Social Media

#auditorproud

#AuditorProud Day Hits the Trifecta

Has it been a year already? The third annual #AuditorProud Day is upon us and it’s building momentum. Last year, 115 countries participated posting over 14,000 tweets and 4,000 Instagram photos. Kiwis got into the act early: Happy #AuditorProud Day! Auditors instil trust and confidence & have indispensable role in capital market system #CAANZ @chartered_accts […]

Brace Yourself for the #AuditorProud Social Media Blitz

Ding. Ding. Are you ready for Round 2? It’s the second annual #AuditorProud day. Hey, wait a second. Wasn’t it in December last year? Actually, yes. At least we know now that the folks over at the Center for Audit Quality took a haphazard approach when selecting the day and it’s totally random. But hey, […]

Don’t Worry Tax People, You Have a Lame Hashtag, Too

Last Thursday, all sorts of auditors who don't know what hashtags are bumrushed social media to tell #AuditorProud stories. I don't know whether or not #AuditorProud was ever trending on Twitter, but I do know that whatever people were tweeting, it was more worthy of your time than anything Donald Trump managed to share. Now, […]

The PCAOB Has a Flickr and It’s Everything You’d Expect it to Be

Earlier today when I was pulling a press release off my fifth most visited website after GC, the Daily Mail, Facebook, and perhaps a tube that shall remain unnamed, I noticed the fancy little icons at the top of the page letting me know that the PCAOB has a Flickr account. Perplexed, I immediately gchatted […]

Finally, LinkedIn Gives You the Option to Turn Off Endorsements

We have discussed LinkedIn endorsements previously — I would like to thank everyone who endorsed me for losing the remote, cat wrangling, writing about endorsements, and general mayhem after that post — but at that time, there was nothing to do about them except ignore them and heavily judge the people who use them. Always […]

WeiserMazars and Their Blow-Up Shark Win Busy Season

WeiserMazars may not be the biggest or the best accounting firm out there, but they've certainly got the market cornered on self-deprecating busy season posts this year. The firm asked its employees and randos on social media to contribute their busy season survival tips using the hashtag #WhenSharksFly and while the creepy shark is, well, […]

This #CPAPOWERED Thing Could Easily Escalate Quickly

Here's the deal, the AICPA wants feel good stories on how CPAs have helped their clients. That sounds cool. The problem we see here is that trolls (not like we know any of those) might hijack the campaign as an opportunity to do what they do best, which is troll obvs. Of course, no one […]

Robert Half’s Guide To Getting Hired in 2014 (Or, Alternatively, How Not to Totally Blow It)

Robert Half recently posted some rules for getting hired this year, most of which should be really obvious to anyone with even 3/10ths of a functioning brain but hey, I guess we need to cover all the bases. DO Be prepared for the interview: Research the company and explore its website and social media presence. Here you will […]

You Can Run But You Can’t Hide. Therefore, Sabotage Your Coworkers

Ahh recruiters. Each time I received an email, phone call, voicemail, or LinkedIn message it was a game. Which of their desperate ploys will actually stand out from the rest? Inevitable answer: none. Sometimes it feels like the staffing industry is filled with used car salesman beating down our inboxes. My favorite is when they […]

Life at Deloitte May or May Not Involve Time Spent on Your Knees

OH DEAR. Who let this one fly? I mean really. After a great practice run. The @TepperCMU team, Dr. Mather, and their coaches. pic.twitter.com/fx3g57DWXl — Life at Deloitte (@lifeatdeloitte) January 16, 2014 HAHAHA!! Practice run!! BWHAHAHAHAHA I am LOLing so hard I think I just sharted.

Life at Deloitte Doesn’t Always Include Proper Meals

"Forgot" to eat lunch? More like was so overwhelmed with busy work that he couldn't tear himself away for 30 minutes to eat a proper meal. But hey, I'm sure that wasn't his first Cheetos and Snickers bar lunch and it sure won't be the last. Whoa – forgot to eat lunch and its almost […]

Friendly July 4th Reminder: Social Media Meltdowns Can Be Career Limiting Moves

The vast majority of you GCers are American and are probably already on your way to a long weekend of barbeques and fireworks, while yous Canadians are coming off a long weekend of your own. All of you are nursing summer hangovers and the general summer “don’t give a flying ***k” attitude. Know who else […]

PwC’s New Report Is a Good Reminder Not to be a Tool on Social Media

Now that the SEC has given public companies the go ahead to tweet material info to investors, it's an easy assumption that many interested parties will be stalking social media more than ever. So those of you tweeting about clients, Instagramming audit rooms and "accidentally" Facebooking confidential information, consider yourselves on notice. CFO.com had an […]

Deloitte Survey Comes to Obvious Conclusion the Entire Internet Has Known Since At Least 2001

You know, it's a great thing we have the Big 4, Robert Half, Accountemps and others to spend their precious time pestering CEOs, CIOs, HR managers, CFOs and average grunts with surveys or else we might never know things we already know, like that business use of social media is on the rise: Deloitte’s fourth […]

Recruiting Season: Some Social Media Basics For The New Accountants on the Block

Chances are at some point someone in HR with too much time on their hands is going to Google you. Unless you are a John Smith, it would be wise to be proactive when it comes to your Internet presence, lest your potential new employer dig up your Facebook album called "CANCUN PEED ON MYSELF" […]

The Greatest Out of Context Tweet To Come Out of Big 4 Ever

For anyone familiar with EY's impressive social media efforts (including embarrassing interns by posting photos of them posing with gorillas and pimps at IILC on Facebook), the name Dan Black goes hand-in-hand with engagement. The guy's pretty good at what he does which is probably how he's managed to escape criticism on this website for […]

Accounting Legends, Hotties, and Old White Guys: Going Concern Is Now on Pinterest

It took a bit of arm-twisting on my part but I finally convinced Colin to let us launch an official Going Concern Pinterest! We're thrilled to add this female-friendly social media property to our existing online presence. Okay, by we I mean mostly me with Colin begrudgingly admitting that maybe it was a good idea […]

Twitter Absentee Barry Salzberg Preaches the Importance of Social Media

To our knowledge, Dr. Phil hasn't taken up the Deloitte CEO Twitter torch since he replaced Jim Quigley, so you'll excuse us if we take this comment from Salzberg's talk at Brooklyn College as a little disingenuous:  During the meeting, Salzberg advised students on their careers and answered questions about professional advancement, such as how […]

Young Americans Check Their Facebook More Than Their Bank Balance, Says AICPA

In honor of financial literacy month, the AICPA had Harris Interactive conduct a telephone survey to find out how often Americans check their social media accounts versus their bank accounts. The results should not be all that surprising. According to the survey, seventeen percent of 18- to 34-year-olds check their bank accounts daily. That’s less […]

Free Advice for PwC’s Social Media Department

I have some concerns about PwC's social media practices. These concerns go way back, long before they followed and then unfollowed me on Twitter (pfft, I'm used to it) and it appears as though no one on the PwC social media team has had the guts to bring it up so I'm going to go […]

Recent Grad Wants To Know Why He Should Care About LinkedIn

Ed. note: If you have a question for our career advice brain trust, ending it with compliments is definitely the way to get it answered quicker and with much less snark than usual. Just a tip.

Hey Adrienne,

I’m a recent college grad, just started at the Big-4, with prior work experience at some other companies, and a few people now have recommended that I start using LinkedIn as a means of keeping in touch with people. So far I’ve just been nodding my head and thinking to myself that I’ll get around to it some day, but in all honestly, I’m really not sure what LinkedIn is or why it matters. It seems like a way of making all my work stuff public for someone to scrutinize before I start on tlly when apply to their company) and I don’t see why that’s the greatest idea ever. I feel like Facebook can lead to some awkward quasi-friendship and feel like LinkedIn is a similar tool. I understand that there is a difference between just networking and asking for “recommendation” on the site, but other than that, I’m pretty much clueless. One other concern is that while it’s not my aim right now, I feel like creating a LinkedIn account is like making a sign saying that I’m ultimately looking to jump ship. Perhaps you or some readers could provide additional insight?

Thanks,

-Prefer to be Anonymous (get it, that’s why I don’t see what’s so great about LinkedIn).

P.S. You don’t have to tell Caleb, but I was talking to some co-workers and we definitely agree that GC is better when you’re in charge, thanks for the great work!

Oh come on, PtbA, you didn’t think I’d broadcast that all over the place? Thanks for the kind words, glad I’m not scaring you kids away this week. Let’s hope Caleb is still obsessively reading the site while sequestered in an unnamed third world country and sees this, even if it only confirms what he already knows.

Anyway, LinkedIn. Let me confess that even though my career specialization is online brand management and social media, even I was a bit sketched out by LinkedIn at the get go. I am a proponent of Internet privacy, at least as far as one is able to keep their details private while also maintaining their online presence. But when I first signed up for LinkedIn years ago, I was mortified by the sheer amount of information they wanted from me. Sure everyone knew where I worked anyway but why was it anyone’s business on LinkedIn?

Let me disclaim this next part by saying I absolutely love my job. If a competing online media outlet tried to poach me tomorrow, I’d kindly tell them to stick it up their www.ass.com. But for you as a public accounting grunt, having a solid presence on LinkedIn will pretty much guarantee that you are out there in front of firms both big and small looking for talent.

Having a fully developed LinkedIn profile does not make you appear ready to jump, it simply means you are in charge of your online identity. You might be happy with your firm now but you never know if that will change, and it can be handy to have connections at other firms just sort of lurking around.

While LinkedIn is a good tool for keeping connected with professionals (especially if you, like me, use Facebook to post pictures of your cats, you drinking or your cats drinking, which can be viewed as unprofessional in many circles), there is nothing that says you absolutely must have a profile. The benefit to having one is that when people Google you (and they will), your LinkedIn profile is one of the first results and you control the information shared. Because LinkedIn does not have the same “wall-to-wall” features as Facebook, it is a slightly more professional way to connect with people who you might not necessarily want to check in with all the time but still want to keep in your social circle should you need them later.

It isn’t that much of a pain to pound out a few paragraphs about your work experience and skills, and is actually a good exercise in professional development. Many of us don’t even realize what it is we do and what we’re good at until we are forced to analyze that, be it for a resume or for a LinkedIn profile. I actually found that part fun when I was putting my profile together but I’m kind of a sick puppy that way.

Since you’re new to this whole public accounting game, you might not realize how important playing the game is to your career, but if you do get that, think of LinkedIn as just another part of that game. Do you have to do it? Absolutely not. Should you? Probably. Can I give you a good reason why? Not really.

Just set aside an hour or so, fill in some of your info and skills and call it a day. Who knows, you might enjoy it.

Is the SEC Actually Monitoring Social Media?

The SEC has stated its position on social media, and I use the term “social media” loosely. They have also warned of hot stock scams perpetuated through those same channels.

Remember this?

A document request list sent by the SEC to some advisers asks for a broad range of data related to social media use, according to a compliance alert from ACA Compliance Group. Among other things, the SEC is seeking to identify how often advisers use social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr, MySpace, Digg, Redditt, as well as any blogs used by, or subscribed to, by the adviser. They are also looking at communications made by, or received by an adviser on any social media website including among others, blog postings, messages, and/or tweets.

MySpace? I doubt unscrupulous frauds will find many worthy targets there.

To me, it says that the SEC has no idea where the important information is when it comes to social media.

Look at the BlackBerry PlayBook recall. 900 units isn’t huge if you consider they moved 50,000 units on its first day. Then again, if it were an anointed Apple product, that would be a pathetic debut.

If the SEC is in the business of protecting the investor, it would want to have some kind of say in how useful, relevant and timely RIM’s information is to shareholders. Reasonable accounting authorities might also want to understand the impact of bad PR on the company’s overall financial health, instead of constantly wasting everyone’s time discussing how to account for a lease on the books. Please!

Like when the WSJ published this story about the PlayBook’s first day:

“The traffic’s not iPad crazy, but there is a buzz,” said a salesman. “We actually had 5 people in the morning when the store opened at 7.”

Early sales were also relatively strong at a Best Buy outlet in the Fenway neighborhood of Boston, where there were “only a couple” of tablets left as of midmorning, a salesman said. While he declined to say exactly how many the store started with, he said the majority had now been sold. There were people waiting to buy the tablet when the store opened, he said.

At a Staples store in downtown New York City, on Broadway, a salesman said all 10 PlayBooks it had in stock sold out within a couple of hours of opening at 7 a.m. People are still coming in to ask for it, and the store is having them order online, he said.

Shit, if I held a bunch of RIM (disclaimer: this author is long RIM) and this were a reasonable market in which I might feel safer knowing the SEC is totally protecting my interests, I might want a rule that calculates exactly what that bad PR is worth to the company I own. To a shareholder, this sort of news means my investment just took one hell of a hit. Ten PlayBooks per store? Sad.

But instead, the SEC wants to know what blogs investors are reading. I’m sure that’s a productive use of their time and far more important than monitoring the digital pulse of investing as it pumps through the veins of social media.

Canadian Accountants Are Less Social Media Savvy, More Concerned About Work-Life Balance

In February, Sage revealed some disturbing results based on a random survey of 500 U.S. members of its Sage Accountants Network. Of them, U.S. respondents were a tad behind the curve when it comes to social media (shocker) and obsessed with finding new clients.

This time around, Sage North America surveyed 200 of its French-Speaking Canadian Sage Accountants Network members and discovered the following:

Among the 947 respondents, the biggest challenge facing their firms was tied at 34 per cent for time management and work-life balance, followed by keeping up with technology at 29 per cent. This was a stark contrast to their American counterparts who reported that their biggest challenge was getting new clients (35%), tax law complexity and changes (22%) and the effect of new regulations and standards on small firms (25%).

In terms of social media, the survey indicates a slower adoption rate among Canadian respondents than their U.S. counterparts with 58 per cent stating that they aren’t using any social media tools in a professional capacity compared to 43 per cent of those in the US. In fact, only 23 per cent of respondents’ firms have a website compared to 37 per cent in the U.S. For those using social media, the survey reveals that the key tools that are being used are LinkedIn (22%) and Facebook (18%).

Although there are numerous Canadian accounting professional association publications, when asked which accounting publications respondents read, 56 per cent stated that they do not read anything compared to only 19 per cent of U.S. respondents.

It’s that last number that is most upsetting. No one is suggesting accountants have to be on top of breaking news but as financial planners, advisers and business minds, it’s sort of important that they at least attempt to keep up with the profession (*ahem*). It’s not like there’s a lot to break all the damn time.

SEC Warns of Pre-IPO Investment Scams

The SEC seems awfully interested in social media these days, and we assume it has little to do with Caleb’s obnoxious Whole Foods foursquare check-ins. Their latest nemesis? Pre-IPO investment scams purporting to be offering shares in hot non-public companies like Twitter, Facebook and Groupon.

SEC staff is aware of a number of complaints and inquiries about these types of pre-IPO investment scams, which may be promoted on social media and Internet sites, by telephone, email, in person, or by other means.

In September 2010, a judgment order was entered in favor of the SEC based on allegations that a scam artist had misappropriated more than $3.7 million from 45 investors in four states by offering fake pre-IPO shares of companies, including Centerpoint, AOL/Time Warner, Inc., Google, Inc., Facebook, Inc., and Rosetta Stone, Inc. In addition, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issued a recent investor alert about these types of scams. While offerings of pre-IPO shares in a company are not uncommon, unregistered offerings may violate federal securities laws unless they meet a registration exemption, such as restricting the private offering to “accredited investors” — investors who meet certain income or net worth requirements.

Investors should be mindful of the risks involved with an offer to purchase pre-IPO shares in a company. As with any investment, we encourage investors to research thoroughly both the investment product and the professional offering the product before making any investment decision.

Since AOL/Time Warner went public in 2006, we have to assume the scam artist referenced above had been at this for quite some time before the SEC was finally able to bring down the heavy hand of justice on dat ass.

If you’re interested in further reading on the subject, check out FINRA’s Pre-IPO Offerings—These Scammers Are Not Your Friends:

In general, offerings of securities must either be registered with the SEC or meet an exemption under the federal securities laws—otherwise the offering is not legal. “Pre-IPO” speculation involves buying unregistered shares in a private company before the initial public offering of securities—and it can range from risky deals to outright frauds.

Wait, does this have anything to do with that whole Goldman Sachs Facebook embarrassment?

Beware emails from Nigerian princes selling pre-IPO shares in hot tech companies, people.

Be Careful What You Tweet, Mary Schapiro Might Be Watching

We’ve considered why your firm might want a social media policy in the past but it’s clear now that it’s not only wise to keep employees in check but to keep the SEC from breathing down everyone’s necks.

Regulation FD (fair disclosure) is meant to prevent selective disclosure by issuers of materialon and insider trading liability in connection with a trader’s “use” or “knowing possession” of material nonpublic information. The rules are designed to promote the full and fair disclosure of information by issuers, and to clarify and enhance existing prohibitions against insider trading.


Without a social media policy, any employee of the company tweeting or blogging about company events could broadly be assumed to be company communications. Whether or not these people are officially representing the company or not is irrelevant; selective disclosure could be as simple as a poorly-timed post about a company secret (i.e. “our awesome new product will be released in two weeks!”) on an employee’s Facebook page, which is public but limited to the employee’s 100 or so family and friends. In theory, an astute friend could take this as a buy signal, knowing X product will cause quite a storm once it hits the market. Welcome to insider trading: social media edition. Notice here that the intention is not what is important but rather the event itself. The SEC doesn’t care if the employee meant to pump up his or her employer’s stock but rather that the employee chose to selectively disclose information not readily available to the public that the employee is privy to to a limited group of people.

How far could the SEC take this?

The SEC’s guidance set forth three considerations to help determine whether information posted on corporate websites is considered “public.”

* Whether a company’s Web site is a recognized channel of distribution;
* Whether information is posted and accessible, and therefore disseminated in a manner calculated to reach investors; and
* Whether information is posted for a reasonable period so that it has been absorbed by investors.

The guidance goes on to clarify that statements made on blogs or other interactive websites are subject to the anti-fraud provisions of the federal securities laws, and companies cannot require investors to waive protections under the federal securities laws as a condition of using such interactive websites.

The only control companies have in this is to have a very clear, intelligent social media policy that either limits or forbids disclosure of non-public information through blogs and social media. This isn’t new (this interpretation was released in August of 2008) but what is new is the rumor that the SEC is beginning to send deficiency letters to registered investment advisers it examines, specifically those who do not have a social media policy in place.

A document request list sent by the SEC to some advisers asks for a broad range of data related to social media use, according to a compliance alert from ACA Compliance Group. Among other things, the SEC is seeking to identify how often advisers use social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr, MySpace, Digg, Redditt, as well as any blogs used by, or subscribed to, by the adviser. They are also looking at communications made by, or received by an adviser on any social media website including among others, blog postings, messages, and/or tweets.

According to the WSJ, an SEC spokesman declined to comment on the deficiency letters. However, an SEC official said at a compliance conference last month that misuse of social media is an issue on their radar in SEC examinations and enforcement. Misuse being defined as investment advisers who fake information on their LinkedIn profiles to buff up their appearance to investors.

Doing It Wrong Twitter Case Study: The Idiot Who Accidentally Talks Sh*t on His Client’s Twitter Feed and Causes 20 People to Lose Their Jobs

Important lesson for any Big 4, et al. Twitter captains out there:

A Chrysler contractor who posted an obscene tweet on the Chrysler brand’s official account says he’s sorry his four-letter flub has cost 20 people their jobs.

Scott Bartosiewicz’s Twitter posting from last week read: “I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the (hash)motorcity and yet no one here knows how to (expletive) drive.” It was meant to appear on his personal account, but Bartosiewicz mistakenly sent it to the Chrysler brand’s feed while he was stuck in traffic on Interstate 696.

The error resulted in the 28-year-old Ferndale resident’s dismissal and contributed to Chrysler’s decision not to renew its contract with Bartosiewicz’s employer, New Media Strategies, a Virginia-based marketing firm that now is putting about 20 local employees out of work.

It’ll be a miracle if this guy sees this year’s Final Four.

Man fired over obscene Chrysler tweet apologizes [AJC]

Social Media Poses Enough of a Risk to Overstock.com That They Disclosed It in Their 10-K

It’s been quite some time since we picked up the Overstock beat but Gary Weiss picked up something in the company’s recently filed 10-K yesterday that makes us wonder if the company was shooting for irony or if they’ve given up on blaming the “shorts” turning instead to “social media,” which, similar to the anti-short campaign would allow them to encompass a number of villains without naming anyone directly.


From “Note 1A: Risk Factors” section of the company’s notes to the financial statements:

There has been a marked increase in use of social media platforms and similar devices, including weblogs (blogs), social media websites, and other forms of Internet-based communications which allow individuals access to a broad audience of consumers and other interested persons. Consumers value readily available information concerning retailers, manufacturers, and their goods and services and often act on such information without further investigation, authentication and without regard to its accuracy. The availability of information on social media platforms and devices is virtually immediate as is its impact. Social media platforms and devices immediately publish the content their subscribers and participants post, often without filters or checks on accuracy of the content posted. The opportunity for dissemination of information, including inaccurate information, is seemingly limitless and readily available. Information concerning the Company may be posted on such platforms and devices at any time. Information posted may be adverse to our interests, it may be inaccurate, and may harm our performance, prospects or business. The harm may be immediate without affording us an opportunity for redress or correction. Such platforms also could be used for dissemination of trade secret information, compromise of valuable company assets all of which could harm our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations.

As Gary points out, this disclosure is especially rich since Patrick Byrne had a goon using Facebook to stalk critics like Gary, Sam Antar, Barry Ritholtz among others which of course was disseminated in various social media outlets. Newsflash to Overstock’s risk managers: when people are being pursued by creeps on the Internet, they complain about to EVERYONE THEY KNOW.

One could easily argue that Segway accidents at the office pose just as great of a risk to key employees – and thus a disclosable item – but perhaps that’s covered under their D&O policy? It still seems plausible that disclosure would still be warranted. Additionally, the risk of a good snowfall might cause some of Salt Lake City-based company’s employees to call in sick to enjoy the fresh pow could have resulted in a late filing which is certainly something the SEC would want to know. We know KPMG has a crack squad of auditors all over this engagement but it’s conceivable that they overlooked some other risks. If you’ve got ideas on what those might be, let us know below.

Being Twitter Savvy Does Not Keep Accountants Awake at Night

Because we can never get enough surveys, Sage came through with the skinny on what keeps accountants awake at night (no joke). We’re proud to say that alcoholism and Caleb’s typos did not make the list but there’s always next year. Way to go, profession!


Sage surveyed more than 500 of its Sage Accountants Network members across the U.S. in December 2010 to figure out what gets accountants’ knickers in a twist. Results as follows:

Among the 533 respondents, 34% stated that getting new clients tops their list of concerns. 28% cited tax law complexity and changes as an issue; followed by the effect of new regulations and standards on small firms, keeping up with technology, and time management concerns, all at 24%. Work/life balance was cited by 20% of respondents, and keeping up with professional standards was a key concern for 17% of those surveyed. 13% of respondents cited access to affordable healthcare for employees as a worry for their firms.

Perhaps in response to the search for new clients, 83% of firms currently specialize or are planning to specialize in specific vertical business segments. By far, services/consulting was the most popular category for specialization (63% of those surveyed), followed by construction at 43% and retail at 39%. Other popular areas of specialization include working with nonprofits (35%), restaurants (30%), and manufacturing/distribution (29%) clients.

The full survey may be found here.

We found it a bit odd that retaining clients, retaining staff and managing staff came in at 9%, 3% and 2%, respectively. Obviously there is a bit of a work/life balance overlap in there somewhere but because we here at Going Concern know no such thing, we could not bring ourselves to analyze these results further.

It’s the social media section of the survey that shocked us most. Not to say that the results themselves were shocking, exactly, as the shocking part lies in how some of these firms actually manage to make money. What do they use to attract new clients, carrier pigeons and sandwich boards? Thirty-seven percent of survey respondents use their own websites as “social media,” though in our humble opinion the “social” part means using a more conversational form of communication than some .com with your firm name in it. Twenty-eight percent use LinkedIn, 19% are on Facebook and – wait for it – 7% have gotten into Twitter. 7%! A frightening 43% of respondents don’t use social media at all, perhaps explaining why 34% are concerned about getting new clients. They must not be that concerned if they aren’t using social media to put themselves out there.

Know what this says to me if I’m a firm looking to make a killing through social media? Hit Twitter, it’s a no man’s land and you won’t have to elbow out the competition. Really, people? 7%?!

Know what else this also says to me? All my evangelizing about not acting like an ass on Twitter has been in vain; if firms aren’t using it, they probably don’t know how to search for your tweets about getting wasted and wanting to stab the senior for acting like a jackass. So have at it, it’s just you and the MLM bots tweeting out there until these guys get a clue and jump on board.

I think you kids know what to do from here.

Doing It Right: Not Acting Like an Ass on the Internet

We’ve given you plenty of tips on how not to be an ass on the Internet (sometimes causing you to get pissy with the messenger for calling you out) and also plenty of examples of those who do it wrong (some really, really wrong). So it was thrilling to see the AICPA’s This Way to CPA site take on bad behavior for job-seekers with some of the same tips we’ve been throwing out there all along in Remember your dignity (please). We were especially into this one about acting like an unrefined dolt:

THE BIGGEST DON’T OF ALL

Blab stuff online you can’t take back. It happens. From the typical drunk pic on the Facebook page to the more serious crimes like tweeting the salary you just got offered (especially smooth when the people who already work there see it and instantly pity/hate you), social media blunders are as common as they are hilarious. You heard about the girl who slammed her boss in a status update, then was reminded – by him – that she’d friended him already, right?

Social Media Manager Angela Connor has a simple suggestion to protect yourself against this kind of public blunder. “I don’t care what your privacy settings say; don’t assume anything is private.” This is, of course, the Internet we’re talking about. It’s just too easy for incriminating pictures, swear-packed rants and outright whining about your current job to slip out and become public knowledge.

Surely they aren’t referring to the sort of swear-packed rants that are a mainstay over at Jr Deputy Accountant because, well, let’s face it, that potty mouth nailed me this sweet Going Concern gig.

But if I were to go job hunting tomorrow, my big fat angry mouth would be all over the place ripping on Federal Reserve presidents and verbally bitch-slapping ne’er-do-well Congressmen and most employers aren’t so into that sort of behavior. So let this be yet one more reminder that in this day and age everything you do on the Internet can come back to bite you.

Like that Russian skin flick Caleb made in the early 00s. Google it.

Oh, and can someone please clarify “typical drunken pic on Facebook” for me? I’ve seen plenty of said drunken Facebook pics in my day and am not quite clear on what would qualify as “typical”. Anyone?

Doing It Wrong Twitter Case Study: The Runaway Tweeter

Continuing our series on those in the industry who attempt to use Twitter but fail miserably in one way or another, today’s case study has to do with a tweeter all too frequent among the accounting set: the abandoned account.

You’ve probably come across more than one of these if you’ve attempted to look up certain state societies of CPAs or organizations that appear in Twitter search results but, sadly, feature no picture and maybe one or two tweets from two years ago. It’s obvious, upon checking out the empty bio and single tweet that these accounts belong to tweeters who really wanted to get into the whole Twitter thing but either gave up or got confused and let that drive them away.


I won’t name any names (but one starts with Idaho and ends with Society of CPAs) but one has to wonder what would inspire a media department to go through the trouble of getting their account validated and deciding on that first tweet only to be spooked by the lack of interest or the pure unadulterated excitement of tweeting. What is it? And why bother opening an account in the first place?

We’ve given you guys this lovely piece of advice before (see our interview with New Jersey Society of CPAs’ Don Meyer) but it’s important to remember that you won’t become Ashton Kutcher with 1,000,000 followers overnight and possibly never if you’re tweeting mostly about accounting and all related awesomeness. The niche is small and interest is limited to the couple thousand folks out there who are actively using social media to connect with other like-minded accounting enthusiasts and sources of accounting information. Reactions can be slow to come, if at all, and if you’re trying to break into social media you shouldn’t let the oftentimes frigid audience keep you from trudging ever-onward to meet your social media goals.

You may never get a reaction. You may not get many followers. You may not feel like your message is getting through. But keep doing it and please, don’t end up one of these phantom accounts abandoned in the Twitter junkyard with all the dirty Britney videos and busted dot coms.

Doing It Wrong Twitter Case Study: The Narcissist

Following our previous Doing It Wrong case studies featuring the over-hashtagging accounting firm, the excited newbie and the hyperconnected crack tweeter, we humbly present you a criticism of one of our least favorite Twitter users: the self-absorbed narcissist.


You can spot the narcissist from a mile away by looking for keywords such as “I”, “me” and “myself.” The narcissist doesn’t really try to make it appear as though they are interested in others nor do they tend to share useful information, only their own personal triumphs, opinions, activities and musings. To the self-absorbed narcissist, this is really all that matters.

The self-absorbed narcissist is pretty easy to seduce into doing your bidding by expressing even the smallest amount of interest in their indulgent self-congratulations. This can be accomplished by retweeting their latest announcement (retweeting an announcement with lots of “me” and “my” statements will earn you bonus points in the eyes of the narcissist) and doing so might even get you a retweet yourself.

The narcissist may collect followers like nerds collect World of Warcraft gold and, if excessively narcissistic, will likely follow only 1 or 2 people to prove just how awesome and appreciated they are. To the narcissist, this is a sign of their importance and status in the Twitter community, as who needs communication when you have awesome credentials and incredible talent?

How can you avoid becoming the narcissist? Interact! Congratulate others, encourage your cohorts and share useful links that aren’t just things you’ve written or appearances you’ve made in the media.

“Doing It Wrong” Twitter Case Study: The Over-Excited Newbie

Continuing with our series on how not to behave in social media that looks at what certain accounts do wrong without actually naming names, we thought we’d take a quick look at a Twitter user that should be all too familiar to most of you. Heck, you may even be this Twitter user, go ahead and stop me if you feel like you’re looking in a mirror.

The over-excited newbie thinks hashtags are great. So great, in fact, that he or she feels compelled to put them in every tweet. This is normal since we’ve seen this sort of behavior in accounting firms as well and they allegedly have media teams to run social media for them. We’re here to tell you for the last time to settle down and reserve hashtags for pre-determined conversations (like a chat that is easily tracked using a hashtag) or selective topics of conversation but not the entire conversation for the love of sweet baby Google.


The over-excited newbie also makes the mistake of jumping in head first without watching how others handle themselves in the arena. With hundreds – if not thousands – of well-established, accounting-related Twitter feeds already in the wild, it doesn’t make sense not to look to them to learn a thing or two about how the natives operate.

Lists like Michelle Golden’s “Accounting Awesomeness” can give you a direct line to some of accounting’s best, try following them for hints on how to behave before attempting to go out into the scary world of Twitter all by yourself. No one is implying that you should get all cookie-cutter on us but there is something to be said for sticking to the script, especially if you have absolutely no idea what you are doing.

The over-excited newbie tends to have trouble differentiating between streaming consciousness and appropriately answering the question “What’s happening?”, often dropping the most mundane details about what the yardboy wore while raking leaves and mistakenly letting threats towards co-workers seep out.

Signs you may be an over-excited newbie? Comments like “I am going to slit my senior’s throat if he doesn’t start doing some of this work” or “My boss is a fucking moron for giving me a raise after all these months of me showing up late every day” are dead giveaways.

Remember: everyone can see what you are doing on Twitter, even if your stream is “private.” That means vindictive colleagues, obnoxious clients and seniors who don’t appreciate being called raging douchenozzles in front of the entire Internet during an engagement.

So if you are the over-excited newbie, don’t worry, there’s hope for you yet. Try refraining from doing much more tweeting until you understand how Twitter works. For starters, stick to being a casual observer. No one is saying you can’t be opinionated or use the tools, however, you might choose. We have to remember our industry and keep in mind that as protectors of the public we have an obligation to conduct ourselves in a certain way.

Think of Twitter self-censoring like a privacy screen, it’ll keep all your nastiness to yourself. Exactly where it belongs.

Are Millennials a Bunch of Indifferent Brats?

The following post is republished from AccountingWEB, a source of accounting news, information, tips, tools, resources and insight–everything you need to help you prosper and enjoy the accounting profession.

Recently I was asked by a reporter to comment on some research studies concluding that Gen Y/Millennials (people approximately 31 and younger now) are much less empathetic to others than the generations coming before them. The studies were done with college students since 1979, and the big change showed up after 2000.

My personal experience with the college students I know and/or mentor is not the same as gs, but my pool is much smaller, so I have no scientific basis upon which to refute the findings. As a workplace inter-generational relations expert, I mostly deal with Gen Yers already out of school. I think many of them get an undeserved negative reputation. I have found them to be eager to learn, open, hardworking, ambitious, and fun, in general.

My speculation concerning the lack of empathy shown would be a sort of numbness from the trauma of 9/11 at an impressionable age and being served a constant menu of violence in media of all sorts. I would say these factors influence the younger Gen Xers, say, under age 35, as well. Also, the pressure in school and to get into schools, and to deal with constant messaging from many sources has left many of them with little time to reflect outside of themselves. Yet, Gen Yers are big into community service and concern for social problems, which indicates empathy.


The study findings lead me to ask these questions:

• What does this lack of empathy finding mean for their relations with colleagues in the workplace?

• Will they be willing to pitch in and compensate for colleagues who need flexible time off (for a fair exchange)?

• Will they continue to collaborate if they don’t get as much recognition as they want and somebody else does get the recognition?

•Will they have the necessary empathy for clients and customers to provide the outstanding service that is demanded in these competitive times to succeed in business?

These are crucial business questions, and we need to instill the importance of empathy. Empathy is a very important quality to have for life and business. And here is a link to a very interesting article on the subject.

BONUS: Bite on empathy and relationships

Charles M. Blow, New York Times op-ed columnist, wrote about whether we know our neighbors or even care in Friends, Neighbors, and Facebook (June 12, 2010). A Pew Research Center report issued in early June found that only 42 percent of U.S. adults know all or most of their neighbors* by name.

Segmented, the greatest percentage of respondents who know all or most of their neighbors are: females, non-Hispanic whites, age 50 or older, college graduates, and annual household income over $75,000. However, most of the demographic differences are not huge.

Blow admits to only knowing one person on his block (a Times colleague). At the same time, he has a very large number of friends and followers on social networking sites, which he actively participates on.

Two thoughts Blow offers speculating on why so few know their neighbors: 1) “Social networks are rewiring our relationships and affecting the attachments to our actual ones;” and 2) “Users of social networking services are 26 percent less likely to use their neighbors as a source of companionship,” according to a Pew report released in November 2009.

Your thoughts? I want to hear them – please share.

*I live in a New York co-op apartment building, and know by name all the neighbors on our floor and many others in the building. My husband, not a dog owner, knows the name of every dog in the building, but only a few of the pet owners’ names. Interpret that as you choose!

Social Media Makes for Effective Marketing on the Cheap

The following post is republished from AccountingWEB, a source of accounting news, information, tips, tools, resources and insight — everything you need to help you prosper and enjoy the accounting profession.

In a tough economy, marketing is often the first to go. But that can mean missed opportunities. So, more accounting firms are using social media to boost their marketing efforts without busting their budgets.

Social media – social networking sites, blogs, and video/photo-sharing sites – is increasingly used for marketing purposes for three reasons:


1. Social media sites are where people go to search for information on the Web – In March, Facebook became the most-visited site by U.S. users, beating out Google, according to analytics firm Hitwise. And Facebook hits increased 185 percent over the previous year; Google hits increased only 9 percent.

2. Think viral marketing – This can result in new LinkedIn connections, Facebook fans, or Twitter followers, building visibility and facilitating referrals and requests for service.

3. The cost is low – Developing a social media presence takes time away from other activities, but hard costs are minimal. For example, you generally can join a social network or post a video for free.

The key to social media marketing success is to develop strategies that fit your firm’s needs and strengths. But you can start small:

1. Get active on LinkedIn – Although Facebook use for business is increasing, LinkedIn – with more than 60 million registered users – is still the go-to social media site for professionals. It’s where accountants should start building their social media presence. Be sure partners fill out complete profiles, including summaries that detail their experience and expertise. Also provide training on how they can build up and utilize their networks.

2. Host a blog – This is a great way for practice leaders to demonstrate their expertise. For your first blog, choose a partner who has the passion and commitment needed to write a compelling blog, regularly update it, and respond to comments. Once other partners see the blog’s success, their interest in blogging themselves likely will increase.

A tasteless post by a partner or a complaint by a disgruntled employee can travel all over the Web (even if your firm doesn’t actively maintain a social media presence). So all firms must establish SM policies that address:

• Who is permitted to represent your firm in various social media.

• How to represent the firm in a way that is consistent with your brand.

• Why social media can’t be used to share confidential information.

• How to use privacy settings on various social media sites.

Whether your policy should be looser or more rigid depends on your firm’s culture.

Social media will play an increasingly important role in accounting firm marketing in the years to come. Start looking into how your firm can make the most of this client-building tool.

About the author:
Francesca Zelasko is director of accountant partner programs and partner marketing. Zelasko has more than 10 years of progressive marketing experience within the technology industry including SaaS, software, hardware and middleware products and services. She currently oversees the overall Accountant Channel for SurePayroll which includes Referral and Reseller partners and customized products.

“Doing It Wrong” Twitter Case Study: The Robotic, Over-Hashtagging Accounting Firm

Because I’ve learned the error of my ways and will never call anyone out publicly again on social media les faux pas (I pledge, instead, to use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, mass e-mail and/or BBM to constantly pester the offender into correcting the violation), I figured it would be better instead to just sort of call them out in a manner obvious to everyone but the offender themselves. No need to say specifically who I am talking about, you can probably figure it out.


Auto Direct Messages – One of the most annoying things about constantly using Twitter is being assaulted by auto DMs. What’s extra annoying about this is knowing that people I respect (who – once again – won’t be named) use them to this day. I think the consensus has been that they are impersonal if not disrespectful as you’re not really showing me a commitment to start a relationship by sending me some robot tweet that only clutters my inbox. Knock it off. We’re all very busy. Say something to me if you have to but there’s no need to spam my inbox with your “personalized” welcome message via DM. This is especially bad if you have misspelled something in your really obnoxious auto DM. Stop it. Seriously.

Hashtag Overkill – Somewhat higher on the annoyance scale, constantly hashtagging everything you write in a completely unpredictable, manic pattern. I’m not sure why #compliance is something people are actually searching for on Twitter often enough to require hashtagging it with every mention but to each his own. I’m talking about constantly and excessively hashtagging everything. We know you’re all about diversity and Accounting’s Top Whatever awards but by hashtagging every other word you are merely showing us that you really don’t know how to use Twitter. We expect better out of global accounting firms. I shouldn’t have to name names, you know who you are and you can stop now. Conservatism states that you will knock it the hell off and pick one or two per tweet moving forward.

One Handle Too Many – Is it necessary to create 40 sub-accounts that cover each of your divisions, specialties, scams and locales? I get that firms are global and that’s the whole point of the Internet but once again you’re taking it way too far and getting too excited about this stuff. One smaller accounting firm tweeting consistently, correctly and with a joke here and there is far more effective in my view than 67 sub-accounts randomly over-hashtagging for different global firm specialties. I’ll name names this time, @mgocpa is a great example of doing it right without an entire staff of media people running the show. Come on Big 87654, you guys can afford to put a few more bucks in Internet marketing if you are going to do it. Read one of those “How to Tweet” e-books maybe.

We sincerely hope our suggestions are appreciated here. If they aren’t implemented, we may be forced to start calling people out again.

How Much Time Is Too Much Time to Spend on Social Media?

The following post is republished from AccountingWEB, a source of accounting news, information, tips, tools, resources and insight–everything you need to help you prosper and enjoy the accounting profession.

It’s likely that your employees spend a sizeable percentage of their time using social media. As work/life balance continues to blend into one homogenous string of activities, social media activity is happening in your workplace whether you realize it or not.

But isn’t social media just a big waste of time?

It can be, but lumping all socito the same unproductive bucket is unfair, and also unwise. Social media can be an effective tool for many key business activities – including business development, client retention, and employee retention and recruitment.

Because platforms like Facebook often blend personal and business colleagues, it’s very challenging to set black and white rules when governing the use of social media.


Free reign on social media = Trust

At Chrometa, we take a mostly laissez faire approach to our employees’ use of social media, with no official policies or restriction on what employees are allowed to do. I know this thinking is counterintuitive to what many accounting and consulting firms believe, but I think this boils down to a control issue more than anything else. It’s sort of similar to being told as a child not to get into the cookie jar. If firms set up policies dictating certain actions, employees are more likely to violate these policies if they feel they can get away with it without being noticed.

Each of our employees is encouraged to set up and maintain a presence on “The Big 3” social media channels – Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Their participation levels, on the other hand, are completely up to them. A couple of our employees really enjoy and benefit, both personally and professionally, from their time on Facebook and Twitter. Ironically, our chief technical officer generally dislikes social media and personally avoids it.

At the core of our free reign is trust. We trust that our employees are 100 percent devoted to the success of our company, mission, and brand. As a result, I have complete trust they will not represent us poorly; to do so would be like representing themselves poorly. This level of trust is only possible if an employee does completely self-identify with his or her job and firm.

How much time is too much time?

I personally have spent too much time on many occasions on the Big 3 and blogs, as well, without achieving what I’d consider a reasonable ROI on my time. Going forward, I know I need to more accurately gauge the amount of time I should spend on each medium.

It’s not completely fair and accurate when people proclaim, “Twitter is a complete waste of time” because they probably just don’t understand what it can do. Twitter can be a drain, but it also can be useful if used properly and marketed to your stakeholders. Like anything, if you spend too much time on Twitter, you can end up wasting a lot of time if you don’t use it wisely.

How-much-time-too-much-time is something everyone must figure out for themselves. I give our employees the leeway to decide how much time is too much. I know they honestly want to be productive and perform their roles to the best of their ability. Because I know this, I find it’s better if they figure out these types of limits and best practices themselves, instead of having them come as edicts from above.

It’s About Time is a series of articles devoted to practice management techniques that focus on efficiency and productivity.

About the Author:
Brett Owens is CEO and cofounder of Chrometa, a Sacramento, CA-based provider of time-tracking software that records activity in real time. Previously marketed to the legal community, Chrometa is branching out to accounting prospects. Gains include the ability to discover previously undocumented billable time, saving time on billing reconciliation, and improving personal productivity. Owens also is blogger and founder at CommodityBullMarket.com and ContraryInvesting.com, as well as a regular contributor to two leading financial media sites, SeekingAlpha.com and BeforeItsNews.com.

Memo to Media Departments: Here Are Three Ways to Make My Job Easier

I’m not going to name names since that doesn’t seem to go over well but I have a bone to pick and think this is the perfect platform for doing so. In case you aren’t paying attention, I tend to use real-world examples to form my suggestions on what to do (or more often than not what not to do) in social media and this time I need to air a complaint about some industry “professionals” who aren’t playing the game right.

Again, no names so don’t ask and if you’re wondering if I mean you, I probably do.

I’m referring specifically to media def attempts on my part to connect with them and get their news out here on Going Concern and Jr. Deputy Accountant. The JDA blow offs I can almost understand but when I come right with a proposition and offer them a coveted spot among the PwC rebranding whine dump and salary news here on GC and they completely ignore it, I get pissed.

Therefore, helpful sort that I am, I’m offering three ways YOU, accounting industry media person, can make MY job easier:


1. Respond When I write you an email inviting you to participate in an interview, survey, ribbing, etc., a response would be nice either way though I obviously appreciate a “yes” far more than a “are you kidding me?” Regardless of whether or not you would like to participate, the least you can do is respond. I know you’re busy, we’re all busy, no one expects you to answer me 4 minutes after I’ve sent the email but a courtesy response would be awesome. I’m not asking a lot. I’m giving you a chance to participate in something awesome and trust me, I wouldn’t waste my own time so I don’t expect you to waste yours.

2. Don’t be scared I’m not sure what it is or why people seem to perceive my brand as hostile but I’m really not as hostile as it seems if you actually talk to me. It amazes me that some industry professionals think Going Concern is hostile and incendiary as well! Seriously?! We hardly swear and cover accounting news, how threatening can we be? Apparently quite. I can’t speak for Caleb but I’ve been blocked. And ignored. Whatever, it’s not about my ego, it’s about me inviting you to take a seat at our conversation and you running the other direction.

3. Wake up! If you are going to start A) a campaign and/or B) a Twitter account, please expect that I’m going to find it and possibly come ask you questions about it. As a media professional, it’s sort of expected that you’ll be excited to offer me the information I seek so I can share it with our readers or at least be able to point me to some press release that accomplishes the same without you having to talk to me. It doesn’t matter if you disagree with my opinion on Ben Bernanke being a massive douchebag or if you are offended by my liberal use of the F-word on my own turf, this is about the industry. We know for a fact that some industry professionals wish Going Concern would expire and drop off the Internet but let’s be real, it isn’t happening so you’d be smart by embracing it instead of fighting it. Like it or not, we’re the future of the industry. Suck it.

I swear we don’t bite (Caleb might but you’ll have to ask him to be sure) and we’ve proven that we here at Going Concern hold ourselves to an exceptionally high standard of ethical behavior when it comes to sources, interviews and communications with industry professionals. So I don’t know where the fear is coming from but seriously, answer your damn emails.

Just One More Reason To Not Act Like an Idiot on the Internet

Federal officials are looking for “easier” rules that would allow for wiretapping of Internet-based services since no one uses their phones anymore, says the NYT.

The FBI, DoJ, NSA and White House officials have been meeting for awhile now to come up with a way around the everyone ditching their phones problem. Spying on someone gets hard when they’re doing all their dirty business on Skype I’m sure. Can you show me any criminals that actually do that?

If things go the way the in-the-dark could mean requiring communication providers to provide access to encrypted interactions using common platforms like BlackBerry and Facebook. While it’s unlikely that any of you will become subject of a federal wiretap warrant, just opening this door means a critical component of our online security has been compromised.


Monitoring services and firms already watch the conversation (look at Cyveillance, for example) and if you brag about all your unreported income on Twitter (e.g. “Fuck 1099s, I haven’t filed a return in five years and those idiots at the @IRS will never find me!”), chances are you’ll get busted so we know TPTB are watching but what happens when they can force their way through encryption? It’s one thing to open yourself up to litigation by being stupid enough to say you’re going to blow up an airport in 140 characters or less but you should be able to make inappropriate comments in the privacy of your own Facebook outbox.

Since when do drug cartels use Facebook to arrange their deals?

Regardless of where this proposition goes the reality is that we’ve already pretty much given our information up (and do, consistently – see also “Sign in using Facebook” buttons that you guys are probably constantly pressing out of laziness) so one more step can’t really be the end of the world for individual privacy, right?

All the more reason to tighten up your personal Internet security in the meantime, which means not using your full name for stuff and refraining from threatening to stab the senior while at the client’s. You know who you are.

Are Boomers Embracing the Always-Connected Attitude of Gen Y?

The following post is republished from AccountingWEB, a source of accounting news, information, tips, tools, resources and insight–everything you need to help you prosper and enjoy the accounting profession.

The technology use gap among the generations is closing rapidly. There may be no better example that hits home than Michael Winerup’s “Generation B” column in The New York Times, “On Vacation and Looking for Wi-Fi.” We all are touched, most of us are trapped by the psychological effect of being accessible 24/7 and the desire to keep on top of the deluge of messages and data coming in unstoppable torrents.

Winerup points out that just a few years ago the middle-aged members of his three-generation, geographically extended family vacationing together left their work and tech gadgets at home. Three years ago, a few made a visit to an Internet café on their vacation, just for the novelty of it. This year some of them stood in a long line in a resort lobby to pay for 25 hours of Internet service, brought laptops, and checked e-mail daily. This way they reduce the e-mail build-up awaiting them the first day back at work. I surely relate to that post-vacation return anxiety even as I resist checking e-mail every day when out of the U.S.


“We expect ourselves to be available,” said Winerup. That’s the Boomers’ mindset. Technology is making us work harder. Gen X and Y have been continuously connected for years, but many of them don’t want to be always available for work.

Winerup says we all are expected to use all the Internet tools for research and client relations. No more depending on secretaries and assistants.

The hit film “Up in the Air” made the point that critical human interactions, like layoffs, still require in-person contact. All the electronic connectedness not only can be a poor substitute for in-person higher touch contact, but it also leaves little time for the high touch. Now the connectedness has even invaded vacation time away with family and friends.

Is it positive or negative that the generations have something else in common?…I guess it depends.

Please share your thoughts.

Phyllis Weiss Haserot is the president of Practice Development Counsel, a business development and organizational effectiveness consulting and coaching firm she founded over 20 years ago, A special focus is on the profitability of improving inter-generational relations and transitioning planning for baby boomer senior partners (www.nextgeneration-nextdestination.com). Phyllis is the author of “The Rainmaking Machine” and “The Marketer’s Handbook of Tips & Checklists” (both West 2009). pwhaserot@pdcounsel.com. URL: www.pdcounsel.com.

Why Are Milwaukee Accounting Professionals So Afraid of Social Media?

Having grown up in Milwaukee I can’t imagine 2/3rds of Milwaukeeans are jumping into social media, let alone 2/3rds of the financial and accounting population. If they are, it appears as though they’re not really listening to our advice and should be taking this “transparency” in new media thing a notch or two up.

The Milwaukee Business Journal says that two-thirds of Milwaukee area accounting professionals use LinkedIn and Facebook but not necessarily for business. Trying to balance their professional personas with their real lives as protectors of the public interest, they’re understandably sketchy when it comes to diving head first into the Twitter.


There are really no excuses at this point. Plenty of brands have figured out how to gently skirt the line, stand way back behind a wall of professionalism, interact with just about everyone, make it entertaining with self-deprecating stabs at the “boring accountant” stereotype and completely push the envelope until it falls off the cliff. It’s fine, everyone’s doing it and so far no one’s getting sued.

That statement isn’t entirely true, some companies have taken to suing complainers which is always a great way to drum up business and make people want to give you their money. For those of you afraid of social media, that translates into behavior not to engage in. Being a “sue first, ask questions later” sort of company is always a bad idea so don’t do it.

And if you’re going to put someone in charge of handling social media, make sure it isn’t someone overworked and angry at your company who might tweet that they want to stab the client. Other than that, I’m not sure where this fear of social media comes from but it appears that many Milwaukee accounting professionals don’t understand that your brand is only what you present it to be. As long as no one is threatening to physically harm anyone in your stream, you’re pretty safe as far as whatever else you decide to do. Share links, talk to other professionals, really grow a pair and send a photo of your awesome cube arrangements. Whatever, just get involved and stop acting like it’s a larger, more frightening deal than it actually is. It’s just another way to get business done.

Accounting professionals who lack the non-mandated-by-the-AICPA cojones to jump into the new media game are sort of underestimating their own professional ability to judge what is appropriate and what isn’t. That’s an individual choice for brands, firms and representatives of companies as they interact online but it’s disrespectful to the profession to imply that we as a whole don’t act right on the Internets. Please. The niche is large enough that one may bring whatever they want to the table and mostly not get rejected nor the shit sued out of them for tweeting client Social Security numbers. Don’t we know how to behave?

I’d hope so.

So stop being afraid, Milwaukee accounting professionals, it isn’t going to bite (you in the ass later) because you know what’s right and what’s wrong. You’re a fucking professional, dammit. Let me know when you’re on Twitter, I might follow you.

Protecting Your Online Identity or, Alternatively, How Not to Get Busted Being a Subversive at Work

It amazes me that fairly intelligent people manage to do really stupid things, sometimes on a consistent basis. One of these things is being sloppy about one’s online identity or, more specifically, publicly participating in any conversation that might ruffle management’s feathers. What on Earth could I be talking about?

Let’s take a look at the popular public accounting video series by YouTube user witn3ssthefitn3ss – or more specifically, witn3ssthefitn3ss’s 266 subscribers. Among them, several users who have (oh-so-creatively) used their first and last names as user names. Now there probably isn’t anything in your company manual that specifically states you are not allowed to subscribe to YouTube videos that paint the profession in a less than flattering light and let’s face it, odds that HR even knows how to find YouTube are slim to none but regardless, it’s bad Internet behavior and I’ve got to call these kids out for it.


For example, Michael V Staub (YouTube user michaelvstaub, how convenient!) appears to be working for PwC in Chicago. See how easy it is for any idiot to track your activity on the Internets, kids? I just did it and it took me all of two minutes.

Now Mike is more than welcome to subscribe to any YouTube channel he wants to but in an uncertain job market, it might be a better strategy to C.Y.A. (Cover Your Ass) and have the Internet wherewithall to come up with a better user name than, oh, your entire name. Especially if you’re going to be liking videos that make management look like slave-driving taskmasters.

There are more, like Joseph Bailey, an E&Y manager in Florida. Again, maaaaybe there is some other Joseph R. Bailey subscribing to these videos under his real name but we just don’t see it being that much of a coincidence.

The point is, your social identity is as much a commodity as your education and professional experience. Don’t carelessly throw it out there where anyone can track your likes and dislikes. Take the time to separate your personal and professional lives or you can pretty much guarantee a whole bunch of hassle later on down the road. Sure, it was only an accounting video this time but what if management takes it personally and thinks you only liked it because one of them had the audacity to ask you for a McDonald’s Diet Coke?

Watch what you do out there, kids, the entire world is watching. There are billions of usernames you can come up with, don’t make the mistake of using your own first and last unless you are an Internet marketer or sticking strictly to completely safe-for-work material.

Update: Details about licensure have been removed as we have confirmed Illinois’ tricky licensing requirements and our poster in question is, in fact, fully licensed.

How To Get “Monitoring The Conversation” Right

Being an incendiary, I’m used to getting unfollowed, ignored and even blocked (yes @mark_to_market blocked me, Lord knows who else, I stopped caring at 2000) and I’m definitely used to seeing the rats scatter across my stats every time I mention [insert firm or company name here] so it’s obvious to me from my various online interactions that some communications departments are keeping an eye on the conversation.

Since we’re all interested in the accounting side of things, I have to say that I notice more “official-looking” Twitter activity from firms based outside of the US (generally Big 4 coming from the UK or Canada) that leads me to believe most of them are at least keeping an eye on the Google alerts. PwC had the large pair to follow me once, very early on, and probably unfollowed when I started ripping on them for bumbling Satyam. Anyway, someone has to watch what’s being said and a company (or organization) can only choose to engage or not engage.

Engaging, of course, comes in several forms but to vaguely pin down what “engage” means, I’d define it as any activity that alerts others they are listening and/or give a shit.


For Comcast, they swarm Twitter responding to complaints about their crappy service, extortion boxes, and complicated remotes. Not all companies choose to take that route, nor should they be expected to. Protecting or guarding your brand means figuring out how much “engaging” is appropriate as any more or less than is appropriate for your particular organization’s needs will come off as fake, lame or just forced. And no one wants to interact with that.

For Dave and Buster’s, I give them credit for totally engaging me by following me. I’ve been publicly ripping on them for at least a week but I’m not doing it just to be mean, I’d really really like to know what went down with E&Y (welcome to your new gig, KPMG). I’ve never actually been in a D&B and any inquisitive tweets on my part were not returned but so far they haven’t sued me so I guess I’m doing well on that front.

Some agencies choose to completely ignore some of the more “questionable” interaction that isn’t exactly a pissed off customer. They’re already trained to handle that (any social media idiot can teach you how to talk to customers who talk about you in a list of 3 items or more) but they aren’t likely prepared for a fake accounting firm to ask them if newly-single D&B would want to try them out as auditors.

I don’t expect Dave & Buster’s to answer or acknowledge that but following me shows that they are at least aware I’m trying to egg them on and aren’t afraid of my bitch ass. Unlike the fake accounting firm, I’m a voice out there spreading whatever I know about [insert company] to a huge audience. They can’t send me 10,000 free tickets to shut my trap and I’m not exactly making a complaint they can resolve so what can they do? Keep an eye on me?

I admire that tactic. And may leave them alone… I’m more likely to do so if I get a tweet about what happened with E&Y but won’t be holding my breath for that particular @.

I’m Not Impressed With FASB’s New Twitter Account

When @FAFNorwalk launched on August 4, 2010, it was supposed to be an awesome attempt at connecting government accounting to the 439 people interested in it (don’t trip, FAFN, y’all will get your massive following).

The day after signing up, they mustered up the courage to send out their first tweet:

Welcome to FAF/FASB/GASB! Stay Tuned For Updates.


First of all, we’re not sure if FAF, FASB and GASB know this but Twitter accounts are free so you are totally allowed to get your own. As far as I know, you are even allowed to get several as long as you can come up with an email address for it so there’s no need to share, although that can get messy. What if one of you is trying to tweet about the latest comment period (Disclosures of Certain Loss Contingencies – I’m sure that will garner quite a bit of interesting commentary) while the other wants to talk about new lease rules?

Secondly, is this the best they can do? I’d really like to see some more thoughtful commentary from Norwalk that truly opens the conversation. They can think of this as a comment letter in 140 characters.

Thirdly, what’s up with the one and only person FAFNorwalk is following? We don’t know who the hell @Badwissen is but maybe they are just really into FASBs and @FAFN could totally vibe that when they started their little Twitter co-op.

Lastly, let’s try to work a little better on the turnaround, eh @FAFN? Compliance Week already had an entire story up about new lease rules by the time @FAFN got around to tweeting about it… fine, @FAFN tweeted it around 2 and the CW story went up after 5 but still, with @FAFN’s access to insider information, I want to see @FAFN tweets about lease rules a full two hours (or a day!) before anyone, come on.

If you are looking for a truly dull Twitter follow with zero interaction, @FAFNorwalk is totally for you. Personally I like my accounting feeds with slightly more bite, even if that means a simple @ every now and then.

How’s that for a fucking comment letter?

Earlier:
Wonky Accounting Insight in 140 Characters or Less: The FASB Is Now on Twitter

Five Ways Not to Suck As an Accounting Blogger

Initially Caleb got butthurt and thought I was writing this article about him but I guess that means he thinks he sucks. I can’t name any accounting bloggers that actually suck and know plenty so here’s how not to tip that number past 0 if you’re thinking of taking it up.


Write about what you enjoy Believe it or not, there are people who care about: CPA exam experiences, SOX compliance, non-profit accounting, accounting technology, Big 4 bashing, rence, accounting education, the Fed (cough), tax law… you name it and someone is writing about and looking to read about it right now. If you write about what you think people want to read about, chances are they won’t read it. Someone out there is totally into keeping LIFO even after we adopt IFRS so if that’s your thing, go for it but stay true to what you’re into.

Don’t isolate There are some folks who get away with being reclusive hermits or narcissistic pricks that don’t engage with the broader group of us (I won’t name names) but for the most part, if you want people to embrace what you’re doing, you’re going to have to bite it and talk to them sometime. Don’t trip, we’re not that bad. You can pick and choose which of the bunch you associate with and no one is saying you have to like every other accounting blogger out there. But at least find a few who don’t annoy you to talk to and share ideas with every now and then. If Dennis Howlett can manage, so can you.

Don’t get stuck in your niche Even if you’re strictly into LIFO, think about reaching out beyond your specialty and even beyond accounting to areas like finance, law and politics. It’s OK, it’s all relevant. The great thing about writing about what you love is that no one can tell you how to do it, not even us. The broader your subject matter, the more appeal you’ll have.

Actually try The thing about writing for this audience is that you have to keep doing it without getting much interaction back. We’ve personally seen countless state societies of CPAs abandon or under-evaluate their efforts in this medium simply because they didn’t get the Seth Godin reaction they were expecting. You aren’t Chris Brogan and accountants aren’t going to flock to your content by the bazillions, there are only so many of them to reach in the first place. Being in such a small, specialized group, it’s important to remember that you might not get the reaction you want right off the bat, if ever. But if you give up early, you’ll miss out on that reaction later.

Don’t think you know your audience’s expectations The best way to figure out if you’re delivering to your target is to access your site’s analytics and see who is coming from where and how. But even if you’re a stat whore like some of us, you can only tell so much about your audience from your side. Listen to what people are saying and try to recognize patterns in what is well-received and what is ignored. This isn’t just a blogging thing, you can use that sort of wisdom with e-mail marketing, Twitter, whatever. They’ll let you know what they like so don’t be so busy yelling your point to listen.

And as a bonus 6th tip, try to shake things up a little. This didn’t make the list because it really doesn’t work for everyone but for some of us it’s the only way to do it. If you aren’t afraid of being humiliated out of the industry with your big fat mouth, try pushing the envelope every now and then. Trust me, it feels awesome.

Why Your Firm Needs a Social Media Policy

If you work for a larger firm, chances are you’ve already got a social media policy that encompasses everything your firm does not want you to do online. For smaller firms and private practices, a social media policy can be the very last thing management considers implementing, assuming you will use your better judgment when conducting yourself online and don’t need the rules laid out. Oftentimes this mentality comes more from management’s unfamiliarity with social media than anything else. If they don’t use Twitter, how can they tell you how to conduct yourself on it?

But your online social life isn’t the same as a cocktail party at which you are representing your firm. Should you be able to say whatever you want on Twitter after hours? Can you post pictures of yourself getting wasted on Facebook?


The line is cut and dry when you are at a firm event or at a client but are you expected to represent your firm even when tweeting on your own time? If your firm does not have a social media policy, the answer is you have no way to know until it’s too late and you’ve pissed off the boss.

For firms, not having a social media policy can open the company up to all sorts of tricky trouble. Without knowing exactly what is expected of them, employees are forced to use their own judgment when it comes to their online behavior. Most are smart enough not to bash the boss in 140 characters or post embarrassing holiday party photos on Facebook but what’s to stop them from starting a blog that management finds offensive or keep them from tweeting about their work life in general? Absolutely nothing.

With hyper-connected Gen Y more than established in the workplace, a social media policy makes even more sense. Very few us get through a day without a Facebook update or a tweet and for some of us, our online persona can be a point of contention with management. Case in point, yours truly and Jr Deputy Accountant. Working in the industry meant that I had to be careful not to needlessly bash firm failures (like PwC and Satyam), lest I ruffle any feathers that could connect my site to my employer. Sometimes a disclaimer is helpful – something along the lines of “my opinion is my own and independent of any personal or professional affiliations” – but without having clear lines drawn between how you behave at work and how you behave on your own time in front of the entire Internet, it can be difficult to know what’s appropriate and what is not.

Last week we gave you some tips to keep your online life safe in the event that you don’t have a social media policy but that doesn’t mean your boss gets a pass. A social media policy is always a good idea and in this day and age there’s no getting around it, it’s necessary.

Five Ways Not to Lose Your Job Playing Around on the Internet

Accountants are more prevalent in the social mediasphere than you might think; they’ve taken over Twitter, blog regularly and can even be found figuring out how to make Foursquare relevant to business. But since tapping the potential of social media for business is relatively new, not all organizations know exactly how to use the tools, nor do the understand the importance of a good social media policy within their organization. So here are some tips for making the most out of social media without losing your job. We’re sorry we have to even share these but we’ve seen some of you guys out there in the social mediasphere and it appears you need a reminder.


Choose Your 140 Characters Carefully – If you’re on Twitter and are complaining about your job, understand that the entire world can see you. Even if your stream is private, the great Google sees everything. A few months back, Twitter’s internal search allowed private tweets to appear in searches. I’m not sure if this little hole has been patched but if it hasn’t, you don’t want to be a victim of your own public stream of consciousness. Don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t say in an e-mail to your boss.

Ask About Your Firm’s Social Media Policy – Though it’s sort of implied in the firm’s overall policy on communications outside of the company, social media is an entirely different avenue and the rules may not be as cut and dry as the GAAP you’re used to. Not all companies will specifically bar you from blogging on your free time and many turn a blind eye to the activity… until you say something they don’t like. Don’t assume that you’re safe if you don’t share your name or location: it’s fairly easy to reveal your identity if you’re sharing details of your life like where you live and what you do. It gets easier if you’re using a blog to rant about work or out obnoxious coworkers. This applies to positive blogs as well; even if you’re doing the industry a service by discussing current events in accounting, some firms would rather you not say anything at all. Be careful with your details and when in doubt, ask about your firm’s social media policy.

Facebook Friends – You’re not friends with him in real life so don’t be friends with your boss on Facebook. Facebook can be a great networking tool if you aren’t sharing photos of your drunken weekend adventures but if you are, better leave your boss or even coworkers off your friends list. Remember also that Facebook privacy settings can be complicated to say the least; even if you have most of your profile set to private, if you haven’t gone in and changed certain settings, mobile uploads and other photo albums can still appear in search results. That means any nosy coworker out to make you look bad could easily stumble upon your page and access things you’ve posted thinking they are invisible to anyone but your friends. I’m all for being cozy with colleagues but be careful when adding people you work with if you, like 99% of us, use your Facebook to rant, brag and occasionally spout off inappropriate things.

Careful when commenting on blogs! – Listen, we love you guys for contributing but sometimes we have to wonder if you’re playing with a full deck. If you’re commenting from and about work, keep the details to a minimum and use the anonymity of the Internet to your advantage! I have Jr Deputy Accountant readers who work for the banks, the Fed or government agencies but that secret stays between them and me – some choose to create a nickname that wouldn’t reveal who they really are and others stick with “anonymous”. However you do it, remember that if your name is George Stein and you work at KPMG, using GSKPMG2010 isn’t fooling anyone. Talking about salaries or griping about the conditions are totally allowed – if not encouraged – but be smart about it and never use your real name unless you work in communications or don’t mind your boss or colleagues seeing your comments. Once again, remember the great Google sees ALL.

Whatever you do, never forget the Internet is forever – You can delete your Myspace account but since the Internet tends to aggregate information, just because you’ve deleted something doesn’t mean it is gone forever. Case in point: when I write a blog post on JDA, it’s picked up and republished by two news aggregators instantly, which means I’m stuck with whatever typo I missed or stupid comment I made, even if I change or delete it on my own site. It is the same with Twitter as many bizarre websites aggregate tweets about a particular subject, some permanently. So you might be able to zap an obvious faux pas the morning after but it could come back to haunt you if it ends up somewhere else.

Wonky Accounting Insight in 140 Characters or Less: The FASB Is Now on Twitter

Technically it’s the Financial Accounting Foundation that has the handle: @FAFNorwalk and it also includes anything the GASB but really the FASB is who we expect to go on the offensive here.


They’ll be able to take on the haters with pithy commentary, give us the latest on their (less) ambitious convergence efforts and maybe, if we’re really, really, really lucky Bob Herz will spin off his own version of @CrankyKaplan. @DisturbedHerz, perhaps?

We have hope.

Fasb Twitter Pr

Accounting News Roundup: 1099 Reporting Is the Latest Political Football; Financial Reporting Overhaul in the Works?; Zynga’s CFO Hire Spurs IPO Talk | 08.02.10

Parties Play Politics With Unpopular Tax Measure [WSJ]
The new 1099 reporting requia bit of belly aching to point of many groups asking for a repeal. Too bad the members of Congress are the ones with the power to actually make something happen:

“The House rejected a bill Friday that would have repealed the provision. The two parties disagreed on how to make up the lost revenue.

‘This foolish policy hammers our business community when we should be supporting their job growth,’ Sen. Mike Johanns of Nebraska said in the Republicans’ weekly radio and Internet address Saturday. ‘It’s only one example of how the administration’s promise to support small businesses really rings hollow.’

Democrats blamed Republicans for Friday’s failure.

‘Despite all of their rhetoric about the need to eliminate this reporting requirement, Republicans walked away from small businesses when it mattered most,’ said Rep. Sander Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.”

FASB Alumnus Trashes GAAP (and IFRS) [The Accounting Onion]
“I suspect that the folks being paid the big bucks to make the tough calls on accounting standards don’t pay a lot of attention to to the likes of Tom Whatshisname, even were I to announce that the sky is falling. But, I don’t take it personally. Over the past 40 years, any PhD not drawing a salary from the Big Four has been viewed with more suspicion than respect by the standard setting establishment.

I mention all of this now, because there is a new voice, whose credibility and qualifications cannot be so easily dismissed. That voice belongs to FASB alumnus David Mosso, who has written an 80-page monograph entitled Early Warning and Quick Response: Accounting in the Twenty-First Century). If you don’t want to believe me, take it from him: GAAP is broken.”

Group formed to overhaul financial reporting [Accountancy Age]
Meanwhile: “A project to overhaul company reporting has been launched by a high level group of accountants, businesses, regulators and market participants.

The International Integrated Reporting Committee will look at the wider concerns about financial reporting, in terms of addressing risk, and presenting a clearer and broader picture of companies’ performance, including governance and environmental issues.”


Goldman Details Its Valuations With AIG [WSJ]
“How did Goldman come up with the mortgage-securities prices it used to extract cash from AIG?”

Before There Can Be An IPO, First Comes A New CFO For Zynga [Tech Crunch]
Dave Wehner comes in from Allen & Co. taking the spot of Mark Vranesh who is becoming Chief Accounting Officer. What does all this mean? First, it gives most MSM outlets a day or two worth of stories about when Zynga will go public but mostly it means the business of Farmville, no matter how you hate it, is serious business.

Facebook Would-Be Owner Says He Owes His Claim to Arrest [Bloomberg]
“Paul Ceglia, who claims in a lawsuit that he owns 84 percent of Facebook Inc., said his case wouldn’t have been possible if state troopers hadn’t come to his house in October to arrest him for fraud.”

Forced Employee Engagement and the Overworked Employee [The Exuberant Accountant]
“In my many interactions with business owners, I have heard some speak of employees as being ‘lucky to still have a job.’ While that may be true, thinking (and acting) in such a manner is very short sighted.”

Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn? [AccMan]
Got business model?

Social Media Finds Its Place in KPMG’s Ethics and Compliance Training

As you’re well aware, the excitement around social media has infested our lives to the point of nausea. It may have taken awhile but it appears that the largest accounting firms have come to grips with this and are attempting to embrace it – albeit in an awkward hug where your bodies finds itself in .

As a result of this warming up to all things social media, at least one firm – KPMG – has decided that some explicit reminders were appropriate as part of their annual ethics and compliance training. A Kamper submitted the following query:

There’s a new section this year on social media in the KPMG annual ethics and compliance training. I’m in process of going through it right now, but the summary asks:

Do you ‘friend’ your clients or vendors?
Do you Twitter about the engagement you’re on?
Do you blog about your work environment

You may want to think twice and make sure you are following the applicable firm policies and exercising good judgment before you post that next entry.

Was wondering if you had heard of any of the other firms integrating this type of training into their programs? I guess some people need remedial training in common sense — I’d hope that at least the younger people at KPMG aren’t clueless enough in this day and age to think that their online habits won’t impact their work/career.

Cluelessness may have been a good excuse circa 2004 when Facebook was new, but there really is no excuse in 2010 for a Gen Y’er to be similarly clueless

Our source brings up a good point – Gen Y types should be aware that anything they Tweet, post to FB or to a blog could easily seen by their firm’s Internet reputation teams (these are real, aren’t they?) so the message here could fall into the “common sense” bucket, akin to the three martini lunch. Perhaps these instructions are for the older Klynveldians that aren’t so social media savvy that have discovered a new outlet for venting but aren’t yet familiar with the potential repercussions.

We asked DWB – our resident friendly human resources professional – about this new development in ethics and compliance training to get a little more perspective:

Caleb, why wasn’t Going Concern mentioned as a social media platform? Statistics show you’re popular with the 35 – 50 female admin demographic.

Like the submitter, I too am interested in knowing if the other firms are approaching social media and the inherent risks associated with it. Barring a severe breach in independence or security, the firms will not block the likes of Twitter and Facebook; can you imagine the upheaval among the ranks? That said, incorporating different social media platforms in the Ethics and Compliance training will make some individuals stop and think about what they’ve posted in the past. It is a gentle reminder that bashing your clients and coworkers isn’t the best practice (common sense, like the submitter noted). More importantly, this is an crucial move from an HR and legal perspective – now HR and Compliance has a “we told you so” leg to stand on should disciplinary action need to be taken.

While we can neither confirm nor deny the admin statistics, it is clear that KPMG has put everyone on notice that firing you for your idiotic workplace-related status updates is fair game.

Whether or not other firms have gone to the lengths to explicitly include social media in similar trainings is unknown to us but if you’re in the know, kindly elaborate. For the rest of you, we suggest keeping those Tweets and status updates to trite observations and boring descriptions of your kids’ activities. But you will be unfriended/unfollowed/hidden from view by many.

Talking Social Media With the New Jersey Society of CPAs

From the very first day we swapped our totally unprofessional Twitter account for one with less F-words and started finding accountants to follow, we have been constantly impressed with the concentration of accounting folks in social media. But in the constantly-evolving world of Internet communication, there are always a few bright spots that stand out as ahead of the curve, and the New Jersey Society of CPAs’ communications strategy sets itself apart as one such bright spot.

We were able to get a few moments with NJSCPA’s Don Meyer to discuss their strategy, successes and the drive behind their major social media push of the last three years. Operating with three goals in mind – driving member retention through a greater level of engagement for current meorking and learning opportunities for current members; supporting existing membership acquisition programs – the NJSCPA has learned to use the power of blogs and social networking to reach potential, new and long-time Society members as well as CPA exam candidates across the country. Turns out that we got way more insight into the NJSCPA social media brain than we can share here and were terribly impressed by their varying campaigns, daring strategy and dedication to delivering information.


AG: First things first: let’s talk about your social media campaigns. What sort of things are you heavily involved in and why?

DM: We launched our first blog, NJSCPA Exam Cram, about three years ago to help guide student members and exam candidates through the exam process. We’ve been on Facebook for almost two years and have attracted more than 1,800 fans. We developed our page to maintain contact with student members who sometimes change mailing addresses and emails following graduation, but we now find that the page is a valuable source of professional and Society information for members in all age groups. Our LinkedIn group, launched almost two years ago, serves much the same purpose, providing information for our members and a place for them to connect. We jumped into Twitter about a year ago. We currently have more than 700 people following us. Our Twitter page is linked to our news blog, CPA Observation Post. We use those tools to provide daily professional and Society updates, but we also use Twitter and the blog to help NJ accounting firms promote themselves.

AG: Is there anything you’ve tried that hasn’t worked out as well as you’d hoped?

DM: We tried a financial literacy blog, but we couldn’t generate much interest. I think there may be too much competition out there and we couldn’t find the right niche. Our financial literacy Facebook and Twitter pages have not taken off as quickly as we had hoped.

AG: Anything that really surprised you when it comes to social media?

DM: I was not a believer in Twitter before we started using it extensively last year. Now I think it’s my favorite social media site. I think it’s a great tool for disseminating news and information quickly and easily. I’m also surprised how successful our Facebook advertising has been. I was skeptical that anyone on Facebook would click on ads promoting our page, but it’s played a key role in helping us promote our presence.

AG: The NJSCPA Exam Cram blog has been around for awhile (we noticed it quite some time ago) and seems to get a great response. Can you tell us more about how this came about and how you select exam candidates to participate? Do you follow them after they’ve successfully completed the exam?

DM: Many of us involved in the Society’s student outreach programs have never taken the exam, so we felt we needed to get the perspective from aspiring CPAs who had experienced the ups and downs. This way if a student or candidate asked us a non-technical exam question (e.g. in what order should I take each section, how should I study, how do you feel when you fail one part of the exam, etc.) we could refer them to the blog. We started out with one blogger but soon discovered that work and personal commitments would preclude any blogger from posting as often as we would like. So we gradually added more bloggers. At the moment, we have five CPA Exam candidate bloggers and one staff person blogger, Janice Amatucci. We don’t have a set procedure for how we pick our bloggers. We ask student members who have been involved with the Society through one of our various student programs or simply ask for volunteers via email or at events. The first five bloggers all passed the CPA Exam and continue to contribute to the NJSCPA by writing articles, serving as team leaders at student events or attending other Society events. To date, we’ve attracted more than 72,000 pageviews.

You can find the NJSCPA all over the place online here.

Convio Users Indicate That Things in the Nonprofit Sector Aren’t So Bad

Convio provides technology solutions to nonprofits and recently released a bit on its user base, showing pretty reassuring data that things are not that bad in the nonprofit sector.

When the Nonprofit Finance Fund released its 2010 outlook earlier this year, a nice calming Xanax was recommended before reading. So this is certainly a bit of good news for nonprofits, at least for the customer base from which the data was compiled.

Online giving grew 14 percent despite a difficult economy. Overall, 69 percent of organizations raised more in 2009 than 2008, while 31 percent saw declines in their online fundraising.

An increase in gifts drove fundraising gains. Of those that grew fundraising in 2009, 92 percent saw an increase in the number of gifts in 2009 compared with just 43 percent of organizations seeing an increase in their average gift amount.

Small organizations grew fastest. Organizations with fewer than 10,000 email addresses on file, many of which are participants in the Convio Go! program, grew online revenue by 26 percent, and gifts by 32 percent.

Web traffic growth continued for most, but at a slower rate. 60 percent of organizations grew their website traffic from 2008 to 2009. Web traffic growth in 2009 was in the single digits at 6 percent compared with double digit growth seen in previous years.

Web traffic was strongly correlated with email file growth. 38 percent of an organization’s success building large email files could be directly attributed to the amount of traffic to the organization’s website.

This year’s study analyzes data compiled from 499 nonprofit organizations that have at least 24 months of data to compare. The study aggregates results into benchmarks that nonprofit organizations can compare against their peer group and the industry as a whole. In addition the study provides separate benchmarks for 15 nonprofit industry sub-groups, or verticals across 19 key metrics. In total Convio’s clients raised more than $920 million online in 2009.

Convio Releases Annual Study of Nonprofit Sector’s Online Fundraising and Marketing Trends [BusinessWire]

IRS Asked to Crack Down on Church’s ‘Troubling Tweets’

You house of worship types are probably used to hearing politically toned sermons coming from your clergy(wo)man but a nonprofit holy house flat out telling its congregation, “Get out there and vote for [candidate soon-to-be caught up in a lurid sex scandal]!” would be venturing into some tricky waters.

Well, the Americans United for Separation of Church and State seems to have caught wind of a church who ventured. The AU claims that the Oasis Church in Los Angeles was openly supporting its Director of Social Justice’s, Alex Jones-Moreno run for reelection to the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood City Council on its website and on Twitter:


Americans United was not amused by this, sending a complaint to the IRS and putting out a press release:

“Oasis Church’s appeals might have been innovative, but they still violate the law,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “Federal law bars churches and other tax-exempt non-profits from electioneering. The IRS should crack down on these troubling tweets.”

We called the IRS in Los Angeles, who was not aware of the story and we were told the usual yarn of “we can’t comment on individual tax cases,” which we were expecting but the IRS PR folks are always nice people and we like a pleasant voice every now and again.

Anyhoo, we did stumble across the IRS Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations, that says the following on page 5 (our bolding):

Churches and religious organizations, like many other charitable organizations, qualify for exemption from federal income tax under IRC section 501(c)(3) and are generally eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions. To qualify for tax-exempt status, such an organization must meet the following requirements (covered in greater detail throughout this publication):

• the organization must be organized and operated exclusively for religious, educational, scientific, or other
charitable purposes,
• net earnings may not inure to the benefit of any private individual or shareholder,
• no substantial part of its activity may be attempting to influence legislation,
the organization may not intervene in political campaigns, and
• the organization’s purposes and activities may not
be illegal or violate fundamental public policy.

Now whether Tweeting = “intervene” we’re not sure but Americans United certainly seems to think so. We’d invite any tax-exempt experts to weigh in.

A message left at Mr Jones-Moreno’s Oasis office was not immediately returned.

Americans United Asks IRS to Investigate Los Angeles Church That ‘Tweeted’ Candidate to Victory [AU]

The Big 4 Continue to Impress College Students, Dominate Latest Universum List

It’s been far too long since we had a Big 4 dominated list to share with you. The last that we can dig up was PwC’s three-peat for Training 125. We were starting to get the shakes…

Thankfully the drought has ended with the latest list from Universum, who we last hear from in the fall with their 50 Most Attractive Employers.

This time around, it’s the Top 100 IDEAL Employers, that is described as “annual employer image survey…based on more than 163,246 employer evaluations, reflecting the opinions of approximately 56,900 Undergraduate students.” In the “Business” field of study, the Big 4 have, once again, landed high on the list:


Ernst & Young – #2
PricewaterhouseCoopers – #3
Deloitte – #4
KPMG – #6

Big 4 domination on a college student list is nothing new. Their recruiting strategy is aggressive and any company getting bested by Google in anything is exactly a surprise. Some other notables:

FBI – #11
IRS – #23 (IRS 2, Sarah Palin 0)
Grant Thornton – #30
Accenture – #66

Frankly, the number beside the firm name is irrelevant. The firms will boast the latest ranking in press releases and on campus visits per standard operating procedure. This continues to demonstrate that the firms are impressing college recruits effectively. They are presenting the image they want to present and they are doing so with an ever increasing online presence. We will continue to see them high on these lists.

The Universum American Student Survey [Universum]
Universum USA Presents the 2010 Top IDEAL Employers [Press Release]

Three Social Media Trends That Will Never Catch on with Accountants

CPAs have pretty much dominated social media and infested the blogosphere to the point that when I tell people that I cover accounting news for a living, I don’t have to explain just what on Earth accounting news is. That’s a step in the right direction but the reality is, some web and/or social media trends may never catch on with accountants. I’m suggesting three but fairly sure there are plenty more; if you know of one, do share.


Foursquare Paranoid stoners and anti-Big Brother types aren’t hip on it either but I guarantee you Foursquare will not catch on among CPAs. Who is dumb enough to track their own billable hours where everyone (and the boss) can see? What fun is checking in at the office day in and day out?

Get Satisfaction Listen, I know the smaller firms and personal, hometown CPAs are all about client satisfaction. Some of the mid-tier firms might also give some type of shit about the level of service they provide to their clients and how effective they are in doing it. But as a general rule (and especially for the larger firms), they really don’t actually want to know if they are delivering it or not in the direct manner that Get Satisfaction provides. If you aren’t familiar with how the site works, check out Comcast (several Comcast agents, actually) against the pissed off subscribers who lost their digital channels after the 2009 conversion but as a direct result of Comcast’s decisions. Can CPAs handle that sort of brutal, misspelled, angry honesty? Doubt it.

Blippy Though most CPAs love to hear the promise of yet another tool meant to make their lives easier, the remote chance that their credit card information may accidentally, kinda sorta end up on Google might make them a tad Blippy-adverse. And hey, while you’re at it, see what your friends are buying (while exposing what you are at the same time), what fun! I think they’ll pass. Hell, who would want Facebook for their bank statement, CPA or not?

Is Stephen Chipman Preparing to Embrace Twitter?

We hope! Our speculation is fueled by a line from SC’s most recent post:

“Because I’ve heard it said that brevity is not my strong suit, I will try to explain it in 50 words.”

Whether Steve-o realizes it or not, at 50 words, he still needs to improve his brevity. But it’s a start and we’re hoping that he’ll get eventually embrace Twitter. We’re envisioning pithy Tweets followed by clever hashtags like #GTrocks or #Big4sucks or #isecretlyheartsuesachdeva.


The fact the whole brevity topic came up makes us curious. We only made mention of it once, ages ago, so we’re certain that he isn’t referring to our commentary (which we’re sure he reads religiously).

Anyhoo, Even-Stephen was referring to the difference between the Grant Thornton Senior Leadership Team and the Partnership Board. Disappointing everyone, he ended up using 51 words and 258 characters:

The SLT is the equivalent of executive management, and the Partnership Board is the governing body of the firm. The SLT is appointed by the CEO and approved by the PB. The CEO is appointed by the PB. The SLT reports to the CEO, and the CEO reports to the PB.

That’s followed up by Stephen getting back to his windy ways, describing what every member of the SLT does (you can get the gist from their titles).

So while we’re encouraged by Chip’s effort at getting to the point, he still has some work to do. Just sign up and go for it man. Plus we’d be interested to know who Steve-o would follow. Going Concern is a given but does he go intellectual and follow Taleb and Roubini? Or slum it with the rubes and follow Kim Kardashian, Courtney Love and Kanye?

Stephen, just get on Twitter.

Deloitte Polishes Its Online Recruiting Presence but Who’s Listening?

A few weeks back I talked about the flashy websites the Big 4 have invested in for recruitment purposes. For those of you DT’ers still wondering where your raises went, the answer is now clear.

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and a brand new (interactive!) recruitment website. DT is completely revamping their online presence.

Seemingly launched the same week as PricewaterhouseCoopers’ personal branding campaign, DT’s overhaul is much more comprehensive. The Twitter page already boasts 1,500 followers; its unique twist is that employees take turns tweeting about their daily work. Interesting approach, only if you remember to log in to the Twitter page and read the biography of the weekly tweeter.


Deloitte’s YouTube approach is similar to that of KPMG’s established page; clean and consistent website hosting professional videos. One of the videos, entitled “What if your work mattered to the world,” delves, umm, deeply into the importance of cow manure on the job. Taking the term “shitty job” quite literally, I suppose.

Finally, everything is nicely tied together with a flashy site showcasing – shockingly – its youngest and brightest employees. Stories, videos, and links to various DT pages make working for the dot seem downright enjoyable and fun.

The question remains, though – who is this targeting?

From my brief experience on the sites, there’s still no direct way to contact the recruiter responsible for a particular school (PwC boasts the only clear option). There’s no way to ask questions, request feedback, contact the recruiter who’s business card just went through the wash.

This maneuver of hiding behind a flashy website is a running theme for corporate recruiting websites. Why? Why not? The employers hold the cards. The recruiters mailboxes are already overflowing. And if you’re a top student on campus, trust me, the recruiters will find you. So why the website?

See the Joneses out there in front? Yup, better go catch them.

We’re still at a point in the social media world where no one really knows what works best. Facebook has been all the rage for teenagers and young adults, but now that older generations are joining in swarms (i.e. creepy overprotective parents) , there has been a shift of concern among younger users. Twitter is a cluster of a mystery, but the it’s a cluster that everyone (including me) is going along with.

The Big 4 marketing gurus are no different. They know that the recruiters will do the legwork to find the best candidates. They know students will talk to their professors for advice, and listen to their older friends who interned elsewhere.

Perhaps in the end the websites, tweets and cow videos are for the helicopter parents. Seriously. Recruit the parent, recruit the student.

When Will Accounting Firms Fully Embrace Social Media?

Accounting firms seem to be on the fence when it comes to social media. While the Big 4 recruiting teams (and non-Big 4 for that matter) are into it full force, we’re skeptical about the enthusiasm of the firms’ leadership, especially the operational leaders.

To them blogs, Facebook, Twitter et al. is a way to waste time and has nothing to do with producing results. But now that Microsoft has announced that it will be including plug-ins for Outlook (sorry, firms on Lotus Notes), we wonder if the momentum behind social media will prove too much to ignore forever.


There are some signs of acceptance including Stephen Chipman (still needs to make it public)and Jeremy Newman communicating through the blogosphere, the growth of social networking and, as we mentioned, recruiting. Eventually the firms will come around, but when?

Our friendly HR expert, Dan Braddock thinks it won’t be long, “Facebook’s privacy settings are getting sophisticated quickly; someone can make their Facebook page look as professional as a LinkedIn profile.”

And what about friending clients, co-workers and potential recruits? “People are getting more and more comfortable with the idea, so it won’t happen right away but in 3 to 5 years, you’re going to start seeing more of it,” DWB said.

Microsoft’s director of technical accounting called out financial reporting as being pretty much irrelevant. It remains to be seen if firms continue to resist social media while the rest of the world continues to find ways to innovate by utilizing it.

Three Tips for New Accounting Bloggers

After a recent GC post on social networking tips for accountants, our friend and superstar social media maven Tom Hood (CEO of the Maryland Association of CPAs, but you should already know that) asked “what about blogs?

Well, Tom, excellent question! What about blogs?

Blogging for accountants is no different than any other industry and there’s no one template that works for everyone.


With MACPA’s own Bill Sheridan breathing down my neck and stealing my readerbase with quality content (just kidding, Bill) on CPA Success, I imagine our buddy Tom doesn’t need tips on how to start and keep up a great accounting blog. But we aren’t all as new media savvy as Tom Hood and making the decision to blog can be an overwhelming choice if not executed correctly.

Personally, I try to practice a single rule of thumb: to thy own self be true.

While the F-bomb dropping, SEC-cussing-out model may not work for anyone but Jr Deputy Accountant (remember, I’m not a CPA, I just play one on TV), the rule in practice is the same regardless of who is doing the blogging.

So here are a few general hints if you’re an accountant looking to plunge head-first into the exciting world of blogging:

Find a mentor – This part is easy! Comb through accounting blogs (Michelle Golden has a handy and incredible extensive list of accounting bloggers you can check out if you’re absolutely stumped) to find a “voice” that aligns closely with your own. Reach out to the blog author, connect with other accounting bloggers on Twitter, and express your desires openly to the community.

Make a commitment – This can often be the hardest part but blogging requires a dedication to fresh content if you are going to be widely read and accepted.

Find your niche – Accounting bloggers come in all sorts of flavors; non-profit, tax, regulation, technology, auditing, etc. It is important in carving out your corner of the blogosphere to find your voice and embrace the area of expertise you are most passionate about. Ask yourself what moves you as an accountant if you are trying to find out what will inspire you as an accounting writer.

The reality is that no one can tell you what works for you and perhaps you will discover a path that has not yet been taken but should you need a little push in the right direction, trying out these tips should get you there with minimal effort.

The key to sustainable, well-received blogging is a passion for what you are writing about; if you enjoy what you do and want to write about it, that passion will translate for your audience and lead to countless opportunities to express your enthusiasm.

Three Challenges for the New Twitter CFO

The micro-blogging phenom Twitter has faced a lot of doubts about its business plan as its popularity has exploded. The speed that the Company has seen and thus, the demand for monetization, led to the Company announcing the hiring of Ali Rowghani, currently CFO at Pixar, as the Twitter’s first financial chief.

The Company raised $100 million back in September and entered into licensing agreements with both Microsoft and Google to feed real time information into their search engines.

This all sounds good but Mr. Rowghani still has his work cut out for him. Here are three challenges he will face as the first CFO of Twitter:


Help Develop a Sustainable Business Model – So you’ve got this great idea, micro-blogging at 140 characters a pop. Now what? Sure you’ve struck deals with Microsoft and Google but are is there anything else cooking? How do you monetize how professionals use Twitter that doesn’t involve what you just ordered for lunch? Plus, how do address stats like these:

– 72.5% of all users joining during the first five months of 2009.

– 85.3% of all Twitter users post less than one update/day

- 21% of users have never posted a Tweet

– 93.6% of users have less than 100 followers, while 92.4% follow less than 100 people.

– 5% of Twitter users account for 75% of all activity

Control Expenses – Any startup company has to run a tight ship, regardless of their popularity and Twitter is no exception. The company is hiring engineers and other professionals that won’t come cheap (unless they pay them in equity, more on that later) and their headquarters is located in downtown San Francisco where rent doesn’t come cheap. That $100 million will burn up awfully fast if they don’t develop solid revenue streams and don’t keep costs down.

Build a strong infrastructure for the finance and accounting functions – Ultimately the CFO is responsible for the finance and accounting departments for a company. We’ll go out on a limb and say that the founders of Twitter know squat about setting up either, despite their importance within the organization.

Mr. Rowghani will have to get these functions in tip-top, especially if the pressure to take the company public proves too much to bear. Even if the Company manages to resist this route — like Facebook has so far — they still need reliable financial reporting, especially if they decided to do some less than vanilla transactions like equity comp. Additionally, they need people that will be able to lay out good financing options for the development of the Company. Whether that means borrowing money (not the best idea for a startup) or raising it through new investors (private or public) it will take airtight planning and the CFO will oversee all of it.

For the new CFO to succeed he will have address these issues and more as he balances the pressure of a weak economy and cautious investors concerned with guarding their capital.

Three Social Networking Tips for Accountants

Depending on where you’re working these days, you might already be or soon to be under snow. Why not put that much-needed day “working” from home to benefit your next career move? Here are three steps that you can take now to better your social networking profile to prepare for post-busy season.

Update your LinkedIn account – When was the last time you refreshed your LinkedIn account? Dig up the password, log in, and revamp your profile. Those 23 requests sitting dormant in your inbox? Accept them. Update your work experience. Include details about both the industries you work in and the responsibilities you’ve accrued. Remember, recruiters are constantly filtering through LinkedIn profiles looking for potential matches.

Also, make sure you upload a respectable picture. If it is something you wouldn’t want your client seeing, pass on it. But whatever you do, do not leave the picture option blank. Recruiters are much more inclined to review a potential match if the profile includes a picture. Worst case scenario – have your roommate, significant other, or spouse snap a photo one morning before you head to work (the post-work look of disgust should be avoided).


Be socially responsible – No, I’m not talking about going out and saving the whales. For those of you who are active on social networking sites, you need to be cognizant of the fact that you’re constantly creating an online footprint.

Facebook – Double check the settings in your Facebook account. Facebook is continuously altering these; oftentimes the new defaults leave your information wide open for the general public to see. Your Facebook profile — including status updates, wall posts, and photo albums — should be off limits to viewers who are not your Facebook friends. Speaking of photos, lose the keg stand picture from senior year. You wear a button-down shirt to work now.

Twitter – The email address on your resumé is most likely connected to your Twitter account. Block your tweets from the general public if you are discussing things you’d rather not share with a potential interviewer.

Dig up those old recruiter emails – You know the ones I’m talking about. They’re cold, robotic emails that tease you on random weekday afternoons. Typically they’re titled, “New Opportunities in hedge funds” but the more apt title is, “How to get the $*@! off your current engagement and home in time for dinner.”

Dig through your old emails and find some of these. Read through them. See what sparks your interest. At the very least, try to figure out what you want to do next, what qualifications you already have, and what you can do to prepare yourself for the next step. Your current engagement might be providing you an opportunity to expand your skill set; jump at that possibility.

CPAs Friending Potential Clients? Only Time Will Tell

Earlier this week I caught a link from @CPA_Trendlines about the “next generation” accounting firm. The article spotlighted Blumer & Associates, a second-generation firm in South Carolina trying to find its niche in tomorrow’s market. With an eyebrow raised, I continued reading:

Blumer’s “new management” theories, for example, mean a ruthlessly honest kind of client focus, including three essential hallmarks:

• a sharply defined niche focus,
• a “clean” client list and
• innovation “to create new services as awareness of client needs grows.”

Sure, this theory is great if your firm consists of fewer people than most Big 4 engagement teams, but I nonetheless nod in recognition and approval to the idea of change. It would be hard, however, to apply these thought practices to today’s large firms.


Just for kicks:

Niche focus – You mean spreading thin across every crevice of market opportunity, right?

Clean client listOops. Oops again.

Innovation – Slow moving giants are just that. Slow.

Lost in the article’s comments was commentary from management consultant Rita Keller commending Blumer’s challenge to the “one size fits all” approach: “[T]he next generation of leaders will create organizations that are more nimble and open to continual change and new ideas. They will not get new clients at a Chamber networking event, they’ll get them from Facebook and from blogging. They will keep in touch with referral sources on-line, not at lunch.”

Don’t scoff; this might very well be true. The long-term advantages of networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn are nothing more than “what-if” conversation bits better suited for the Twitterverse and blogs like this place. But think about it – Millennial’s are connected to hundreds if not thousands of people on Facebook.

These networks started in high school or college and will only grow organically as their careers expand and evolve. Friends and colleagues will move on from public accounting, and their new careers will be accessible via newsfeeds and status updates. Facebooking stalking will have a new (and potentially profitable) purpose.

Will shaking hands on the back nine be replaced by wall posts? Probably not, but the Rolodex is becoming irrelevant right in front of our eyes. Why pick up the phone when a brief Facebook message or direct message Tweet will suffice? Boomers can object all they want, but person-to-person interaction is well on its way out of fashion.

Just don’t go poking that potential client; at least not right away.

Tweets and Pokes: How the Big 4 Is Recruiting the Next Crop of Accountants

BelushiCollege_CPA.jpgNo one here is arguing that there is a vast disparity between the intern program experience and the stark reality of working in public accounting. What’s bothersome, however, is the smoke and mirrors that the firms use to convince recruits that their careers should start in one location over another. This begins and ends with spending exorbitant amounts of time and money on campus, growing multi-yeardressing up public accounting as one’s best bet if you want to work globally.

It has come to the point where the firms’ online presence is two-faced. One side of the proverbial coin shows the straight-laced, information-packed websites that industry and employees see. Flip it over and you’ll encounter extensive and oftentimes flashy sites targeting tomorrow’s crop of new hires:

Deloitte
E&Y
KPMG (warning – mute your speakers)
PwC

Accounting never looked so sexy.


Many of these sites are taking advantage of the technology that students use, which makes sense. E&Y spent thousands on creating a presence on Facebook, one that would show advertisements to a select target of majors. KPMG chose to go the YouTube route, primarily to promote its Global Internship Program. PwC’s campus-focused site has its own “.tv” brand. And of course, Twitter.

All of these methods of communication and established online web presences are fine and dandy, albeit expensive to maintain (marketing teams are dedicated at each firm solely for campus recruiting needs). However, what about the relationships with the students? Recruiters target students as freshman, four to five years prior to any chance of return on investment. Honors programs are sponsored by firms; same goes for professor salaries. Every Big 4 hosts their version of a “leadership summit” – these generally take place one or two years prior to being eligible for an internship. These multi-day summits occur under the sun and are attended by the respective firm’s national leadership. Trust falls and scavenger hunts in sunny Florida. Or Arizona. Or California. Every year. At every firm.

By the way, that bonus you were expecting? Sorry, can’t find the money in the piggybank.
In defense of the Big 4’s marketing gurus; their work is paying off. BusinessWeek’s 2009 ranking of “best” internships has the Big 4 in the top five: Deloitte is #1; KPMG, #2; E&Y, #3, PWC #5. This translates to the same firms taking the top four spots in BusinessWeek’s ’09 rankings of best places to launch a career. This comes as a no-brainer when you consider the vast majority of new hires were former interns. The Kool-aid has been known to have long-term effects.
But the questions remain – is the multi-million dollar recruiting campaigns run by each Big 4 firm worth it? Are these rankings worth the time of students and the decisions they need to make? And what happens after your career has been launched? What’s the next step?

Daniel Braddock, your friendly Human Resources Professional could very well be considered the hypothetical love child of Suze Orman and Toby Flenderson. Following his varsity jacket wearing college days, he entered the consumer markets as an auditor for a Big 4 firm in New York City. He spent three brisk years as an auditor before taking the reins of stirring the HR kool-aid. He currently resides in Manhattan. Daily routines include coffee breakfasts and scotch dinners. You can follow him on Twitter @DWBraddock.

Deloitte Survey: The Next Generation of Employees Will Not Stand for the Inability to Update Their Status

Thumbnail image for cry baby.jpgIn Deloitte’s Survey Du Jour we learn that your future underlings are going to want — nay — DEMAND the ability to move up in Farmville while they’re at work (at least one person understands your obsession).
Okay, demand is a stretch but dammit the kids these days are an ethically conscious bunch so you can trust them to get their work done while checking all their hot friend of friends.

Nearly nine-in-10 (88 percent) teens surveyed use social networks every day, with 70 percent saying they participate in social networking an hour or more daily. More than half (58 percent) said they would consider their ability to access social networks at work when considering a job offer from a potential employer. This comes as many organizations have begun implementing policies that limit access to social networks during the workday due to concerns about unethical usages, such as time theft, spreading rumors about co-workers or managers and leaking proprietary information, among other reasons.
Most of the teens surveyed feel prepared to make ethical decisions at work (82 percent) and a significant majority of teens say they do not behave unethically while using social networks (83 percent).

There’s really no cause for concern when you’ve got newbies out there asking their friends to vote for their sluttiest co-worker using a work email address. We do realize that some people make better decisions than others.
Overall, we don’t see what the BFD is. Commercials on the tube portray “responsible” adults on Facebook so to allude that the next wave of corporate soldiers would be the only ones that wouldn’t take a job with limited access to social networks seems weak. There’s plenty of people working already that have that point of view. Plus, pretty soon everyone on FB, Twitter, et al. will have phones that can run those apps. Just let people do what they want and they’ll be much happier.
Now excuse us, we’ve got strawberries to harvest.
No Facebook at Work? No Thank You! Teens Expect Access to Social Networks On-The-Job [Junior Achievement/Deloitte Poll]