Robert Baumann — 35
Chief Architect for Shared Platform and Common Components, CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business
Education: M.S. Computer Science, California State University, Chico; B.S. Computer Science, California State University, Chico
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’ve seen firms adopt new technology over the past few years faster than ever before. Today, accounting professionals have a number of mobile devices, and are constantly reviewing new technology.2. Have you embraced cloud computing for your practice? Are you moving your clients to the cloud?
Over the last few years, CCH has seen a rapid shift from traditional on-premise software products to cloud-based software solutions. We’ve been investing heavily in our data centers as well as our software. Recently, we released the CCH Axcess platform to the market, and I’m quite proud to be a part of it.
On a broader scale, how do you see new technologies changing the accounting profession in the near term (3-5 years)? I see a broader adoption in cloud-based software solutions having the potential to improve productivity and mobility of professionals. The cloud is enabling CPAs to be more efficient and spend more time with their clients, and collaborate with more people in their office.
How mobile are you regarding your work? How have mobile devices and apps impacted your productivity and work-life balance? I work out of my home office, but I also travel quite a bit to meet and plan with product development teams, engage in customer meetings, and meet with our technology partners.
Have you found business success via social media, either via recognizable ROI, new customers, marketing or networking? We regularly scan social groups to look for areas where the CPA’s current products aren’t meeting their needs and where there might be ways to make their processes more efficient. I also have found social media to be quite useful for networking with other accounting and technology professionals.
What single piece of technology do you find the most important in your professional life? Without a doubt, I’ve found my iPhone to be the most important piece of technology for my professional life.
Not including your current employer, what company do you most admire and why? These days, I really admire Tesla Motors. Elon Musk and the team have done a great job in bringing electric cars to market. They’ve outpaced their competition and disrupted traditional business models by running an automobile manufacturing company like a technology company.
What brand/model mobile phone do you use? I have an iPhone 4S
Do you use a tablet for work purposes? I use a Microsoft Surface Pro and an iPad
What is your favorite accounting mobile app, and why? My favorite accounting mobile app is ProSystem fx Mobile. CCH has focused on the key use cases that we see our customers needing access to within a mobile application, and we’ve implemented them as an application which supports all popular mobile platforms.
How many monitors do you have on your desktop workstation? I don’t have a desktop workstation; I have a laptop and two tablets.
Read more about this year's 40 Under 40 Honorees.