Inside Swenson - Spring 2021 - Issue 14

A quarterly glance inside Swenson Advisors, LLP

Welcome to the Spring edition of our Inside Swenson newsletter. We are pleased to provide you with the latest news and update you on some of the exciting happenings at Swenson.


Swenson Children’s Foundation teamed up with Faith Community Church of Carlsbad (FCC) to deliver 2000 Spanish Bibles to the 1500+ migrant children at the San Diego Convention Center who recently crossed the US/Mexican border.

the border issue, we still recognize that thousands of children are in need of spiritual and emotional comfort. The community group managing these services welcomed these Bibles and our support. Young boys are now arriving at the convention, and we are helping them also -- See more details in the Swenson Children’s Foundation section below.


With a delay due to COVID-19, Statement No. 87 of the Government Accounting Standards Board, Leases (“GASB 87”) will be required for all government entities for fiscal years beginning after June 15, 2021.

Similar to FASB’s ASC 842 and applicable to both lessees and lessors, all leases will now be required to be reported on the balance sheet, or statement of net position, at the present value of future lease payments. Unlike ASC 842, which classifies leases as either operating leases or finance leases, under GASB 87 they are now just “leases” with accounting similar to finance leases under ASC 842.

Differences between ASC 842 and GASB 87 include:

  • While both provide accounting relief for short-term leases, for GASB 87 short-term treatment (essentially cash basis accounting) is only for those leases whose maximum possible lease term, rather than reasonably certain lease term, is 12 months or less.
  • While ASC 842 permits adoption of lease accounting effective the beginning of a reporting period which may not be the earliest period presented, GASB 87 requires adoption of lease accounting effective the beginning of the earliest period presented

Like Topic 842 (FASB), Swenson Advisors has a team in place ready to assist with GASB 87 implementation. We will provide a virtual training session through The Knowledge Group on June 16th. Stay tuned!


CONNECT w/ San Diego Venture Group helps to grow and fund great innovation companies by providing educational programming, mentorship, introductions, and access to capital.

InSoCal CONNECT is working to rebrand the Inland region of Southern California as a center of innovation excellence and high quality of life by acting as the catalyst linking startups and technology companies with local government, universities, professional service providers, and investors.


Connect, one of the nation’s first startup accelerators, was founded in 1985 by the University of California San Diego (UCSD), in partnership with the San Diego Regional EDC and private sector businesses, recognized the opportunity to establish an organization to transform San Diego’s growing research capabilities into an economic driver to increase the prosperity of the region.

San Diego Venture Group was established in 1986 for the purpose of bringing together people interested in new ventures and furthering individual companies in order to support the overall innovation economy.

The two organizations merged in 2019 as Connect w/ San Diego Venture Group, with the goal of becoming the prime support system for innovators in the San Diego region. Led by CEO Mike Krenn, Connect w/ San Diego Venture Group works to support entrepreneurs and startups from their beginnings and throughout their development by offering programs designed to help the companies grow as well as gain access to mentorship, education, and capital.

InSoCal CONNECT, patterned after Connect San Diego, was started by Swenson Advisors in 1998 as a private sector led 501(c)(3) organization focused on connecting businesses, government, and investors in the Inland Southern California region, with the goal of upgrading the brand image and culture of the region’s economy.


Swenson Advisors has been involved with Connect and InSoCal CONNECT (formerly known as Temecula CONNECT) since 1998. Swenson and local businesses started the InSoCal CONNECT program in Riverside County in 1998 and have continued the program to present. Steve Austin is Chairman of its Board of Directors. Prior to Swenson, Steve Austin worked with Connect during his days at Price Waterhouse, and he served regularly on the Springboard Committees.

Connect has been critical in changing San Diego from a Navy/tourist focused city to a technology juggernaut, and Swenson has served as its independent accountants for almost a decade.


Connect w/ San Diego Venture Group has developed programs designed to assist specific business groups.

Technology & Life Science Companies

  • Springboard matches businesses with an expert team of mentors for valuable feedback and assistance in growth and raising capital.
  • Cool Companies is Connect’s annual capital program which selects top tier, local entrepreneurs and grants them opportunities for direct access to capital providers. Cool Companies regularly attracts over 200 venture capitalists to the region annually.

Energy Startups

  • Energy Innovation Network provides programs for startups that are developing solutions to help California meet its energy goals.


Watch below or follow the link to find out what some of the entrepreneurs who have been helped by Connect w/ San Diego Venture Group have to say about their experiences:

Connect w/ San Diego Venture Group Presents: Meet the Entrepreneurs from Connect San Diego on Vimeo.


An article in the February 2021 issue of International Accounting Bulletin, titled “Reimagining the Accounting Industry’s Global Future” featured interviews with some of the industry’s global executives to get a feel for how they have coped with and assessed pandemic challenges, and the new initiatives they have set for 2021.

Steve Austin, Managing Partner (Integra International® member) of Swenson Advisors, addressed the issues confronting the Audit sector of the accounting industry. Using the Wirecard global fraud case (like Enron) as a case in point, Steve said:

“Wirecard will be an example that due diligence by top management is critical and that advisory services can impact the clarity of the audit performed. The lack of strong regulatory oversight allows fraud to perpetrate, coupled with the complexity of a digital world. The Big 4 are cognizant of this weakness and the need to bolster their independence rules and, perhaps, reduce the amount of advisory work done for attestation clients”.

Click below to read the February 2021 issue of the International Accounting Bulletin.

Click here to read more »


Founded in 1994, Integra International® is an interactive global association of more than 135 local independent accounting, tax, and consulting firms. Swenson Advisors has been a member of Integra International since 2000, and Steve Austin has been very active in its Board leadership and is currently on its Global Board.

Integra has been a participant in the International Accounting Bulletin’s yearly survey. The IAB’s yearly global survey and rankings are well regarded throughout the accounting industry and serve as a benchmark for organizations’ performance. This year’s IAB World Survey includes information from 52 global organizations, 30 networks and 22 associations.

Positive growth in fee income was seen across most regions for both networks and associations, with the exception of Latin America. In terms of staffing, growth was also seen in most regions despite the impact of Covid-19. Integra International’s growth in the industry was substantial, as shown in the chart below.

Click below to read the February 2021 issue of the International Accounting Bulletin.

Click here to read more »



Swenson Advisors sponsored Landon Cassill’s No. 4 car on Saturday, February 27 in an exciting race at NASCAR’S Homestead-Miami Raceway. Landon drove hard and powered his car to 20th place. When all the smoke cleared, it was definitely worth it as we raised several thousand dollars for the Swenson Children’s Foundation, and we thank all who donated. Click the video below for a shoutout from Landon Cassill!


During this time of Covid-19, anything we can do to insure the health and well-being of the people in our communities should be of prime concern to us all. With the goal of helping our employees stay healthy, we recently provided CPR/AED certification training to participants in our San Diego and Murrieta offices.

Extending our outreach, on March 7th, we were very pleased and honored to offer CPR/AED instruction to members of Faith Community Church in Carlsbad, CA, which now has an onsite automated defibrillator (AED) donated by Swenson Advisors. Lead Pastor Justin Windham and Elder Steve Austin welcomed Saul Saavedra, Director of Apex Medical Training, to train and certify twelve participants. We are very grateful to Saul for his excellent training program and for donating his time to this worthy cause.

We at Swenson Advisors are grateful for having had the opportunity to offer this vital training to Faith Community Church. Our sponsorship was intended also to honor Integra International’s former Global Chairman, the late Doug White and Integra’s Doug White Legacy Project, which supports the health and well-being of its members and colleagues by promoting lifesaving training and equipment in business locations worldwide.


The annual Read-a-Thon is Carrillo Elementary School's (Carlsbad, CA) biggest fundraiser of the year, with 100% of the proceeds going back to the School. Swenson Advisors and Swenson’s Children Foundation were pleased to be among the sponsors of the event, which took place in March 2021. Assisting in promoting as well as participating in the event were Anastasia and Raul Gonzalez, students at Carrillo and the children of Stephanie Gonzalez, a partner in Swenson Advisors, and grandchildren of Steve Austin (Swenson’s Managing Partner) and Gail Austin. Carillo’s Read-a-Thon is affiliated with the national Read-a-Thon program, whose goal is to raise money through donations while encouraging students’ love of reading.

Anastasia Gonzalez noted that this year’s fundraiser was one of the best ever and that their class won several prizes.


Scott Maxwell, CPA

Scott Maxwell is a CPA with over 25 years of experience (including Pricewaterhouse Coopers) in providing high-level tax consulting services to manufacturing, distribution, construction, real estate, oil and gas, professional service organizations, retail, distribution and closely held corporations. He is an outsourced tax partner for Swenson Advisors. Scott has a very broad base of technical experience in serving many businesses from small entrepreneurial companies to large multinational publicly owned corporations and has substantial experience in advising clients regarding mergers and acquisitions, multi-state taxation and tax credits, and complex global tax provisions.

Scott has four children and a number of grandchildren and is active in his church quartet.

Alisia Scudder, CPA

Alisia joined Swenson Advisors in 2018. Previously, she was an experienced Assurance Associate with PricewaterhouseCoopers in San Jose, California. Her areas of expertise are accounting and auditing, accounting for not-for-profit, technology, agribusiness, and real estate companies, and preparing not-for-profit/990 tax returns. Alisia’s background also includes auditing large IT and life sciences companies in the Silicon Valley. She graduated summa cum laude from Fresno State University and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the California Society of CPAs.

In January 2020, Alisia became a member of the Board of Directors of Oak Valley College and its Finance Committee. Steve Austin is on the Advisory Board of the College, which is a nondenominational, Christian liberal arts College in Rialto, CA, welcoming students from diverse backgrounds to explore their spirituality in an environment that both supports them and challenges them to “live, learn and grow in your faith.”

Alisia co-authored with Swenson’s Managing Partner, Steve Austin, CPA, MBA, and Michael Fraunces, JD, President of MD7 North America, an article titled “Lease Accounting: A Private Company Perspective,” which appeared in the Journal of Accountancy in July 2019 and addressed the impacts of transitioning to the new lease accounting standards.

Click here to read article »

Alisia’s interests and hobbies include healthy cooking and eating, hiking, outdoor activities, and being an aunt to her niece and nephew. Alisia loves traveling and says, “Thanks to Swenson, I’ve been able to travel to Europe, Denver, and Washington DC for conferences and working with clients.”

Alisia is also an expert at fishing thanks to many years of family fishing trips. She makes sure to “catch and release” fish since her dad isn’t there to clean and fillet them for dinner.


Many of you know Joel Colbourn, Swenson Advisors’ Lease Accounting Director, but you might not have known that he became a first-time grandfather on December 3, 2020 with the birth of his granddaughter, Margo.

Margo is now 4 months old and, because of the Covid 19 restrictions on travel, Joel has not yet been able visit her in Queens, New York. Joel and his wife, Sherrie will be flying to the East Coast very soon, and Joel has big plans to begin instructing Margo on the fine points of lease accounting.


To encourage Hope and Support, so that children can have Faith in their futures.

The NASCAR event at Homestead-Miami Raceway on February 27th was a great success for Swenson Advisors as well as for the Swenson Children’s Foundation. Landon Cassill, driver of Swenson-sponsored Car No. 4 was extremely supportive of our Foundation, for which we are most grateful. We are also grateful to all who donated over $3,000 to this fundraising event for the Foundation.

Now that we are experiencing some lifting of the Covid restrictions, we are beginning to plan some future events and programs:

  • Children’s Art Extravaganza 2021
    May 1st, 2021
    A creative and educational experience to inspire children with their artistic talents will be held on Saturday, May 1st at the East County Transitional Living Center. Cupcakes and goodies will be provided for all attendees!
  • Annual RUSH Cycle Charity
    We are hoping to join with RUSH Cycle for a fundraiser this summer and will keep you updated.
  • SwenDay
    We are in the planning stages of our next SwenDay. Stay tuned for more information.

Recent Community Outreach:

As you can see in the pictures below, we acquired a lot of Spanish bibles….in fact we purchased 100% of the printed inventory in the US at two large Bible publishing and distribution centers!

Coordinating with the South Bay Community Services group and UPS/FedEx, we moved very quickly to meet these needs in a week, shipping approximately 100 cases from Indiana to San Diego.

We also heard about the need for new clothes and toys for young boys ages 5-10. The boys are arriving as the girls are getting moved out to be with their parents or family member or to foster care. Again, we acted quickly and delivered dozens of new toys and new boys’ shirts the week of April 19th.