Tom Fantin, CPA. CITP — 36
Manager, SS&G, Inc.
Education: Bachelor of Science in Accounting, The University of Akron
Professional Associations/Memberships: AICPA (CITP Champion); Ohio Society of CPAs (member of IT Committee)
Hobbies: Playing guitar, spending time with family, golf
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? Yes, we are using automated workflow tools. Most areas of my firm have been impacted by workflow in recent years. The firm’s goal was to make everything digital, and then begin moving those digital items through a workflow process. Our tax, purchase order, and travel request processes all use automated workflow tools.
Have you embraced cloud computing for your practice? Are you moving your clients to the cloud? Yes, I believe cloud computing is a much more elastic way to manage a business. We have been working to educate our clients more about cloud computing and the benefits it can have in the right situations.
On a broader scale, how do you see new technologies changing the accounting profession in the near term (3-5 years)? I believe the new technologies available are causing the profession to move more to a value-added orientation. In years past, the focus was to automate transactional processes to be more efficient. Now that those technologies have been implemented, the shift from providing transactional services to more analytical services are what will drive the profession.
How mobile are you regarding your work? How have mobile devices and apps impacted your productivity and work-life balance? I have the ability to be 100% mobile. Through the use of smartphones, Mifi connectivity, VPN’s, and various apps; I am able to stay connected to my office from anywhere. These devices, overall, have had a positive impact on productivity and work-life balance; however, when in areas where mobile connections are not available, that productivity may be drastically reduced. It is important to be cognizant of where you may be travelling and the connections that will be available.
Have you found business success via social media, either via recognizable ROI, new customers, marketing or networking? My firm uses social media to keep clients informed of new laws, regulations, upcoming events, etc. Additionally, it is used as a recruiting tool to attract new employees. I have been successful at obtaining new clients through social media. Mostly by re-connecting with former contacts from college and even high school.
What tips on social media do you think are essential, but perhaps missed, by professionals and small businesses? Be cognizant of the things that are posted on social media sites about you or your employer.
What single piece of technology do you find the most important in your professional life? I believe the smartphone is the most important piece of technology in my professional life. It can help keep me connected to my clients and their business needs at virtually all times.
Not including your current employer, what company do you most admire and why? The Lampo Group, Inc. While most people may not be familiar with this company, the name Dave Ramsey probably rings a bell. Aside from providing people with sound advice to improve their financial situations, the Company’s culture encourages everyone to treat one another as they would be treated. There’s also a concerted effort to include employees in the company’s success.
What brand/model mobile phone do you use? Samsung Galaxy SIII
Do you use a tablet for work purposes? Not at this time.
What is your favorite accounting mobile app, and why? Mint.com’s mobile app. It is very useful at keeping finances organized and providing analysis of spending.
How many monitors do you have on your desktop workstation? 2, but one is a 24” monitor so it can easily serve as 3.
Read more about this year's 40 Under 40 Honorees.