Column: My Perspective
From the April 2011 Issue
It’s been a fast paced year. Like you, I’ve been busy with tax season activity and ensuring that my clients’ needs were met. In tandem, my team and I here at the magazine have been hustling to put together a knock-it-out-of-the-park first issue. We’ve changed the name and size of the publication, added columns, and procured new and highly creative writing talent. Our goal was to re-vamp the publication to meet the changing needs of the profession, and I feel confident we’ve accomplished just that.
Let’s talk history for a minute. 2011 marks the 20th anniversary of the magazine. We started out as The CPA Software News, concentrating primarily on traditional software reviews. Then in 2004, the name changed to The CPA Technology Advisor in order to broaden the scope of content and include a variety of emerging technologies. Today, it’s time for another change.
We understand that the profession requires more than just reporting on new technologies. With the advent of numerous innovations, including cloud services, portals and mobile apps, firms are also looking for guidance on practical application of these technologies. Accounting professionals want to know where applications “fit in” to their internal systems, best practices for implementation, and the affect on workflow. In response, we’ve re-positioned the magazine to be a resource for broad practice improvement. Welcome to the first edition of CPA Practice Advisor and NSA Practice Advisor
With this issue, we offer you new content. Great new content! It’s been my experience that the best resources are fellow practitioners. Accounting professionals should be looking to each other for answers … to see what’s working and what’s not. Our new “Great Practices” column offers a “view” into other firms. The inaugural feature spotlights Jason Lawhorn of Lawhorn CPA Group, Inc. — providing intimate detail on the firm’s new model for firm acquisition (see page XX). Our hope is that firm leaders will contact us with their own stories of innovation for future columns (www.CPAPracticeAdvisor.com/GreatPractices).
Many firms are also actively exploring new territory, including marketing. We’ve answered that call by adding to our online exclusive marketing column, MarketingWorks, written by Scott Cytron, with new columnist, Kristy Short. A veteran in the accounting profession and expert on all things creative, Kristy offers a fresh voice for our newly added “Marketing in Practice” column. Look for the first of her columns in our June 2011 issue.
Greg LaFollette, CPA.CITP will also contribute to the magazine with a dedicated column on mobile solutions and devices and how they fit into a firm (see page XX). With more accountants relying on smartphones and other remote technologies, this information will be of significant interest to the broad population.
In February of this year, we held our first Thought Leader Symposium — an annual event that brings the profession’s leading thinkers and doers together to discuss trends, issues and brainstorm for workable solutions. The event honored the “Top 25 Thought Leaders” and was rich with peer-to-peer information exchange and presentations from CCH, Thomson Reuters and Sage North America. Vendors shared their visions on the profession’s direction and the technologies they will offer to mitigate pain points and accelerate efficiencies in firms. Also honored at the event were Randy Johnston and Greg LaFollette. Powerful voices in the profession, both were recognized for their long-term contributions by being the first inductees into The CPA Practice Advisor’s Hall of Fame (see page XX for more on this event).
Finally, we have restructured the presentation of our product reviews. As you will see in the following pages, our product reviews will now provide you with key information points in a more concise and targeted format. We know your time is valuable, and we realize that there are certain things you need to know about a product at quick glance. That’s why our product reviews in print will now highlight the following key components: best firm fit (with our For Your Firm reviews), product delivery methods, pros and cons, pricing, an executive summary and star ratings. We will still provide full reviews of each product online, allowing you to look through these pages to pinpoint the products that most closely match yours or your clients’ needs … and then visit our website for more in-depth reviews.
We’ve made a lot of changes here at the magazine because there are so many changes taking place in the profession … always. And trust me; there are more to come. New technologies are being launched rapidly, and in a blink, current practices can be rendered outdated. Our main goal is to provide you with the information you need to stay ahead of change. So stay tuned in … closely. Start by reviewing all the information in this issue, including helpful and timely reviews, articles and announcements. And be sure to keep checking back with each new issue, as well as on our website www.CPAPracticeAdvisor.com, which will see some major changes in the coming months. More than ever before, firms require a reliable source to help navigate change. Let us be your trusted guide.