Dustin Wheeler - 2013 40 Under 40 Honoree

Dustin Wheeler, CPA — 34
Senior Supervisor, Hawkins Cloward & Simister
Orem, UT


Education: Master’s of Accountancy, University of Nevada-Las Vegas; Bachelor’s of Accounting, Brigham Young University-Idaho
Professional Associations/Memberships: AICPA, Nevada Society of CPAs
Hobbies: Pickup basketball, biking, hiking, puzzles, board games, home video editing, spending time with family


Have you embraced cloud computing for your practice? Are you moving your clients to the cloud? There is no doubt in my mind that the cloud is the future of accounting. I work with several business owners who operate almost exclusively in the cloud and with a wide variety of SaaS accounting software. With so many new products entering the market and new features being released, it has been difficult to keep up, but I have studied many products and their integrations to help business owners make an informed decision when taking their accounting to the cloud.

On a broader scale, how do you see new technologies changing the accounting profession in the near term (3-5 years)? I see cloud-based accounting software, add-ons, and mobile apps evolving toward Social Accounting as clients and accountants exchange information on new levels. While automation and paperless workflows enable (almost) zero data entry bookkeeping, financial reporting and analysis become more of a collaborative effort between business owners and accountants. There will be a high demand for consulting services among accountants in a role that Jason Blumer calls a “Financial Platform Advisor.”

How mobile are you regarding your work? How have mobile devices and apps impacted your productivity and work-life balance? In many ways, technology has helped me to spend more time in the office. Portals and screen-sharing services like GoToMeeting and join.me have allowed me to serve clients remotely, cutting down the number of trips to clients’ offices to resolve simple issues.

Mobile devices have helped me be more responsive to clients and take advantage of time that would otherwise be unproductive. For example, I recently composed an e-mail to a client while waiting in line at Costco to buy gas. Ultimately, being more productive out of the office means that I need to spend less time in the office. However, I also think it is important to be disconnected for periods of time to have a healthy work-life balance.

Have you found business success via social media, either via recognizable ROI, new customers, marketing or networking? Absolutely! One of my favorite clients found me on Twitter. Shortly afterwards, I invited him to lunch to meet in person and have enjoyed working with him ever since. Also, several new clients have found me through Internet searches, landing on many blog posts and articles I have written.

In other cases, I’ve met people briefly at conferences and events, and social media has helped me to develop a beneficial business relationship with them that otherwise would have evaporated. At this year’s AICPA TECH+ conference, I was approached by a number of people me who recognized my name because they had read my tweets. Through social media, I have also had opportunities to collaborate with and get to know some of the brightest minds in the profession from all across the country. While the ROI of my social media use is difficult to measure, I am certain that my career is better because of it.

What tips on social media do you think are essential, but perhaps missed, by professionals and small businesses? I’ve seen a few of my friends create a social media profile and put up a couple of status updates. They soon became discouraged by the lack of interaction, thought it was all pointless and then abandoned it.

I built my social media presence as a slow process over time rather than a one-time event. I started with LinkedIn and spent a few minutes every two or three days adding information to my profile and making connections. After I felt comfortable with LinkedIn, I followed the same step-by-step process with Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and blogging. I closely observed others who were sharing good information and using these tools effectively.

What single piece of technology do you find the most important in your professional life? My smartphone. It provides means for me to communicate with the world, makes information available whenever and wherever I need it, shows me a map when I am lost, and gives me something to read when I don’t have anything else to do. Actually, I have been able to live without it during a few vacations I’ve taken out of the country the past few years, but it is certainly an indispensable device in my day-to-day life.

NOT including your current employer, what company do you most admire and why? Throughout my life, I’ve had opportunities to tour the headquarters of several large companies, but my experience a few years ago when I toured Zappos with several other CPAs from around the country was very unique. I was impressed with their culture and how it promoted creativity and self-expression among those that work there. Everyone was highly engaged with their work and loved the company.

What brand/model mobile phone do you use? The Samsung Galaxy Note II.

Do you use a tablet for work purposes? I have a 10.1” Samsung Galaxy Tab 2, a Kindle Fire, and a Kindle Fire HD.

What is your favorite accounting mobile app, and why? A few of my favorites are Google Drive for creating spreadsheets, Xero Touch for managing my finances, iAnnotatePDF for marking up PDF files, and CPAPA Digital for reading the latest news about accounting technology.

How many monitors do you have on your desktop workstation? Two.


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