“Keeping up with technology is a perpetual process, no different than keeping up with the ever-changing tax laws. But I love it and am up for the challenge,” he said, noting that he admits to being somewhat of a techno geek.
One of the most successful changes they’ve made recently is the addition of client portals, which he says most of his business clients have embraced because of the enhanced collaboration “The more they use it and get comfortable with it, the more they like it. Personally, I think the changes have made accounting fun again, even though naturally we’re creatures of habit.”
Among the tools he uses to keep up with evolving technology is the free Productivity Survey at www.CPAPracticeAdvisor.com/productivity, which helps firms gauge how they are performing compared to similar regional practices, and also offers suggestions based on a firm’s needs. Zarin & Associates scored a 349 in July of last year, but through implementing new technology, portals and improved workflow processes, raised that score to 439 as of May 2012.
In addition to the remote access, portals and integrated professional accounting systems, the firm also uses multiple monitors at all workstations, with a goal of increasing that to three to four screens per desk this year. They are also continually experimenting with cloud apps and online storage options. But just because Ron is tech savvy doesn’t mean he’s lost the personal touch.
“We are a very progressive firm with old-fashioned values,” Ron said. “We’re passionate about serving our clients to the best of our ability, and I think we go to the nth degree. This is the very foundation on which our firm was built, and we make all efforts to really get to know our clients and to understand how they tick. The more we know about them, the more we can help them.”
Outside of the office, Ron is active in the local business community as a member of the Pennsville Business Association (www.pbassoc.org), the Salem County Chamber of Commerce (www.salemcounty chamber.com) and is on the economic development committee and land planning board of the township he lives in.
Together with his wife Debbie, formerly an assistant vice president with Chase in Wilmington, DE, the family also includes their three children: 19 year old Dana who is attending Ron’s alma mater, 13 year old Rachel and 4 year old Kevin. The same remote technologies that help Ron’s firm be more productive also help him spend more time at home with the family.
While the Jersey Shore and Atlantic City aren’t that far away, Ron much prefers the “real New Jersey,” with family and friends, working in the garden or relaxing on the deck as deer and wild turkeys roam through the yard.