Joshua Dubrow, CPA — 31
Senior Manager, Nussbaum Yates Berg Klein & Wolpow, LLP
Education: B.S. Accounting, Pennsylvania State University
Professional Associations/Memberships: Chair - NYSSCPA Small Business Outreach Committee; Member: AICPA, NYSSCPA, LISTnet
Hobbies: Philanthropy: Founder of the JAD Fund (www.jadfund.org), Golf, Family and Friends
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? Our firm over the past few years has fully transitioned to using automated workflow for tax preparation and other firm projects. Each year the processes are refined and more efficient. The older generation is becoming more comfortable with the technologies at hand as are the clients.
Have you embraced cloud computing for your practice? Are you moving your clients to the cloud? Yes. We have a portal system to deliver client deliverables at the option of our clients, however more and more are embracing this technology each year. We choose to deliver all deliverables through our portal when practicable due to the security it offers.
On a broader scale, how do you see new technologies changing the accounting profession in the near term (3-5 years)? The potential is enormous, however the profession is always slow to adapt and is typically on the reactive end of emerging technologies. I think the most imminent strides will be in the project management phase so that firms can accumulate more accurate real time data of specific projects and clients. I think many firms have implemented these technologies, but have only scratched the surface of the efficiencies they can gain from utilizing them to their fullest potential.
Another thing I believe you will see is more virtual client interaction and data exchange, making for a more efficient paperless client management process. Human interaction is always important and can never be replaced especially when it comes to client service, but I think the firms that will succeed the most will have a great balance between automating the work product while still maintaining that ever important direct client interaction.
How mobile are you regarding your work? How have mobile devices and apps impacted your productivity and work-life balance? I am very mobile to the point that I can do almost all of my work remotely. This has allowed me tremendous leverage to serve my clients while still enjoying my 10 month old baby and family vacations.
Have you found business success via social media, either via recognizable ROI, new customers, marketing or networking? I have done a great deal of business development through social media personally and am currently at the forefront of leading my firm's marketing effort in this area. It is a great way to market yourself and keep real-time tabs on other professionals that can help you in your careers. I never hesitate to reach out to those within my social network even just to keep in touch and usually find it to be productive when I do.
What tips on social media do you think are essential, but perhaps missed, by professionals and small businesses? I believe many people participate in social media without a purpose. Some people sign up for a social media account just to have one. Everyone should be using social media for business and everyone should have a strategy associated with their activity. Professionals should set specific goals such as reach out to 3 new people per day, join and participate in one new group per month. The worst thing you can do is be passive and use it as a tool so that other people can find you - you should always be trying to find other people that will help you in your professional career.
Many people tend to forget that people join networking sites and groups because they are looking to network and meet new people - reaching out to someone random, who may be able to help you is fast, easy and has little downside. The worst that can happen is that you get no response. A decade ago, you needed someone's direct line or e-mail address just to establish a contact, now there are so many other ways to reach out to people and it's in everyone's best interest to take advantage.
What single piece of technology do you find the most important in your professional life? Microsoft Excel - I find that I can do almost anything within excel and have used it many many times over the years to increase efficiency greatly for just about everything.
Not including your current employer, what company do you most admire and why?
GOOGLE - for three reasons, but in short, I believe that accounting firms can take a lot from companies like this from an innovation and structure standpoint.
- They are always looking to innovate and change. Their culture strives for constant improvement. They understand that great innovation can come from anywhere and they are willing to try anything. The best innovations are usually the ones that seem stupid and useless at first. Accounting firms tend not embrace innovation as part of their core practice, but those who try to do things others aren't doing seem to grow their practices rapidly.
- They recognize that their people are their greatest asset, give them all the resources they need to exceed and allow them to grow and reach their individual goals. They will always attract the best and brightest talent, because they foster such an environment. This holds completely true in the accounting profession, where firms are only as good as their best people.
- They foster the ultimate team environment. Everyone works both individually and together toward common goals. One person's success is everyone's success. I believe that more firms need to embrace this mentality as we move into the future.
What brand/model mobile phone do you use? iPhone
Do you use a tablet for work purposes? No - Occasionally I use my ipad for work related activities, but typically I don't find it efficient.
What is your favorite accounting mobile app, and why? I have not yet found a mobile app that I have fallen in love with from an accounting practice standpoint. I think we are on the verge of some of the software companies refining and developing apps that will really be useful to practitioners in the field, but I can't say that I've used any to date.
How many monitors do you have on your desktop workstation? 3
Read more about this year's 40 Under 40 Honorees.