Categories
Accounting Blogs

Five years of blogging… Sort of

It has been five years since my first post on Feb. 18, 2006. In a way it’s the 5-year anniversary for this blog, but I haven’t really been writing as frequently lately as I should be in order to claim that legitimately. This is my first post in 2011!

So to celebrate, I’m raiding the archives and taking a stroll down memory lane.

Google Docs to surpass Office in a year: Google Docs has made great strides, but it still didn’t really happen, did it? A great alternative though for the cash-strapped with basic needs.

Why your organization should be using open document standards: What can I say, I’m a standards kinda guy. I still strongly believe in open standards, but I’ve also become pretty enamored with the XML-based formats for Office. Such small file sizes compared to the old binary formats!

Return to blogging: Ah my initial return from hiatus. I left public accounting and took a year long sabbatical to strike out into the world of internal audit. A year later, I knew everything there was to know and returned to share my knowledge. (Kidding!)

Today I am a CA: This is what I’d been working toward and blogging about since the beginning, and it was a very proud day to announce it to my readers! Next up: Certified Internal Auditor!

Here’s the hoping I blog more frequently over the next five years. Thanks for being a part of it.

Categories
Asides

Thanks for the memories

Dear readers,

It is with great reluctance that I announce the closing of this blog.

As of this Friday, May 9, 2008, I will leave public accounting to pursue new opportunities in the wide world of industry in internal audit.

I have met a lot of great people within the profession through this blog and it is those connections that I will take with me no matter where I go.

Thank you for your attention and comments – you are what made doing this worthwhile.

Neil McIntyre, CA
neil.mcintyre@gmail.com

Categories
Marketing

Accounting firms are not marketing with blogs

Law firms continue to outpace accounting firms when it comes to harnessing the power of blogs to market their services to current and potential clients. A recent post by Michelle Golden asks the question “Isn’t Your Firm Blogging Yet?” and the answer apparently is no.

The post quotes this one from LexBlog founder Kevin O’Keefe, which brings to my attention that 53 of 200 AmLaw firms have a blog (or sometimes more than one). There is no comparable data for accounting firms, but Michelle maintains a pretty comprehensive list of accounting related blogs on her site, which includes my own.

(My views do not represent those of my accounting firm, but you can find my latest post on the BDO.ca home page as of this past weekend. In a sense, you can say BDO in Canada blogs.)

Seems like a good time to reprise an article I wrote about a year ago for Canadian accounting and finance industry publication The Bottom Line. It was titled
Blogs can be important marketing tools“, but I don’t think the title was insistent enough because the message hasn’t been heeded within the profession it seems.

Blogs are all about having more personal and meaningful conversations with an audience about a topic. When you’re an accountant or accounting firm, blogs are a way to reach people interested in your expertise, whether they’re fellow accountants interested in discussing the profession or potential clients looking for an accountant with an aptitude for technology and an ability to stay on top of the trends.

This stuff still rings true, so take mine and Michelle’s and Kevin’s advice: Get started with your blog today.

Categories
Web

Using wikis or blogs to manage knowledge in firms

A recent article on WebCPA confused and inspired me:

Accounting firms need to become more intelligent businesses by better leveraging the time and knowledge of their professional staff, according to a survey…

[…]

Firms with a formal knowledge management program benefited from its implementation.

Hmm… Intelligence, good. Leveraging knowledge, check. Formal knowledge management program, bingo! Wait a minute, “formal”? Why must it be formal? With all the tools kicking around these days like wikis and blogs, does knowledge management really need to be formal anymore? Was that ever the best way to manage knowledge?

I think it becomes formal, informally. Wikis are self-organizing, and great at managing knowledge bases. Look at Wikipedia — better at organizing the world’s information than Google.

Wikis aren’t great at building community or starting conversations, however. This is where blogs shine. As for knowledge management specifically, blog posts are tagged, categorized, and searchable.

By formal, what they must really mean is traditional, hierarchical, top-down, autocratic systems that mean well but end up stifling the creativity of those they were meant to help. We really don’t need any more of that in accounting firms!

So, firms: Set your knowledge (and knowledge workers) free. If it organizes itself automatically in wiki or blog form, it’s yours forever.

Categories
Web

Google improves Analytics and now I’m in on it!

This weekend was the first long weekend of the summer here in Canada. On Fridays before long weekends at my firm we get the afternoons off, so around 1pm everyone clears out and gets an early start on the rest of the cubicle dwellers around the Greater Toronto Area.

I took the opportunity to do a little shopping for a new mouse at Future Shop. My old mouse had for whatever reason stopeped functioning properly. For the rcord, Microsoft mice have failed on me twice now, so I went with Logitech this time.

I also decided to splurge on a year’s subscription to Flickr, since it was so reasonably priced at about $25 USD. I hit the limit on the free account a while back. It’s useful as a blogger because I use it to host images I want to use in blog posts, such as the one in this post, and it doesn’t use up my bandwidth.

But I digress. Point is, when I got home from shopping, unwrapped and plugged in my shiny new mouse and by chance decided to check out my site statistics, I noticed that Google had upgraded my Analytics account to their new beta!

Analytics New Beta

The whole package is still freely available to anyone who has a Google account and a website. The graphics have been tweaked, but it’s the functionality improvements where the new Analytics really impresses. For example, the geographical breakdown now allows you to drill down from a map of the globe down to a specific US state or Canadian province.

Canada Analytics

Unsurprisingly, most of my traffic comes from Toronto and the surrounding area. Most of my US traffic originates from the most populous states: California, New York and Texas. It’s also interesting to see the browser and operating system breakdown of my visitors. Most still use Internet Explorer despite its deficiencies, but 31% using Firefox on all operating systems is above average:

Browsers and OS

The title of this post refers to the phasing-in of the new Analytics. Google announced the new version a few weeks ago but has been moving everyone over on a relaxed time frame, assumably to catch any bugs or glitches otherwise missed. So I’ve known for a while what was coming, but didn’t know when!

Google has also put together a video tour of the new features.