Posts Tagged ‘technology’

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015

Technology & Consumers

It’s a Why Am I Surprised type situation. I periodically “meet” firms (they usually contact me to ask basic questions) that are not embracing the digital world robustly. Many times they have not even dipped their toe in the paperless world. Seventeen years ago my firm went paperless. For many of the more progressive firms it has been nearly that long.

Technology has taken amazing leaps. CPAs must keep-up and be aware of the giant leaps in technology if they are to be a firm of the future. That is why I wanted to share the following. It’s the 10 Hot Consumer Trends via ConsumerLabs.

For many years ConsumerLabs has been in tune with Technology and Consumers and has once again compiled predictions for next year in Tech Trends.  Today they released Ericsson’s 10 Hot Consumer Trends for 2016.  You can find the full story on our media rich website we built for this release

This is a quick list of the 10 on the list

  1. The Lifestyle network effect
  2. Streaming natives
  3. Artificial Intelligence
  4. Virtual Get Real
  5. Sensing Homes
  6. SMART Commuters
  7. Emergency Chat
  8. Internables
  9. Everything get hacked
  10. Citizen Journalism

Visit the website for the full story and media elements.

When you visit the website, be sure to hit the Read More button and also follow the link to a PDF of the full report – it is fascinating reading! And, extremely important information for progressive CPA firms.

For example, #2 Streaming Natives tells us that 20% of 16-19 year olds watch more than 3 hours of YouTube daily. The original internet generation does not follow this behavior and only 9% of today’s 30-34 year olds (millennials) watch 3 hours or more of YouTube daily. How will this change your clients and employees of the future? Are you doing YouTube videos to help your clients now?


  • Any sufficiently advanced technology is equivalent to magic.
  • Arthur C. Clarke

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

Help Us Understand Your Technology Needs – Complete This 2-Minute Survey

SurveyCPA copyI have known Beth Bruck of XCM Solutions for many years. She was formerly the CCH rep for my area of the country. Last year Beth made a career enhancement and joined the XCM team.

Beth and I have had many long conversations about CPAs and how to help them improve their firms. We never run out of things to talk about on that topic!XCM

I (as SurveyCPA) am joining with Beth and XCM to ask all of you to participate in a 2-minute survey based on your firm’s technology. It will help guide both of our organizations in the future.

Here’s a link to the survey.

Plus – – – (drum roll) – You will be entered in a drawing to win an iPad.


  • Winning takes talent, to repeat takes character.
  • John Wooden

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

The After Tax Season Debriefing

EinsteinI call it the ATS (after tax season) survey, others call it the annual post-mortem, the busy season debriefing and other various names.

It is an exercise CPA firms go through to assess the good and the bad (and I guess you could add ugly) of their just completed busy season. As you might expect, firm leaders go through the exercise of gathering key people for this discussion. Some firms survey the entire team for their input. Usually an action plan is the result of this exercise. But, then what happens? Often, very little actually happens to implement the necessary changes to make busy season better next year.

Make it different and better this year.

  • Design an internal survey that is divided into sections. There are some general questions to begin with and then there is a section for audit, tax, administration, technology/software and management/miscellaneous. Under the general category add a question ONLY for the accountants asking for feedback on the administrative teams performance and a question ONLY for the administrative team to comment on the performance of the accountants. Be sure to include a comment box and ask each “side” to give an example of above and beyond performance by the other team.
  • The firm administrator gathers all of the survey input and divides it by section. The audit section (raw data) goes to the Chair of the Audit Committee, the tax data goes to the Tax Chair, the firm administrator gets the admin section, technology comments goes to the IT leader and management/miscellaneous goes to the managing partner and firm administrator. These leaders use the data to meet with their committees and/or task forces to produce an action plan.

At my firm, the tax committee would not meet after busy season until they had this data. A brief summary of the feedback was made available to all team members and then the committees/departments shared their action plan after they met and reviewed the data.

Breaking it down into segments assures that more people are involved in the solutions and action plans have a better chance of being implemented. If you need a sample, feel free to contact me.

  • Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
  • Albert Einstein

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Accounting Technology Game Changers From Roman Kepczyk

I have counted on Roman Kepczyk to keep me “in the know” about accounting firm technology (and special, fun technology gadgets) for years. That’s why his recent blog post on the Xcentric Blog caught my eye.

Per Roman: Every few years there comes a time when the convergency of trends and technologies creates a noticeable jump in improved firm productivity and 2012 will be remembered as one of those years when the profession changed. The evolution of hardware, applications, communications, and workflows are proving to be the accounting “game changers” for the decade ahead.

Read more here.

  • If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe.
  • Carl Sagan

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

AAA Offers Two Fly-Ins This Spring

The Association for Accounting Administration is offering two specialized sessions for professionals involved in the management of accounting firms.

The two separate two-day educational and networking sessions will be held at the Marriott Detroit Metro Airport on May 8-9, 2012.

The annual Technology Fly-In has become a staple for AAA members involved in planning, implementation and management of the firms technology systems. Follow the link to learn more and to register.

The 2012 AAA Financial Management Fly-In is designed for bookkeepers, controllers, chief financial officers, financial, administrators and office managers who are responsible for the day-to-day financial operation of an accounting firm. Follow the link to learn more and to register.

  • If you were born without wings, do nothing to prevent them from growing.
  • Coco Chanel

Friday, April 13th, 2012

AICPA 2012 Top Technology Priorities

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of listening to Roman Kepczyk present and explain the AICPA 2012 Top Technology Priorities to The New Horizon Group of Consultants.

Here’s the list:

  1. Securing the IT environment
  2. Managing and retaining data
  3. Managing risk and compliance
  4. Ensuring privacy
  5. Leveraging emerging technologies
  6. Managing system implementation
  7. Enabling decision support and managing performance
  8. Governing and managing IT investment/spending
  9. Preventing and responding to fraud
  10. Managing vendors and service providers

Here are the top technology initiatives considered having the most impact:

  1. Information security
  2. Remote access
  3. Control and use of mobile devices
  4. Business process improvement with technology
  5. Data retention policies and structure
  6. Privacy policies and compliance
  7. Staff and management training
  8. Spreadsheet management
  9. Overall data proliferation and control
  10. Portals (vendor and client/customer)

This information comes from the AICPA survey conducted early this year. There were 2,259 AICPA member responses.

To me, a very important observation made by Kepczyk is the fact that a public accounting firm’s technology manager/director must now become much more strategic in their focus and become the competent technology visionary for the firm.

Today’s quote says a lot about leadership, people and technology in CPA firms.

  • There go the people. I must follow them for I am their leader.
  • Alexandre Ledru-Rollin