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40 Under 40 Honoree: Ryan McCowan, CPA.CITP — 35

Partner, Greene & McCowan, CPAs, London, KY

40 Under 40 Honoree: Ryan McCowan, CPA.CITP — 35
Partner, Greene & McCowan, CPAs, London, KY

EDUCATION: BS Accounting — University of Kentucky
FAMILY: Wife Amy; Twin daughters Ashley & Whitney (11)
HOBBIES & INTERESTS: time with family and church activities,
and learning and studying all aspects of technology and how it relates to business
and personal lives

What’s the one piece of technology that MOST helps you get through
your normal workday?

“The Internet is the one piece of technology that gets me through the
day. The Internet has become not only my main source for news, software applications
and client communications; it also has become my knowledge base for learning
and studying technology and accounting. From reading blogs and forums, listening
to podcasts, to watching webcasts, the Internet is helping me to learn more
efficiently than I ever could with traditional sources.”

What will be the biggest change over the next five years in the ways
tax and accounting firms operate?

“More and more business processes and information will be moved to Internet-based
applications. The forefront of this move will be the tax and accounting professional’s
practice. This is already occurring in large numbers today, but inevitably it
will incorporate the tax and accounting professional’s client base, as
well. This will require firms and professionals to learn different methods of
obtaining and processing client data.
“I see a shift in the way we are going to handle the learning and knowledge
needed to keep up with these technology changes. The Internet, with search companies
such as Google, has opened the door for very efficient searches for information.
Tax and accounting professionals will migrate more of their learning, CPE and
information gathering to web-based sources. Some of the examples of these are
webcasts, podcasts, wikis, blogs and forums. All of these are currently being
used in our profession and will continue to expand exponentially in the coming
years. The main reason for the shift will not be cost savings or efficiencies,
although they will be a factor; but rather the shear quality and quantity of
the knowledge and information available. It presents many opportunities for
firms and professionals to obtain a high quality of learning and skills that
previously may not have been available.

“Finally, with the advent of Internet-based applications and search
tools, the shift in hardware will move to smaller convergent devices. My current
favorite device is an OQO 02 ( This device runs Windows XP and
is no larger than my hand. I can dock it at work and push my large 21-inch dual
monitors, take it with me to meet with a client in our conference room using
Wi-Fi, and have access to client information at a client’s attorney’s
office using WWAN. These devices will become even more powerful in the coming
years with companies such as Intel and Microsoft beginning to enter the market.”

What Ryan’s peers had to say about him:
Ryan continues to emerge as a leader in the tax and accounting profession, consistently
improving his firm’s workflow processes by implementing smart technology,
including integrated software solutions and web-based services. Ryan’s
firm represents one of the most technologically driven in the profession, which
has allowed him to progressively expand his practice without increasing staff
or overhead costs. His innovative and future-forward vision has made him a recognized
leader and a sought-after speaker. Ryan has been featured in several trade publication
articles where his firm is presented as a model for applying technology to significantly
elevate efficiency and profits. Ryan’s firm offers web-hosted client services
that provide ultimate convenience to clients and virtually eliminates data entry
and other time-consuming manual tasks.

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