February 2016

In This Issue:

~February Membership meeting~
~President's Message~
~February News~
  • Five Hacks to Boost your Productivity 
  • Tax ID Theft- Major concern for IRS
  • How to Ask for a Raise with Confidence

~Board of Directors~

~Committee Updates~

~AFWA Foundation~

~Annual Conference~



  Date:  Tuesday, February 23, 2016
  Doors Open:  6:00pm
  Location:  Biltmore Hotel & Suites
    2151 Laurelwood Road
    Santa Clara, CA 95054

February Membership Meeting
  Professor Annette Nellen, CPA, CGMA, Esq.
There were many tax changes in 2015. Congress packaged its 140+ changes in numerous bills that did not have "tax" in the title. Activities of the IRS and courts brings us new due diligence considerations and procedures. This presentation will cover key federal and California updates with a focus on individuals and small businesses. The outlook for 2016 tax changes will also be addressed.

Annette Nellen, CPA, CGMA, Esq., is a professor in and director of San José State University's graduate tax program (MST), teaching courses in tax research, accounting methods, property transactions, business entities, employment tax, ethics, and tax policy and reform.
Annette serves on the AICPA Tax Executive Committee (vice-chair) and the AICPA Tax Reform Task Force. She is a past chair of the AICPA Individual Taxation Technical Resource Panel. Annette is a monthly contributor to the AICPA Tax Insider e-newsletter. In 2015 she was appointed to the California Board of Equalization Executive Director's Advisory Council for a two-year term. Annette is the author of Bloomberg BNA Tax Portfolio #533, Amortization of Intangibles . She is also the author of Bloomberg BNA Internet Law Resource Center's portfolio, Overview of Internet Taxation Issues . She is an editor for two of the Southwestern Federal Taxation textbooks. She is a columnist for Tax Analysts' State Tax Notes .

Annette is a graduate of CSU Northridge (BS Accounting), Pepperdine (MBA), and Loyola Law School (JD). Prior to joining SJSU in 1990, Annette was with Ernst & Young and the IRS.
Please Note: Get registered online early since the registration will close the Sunday before the meeting.  Cost at the door the day of goes up for guests AND members. 


Eileen Perry 
AFWA - Silicon Valley Chapter President
It is February and love is in the air! With it being the month of February, I hope no one minds me taking the liberty to talk about something a bit off track. I want to talk about my special someone who is my Valentine. As some of you know, he is amazingly friendly and loves chatting it up with anyone who will hold still long enough. He has been by my side for going on 9 years and seen me power through some of the hardest years of my life.

I moved to the Bay Area from a very small rural area in the middle of nowhere 10 years ago to go to school and find more opportunity. (The town I grew up in only has one stop light.) Since moving here, I have mainly attended school full-time, worked, and participated in various organizations in and outside of school. I will be honest, anyone who knows me prior to moving to California will say that during these last 10 years I have become very boring. I have missed so many family functions and events with friends that it is amazing I still have any friends at all. However, my Valentine has supported me through two almost three college degrees, my time with AFWA board positions, work, and personal life situations. He is the one person I can count on to keep me grounded and focused. So, I want dedicate this little message in the month of love to him.

I hope that any of you going through obstacles and jumping through hoops of flames in your life, that you too have that special someone who is there. Don't forget to tell them how much you love them and appreciate them this month! Looking forward to sealing the deal and spending the rest of my life with my forever Valentine!

To my love, thank you and I love you!


Five Hacks to Boost Your Productivity

By Justine Kilby, Vice President of Strategy & Corporate Development at Ceridian

Is it just me, or are we all waking up wishing there were a few more minutes in the day to get through our To-Do's? The goal, of course, is to complete as many of them as possible without feeling completely stressed out. Since time's one thing we can't get more of, we've got to use our minutes as efficiently as possible.

Productivity is a tricky thing, though. How do our minds work? How can we control when we feel ready to get our jobs done and when we inevitably end up slacking off? Our approach to each new workday can be unpredictable.

According to Forbes, it takes a lot of research to really understand what's going on in the human brain. Ilya Pozin, founder of digital marketing agency Ciplex, points out that sometimes we're interested in tackling really meaty projects, while other times we prefer rote busywork. On some days, we're ready to be productive, but on others we're derailed simply because social media is distracting or the temperature drops by a few degrees.

Every day when I get in to the office, I am faced with a number of these distractions. Fortunately, I have developed a number of "productivity hacks" I use to ensure I remain as efficient as possible. You can try them as well, and they just might make you better at tackling your job each day.
  • Learn to Love the Lists
  • Plan for the week
  • Time yourself
  • Do the little things
  • Love yourself
continue reading this article

Tax ID Theft- Major IRS Concern
By Isaac M. O'Bannon, Managing Editor CPA Practice Advisor

The IRS has issued a filing season alert warning taxpayers to watch out for identity theft at tax time and highlighted the crime as the first scam in the agency's "Dirty Dozen" series.

Over the course of the past year, as part of the Security Summit initiative, the IRS partnered with states and the tax industry to enhance coordination and create a more secure system for taxpayers.

Security Summit participants, including the IRS, will regularly share details of fraudulent schemes detected this season so industry and government have the same information and can adjust accordingly to provide increased protection. Many changes will be invisible to the taxpayer, but the more than 20 shared data elements are critical to making sure the IRS, states and industry can better verify the taxpayer and the legitimacy of the tax return.

more details here

How To Ask For A Raise With Confidence

Displaying self-assurance at work is critical, particularly when asking for a raise. Here are ways to raise your confidence prior to requesting a higher salary.

Nervous about negotiating with your boss? Does the thought of asking for a raise sound more painful than a root canal? You're not alone, according to Robert Half's new Confidence Matters survey, which looks at workers' confidence levels and attitudes about a range of career and salary issues.

Yes, salary discussions can be unnerving. But you're doing yourself a disservice if you allow your fear of an awkward conversation or being turned down keep you from requesting the pay bump you feel you deserve.

Simply put, if you have strong professional skills, you can't afford to let a shortage of self-assurance impede your earning potential. Following are six ways to increase your confidence before approaching your employer for more moolah:
  • Know the going rate
  • Build a business case
  • Rehearse and refine
  • Project confidence with your body language
  • Think positive
  • Don't over think the process


Board President:
Eileen Perry

Program Director:
Nicole Sheets

Newsletter/Web Chair:
Amrit Dhaliwal

President Elect:
Edronda Guiriba

Scholarship Director:
Julia Becklund

Hospitality Director: 
Allyson Girardi

Sue Stokke

CPE Chair:
Deborah Rosengarten

Hospitality Co-Chair: 
Barbara Lietzan

Lois Vega 
Membership Chair:
Fiona Stephenson, ACA

Immediate Past President:
Nicole Letellier



Chair: Nicole Sheets


There is an excellent line-up of programs for the Silicon Valley Chapter this year, and most of them qualify for CPE!  Check out the line-up as we have engaged some dynamic and outstanding speakers coming up for 2016.
Date- 03/16/16  
Joint Meeting with IMA
What to do When Everything Seems Urgent: Having it All Without Doing it All
Speaker: Mary Cravets 

LinkedIn Training and Creating a Powerful Professional Profile
Speaker: Sandra Clark

10th Annual Spring Wine Gala
Speaker: TBD 

Fiona Stephenson, ACA
  • All Levels of Accounting & Finance
  • Bookkeepers
  • Corporate Accounting Finance
  • Public Accounting
  • Management & Educators
  • Recruiters
If you would like to join the Silicon Valley Chapter of AFWA, follow the link to our National website:
Please feel free to complete the application or forward a copy to someone you think would benefit from joining our Chapter.
Prestigious status of professional affiliation
  • National contacts for networking and professional information
  • Forum for CPE
  • Scholarships
  • Leadership opportunities in supportive arena
  • Subscription to Accountability e-newsletter 
  • National and regional conferences at a discounted rate
  • Access to Career Center
  • Access to AFWA's LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter groups and National online membership directory
  • Discounted membership to the Institute for Management Accountants (IMA)
  • Discounted products and services through affiliation agreements (CPA review courses, CCH tax & accounting books, Long Term Care Insurance and Bank of America credit card)
Email Fiona- fiona.stephenson@rhmr.com

Hospitality Chair: Allyson Girardi
CPE Chair: Deborah Rosengarten, CPA

Reservation and cancellation policy:  
Reservations or cancellations are requested by noon on the Friday preceding each meeting.  Email Allyson- allyson.girardi@gmail.com to reserve or cancel. The goal is an accurate count for the hotel.  Unreserved members (not guests) incur a surcharge of $5.00.
Reserved members or guests who are no-shows will be billed if not cancelled by noon the preceding Friday. We do want you to come to the meetings and reservations are helpful but if you have to cancel let us know beforehand to avoid incurring the cost of the meal.

WE ACCEPT CREDIT CARD PAYMENT AT THE DOOR with higher cost. Online registration will close on Sunday before the event day. 
Volunteers are always welcome at our monthly membership meetings. Lend a helping hand to make our monthly events and meetings even more interesting while building a great network and forming new relationships.
CPE credit is available for participating in any of our qualified programs.  See Debbie for more details in person at the meeting.

Chair: Amrit Dhaliwal

Send in your articles!


We encourage our membership to submit articles of interest for our monthly newsletter.  Please make your submission under the following criteria...

  • Prepared as a Microsoft Word document
  • Photos in JPEG format
  • Captions are okay, no imbedded text, please

The newsletter is prepared and distributed on a monthly basis.  Visit our web site at www.afwasiliconvalley.org.  If you have questions regarding articles to submit or about the newsletter, email the newsletter chair, Amrit, amrit@expertquote.com.


Amrit is interested in hearing about your latest achievements and activities too, she will include the appropriate content in next newsletter. 

There are three sponsor levels of contribution established for the scholarship fund:
Sponsorship up to $150.00 
Sponsorship up to $200.00 
Sponsorship $350.00 or more

Share  the information! 
See Julia Becklund for more  details.
(Please contact Julia for information about our annual May Gala sponsor prices.)
Contact- julia@pcnt.com   


The Foundation is all about us, accounting and financial professionals, we strive every day to make a difference in the financial world and in our communities. The Foundation is charged with raising funds for national scholarships, and educational advancement of our peers and rising leaders. 


The Foundation offers each of us the opportunity to support the future direction of the profession where we have gained our own personal successes.


It is important to support those entering the profession and working alongside us. Those that follow in our footsteps have much to teach us and much to learn from us. They embody the next generation of accounting and financial professionals. Our goal for you and AFWA is to lead the way in their development.




The Foundation promotes and advances education, career development and leadership in finance and accounting. Our vision is to guide women along the path to achieve success in finance and accounting.



 Founded in 1938, AFWA/ASWA provides  women in accounting and finance the  leadership, education and networking  opportunities needed to achieve their career  goals. Celebrating 75 years as the only  organization that solely represents the interest  of women in the entire accounting and finance  community. The organization's mission is to  enable women in all accounting and related  fields to achieve their full personal,
professional and economic potential and to  contribute to the future development of their  profession.