Brian Tully - 2013 40 Under 40 Honoree

Brian Tully — 38
VP & Head, ONESOURCE Transfer Pricing, Thomson Reuters
New York, NY

Education: Sienna College, Bachelor Degree, Finance and Accounting
Hobbies: Tennis, football

What are the key areas of your firm that have seen the greatest change in workflow over the past few years? Are you using automated workflow tools? For the past five years we’ve been using workflow. For transfer pricing, we use workflow tools to gather everything in a repeatable process - such as important interview questions, documentation, contracts – so companies can continue to understand what’s happening in their business.

Have you embraced cloud computing for your practice? Are you moving your clients to the cloud? Yes, we are. Almost all of our products are cloud solutions – our model for a number of years has been to move to cloud-based software. We think this is extremely important for reducing costs for our clients and providing the solutions that are flexible and easy to worldwide.

On a broader scale, how do you see new technologies changing the accounting profession in the near term (3-5 years)? I think new technology is always improving and speeding up the profession. Today we see automated processes that were being done manually just two years ago, for example. So now tax professionals can have more data, big data, easily processed in seconds. Reports can be generated in real-time. Tasks that used to take months or weeks can be reduced to just minutes or hours. And professionals are now using this time to review data and reports instead of just processing them.

In the future I think we’ll see more demand and adoption of technology that allows professionals to see transaction level details for almost all tax calculations, instead of high level calculations. With high speed automated processing and data management, with lots reporting options on top of it, users are able to get to the real underlying transaction details instead of topside. Most people are still doing this from the topside, but eventually I think we’ll find it becomes expected that everyone will be able to drill down to the transaction level with click of a button.

How mobile are you regarding your work? How have mobile devices and apps impacted your productivity and work-life balance? I carry two phones and a computer at all times, which allows me to have a real office wherever I am on the planet – Taiwan, India, UK or NY, it’s all the same as long as I have those 3 devices. Technology is necessary for me to be as productive as I am. As far as work-life balance – I think it actually reduces that, because there’s a struggle to turn off … because I can always be working. I’m always “on.”

Have you found business success via social media, either via recognizable ROI, new customers, marketing or networking? We’ve used social media to connect with our ONESOURCE clients in a number of ways. We use social media to connect with customers and get their feedback – understand their challenges or successes so we can make the software work better for them, and make sure that feedback is built into the product. We also use social media to connect our clients with each other so they can compare notes and learn from one another professionally.

What tips on social media do you think are essential, but perhaps missed, by professionals and small businesses? I think a lot of companies do not connect their clients through social media, which can be a missed opportunity. If you have a social following and everyone is using your product, link them together so they can talk to each other. It helps them help each other. It’s important to listen on social media, not just talk.

What single piece of technology do you find the most important in your professional life? My smartphone

Not including your current employer, what company do you most admire and why? Google. They took a very simple business model, with searches, and were able to basically create a product that is meaningful to almost everyone’s life on the planet. Who do you know who doesn’t know Google? They do a very simple thing, search and automate information, but they made it so efficient and user friendly that they’ve become very influential.

What brand/model mobile phone do you use? IPhone5, and IPhone 4

Do you use a tablet for work purposes? No

How many monitors do you have on your desktop workstation? 1      


Read more about this year's 40 Under 40 Honorees.