Marketing Manager, Intuit Employee Management Solutions, Intuit
Mountain View, CA
Education: MBA, San Francisco State University
Civic Involvement: Live Intuit’s value ‘We care and give back’ by volunteering at community events such as RAFT (Resource Area for Teaching) and participating in ‘A Rose of Thanks’ to thank U.S. Armed Service members in the Gulf Region.
Hobbies: Biking & hiking; playing games with my kids; watching movies; singing and dancing with friends and family; sketching, writing and directing children’s plays; entertaining friends
Cell phone: BlackBerry
Favorite app: I play several games that are apps. I don’t have a favorite one.
What ONE piece of technology could you absolutely not live without? I can’t live without the Internet and my BlackBerry. But there is something else that adds a lot of value to my life — wireless hands-free technology. I want to multi-task whenever possible, and one thing that allows me to do that is hands-free technology. Driving my car and attending a meeting or catching up with an old friend is a big deal for me.
NOT including your current employer, what company do you most admire and why? There are a couple of small businesses that I admire. The Sleeter Group and Root and Associates give it their all to help accounting professionals effectively use technology. One large company that I admire is Disney, which is all about delighting the customer. Small or large, I will fall in love with any company that goes above and beyond to delight customers.
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? I am plugged in almost 15 hours a day thanks to my BlackBerry. It allows me to have a work/life balance because now I don’t feel the need to stay in front of my laptop to respond to an urgent email. I can be with my kids and still take care of a request almost immediately that comes in anytime of the day.
Do you embrace cloud computing? I currently live and breathe cloud computing. I work with SaaS payroll and online 401(k) offerings especially designed for small businesses and accounting professionals serving small business clients.
How is cloud computing changing the accounting profession, and how concerned are you with the security issues related to cloud computing? What delights me the most is hearing accounting professionals’ stories about how much time and money they save when using SaaS products, and they don’t have to worry about their computers crashing. Recently, an accountant told me how she was able to grow her business nationwide, serving clients all over the United States, thanks to SaaS and its ability to provide anytime anywhere access. I am not concerned about security issues related to cloud computing. I feel safe that my private data such as bank account information, social security number, etc. is encrypted with cloud computing. I would enter my bank or credit card information any day onto a well-known site. However, I definitely worry when I mail a check along with a bill as the check has my entire bank account and routing information.
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 that every second, humans are finding ways to be more efficient. So smart firms are going to look at every operation within their firm and see whether they are accomplishing things efficiently themselves. If the return on investment is simply not there, they will outsource to a specialist. Several accounting professionals have shared their stories with me, and when hearing how painful their current process is I also hear them say (even though they might not say it explicitly), “I will do what I am good at and outsource the rest.”
What are some ways your firm/business has gone “paperless” and/or “green” in the last two years? Intuit officially went green in August 2007 when the company created Intuit Green, our corporate sustainability effort, with three specific goals:
1. Consider the environment in our decisions.
2. Make it easier for our customers to be green.
3. Be transparent and engage with all stakeholders.
In all these three categories, Intuit has taken steps to be more green and go paperless. There are e-cycle bins throughout our buildings, encouraging employees to properly dispose of e-waste, such as batteries and old computer equipment. Over the past few years, Intuit also has developed web-based products and services that diminish the amount of paper used.
Do you subscribe to a magazine and/or local newspaper? I subscribe to BusinessWeek, The Economist and Financial Times. I especially love reading BusinessWeek’s Small Business, Innovation and Technology section. I get to read about what interests me the most, all in one place. I do have to confess that even though I read news online, there is a different pleasure about holding a print magazine and reading it. The Kindle and iPad are great, but when I want to sit back, relax and read … I confess that I want to hold a print magazine.
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? Have you gained any clients or seen other demonstrable benefits from the use of social networking? Yes, I use social networking for both personal as well as professional use. After years of working with accounting professionals, it is exciting to see how some are using social networking as a tool to grow their business and promote their brand. Small businesses need an easy way to promote their brand. Social media allows them to do just that at no cost! Nowadays, it is easy for small businesses to get a press release out using a low-cost online distribution service. And then once hosted, they can promote it via Twitter and other sites.
What pitfalls or what unwritten rules of social networking etiquette exist, which are frequently missed by others in the profession? As I said, social media is a powerful tool that allows one to build their brand. That said, what you say or write will reflect on who you are. When you put something in writing, it is being shared with the world. I always try to follow one rule when posting a comment on someone else’s wall or blog and that is: Put myself in that person’s shoes and ask myself how I would react to the comment I just wrote. One needs to be careful when using free tools that easily enable self expression.
Do you use online resources like webcasts for CPE training? I have used GoToMeeting to do several live webinars to help accounting professionals learn best practices on how to grow their businesses.
What is an “old school” business practice or process you’d like to see changed in the next five years and why? In five years, I would like more businesses to realize that time is money. Businesses continue to use certain processes that are quite time consuming. They need to embrace SaaS (Software as a Service) offerings that enable them to be more efficient so they can use their time and energy in growing their business.
Do you listen to podcasts? I listen to podcasts but don’t quite have a favorite one. Sometimes, I listen to podcasts from sites such as Small Business Trends and AllBusiness, which are focused on topics related to small businesses.
What sports team/championship event do you absolutely refuse to miss? I never miss Wimbledon, mostly because my husband is crazy about tennis.
What are some of your favorite books, movies, music, websites and TV shows?
Favorite book: “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel
Favorite movies: “Titanic” & “The Notebook”
Favorite music: “Wicked,” the Broadway musical; my daughter’s piano and my son’s guitar
Favorite website: Mint.com & Amazon.com
How many monitors do you have on your desk? One
What operating system and version of Microsoft Office is installed on your work computer? Windows XP and Microsoft Office 2007