Keeping up with new technology has been instrumental in the firm’s success over the past seven years, and is essential in order to offer these services and to accomplish the goals Matthew has for his practice. The firm uses a SaaS-based professional accounting suite, offers QuickBooks hosting services to its clients and has used client portals for several years. All client documents, including returns and financials, are generated electronically, with clients having to opt-out if they want those items in print format.
“Portals have been great for boosting our efficiency, since we no longer have to coordinate and package tax returns and financial statements, or generate paper-based client materials while in the middle of performing other work. Clients can simply log in and retrieve their own documents when they need them.”
It’s all part of his larger strategy of taking his practice, and his clients, completely digital and online. He notes that, while there are a handful of elderly clients who are not as open to the new technologies, “most are fairly tech savvy,” and he and his staff provide them with training to help them understand how to log into their portals through the practice’s website. He has gained some of his firm management insight through his membership in the Professional Association of Small Business Accountants (www.pasba.org) and the RootWorks Academy (www.rootworks.com).
Each member of the firm’s staff has dual-screen monitors, except for Matthew, who has a triple screen. He’s also an avid iPhone fan, uses remote access technologies and writes a blog called the ADD Accountant (http://theadd accountant.typepad.com). The practice scored a 432 on The CPA Technology Advisor’s Productivity Survey (www.CPATechAdvisor.com/productivity), a free online tool that helps tax and accounting practices assess their use of technology and workflow processes.
Despite the recession, Matthew’s technology acumen and aggressive management style have helped the firm realize dramatic growth over the past two and a half years. It has doubled in revenue and size with the acquisition of a small tax practice, and has added two administrative staff members and three accountants, including one who offices remotely from Philadelphia. They also gain two or three new clients per month, with a growth goal of 30 new clients per year.
Prior to starting his own firm, Matthew worked for seven years at Arthur Anderson and the Memphis office of Deloitte & Touche. His initial intent at Huntingdon College was to go to law school after receiving his BS in accounting, but after internships for an attorney and an accounting firm, he says he had a “light bulb” moment. So he took interviews with all of the Big 6 firms at the time, and Anderson hired him immediately. Matthew then completed a Masters in Accounting from the University of Memphis.
Matthew and his wife Mandy, a physical therapy assistant, met while in college, where he played baseball and she was on the soccer team. They have three children: Mallory, Maddie and Mason. Family time is often spent coaching his daughters’ basketball teams or at Windyke Country Club. The family attends Hope Presbyterian Church.
He is on the board of Heartlife Professional Soul-Care, a nonprofit faith-based counseling organization. In addition to the AICPA and Tennessee Society of CPAs, Matthew is a board member for PASBA and a founding member of the American Academy of Accounting and Tax Professionals. Locally, he is active with the Germantown Chamber of Commerce, which recognized his practice as the 2007 Small Business of the Year. PASBA also recently honored Patrick Accounting as its Small Practice of the Year.