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socialcpasBarry MacQuarrie is a Boston area CPA and consultant.  In his spare time he is a social media enthusiast (aka evangelist) who as started a group called SocialCPAs. On LinkedIn, the SocialCPAs discussion group has >3,500 members.

The SocialCPAs annual Social Media Survey is in its fourth year of existence.  In the past it has revealed some very interesting characteristics of CPA likes and dislikes about professional use of social media.

The 2013 survey closes at the end of day on Friday, August 30 (tomorrow).  You should take this survey, and please ask your co-workers to take the survey.

Click here to take 2013 Social Media Survey

Debit and credit – - David Albrecht


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I can’t stand it.  Do a Google search on Ernst and Young’s new rebranding effort, and images of naked men are returned.

I now think of porn every time I hear the firm’s name (Ernst & Young) or see its initials (EY).  Trust me, I have no desire to see porn every time I do a Google search on this Big 4 firm.  And I have regular need to perform Google searches on each of the Big 4 (as well as several other accounting firms).

To be perfectly clear:  I don’t want to see pictures of naked men or naked women, soft porn or hard porn, when researching accounting firms.

This was not a problem for me prior to the rebranding, because I always thought of the firm’s full name.  But all of Ernst’s & Young’s recent promotional efforts have been directed toward encouraging all of us to think of them as EY, which is synonymous with naked men.  So in effect, Ernst & Young has created the conditions for me to be aware of and think of porn.  I object!  I would rather imagine young male accountants in traditional business attire.

I am aware of no other reputable business that is encouraging its customers and interested parties to encounter a pornographic linkage.  An Ernst & Young spokesman said that its clients are able to skip over the pornographic images and choose only the bona fide Ernst & Young links.  Yes, but those clients are always going to see porn images upon doing a search for EY.

A few moments ago, I performed a Google images search on EY.  18 of the first 21 images returned contained images of naked men.  Check it out below.

ey_google_images

Come on, EY.  We accountants are better than this.

Debit and credit – - David Albrecht


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Wayne Breitbarth of Power+Formula has an infographic out summarizing the results of the 2013 edition of his annual LinkedIn User Survey.  Both the infographic and the survey are well worth a look.

Why am I passing this along?  I recommend that all accounting and financial services professionals, accounting and business professors, and college students get on LinkedIn and use it to the maximum extent possible.

Click on the following image to view the entire infographic. Don’t forget to expand the image.

portrait-or-linkedin-user-2013

Pic credit – Power+Formula

The complete infographic reveals some interesting details.

84% of LinkedIn users subscribe to a free account (I use a $240/year premium account).

The median sized network has just over 300 first level connections.  The most common range is 500-1000 users.  10% of LI users have a network of at least 1,000 (my network is now 1,100+).

5/8 of LI users open their entire network to view (as do I, it is recommended).

98% of LI users are in at least one discussion group, 60% are in at least 10 (I am in 40).

24% of LI users spend an average of at least one hour per business day on LI (as do I).

Debit and credit – - David Albrecht


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Two essays on different aspects of leadership have recently been posted on the web.  I think they are relevant to anyone who is (or aspires to be) in a position of influence. Accounting firm CEOs and managers as well as accounting professors should read on.

The two essays are, “How to Think and Act Like a Leader,” by Jack and Suzy Welch on Linked Influencers, and “CEOs Who Are Active On Social Media Boost Employee Morale And Their Company’s Image,” by Cooper Smith on Business Insider.

team-leadershipThe Welch piece has a simple message–shift your focus from self to the team.  They say,

Being a leader changes everything. Before you are a leader, success is all about you. It’s about your performance. Your contributions. It’s about raising your hand, getting called on, and delivering the right answer.

When you become a leader, success is all about growing others. It’s about making the people who work for you smarter, bigger, and bolder. Nothing you do anymore as an individual matters except how you nurture and support your team and help its members increase their self-confidence. Yes, you will get your share of attention from up above—but only inasmuch as your team wins. Put another way: Your success as a leader will come not from what you do but from the reflected glory of your team.

I’ve known several professors who could never make the transition from skillfully presenting material to helping students learn.  This transition is at the heart of the learner-centered approach to college teaching.

Cooper Smith gleans insights from research on CEOs and social media usage.  CEOs who use social media have shifted the focus from themselves to the team.  Employees feel inspired under a CEO who uses social media.  Moreover, Customers and clients consider the company to be more innovative if the CEO uses the latest technology.

This is directly relevant to both accounting firm executives and accounting professors.  I’ve talked with many executives and professors, almost all of whom don’t use social media in their professional lives.  I hear comments such as, “I just don’t think there is anything in it for me,” and “I can’t identify the return on investment in social media.”   They are missing out on a crucial aspect of leadership–shifting the focus from self to team through communication and sharing.

Robert Moritz of PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Stephen Chipman of Grant Thornton are leaders of large CPA firms who have learned this.

Debit and credit – - David Albrecht


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Ernst & Young, now EY, has a ‘sexy boys’ problem.

latimes-ey-sexyboys

Pic credit: LA Times

Ernst & Young on July 1 announced it was rebranding itself as EY.  Lopez writes,

[Ernst & Young, EY] now shares a name with a racy magazine, EY! Magateen. The magazine, which features scantily clad young men, is the work of Luis Venegas, a Spanish creative director known for his flamboyant, sexually charged fashion publications.

A Google image search of “EY” brings up photos of young male models clad in low-cut briefs, right alongside the Ernst & Young logo and some exterior shots of the company’s offices.

What a massive fail!

When I went to images.google.com, one picture returned was that of a naked man.  A hand was covering his private parts, but pubic hair was clearly visible.

I could comment, or I could take the high road.  EY seems to have taken the low one.

Debit and credit – - David Albrecht


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Should an accountant clean up his or her online network?  Answering this question has been puzzling me since reading Jenn Herman’s blog post “When Was The Last Time You Cleaned Up Your Connections?

Jenn Herman told me she was referring to Twitter and Facebook networks, not to LinkedIn.  She says that with regards to LinkedIn, it is desirable to collect connections.  Is that always true?  Is that true for accountants?

I suspect the answer to my questions is that it is better to be in growth mode with respect to connections and your LinkedIn network.  Here’s why.

(more…)

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leading-the-wayMost of us know LinkedIn, the most popular and best social media platform for accountants.  Yet, not very many accountants, accounting professors, accounting students and accounting aficionados use it well.

Would it help to know that the most influential people in accounting (according to Accounting Today) use LinkedIn and are heavy users?  If they have invested serious amounts of time in it, then perhaps so should you.

I use LinkedIn heavily.  Over the past year, I pretty much have shifted my social media efforts from blogging on The Summa to interacting with accounting types through LinkedIn.  So much so, I might be called Mr. LinkedIn amongst accounting professors.  Oh, I think that blogging is still my raison d’être.  But LinkedIn is le futur. [Perhaps I can be called Professor Social Media}

You remember the Accounting Today list of the Top 100 Most Influential People in accounting? Published in September of each year, it is Accounting Today’s attempt to capture what’s happening in the industry.  Look carefully, and you’ll notice that those savvy in digital era and social technologies get the AT nod as to who should be influential.

80 of the T100 Most Influential People use LinkedIn. 53 use it heavily with 500+ connections.  The other 27 have small networks. That’s the scale in online social networks.  Large networks are >2,500. Medium sized network have at least 500 contacts.

I categorize the Top 100 Most influential people into those who made the list primarily for (1) blogging/media, (2) audit firm leadership, (3) consultants and vendors, (4) regulators, (5) association leadership, and (6) lobbyists.

Here is my tally of the T100 Most Influential People who use LinkedIn.  I provide links to the profiles for the heavy users.  You must be signed into LinkedIn to fully see the profiles.

Bloggers. All four who make the T100 list for blogging are on LinkedIn.  Heavy users are Dave Albrecht (The Summa), Paul Caron (Tax Prof Blog) and Rick Telberg (CPA Trendlines).  Caleb Newquist (Going Concern) also uses LI.

Accounting Firm Leadership.  10/14 who make the T100 list due to their accounting firm leadership are on LinkedIn.  Heavy users are Jason Blumer (Blumer & Associates), Jim Bourke (WithumSmith+Brown) , Stephen Chipman (Grant Thornton) and Jody Padar (New Vision CPA Group).  Small LI network users who make the T100 list are Rick Anderson (Moss Adams), Ken Baggett (Cohn Reznick), Joe Echevaria (Deloitte), Tom Marino (CohnReznick), Kris McMasters (CliftonLarsonAllen) and Robert Moritz (PWC).  Echevaria is barely on LI, with a short profile and a network of zero.  What’s the point?

Consultants & Vendors.  40/41 who make the T100 list because of their service to accounting firms/professionals are on LinkedIn.  Heavy users are August Aquila (Aquila Global Advisor), Ron Baker (VeraSage Institute), Gary Boomer (Boomer Consulting), Jim Boomer (Boomer Consulting), David Cieslak (Arxis Technology), Gale Crosley (Crosley+Co.), Chris Frederiksen (The 2020 Group), Michelle Golden (Golden Practices), Jeff Gramlich (CCH Small Firm Services), Angie Grissom (The Rainmaker Consulting Group), Pascal Houillon (Sage North America), Randy Johnston (K2 Enterprises), Rita Keller (Keller Advisors), Allan Koltin (Koltin Consulting Group), Taylor Macdonald (Intacct), Jeff Pawlow (The Growth Partnership), Kevin Robert (Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting), Marc Rosenberg (The Rosenberg Associates), Bonnie Buol Ruszczyk (BBR Marketing), Rebecca Ryan (Next Generation Consulting), Joel Sinkin (Transition Advisors), Doug  Sleeter (The Sleeter Group), Brad Smith (Intuit), Jennifer Warawa (Sage North America), Troy Waugh (The Rainmaker Companies), Geni Whitehouse (Even a Nerd Can Be Heard), Sandra Wiley (Boomer Consulting), Jennifer Wilson (ConvergenceCoaching), Joe Woodard (Scaling New Heights) and Diane Yetter (Yetter Tax Consulting).  Other LI users are Erik Asgeirsson (CPA2BIZ), Jon Baron (Thomson Reuters Tax and Acct), Chandra Bhansali (AccountantsWorld), Jim Buttonow (New River Innovation), George Farrah (Bloomberg BNA), Zach Nelson (Netsuite), Jay Nisberg (Jay Nisberg and Associates), Brian Peccarelli (Thomson Reuters Tax and Acct), Terry Putney (Transition Advisors), Jill Ward (Intuit).

Regulators.  Only 5/18 who make the T100 list because of their service as regulators of accounting are on LinkedIn.  Heavy users are Orrin Hatch (U.S. Senate) and Mitt Romney (presidential candidate). Other LI users are Karen Hawkins (IRS), Terri Polley (FAF) and Leslie Seidman (FASB).

Professional Associations.  19/20 who make the T100 list because of their leadership in professional associations are on LinkedIn.  Heavy users are Richard Caturano (AICPA), Richard Chambers (IIA), Calvin Harris (NABA), Marie Hollein (FEI), Tom Hood (MACPA), Erinn Keserica (AAM), Mark Koziel (AICPA), Lana Kupferschmid (NCCPAP), Barry Melancon (AICPA), James Metzler (AICPA), Clarke Price (OSCPA), James Ratley (ACFE), Ralph Thomas (NJSCPA) and Jeffrey Thomson (IMA).  Other LI users are JoAnne Barry (NYSSCPA), Parnell Black (NACVA), Loretta Doon (California Society of CPAs), Edward Karl (AICPA) and John Sharbaugh (Texas Society of CPAs).

Lobbyists.  Two of the three who make the T100 list because of their leadership of important lobbying organizations are on LinkedIn.  Neither Ken Bishop (NASBA) or Cindy Fornelli (Center for Audit Quality) are heavy users.

In the world of accounting, influential leader and LinkedIn go hand in hand.

Debit and credit – - David Albrecht


Want more of The Summa? Sign up to receive email notification of posts. And please follow me on Twitter (@profalbrecht). Connect to me on LinkedIn.

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