CPA Firm Technology Best Practices – from a non-IT guy

Marc Rosenberg, CPA / Mar 24, 2014

IT blogI’ve always believed “when you don’t know something, find an expert who does.”  So to keep myself current on IT advances in our field, I stay in close touch with Roman Kepczyk.

Here are some practices that blend what I do know and what Roman tells me:

Practice good email hygiene.  I’ll share three tactics.  (a) Periodically, but at least monthly, look up your emails to capture unrecorded billable time; (b) Adopt a “touch-it-once” policy on emails.  Read it once, make a decision, answer it or delete it.  Minimize re-reading emails every time you check your inbox; (c) Stay focused on your work by turning OFF automatic message notifications that cause you to read new emails every 10 minutes.  Set aside times during the day when you check them.  There is absolutely no need to respond immediately to every email you receive.

For 7 more tactics, read Rosenberg 10 Email Hygiene Tips.

3 monitors, not 2.  When I work with a new client, I like to tour their office.  I can tell a lot about the culture of a firm by how the office is laid out and how people’s desks are organized.  One of the things I always eyeball is the number of monitors on people’s desks.  Due to the resulting increase in productivity, Roman tells me that “transitioning from 2 to 3 monitors is the easiest place to see an immediate return on your IT investment.”  The AAA 2013 Benchmarking Survey reports that 63% of firms use more than two monitors.

Backup.  This earns my nomination for “most important  IT practice that is commonly neglected.”  Test your backup to make sure it’s backing up properly.  Says Roman:  “In the event of a disaster, you need to have offsite backup.”  The AAA Survey found that 57% of firms backup all their data to the Internet at least once per month.  “Have your personnel check to see that ALL data is being backed up, verified and stored offsite at least daily,” adds Kepczyk.

Get 32 recommendations from Roman that will increase your firm’s profitability in his epic book Quantum of Paperless:  Partners’ Guide To Accounting Firm Optimization.


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