* The Succession Institute, LLC is not a CPA Firm

CPA Technology Strategy

Posted: October 2, 2007 at 9:27 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Bill’s technology services look at technology at a CPA firm more for a strategic perspective rather than one of automating repetitive processes. Bill focuses on how the organization can holistically integrate technology to serve as a seamless tool coordinating critical business processes with the company Vision. His background in system design, accounting, process improvement and project management give him a unique ability in this area.

In the 70’s, Bill was a marketing representative with IBM. During that time, his territory was construction and manufacturing, IBM’s prize territory. Because he worked with the management teams of large, complex organizations, IBM spent significant money training him in areas of industry specialty like project management, MRP, capacity planning, work-order scheduling/management, labor tracking and much more. When he left IBM, his first few projects as a consultant expanded on this education and experience. During the 80’s, for Abbott Laboratories, he designed and managed programmers to automate their labor collection system. This system used industry leading concepts that required almost no time at the clocking stations, yet supplied maximum information regarding the actual labor costs to deliver a product through the production cycle. This system is still being used in multiple plants today. In addition, he designed and managed programmers to automate a purchasing system which was abnormally complex because of the controls that needed to be in place to purchase medical supplies and substances.

Also during this same time period, for Westinghouse, Bill designed and managed a programmer staff to implement job-order costing which was a hybrid of actual and standard costing that would comply with government regulations in the production of cost-plus contracts for large motors.

Bill has designed many other products as well, including direct-mail management systems, point-of-sale systems, and computer-based training software. These projects ranged in size, but several were multi-million dollar projects.

Today, as stated in the first paragraph, Bill’s work in the technology field is predominantly in the strategy arena. He has facilitated retreats and brainstorming groups on e-business issues such as delivery of product and services through the web, e-commerce, transitioning to virtual office, improving the utilization of the existing technology capability, streamlining processes, and much more. Bill’s background allows him to help CPA firms identify their vision, and then holistically integrate various technologies to achieve the desired end results. Bill’s assistance helps bridge the gap between the partners and the technology techy in order to identify solutions that are feasible, that accomplish the firm’s overall objectives, and minimize the constant misinformation that is the most common distraction in technology discussions.

Bill’s expertise is no longer focused on isolating the specific configuration of equipment, security protocols, connectivity alternatives, software selection, etc. (nor is he funded by vendors in these areas), but rather in identifying and communicating the optimum technology course of action. This is important because all too often organizations hire a technology consultant that supports a specific hardware and/or software solution-set. This means that, regardless of the actual problems and possible resolutions, the consultant’s proposed solution will almost always be "what the consultant sells and supports." This is fine as long as the consultant’s solution is really the right choice! But unfortunately, many times this approach is more like buying a shoe that is on sale without caring about size — and then forcing it to fit your foot. It will work … but never like it should … never as comfortable and seamless as planned … and rarely is it the right size solution for problem. An analogy would be that this approach will often result in the equivalent of taking a cannon to go target shooting, or a rifle to go skeet shooting.

To summarize, because of Bill’s very technical past, he can easily communicate with those implementing complex projects. And because of his management, accounting, marketing and performance measurement experience, he can help interpret the partners’ strategies and desired outcomes into applications for technology.  Bill holds the AICPA’s Certified Information Technology Professional credential (CITP®).