Accountants' Social Media Use Focus of SocialCPAs Survey
by Terri Eyden on
A Lack of Social Media Training
MacQuarrie said a head-scratching result of the survey through the years is the lack of social media training firms provide their employees. Around 54 percent of the respondents in 2012 said their firm provides no training, which is an improvement over the more than 60 percent in 2011 who said they received no training, and the more than 70 percent who answered "none" in 2010.
"I look at social media training from this standpoint: Imagine a CPA firm that doesn't train its staff or management team on individual tax returns," MacQuarrie said. "You end up with a firm that has fifty different ways of doing things and fifty different standards in a fifty-person firm. As CPAs, we have to do training on audits and on tax to be consistent, and we have to have good processes. To me, that same approach should be taken with social media."
MacQuarrie believes one reason firms don't offer training is because people think they already have social media figured out.
"They feel like, 'I built my profile, I'm connected to a few hundred people, I'm all set,' when in fact, they've figured out only 20 to 30 percent of the capabilities. What they don't know is there are so many other features they're not using," he said. "I think another reason is firms' reluctancy to spend money on their employees. There are people who can directly point to LinkedIn for bringing in large audits or large tax projects. I think there are a lot of training opportunities around social media, and I think there's a lot of lost revenue from not having employees trained."