I don’t know if it’s just me (I’m assuming I’m not alone in this), but my information consumption habits have changed drastically over the past few years. Less than five years ago I would gather up all my monthly trade publications and while sitting with a cup of coffee flip through the pages, reading the articles that provided me with the best information on improving my practice.
I still love to hold a printed magazine in my hands today, but I find myself consuming information far more from my iPad. Digital content is easy to transport and manage, and it’s all at my fingertips—wherever I am and whatever device I choose to use. When I do read the paper or a magazine, it’s only when it’s convenient for me or if I’ve remembered to toss it into my brief case. Typically, I find myself reading hard copies when I have a moment of peace—sitting on the back porch with the dog and a clear mind. Most of the time, however, I just want a glimpse at the highlights and then go about my day. Having my tablet on hand enables me to consume information on the go and on my terms.
What I am seeing from tax and accounting vendors is a dedication to mobile—offering practitioners the tools they are demanding to work the way they want to work. Vendors are focusing more and more on a strategy to get information and applications released for mobile devices. At the Thomson Reuters Users’ Conference last year, for example, Thomson leaders announced the ability for firms to provide clients with a firm-branded mobile app. The application allows the firm’s client to view tax, financial, payroll, and much more from the mobile device of their choice. Another example is CCH’s (a Wolters Kluwer business) release of the SaaS-based tax suite—CCH Axcess. Firms can access the majority of the information within the suite on a mobile device. This is the way the profession is moving, and it’s very exciting!
As you think about where you want your practice to go in the future, I think it’s important to consider your information consumption habits. Do you prefer to get paper copies of everything, such as bank documents and credit card and investment statements? Are you the type that wants access to your information anytime and anywhere? You have to remember that if you like the convenience of 24/7 information access, your clients likely want the same thing. With that said, I urge you to think about your strategy in this area as you evaluate how to enhance your firm moving forward.
Here at CPA Practice Advisor we ask ourselves these same questions. This is why we are launching our iPad application (soon to be available on other tablet devices). I’m very excited about the launch of our mobile solution because it won’t just be a digital copy of the print publication, but offers a true mobile application with unique information, video content, and is highly interactive. If you are an iPad user, take a moment and visit Apple’s app store to download your free CPA Practice Advisor app today.
Here’s to a great summer!
Darren is the Executive Editor of CPA Practice Advisor. He remains in public practice as the principal of Root & Associates, LLC, in Bloomington, Indiana, and is president of his consulting practice, RootWorks. He formerly served on the board of the AICPA’s CITP Credentials Committee and is a former member of the board of directors for the Indiana CPA Society. He speaks at dozens of professional organizations each year and frequently serves as a guest lecturer at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.