A Productivity in Practice Feature
Jason Blumer knows that some people think he’s a little different than the typical accountant, or at least the stereotype of an almost middle-aged one. Those “some people” include the tax manager at his practice, his staff and some of his clients… even his wife.
Maybe it’s the crazy eye glasses. Perhaps the jeans and flip-flops he wears to work. Or maybe it’s that he’s almost as likely to be sitting in a local coffee shop with his Apple MacBook Pro laptop, than in his office. You can probably throw a few of the other patrons and staff there into the mix. He wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I’m just not a guy who wants to wear a suit and tie all day.” Considering his notable achievements, what others may perceive as his eccentricities are simply bold statements of his individuality, which has also spawned an intense business savvy that has led him and his Greenville, South Carolina, practice to success.
The firm, Blumer & Associates, CPAs, PC (www.BlumerCPAs.com), was founded by his father, Marc Blumer, after a lengthy career as a managerial accountant and controller, and who had long wanted to attain the CPA credential and start his own practice. After Jason finished his degree in accounting from Wofford College, he also worked as an in-house accountant for a few corporations, as his father before him. But in 1997, both decided to study for and take the CPA exam together. Jason also went on to receive the CFE credential, designating him as a Certified Fraud Examiner.
So after receiving their CPA credentials, dad went on his way and bought out a small existing practice, and Jason worked for a couple of accounting firms for the next several years. By 2003, though, Jason had joined his father’s firm and helped it achieve rapid growth, implementing dramatic technology and workflow changes. Key among these was adoption of web-based or ASP-hosted professional solutions and trying to get his clients to do the same. He was one of the early professionals to see the promise of cloud computing for the profession, seeing that it would allow the practice to be more agile, work from anywhere and serve clients anywhere in the world.
This wasn’t just empty dreams, either. By 2009, when his father retired, the practice had grown to include clients across the country, including Washington, New York, Michigan, Texas and even Japan. The firm specializes in individual and corporate tax, fraud and forensic accounting, virtual bookkeeping services and strategic consulting, and has a strong client base that includes medical and dental practices, plus creative companies such as web developers, marketing firms and even an illustration house.
Since his practice and most clients use almost exclusively cloud-based accounting programs, he is able to collaborate with them, have video meetings or even access their files, no matter where they are and no matter where he is, whether it’s in the office, at home or sitting at his favorite table at the coffee shop in downtown Greenville.
In addition to turning the practice into a “virtual firm,” Jason was also an early adopter of paperless workflow practices and remote access capabilities for all of his staff, both of which fit perfectly into his cloud-based goals. All of the firm’s desktops have multi-screen monitors and, since nearly all of their professional programs are web-based, Jason is able to use his Apple MacBook Pro and iPhone to work on client files and data.
Blumer & Associates scored a 335 on the Productivity Survey (www.CPATechAdvisor.com/productivity), a free technology and workflow assessment tool now in its second version offered by The CPA and NSA Technology Advisor. At 39 years old, Jason was also recently selected as one of the 2010 “40 Under 40,” a program that recognizes the new generation of leaders in the accounting space. A special eBook featuring this year’s honorees is available at www.cpata.com/40under40/2010ebook.