Dan Zitting, CPA.CITP, CISA, GRCP — 31
VP Product Management & Design, ACL Services Ltd.
New York, NY
Education: BS Information Systems & Finance, Colorado State University; MS Accountancy, University of Notre Dame
Professional Associations/Memberships: IIA, ISACA, AICPA, OCEG
Hobbies: Golf, Skiing/Snowboarding, and Technology
Have you embraced cloud computing for your practice? Are you moving your clients to the cloud? We actually build the cloud applications that many firms (up to and including the Fortune 100) are moving too. Our cloud apps, used in particular by Internal Audit and other GRC professionals, have completely disrupted the industry. We believe, all the way down to our DNA, that combining the power of the CLOUD, MOBILE, and great DESIGN will change the industry and the world.
On a broader scale, how do you see new technologies changing the accounting profession in the near term (3-5 years)? In terms of tech trends, the cloud debate is already over – and cloud won. Now it is just about what technology can 1) make the most of emerging mobile ecosystems and 2) provide the most insight from the widest variety of available data. In particular, I see accounting, audit, and tax totally transforming based on the potential for savvy accountants to capture data from disparate/unexpected sources and analyzing it in currently unimaginable ways (i.e. As a tax preparer, how effective might I be at finding missed deductions if I could effectively access and analyze GPS location data captured by the taxpayer’s smartphone, all throughout the tax year?).
How mobile are you regarding your work? How have mobile devices and apps impacted your productivity and work-life balance? So far this year I have travelled 60,000 miles in 6 months, and I’m no more mobile than most professionals today. Mobile devices have evolved beyond impacting my work… they ARE my work. Also, I don’t find that I look for a balance between work and life; I love my work and just consider everything “life” (or I wouldn’t do it). Mobile devices make that life far more productive and enjoyable.
Have you found business success via social media, either via recognizable ROI, new customers, marketing or networking? Absolutely. In fact, I would consider social media a key part of developing the credibility that ultimately helped me get my small software company acquired (thus, enormous ROI!). I think the mistake is to ask for ROI from social media when really it has become a branding baseline – similar to having a company logo (no one ever asks – Hey, what ROI do you get from your logo?).
What tips on social media do you think are essential, but perhaps missed, by professionals and small businesses? We can all be far too self-involved on social media. Take a step back and use the opportunity to listen rather than say sometimes. I’ve been getting a lot from that approach over the last year or so.
What single piece of technology do you find the most important in your professional life? My MacBook Air is the life-blood of my work. When I came to ACL, I even made them put it in my employment contract that I chose my own technology – specifically so I could 1) use a Mac and 2) use whichever Mac I liked best (MacBook Air right now)!
Not including your current employer, what company do you most admire and why? As always, my father’s home-owned hardware store in Loveland, CO. But since I gave that answer last year – I’ll add another. I’ve long been a fan of 37signals. If you’re interested in software and don’t know who they are and what they’re about – you should definitely take time to learn.
What brand/model mobile phone do you use? iPhone 5 – is there really an alternative?!
Do you use a tablet for work purposes? Definitely – iPad and iPad Mini both. Almost can’t imagine not having one.
What is your favorite accounting mobile app, and why? ACL GRC for iOS of course! We just added a feature I love, scan documents to PDF right from within the app and directly upload as a work paper or audit evidence. It really is slick! Set bias aside, big fan of Xero from my small business days, I think they make great tools.
How many monitors do you have on your desktop workstation? One Apple Cinema Display. Having more than one monitor per computer is mostly an excuse for distraction (unless you are a much better multi-tasker than me!).
Read more about this year's 40 Under 40 Honorees.