Accounting Blogs

Blogging is the new graduate school?

That’s the title of a post written by Ryan Healy for the Brazen Careerist blog. It’s an interesting concept, on that JobsintheMoney’s CareerWire blog picked up on as well:

Blogging is a way to deal with the biggest problem at the beginning of one’s career: No expertise. If you offer intelligent opinions or advice on a credible blog, then you are an expert. This is why more young people should blog. If you have a focused blog, then you can jump from job to job and learn many skills, but the constant will be that you are an expert in whatever area you choose to research and write about.

Plus, the more people who blog about a given subject, say, accounting, the better the conversations between bloggers. More interaction between blogs on the same topic raise the topic’s profile. I actively encourage any young accountant in particular to blog about their experiences, especially going through the UFE process.


What is the length of the ideal blog post?

Modern Life Is Rubbish is a cool blog written by Stuart Brown that seems to feature a never-ending flow of posts on topics of interest to bloggers and technophiles alike. The latest is titled “How Long is the Ideal Blog Post?” and details some interesting and no doubt time-consuming research the blogger did into blog post length. His methodology:

Taking the Technorati Top 100 as my sample, eliminating those which aren’t in the English language, and those which aren’t identifiable as conventional blogs, I took an average word count of the 10 most recent posts on each blog.

What he found was that most of the blogs posts were between 100 and 250 words. Pretty short, in other words. Seems blog readers like short, punchy prose that gets to the point quickly and dispenses with the pleasantries. Not too surprising I guess, given the medium. Most blogs, the most popular ones anyways, are about the links elsewhere. Tell me quickly what the link is about and then gimme it so I can see for myself.

It made me wonder about my own blog. How long are my posts on average? How do I compare with the most popular blogs, with which I aspire to compete? So, I took my most recent 10 posts and calculated the average number of words, including quotes from the news stories I invariably highlight. The result? An illuminating one:

318.7 words on average, median of 302.5. Ranging from 475 on the top end to 201 on the bottom. I’m basically a little higher than the average, which probably has something to do with the quotes from the original source I’m blogging about. Most of the time I just want to bring your attention to a story related to accounting, throw my two cents in, and link it. Stuart’s take:

There’s a distinct jump in word length for some blogs – in these cases it’s usually a transition between writing for entertainment to writing for reference. With the transition comes the ability to post much longer articles, without the fear of losing interest.

So that’s what it is! I have a subconscious fear of losing your interest and I write more for entertainment than reference!


Are recruiters really using the internet?

A long time ago, before I bought this domain and set up this blog, I Googled myself to see what came up. What came up, was Neil McIntyre Photography, at It’s taken about a year, but I’m now the #1 result when you Google me. Great success!

On a related note, I keep reading that recruiters and hiring managers are increasingly using the internet to search about their candidates. Most articles focus on these inquisitive people finding embarrassing pictures which result in the candidate not getting the job (which I guess makes for a juicier story from a readership standpoint), but this post on Web Worker Daily focuses on improving your online “brand” and using it positively to get jobs.

So why is it that of the many recruiters I’ve talked to since passing the UFE, precisely none of them have mentioned that they’ve seen my blog? As noted in the first paragraph, it’s easily found. The whole thing is very puzzling.

Update: Here’s another interesting take on the recruiting industry: “I’ve been increasingly annoyed by the spammy, mail-merged, sugar-laced drivel that passes for “personalized” contact these days.” Read the rest, it’s gold!

Accounting Blogs

Impossible to hide

A comment by Dennis Howlett in one of his recent posts forms my inspiration:

I can only ever be the judge of what I think might work in a situation where I have incomplete information. I could be completely wrong. But that’s where the blog metaphor makes such a positive difference. It is impossible to hide in a blog. You get caught out sooner or later.

He was talking about being asked to recommend someone for a job in tech PR, but the sentiment is pretty close to my feelings about this blog, which recently turned a year old and is going stronger than ever.

I’ve never tried to come off as much of an expert – I have some knowledge and I’m eager to share it with anyone who will listen. I’m nearly a full-fledged CA, but the designation means that I have to keep learning, not that I’m done.

That’s the great thing about blogging. You learn by writing, by sharing your thoughts and reading others.

Anyway, I guess that quote made me think about why I like this blog, what I get out of it, and why I’ve kept on with it for just over a year now. Here’s to the next year!


Using blogs as marketing tools

A while back, about a day or two after passing the UFE, I was approached to write a short editorial for The Bottom Line, a finance and accounting monthly, about how and why accountants and accounting firms should blog.

I sat down soon thereafter and punched out a short, authoritative screed extolling the virtues of embracing blogging. It was pretty cool to see my writing in print:

Blogging about accounting will allow you to keep up on the hot topics in the industry in a more meaningful way. In 2006, options backdating in the US and income trusts in Canada have been on the front burners of accountant blogs. Being able to weigh in on those topics with some credibility allows a blogger to have a level of influence that otherwise would go untapped.

So, how successful has my article been at spurring a Canadian accountant blogging renaissance? Probably not so much, since I haven’t heard of any new ones! Maybe they’re just waiting for busy season to be over before getting started. Yeah, that’s probably it.

Anyway, the full article is available.