Legislative / Regulatory | Technology & Social Media

Survey offers early glimpse at how CPAs use mobile

Smartphone2 The numbers say it, and so do the thought-leaders: The mobile movement is big, and the way we do business might hang in the balance.

But what about CPAs? How are they using their mobile devices, and what does it say about the profession?

The MACPA wanted to take a step toward answering those questions, so we sent a survey out to our members and asked for their opinions. Here's a taste of what they had to say:

  • What devices are they using? Most CPAs surveyed use either a standard cell phone (32 percent) or a BlackBerry (36 percent). Nearly one in five, though, use an iPhone, and 18 percent use either Android- or Windows-based devices. Five percent own a Kindle or other e-book reader.

  • Smartphones are on the rise: Impressively, nearly 70 percent of respondents say they own a smartphone, and 26 percent of them plan to upgrade their devices within the next year. Of those without smartphones, 27 percent plan to purchase one within the next 12 months.

  • How are they using their mobile devices? Not surprisingly, most CPAs use their mobile devices to make work-related phone calls (81 percent) and send / read e-mail (73 percent). But 34 percent are also texting, 31 percent are reading news and professional analyses, 27 percent are surfing the Web, 19 percent are using GPS or other location-based tools, 13 percent are using social media tools and 7 percent are listening to podcasts or other audio content -- all on their mobile devices. When CPAs are off the clock and on their own personal time, the numbers in each of those categories are even higher.

  • How much time are they spending on their mobile devices? Nineteen percent of CPAs say they spend more than 10 hours per week on their mobile devices -- 19 percent! Twenty-seven percent use their mobile devices between five and 10 hours each week, 39 percent use them between one and five hours each week, and 15 percent spend less than an hour a week on their devices.

Long story short, it appears as though CPAs are on the frontlines of the mobile movement. And if our most trusted business advisors are there, the rest of us should be paying pretty close attention as well.

If you're interested, there's still time give us your feedback. Take our survey, then tell us: How is the mobile movement affecting your business?


Bill Sheridan