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Archive for January, 2013

MAS-aaa[New Orleans, LA] Today is Thursday, January 10, 2013.  I’m in New Orleans for a conference.

The Management Accounting Section of the American Accounting Association is holding its annual mid-year meeting.

The primary reason why academic organizations hold meetings is for professors to present papers.  The other reason why academic organizations hold meetings is provide a location for face to face networking.

I wonder if small academic conferences like this have outlived their usefulness.  Total attendance for this will be about 250, I think.  It is expensive to attend, ($1,300-1,600 depending on travel).  Can today’s world of digital communication and social media produce an acceptable on-line substitute?  I’m sure it can.

I am not a member of the Management Accounting section.  Twenty years ago, it was populated by researchers who focused on behavioral issues within businesses in a budgeting context.  Now, I’m not so sure.

Take a few minutes and go to this link to see the program for the current year.  Researchers have obviously moved on to different issues.  For the most part, however, I’m not sure these new issues are what I would recognize as Management Accounting.  I’ll try to have someone explain it to me at Friday’s luncheon.

Moreover, I’m not tempted to attend many of the the research presentations.  I’m here only to make a short presentation.

I’m presenting on Friday at 3:30 for 15 minutes.  I have created a simulation for students to compute their personal learning rate in an assembly or manufacturing context.  In my next blog post, I’ll write about what I presented.

Debit and credit – – David Albrecht

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Mark Holtzman, Chair of the accounting department at Seton Hall University, is one of the few accounting professors who really gets it.  Not only is he a really nice guy who is passionate about accounting, he’s a member of the really small club of social media enabled business professors.  He blogs regularly at Freaking CPA.

accountingvinfographics

Pic credit – Mark P Holtzman at Freaking CPA

Holtzman is sold on the idea of using infographics.  He wrote about it in April, 2012, “Accounting and Infographics.”  In the image at right, he shows the complete disconnect between accounting and infographics.

Infographics are fairly easy to create.  They are created in PowerPoint, and what accountant isn’t functional in PowerPoint?

Today, Holtzman posts the following infographic on his blog.  Created by Bisk CPA Review, this infographic discloses that accounting graduates can earn a nearly 50% increase in salary by becoming a CPA.  Bisk CPA Review helps students prepare for taking the CPA exam.

Pic credit – Bisk CPA Review

Debit and credit – – David Albrecht

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elevator_speech_is_out_of_orderMichelle Golden is a terrific resource.  She advises professional services firms (e.g., accounting and law) on growth.  She is extremely well regarded, annually making the Accounting Today list of Top 100 Most Influential People.  I feel fortunate indeed that we are friends.

In the following video, Michelle teaches us how to make a meaningful connection with someone upon first meeting.  She points out that the traditional elevator speech doesn’t work and shouldn’t be used.

When asked, “What do you do?,” some of us succinctly provide a one or two word self-description.  Mine is, “I’m an accounting professor.”  Knowing that most people ask only out of politeness or as a means to break the silence, I never provide details.  After the predictable, “Oh, that’s a really tough subject,” or “I hated that course with an unrivaled passion,” this topic shuts down and perhaps we continue talking about something else.

For many of my readers, though, making a contact that could lead to a potential sale is extremely important.  So the traditional sales guru recommendation is to launch into a rehearsed elevator speech.  I’ll do this if I want someone to read The Summa.

Michelle Golden says that a typical elevator speech epitomizes everything that is wrong with marketing today.  It is like product marketing, which is far different from services marketing.  The elevator speech broadcasts a message, “Buy me.”  And most people shrink back or shut down from such a message.  She calls it spam.  The elevator speech delivers information at the wrong time and place is therefore irrelevant to the listener.  She says that the elevator speech does nothing to build trust.

Michelle continues on.  She says that what you want to communicate is you can help other the other person.  And this can only be done if you first find out more about the other person.  I like this thought, shifting the focus from self to the other person.

Michelle Golden recommends these five questions to help get the other person to open up:

  1. Where to you work?
  2. What inspired you to go into that?
  3. What do you like about what you do?
  4. What was that like when you started doing that?
  5. How do you approach something that you are doing now?

She says that often the person will reciprocate by asking you questions. This is where telling personal stories comes in.  And by telling a story relevant to the other person (because you know about them), you often get a chance to help them.  And that gives you a chance to stay connected.

Michelle Golden is a fantastic resource, and you should watch her video.

Debit and credit – – David Albrecht

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Swamped With E-Mail

From the data I’ve seen, we receive twice as much daily e-mail in 2012 than in 2008.  And yes it has hit me too, like an elephant dart square to the face.

email_overload

Pic credit: Holly Riesem of Ragan.com: News and Ideas for Communicators, “7 ways to manage email overload.”

It gets started for me in the morning upon waking up.  Not yet out of bed, I pull a laptop onto my lap and start checking e-mail.  Today there were 1,000+ e-mails to download.  A few hundred more arrive in the next six hours.

At one time I budgeted three hours per day to deal with all my e-mail.  Now, I’m afraid to tally up the time.  It’s getting more difficult to process it all before lunch time.

Why do I receive so much e-mail?  Mostly it is related to my job.  As a professor, I must keep up with developments in the accounting world so I can stay current in my classes.  I receive news alerts from Google (about 60 key terms related to accounting), newsletters from major national and international newspapers, Twitter notifications, LinkedIn group notifications, etc.

As a blogger, I keep up with the latest essays from influential professors, economists, writers, social media gurus, etc.  Most e-mail contains a link to a news article or blog post.  Reading a paper newspaper takes way too much time.  Everything I read is online.

Holly Riesem of Ragan.com: News and Ideas for Communicators has a nice piece titled, “7 ways to manage email overload.”   She suggests the following.

  1. Create an e-mail schedule.
  2. Create these folders: follow-up, hold and archive.  Then add sub and sub-sub folders as necessary.
  3. Two minute rule–immediately deal with anything that will take two minutes or less.  Otherwise, put it in the follow up folder.
  4. Unsubscribe from lists and alerts as you no longer need them.
  5. Responses should be brief.
  6. Use templates for frequently used responses.
  7. Read each e-mail, don’t just quickly skim it.

Debit and credit –  David Albrecht

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