Leadership / Management | Technology & Social Media

Mobile and CPAs? It’s still all about the relationships

Mobile It was all things technology Sept. 13 at the MACPA's 2010 Technology Conference. We closed with a session on mobile strategies to a packed house, and I wanted to share some insights.

Did you know?

  1. Mobile is one of the top technology trends affecting us for the next decade, along with cloud computing, social and location-based / augmented reality.
  2. Pew predicts that “the mobile device will be the primary connection tool to the Internet for most people in the world in 2020.” Read the full report here.
  3. Our panelists were "found" via social media. Our own twitterati, Bill Sheridan, solicited our panel from Twitter and LinkedIn. (Panelists included Sharon Gubinsky, Jina Etienne and Byron Patrick.)

Here are my quick insights from moderating the panel and hanging out afterward at the reception sponsored by AccountingWEB and their Bloggers Crew:

  • Most of the CPAs (by show of hands) use smartphones.
  • Most have Facebook and/or LinkedIn accounts.
  • Several have iPads and are using them in their practices.
  • At least three CPAs had found clients via their social media work (Twitter and LinkedIn).
  • Several sole practictioners are uber-users of social media for marketing and client communications.
  • Byron mentioned his Citrix app that allows full access to firm network, apps and data via the iPhone and iPad (via his firm, Simplified Innovations).
  • Mobile quickly blurred into social, cloud computing and location-based discussions.
  • Many CPAs use social media to enhance real-life relationships to get information before meeting people in-person, or to stay in touch.

My bottom-line: Mobile (and social) are here, we need to pay attention, and they are valuable tools that can make CPA work very productive.

After the session, we hung out with a tech-savvy group who shared their stories -- Jillian Sposato, James Carroll, Robin Thieme, Caleb Newquist (who blogs at Going Concern), Gail Perry (editor at AccountingWEB), Leigh George, Maria Krowicki and more. (My apologies if I missed anybody -- please add in comments).

It was a great day, and thanks to all who led discussions and attended.

Prior posts and resources about mobile and CPAs: