Peter talks about why FASB needs to make changes to better enable accountants to speak the 'foreign language'. He explains how that idea and storytelling relates to 'taking the numb out of numbers', a reference to his recent book. Peter has a Master’s Degree in Accountancy from Case Western Reserve University and he is a licensed, non-practicing, CPA in Ohio. Peter has worked for companies such as Price Waterhouse, C&S National Bank, Ohio Dominican University, and Victoria Secret Catalogue, (not as a model). Peter has earned the highest credential of Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) from the National Speakers Association and he is one of only 12 CSPs & CPAs in the Association. Peter is a past chairman of the Ohio Society of CPAs executive board and a former delegate to the AICPA governing council. He talks about his public accounting experience and how the role has shifted to require new skills in today's accounting world. Want to know why accounting standards need to change? Interested in hearing how to make numbers less numbing? This is a highly engaging episode that covers it all. Download and listen now!

Ep. 55: Alessia Falsarone - 2020: The Year of ESG Data
Mar 16 2020 20 mins  
Alessia Falsarone, SASB FSA is a Managing Director in the Global Fixed Income team at PineBridge Investments in New York, a private, global asset manager focused on active, high-conviction investing. As Head of Sustainable Investing and Chair of the firm’s Corporate Responsibility Steering Committee, she brings an integrated portfolio management lens to the investigation of the Environmental, Social and Governance practices of global organizations that access developed credit markets. Previously, Ms. Falsarone served as Vice President of Global Investments in the office of the CIO at Citigroup, and as a quantitative strategist on Citigroup's institutional research desk in San Francisco. She started her career as an investment banker with Credit Suisse. Additionally, Ms. Falsarone is a Governance Fellow of the National Association of Corporate Directors and an active member of several technical expert groups including the Standards Advisory Group of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), the Advisory Council of the Green and Social Bonds Principles, and the UN PRI Advisory Committee on ESG in Credit Risk and Ratings. With all this experience, Alessia talks to us here at Count Me In about all things relating to ESG data and integrated reporting, with a focus on how technology has influenced stakeholder decisions in this area. Upon the completion of this episode, you will certainly understand why Alessia refers to 2020 as the year of ESG data!

Ep. 36: WBCSD & IMA - Enhancing the Quality and Value of Corporate Sustainable Business Information (with Mario Abela and Shari Littan)
Dec 19 2019 26 mins  
Sustainability is an integral part of mainstream business and investor decision-making. Transforming performance management, governance, and assurance to make this information more valuable for all stakeholders is a key reporting task in today's business. Management accountants - corporate accounting and finance professionals - can apply many of their skills to make sustainability information more reliable and informative and, therefore, more value-added for their organizations. In this episode, we at Count Me In hosted Mario Abela, CMA, CPA, Director of Redefining Value for the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and Shari Littan, CPA, JD, Manager of Corporate Reporting Technical Activities at IMA, to have a conversation about enhancing the quality and value of corporate sustainable business information. Mario's expertise is in corporate reporting and he has held senior management positions in both the private and public sectors in Australia, Belgium, the United Kingdom and the US. He has extensive regulatory and standard setting experience. Mario is a visiting professor at IESEG School of Management in Paris where he teaches in the Masters in Accounting, Audit and Control program. He is also an expert advisor to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development on corporate reporting. Shari contributes thought leadership content as part of the Research and Policy team at IMA. Prior to joining IMA, Shari was a full-time editor and author for GAAP Reporter on Thomson Reuters Checkpoint, which helps professionals understand and stay current on financial reporting guidelines. In 2015, she completed the Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Business, with commendation, from the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership. Shari also holds a JD from Boston University School of Law and a BS, magna cum laude, from the School of Management at Binghamton University. This is an extremely valuable episode for all business professionals, so download, listen, and review now!

BONUS | Linda Devonish-Mills - IMA's Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion
Oct 17 2019 13 mins  
Linda Devonish-Mills, CMA, CPA, CAE, MBA, IMA's Director of Diversity and Inclusion, is an accounting and finance professional with over 15 years of experience in the nonprofit industry. She has held various leadership positions at prominent nonprofit organizations such as the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) in areas such as technical accounting, diversity and inclusion, governance, business development, publication of articles in trade publications and development of technical content for certified examination programs. Linda serves as Vice President for the Alumni Board of Governors at Fairleigh Dickinson University and also represents IMA on a national diversity and inclusion Committee led by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). Linda has held senior management positions in industry that involve tasks related to financial reporting, internal and external auditing functions at a Fortune 500 company, Time Warner and a Big Four accounting firm, Ernst Young. For this bonus episode of Count Me In, Linda talks to us from our headquarters in Montvale, NJ about her role at IMA and how she has evolved her position and IMA's commitment to diversity and inclusion. With such leadership experience and knowledge in strategic initiatives, Linda also shares best practices for listeners to bring similar initiatives to their own organizations.

Ep. 13: Kirstie Tiernan - Investigative Accounting in Today's Industry
Aug 26 2019 14 mins  
Kirstie Tiernan,CFE, OCA, Managing Director in BDO's Chicago Office, discusses the different aspects of digital forensics and e-discovery services in today's accounting industry. With over 15 years of experience providing data analysis, IT advisory, and investigative accounting services, Kirstie shares insights for managing fraud detection and prevention projects, as well as the use of technology for improving overall business functions. Kirstie regularly conducts fraud investigations and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) compliance reviews, in addition to providing fraud prevention services across various industries. She is experienced in managing fraud detection and prevention analysis projects requiring the collection of entire general ledger systems data from multiple sources such as Peoplesoft, SAP and Oracle. Kirstie also conducts anti-bribery compliance reviews, having managed engagements at several Fortune 500 companies, as well as an international review at a Fortune 10 client that resulted from allegations of FCPA violations. In this episode of Count Me In, Kirstie tells us how she approaches projects with a focus on process efficiency, regularly implementing technological advancements within systems and databases in order to improve and accelerate time-consuming client processes. With some practical examples and real-life stories, Kirstie talks about how emerging tech has changed the accounting services industry in the last 5 years, as well as where she expects it to go in the future!

Ep. 11: John Garrett - Creating Unique Cultures That Attract and Retain Top Talent
Aug 12 2019 15 mins  
John Garrett, the “Recovering CPA” and author of the upcoming book What’s Your "And"? talks to us about how he helps companies recognize why their culture matters. Current keynote speaker, emcee, and host of What’s Your "And"? Podcast, John graduated from the University of Notre Dame and became a CPA with PricewaterhouseCoopers before working several years in industry. Since then, he’s written two Emmy-nominated awards shows, has a comedy album on Sirius XM, and has been on stage over 2,000 times, opening for the likes of comedian Louie Anderson and the band Train. He received his Certified Public Accountant Certificate from the State of Illinois. As a former CPA, Senior Financial Analyst and Business Development Director, John’s experience ranges from being an integral team member for his Big Four Firm’s largest financial services client to helping launch a startup company. The CPA-turned-Catalyst for Culture Change has been researching how professional’s hobbies and passions impact their career and in turn, create a stronger workplace culture. Now he works with organizations to attract and retain top talent by adapting to “the future of professionalism.” He steps up to shatter the stereotype about accountants and explains that everyone has a unique skillset or passion that should be brought to the office to build trust and create a high performing culture.

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