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Jason Conger, CTP, CCEA, MCP, CCNA, CNE — 35

Director of Technology, Xcentric

Alpharetta, GA

Education: BS in Computer Science, Mississippi College

Hobbies: Home renovation, computer programming

Cell phone: iPhone

Favorite app: A search engine (like Bing and Google) is my favorite app. Search engines help me locate the correct places to find answers and gather research. I don’t think there is a day that goes by where I don’t use a search engine.


How many hours of the day are you plugged in and responsive to client needs? And what tools/products make it possible for you to have flexibility?

All of my tools are hosted in Xcentric’s cloud network, so as long as I have access to the Internet (via broadband, WiFi, mobile phone, etc.), I am plugged in and responsive anywhere from eight to 10 hours a day.


Are you using social networking (such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Plaxo, Facebook) as a marketing tool for your practice/business … or do you use such sites for personal use only? We use Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. not only for marketing, but for client communication tools, as well.


What pitfalls or what unwritten rules of social networking etiquette exist, which are frequently missed by others in the profession?

I think it is important to keep your online persona that is representative of your business separate from your personal updates. I have seen some people go as far as create separate Twitter accounts for their business identity and personal identity. I appreciate this when I follow their accounts via Twitter. For instance, if I follow someone that works at Citrix because I admire their Citrix knowledge, I really do not care if they are watching “Monte Python and the Holy Grail” and drinking Jolt Cola.


How many monitors do you have on your desk? Two


What operating system and version of Microsoft Office is installed on your work computer? Windows-7 64 bit, Office 2010


Do you foresee the majority of firms still implementing servers for the majority of their computing in their offices five years from now or do you think they will be outsourcing this component to vendors who specialize in this area?

I believe in five years, we will see more firms outsourcing either their entire computing environment or the management of their computing. I believe that this shift over the next five years will cusp on the verge of a majority. On a term greater than five years, I do believe there will be an exponential shift to total outsourcing of computing environments into the cloud.


Do you embrace cloud computing? If so, how?

I do embrace cloud computing and believe cloud computing will become more proliferate in the near-term future on both the corporate and personal level. On a corporate level, I see cloud computing as a competitive advantage. Cloud computing offers far greater corporate computing capabilities (geographic replication for instance) than can be affordably implemented in-house due to the economies of scale the cloud offers. On a personal level, more and more services like backup, money management, time management, etc. are being offered for free or nominal fees.


How is cloud computing changing the accounting profession, and how concerned are you with the security issues related to cloud computing? Cloud computing allows people who have studied accounting greater freedom to practice their profession since computing innovations change at an almost breakneck speed. I actually believe cloud computing offers greater security protection than security maintained in-house. Cloud computing providers often have dedicated security experts on staff.


What are some ways your firm/business has gone “paperless” and/or “green” in the last two years? Through extensive use of hardware virtualization, Xcentric has been able to reduce the number of servers necessary to provide cloud services to an ever-growing client base, thus, lowering our carbon footprint.


Do you subscribe to a magazine and/or local newspaper? I subscribe to technical magazines like MSDN Magazine and non-technical magazines like The Family Handyman. I also subscribe to my local county newspaper.


What ONE piece of technology could you absolutely not live without? The ONE piece of technology I need is an Internet connection. As long as I have some device that can connect to the Internet, I have access to all the other technology tools I need.


NOT including your current employer, what company do you most admire and why? The Lampo Group, Inc. (Dave Ramsey’s company) has turned the business of helping others into a successful business model. I admire the Lamp Group’s desire to help others — everyone from the financially secure to the financially distressed — by using biblically based, common-sense education and empowerment.


Do you use online resources like webcasts for CPE training? Yes


Do you listen to podcasts?

I used to listen to some technical podcasts, but it seems podcasts are starting to become less mainstream (at least the technical ones I used to listen to have).


What sports team/championship event do you absolutely refuse to miss? X-Games. I have never really been a big fan of mainstream sports.


What are some of your favorite books, movies, music, websites, and TV shows?

Books: “The Total Money Makeover”, “Desire”, “Does IT Matter”, “The Good Life”

Movies: “Matrix”, “Shawshank Redemption”, “The Ultimate Gift”, “End of the Spear”

Websites: I keep up with over 100 sites via RSS feeds.