President, Iconis Group LLC
Education: BS Accounting, Oglethorpe University
Professional Associations/Memberships: AICPA, GSCPA
Civic Involvement: GSCPA Task Forces (Real Estate & College Outreach);
Donates 5 percent of all revenues to help end cancer.
Hobbies: Photography, Motherhood, Baking
Cell phone: Droid, it’s incredible!
Favorite app: Dropbox because I can access my files from anywhere.
Are you using social networking (such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Plaxo, Facebook) as a marketing tool for your practice/business … or do you use such sites for personal use only? Have you gained any clients or seen other demonstrable benefits from the use of social networking? I’m big on Twitter and LinkedIn, and I write on my own blog at www.MyNumberCruncher.com. That is actually how I’ve been able to get clients. I think every client I have right now has somehow come from my efforts on social media. What I love about it is that I’m able to teach small business owners about finance and accounting. It is a really hard topic for owners, but I try to make it easy and fun … which, by talking to them in these forums, I’m really able to do. I also run AtlantaSmall.biz, which is a blog that provides advice to Atlanta small business owners on a wide range of topics. All of our contributors are experts in their field so we really have a source that is a one-stop-shop for small business owners looking for help.
What pitfalls or what unwritten rules of social networking etiquette exist, which are frequently missed by others in the profession? So many tax and accounting professionals talk at their clients and not with them. I feel like some people think it is important to throw in as many complicated words as possible. I throw that all out the window. I’m not as polished as the rest, but I’ll help you understand what is going on and won’t try to make you feel dumb in the process.
What ONE piece of technology could you absolutely not live without? Google voice. My little dark secret is that my main phone number is a Google voice number. I can have it ported to wherever I want, whenever I want. When someone calls that number and I’m working from home, I have it ringing my home and cell phone. And if I can’t pick up the phone, it goes to voicemail, which is then transcribed and emailed to me! It saves me so much time.
How many hours of the day are you plugged in and responsive to client needs? And what tools/products make it possible for you to have flexibility? I have a pretty flexible schedule, and most of my work does not involve one-on-one contact with my clients. This doesn’t mean that they don’t get excellent customer service, though. I focus on just one client at a time. I check email a few times a day and respond to everyone as soon as I can. This is a hard question to answer because I’m always responsive to my clients’ needs. That is the number one thought going on in my head. What will work best for them? What do they need to run their business better? I’ve just structured my business so that I’m not on the phone with them 24/7, but I try to make each and every one of them feel special.
Do you embrace cloud computing? 100 percent! I love the flexibility and added value I can provide. I use QuickBooks Online with clients a lot so we can all easily gain access to the numbers. I also use GoToMeeting for virtual meetings so clients can see my computer, and I can show them what we are talking about. Another service I use is Dropbox. I store all my files there, and I can access it from anywhere. A lot of my clients use it, too. This makes document storage and retention a breeze.
How is cloud computing changing the accounting profession, and how concerned are you with the security issues related to cloud computing? I think cloud computing will separate the new era of tax and accounting professionals from the old one. More and more business owners (especially small ones) will be using cloud computing in the coming years. If you aren’t aware of and using the technology, you might as well go back to using a typewriter.