Monday, December 14, 2009

Not your father's accountant

I stopped by a prominent outdoor gear store in Seattle yesterday right around closing time. I noticed that the clerk was going through every single one of the days transactions by hand. I asked him if that's how they did everything? He replied, yes as a matter of fact this is how we process our transactions. I asked if he had every considered a POS software? He told me that due to the nature of selling consignment goods it simply wouldn't work. For the first time in my life I found myself crying out for an accountant. I envisioned some sort of super hero accountant with the ability to leap paperwork in a single bound and make all this go away! Then the real doozy, the clerk mentioned that yes, indeed his father was an accountant. Now THAT really got me thinking. I'm sure all the returns for his company are perfect but what about day to day basic operations of the store? We've talked here about this and I've heard it talked about elsewhere but the conversation evolves slightly. Accountants and bookkeepers are becoming technology experts and de facto time management experts (or even super heros). Imagine if someone had come in and showed this company how installing a POS software and the ability to track consignment goods would save them HOURS of time? Heck, you can even download something right now off of the Intuit Marketplace developed by guys at the IPP! Now let's sync that software with an accounting software and wallah! Paper virtually eliminated and everything shows up at the accountants office ready to go (almost). The more accountants embrace technology change the more valuable they'll become to their customers. Something no one will admit is that accountants are quietly leading a tech revolution on Main Street America.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Welcome to Twitter

So you're an accountant or bookkeeper who's new to Twitter. Now what?

1. Who should you follow?

- It's important to follow people who provide information and also a little entertainment. An important thing to remember with Twitter is that people quickly block out the "spammers". If you're a bookkeeper or accountant new to Twitter I recommend following these guys;

@CPA_Trendlines and of course @LinkedCPA

As @JasonMBlumer put it so succinctly - "they tweet value". After following these guys for awhile you'll find that they're all witty and funny while being informative and intelligent. Most importantly they're always themselves. You won't fail if you try to emulate them in your Tweeting. They offer insight into their personal and professional life. Which brings us to our next question.

2. What should I Tweet?

Be professional, be polite, be funny, but always be yourself! It's critical to have a personality on Twitter. Start by sending out updates and insights both personal and professional. People quickly ignore the advertisers/spammers.

3. Twitter Best Practices.

When you first get introduced to Twitter you'll notice a few odd things. hashtags, @ symbols and RT or a little symbol. The # came from people searching twitter. If someone wants something to be found they'll type a # mark front of it. For instance while attending the Sleeter Conference if you're looking for news on Twitter from the Conference you would search #Sleeter and it would only bring up tweets labeled from that conference.

4. Why are people following me?

If they're following you on Twitter you're safe. You'll pick up a few different types of followers; those who follow everyone, those who follow you because you are interesting, and reciprocating followers i.e. you followed them they follow you back. One thing, don't be fooled by follower counts. Just cause someone has 8000 followers doesn't mean they're tweeting value. Check out who follows them; are they the type of people you want to be associated with?

5. What to Tweet with? is where you head to set up your account. After that download a piece of Twitter software or use - These Twitter clients give you a lot of versatility over the interface of I personally use TweetDeck on my computer and on my iPhone. You can see Tweets, @ Replies, Direct Messages and searches all right in front of you.