Rick Telberg

CPAs Take the Lead on Technology

Are you using the best hardware and software available? Join the survey; get the answers. Tune in to see Rickís latest Video Snacks.

July 21, 2008
by Rick Telberg/At Large

Technology has been kind to accountants and finance managers, but in a sense, it’s also been cruel.

On the kind side, we’re blessed with powerful tools that allow us to get a lot done much faster than we used to. Few other professions lend themselves to such extensive productivity through advanced technology. Accountants and computers were meant for each other.

On the cruel side, technology never seems satisfied with itself. It charges forward as if today’s tools were as slow as ox carts and as dumb as stone.

What's on the CPA technology wish list?

Join the survey; see the results.

(Free. Confidential.)

So itís great to have the tools of technology, but itís always a challenge to keep up with whatís new and what needs to be used. The finance and accounting shops that keep up are going to be the shops that get ahead.

With that in mind, we've been asking our readers to rate their practices on how well they keep up with the galloping digital age.

But first, ask yourself four key questions:

  1. How often is your organization among the first to adopt new technologies?
  2. Do you make and follow a strategic technology plan?
  3. Can you get thorough and continuous training?
  4. How many people in your office work with the best equipment and software available?

Then, join the survey panel and we'll let you know how your shop compares. From the first 100 responses, we can already start to see some trends:

  • CPAs are generally on the leading edge of adopting new technologies with the best software and equipment available.
  • They worry that they may be lagging in follow-up training and long-term planning.
  • Improving current systems tops their strategic wish-lists, with "going paperless" and "improved efficiency" leading the agenda.
  • They're looking to upgrade their critical hardware and applications: laptops, notebooks, printers and tax and accounting software.

Interestingly, the comments may be more illuminating than the stats.

Hereís one of the most provocative so far: "If I could change anything about my companyís technology setup it would be managementís recognition of the value [of] dual monitors, laptops and faster response times with systems. We are consistently told by management we are in 'high performance positions'; however, there is nothing high performance about the equipment in our offices. (Most of us have better computer setups in our own homes than we do on our office desk.) Since many senior managers are not hands-on when it comes to computers they donít recognize the time and money loss that goes with less than 'high performance' computers and systems."

Hereís another: "I would like to see our firm develop an ongoing strategic plan, with the commitment to continual maintenance and replacements. We tend to love the technology and are fine with making initial financial investments, but we need to realize that technology requires attention beyond that."

HOW DOES YOUR SHOP RATE? Join the survey; get the answers.

SOUND OFF: Questions, ideas, rants, raves? Leave a comment.

TUNE IN: Watch Rick’s latest Video Snacks.

Copyright © 2008 CPA Trendlines/BSG LLC. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission. First published by the AICPA.

About Rick Telberg

Rick Telberg is editor at large/director of online content.

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Disclaimer: Any views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the AICPA or CPA2Biz. Official AICPA positions are determined through certain specific committee procedures, due process and deliberation.