Jim Boomer, CPA.CITP, CGMA, MBA — 37
CIO/Shareholder, Boomer Consulting, Inc.
Education: Masters of Business Administration (Marketing & Entrepreneurship), University of Texas at Austin; Bachelors of Science in Business Administration (Accounting & Management Information Systems), Kansas State University
Professional Associations/Memberships: AICPA (TECH+ Conference Steering Committee, CITP Credentials Committee, Member, Chair of CITP Exam Task Force), KSCPA (Board of Directors, Champion of Technology Task Force, Member), The Strategic Coach Program
Hobbies: Spending time with family, golf, reading, snow skiing
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? We have made major strides over the last few years in regards to improving our processes and workflow. Some of this is related to the cloud and mobile technologies we’ve selected but the biggest impact has come from applying Lean Six Sigma principals to our process improvement efforts. Our systems were then selected based on their ability to streamline and automate those processes. The main improvements we’ve recognized are increased collaboration, improved communication and better client service.
Have you embraced cloud computing for your practice? Are you moving your clients to the cloud? Boomer Consulting, Inc. has embraced cloud computing 100%. Everything from email to our VOIP system has been moved to the cloud. I believe cloud computing is gaining momentum in our profession and we are certainly helping our clients plan for and manage the transition. Over the last couple years, we’ve seen a general shift from resistance towards acceptance and several firms have made (or at least begun) the transition 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 new technologies, specifically cloud and mobile, automating and/or streamlining many of the administrative, transactional tasks that require a lot of our time. This will free us up to think more strategically about our business and our clients’ businesses. We will be able to provide higher value advisory services that will make us a trusted business advisor for our clients. This is being driven by the anytime, anywhere, collaborative nature of cloud and mobile applications.
How mobile are you regarding your work? How have mobile devices and apps impacted your productivity and work-life balance? I spend less than 10% of my time in our main office. I am usually either working out of my home office or on the road. Mobile devices and the apps that make them so powerful have had a huge impact in allowing me to be productive regardless of where I am located. And, since we’ve moved to 100% cloud applications I have access to the same data in a similar interface whether I’m on a PC, Mac, smartphone or tablet.
Have you found business success via social media, either via recognizable ROI, new customers, marketing or networking? We use social media extensively to promote our business, events and content. We have had clients find us through social media but the primary benefits have been in building brand, solidifying credibility and extending our reach.
What tips on social media do you think are essential, but perhaps missed, by professionals and small businesses? Too many people think that they can just establish a presence on social media sites and the clients will flock to them. This just isn’t the case. There has to be something of value that catches prospects attention. And, once you have their attention you have to build the relationship and trust before they will even consider doing business with your firm. It all boils down to the idea of “the more you give, the more you get.”
What single piece of technology do you find the most important in your professional life? My iPhone! I can pretty much do anything I need to do on this device. I can access all the information I need at the office and can stay connected through email, video conferencing, instant messaging and our VOIP system. I’d be tethered to my desk without it and since I work from my home office that would not be good for my work/life integration.
Not including your current employer, what company do you most admire and why? I have a lot of admiration for Google and Apple due to their focus on innovation. Both companies are not content to just sit idle and rake in the profits from their existing core businesses. Both organizations are constantly looking for the next big thing.
What brand/model mobile phone do you use? iPhone 5
Do you use a tablet for work purposes? iPad
What is your favorite accounting mobile app, and why?
- Expensify – Allows me to take care of my expense reports on-the-go rather than waiting until I get home to deal with a pile of receipts.
- Bill.com – Lets me review and approve/reject bills anytime, anywhere. I can also see the invoices that have been paid by our clients.
- Mint – From a personal perspective, Mint provides an aggregated view of all my financial matters keeping me in touch with what is happening with my money on a daily basis.
How many monitors do you have on your desktop workstation? Two
Read more about this year's 40 Under 40 Honorees.