Social media: The new frontier, by Christi Hillegass

Social media is becoming ever more popular in today's society. It is a method used by many to make their names known, including President Obama during his campaign in 2008. The progress Social Media has made over the past decade is astounding; it has gone from a tool used by Gen Y to get in touch with friends or share pictures to a new tool used by Baby Boomers and the like to rekindle lost relationships. Many wonder what is next. For accountants, the answer seems to lie in the trifecta of recruiting new employees, marketing to enhance the client base, and networking with other accounting intellectuals.

The Big Four have Facebook fan pages, podcasts, and other social media methods of getting their name out there and allowing future collegiate graduates, or potential future employees, access to information about who they are as a firm. Firms both big and small must get their names on these websites in order to gain the best and the brightest employees. As the world population keeps getting larger, social media, like globalization, allows people and companies across continents to get to know each other, making the world seem a little smaller. Young students in Asia, many of whom learn English at an early age, can now hop on Facebook and learn about America's accounting firms and maybe one day work for them. This easy connection to the other parts of the world will allow accounting firms to recruit people in an easier way that was not possible ten year ago.

Not only is social media good for recruiting, but it is also good for marketing purposes. Free press that the company can control is a great asset. When a business needs an accounting firm, they can Google accountants in their area or check LinkedIn or Facebook. This wide accessibility of information about their firms can only help good firms become great firms by gaining a stronger and larger client base. It will soon almost be a requirement for an accounting firm to join the masses on these social media sites.

Through podcasts, firms not only get their name out there for recruits and clients, but they can also network with other firms and accounting intellectuals. By doing this, they can share ideas with people they do not interact with on a daily basis. Through social media, firms can learn from each other. As the accounting field is an ever-evolving one where continuing education is a must, accountants can now play off of each other's knowledge base in order to gain a greater understanding of regulations and codes. The new legislations and codes we by Congress and FASB can become podcast debate topics. The networking possibilities are endless.

Social media, something that used to be considered a complete waste of time, is quickly becoming a pivotal party in the recruitment, marketing, and networking process. Firms must become part of this arena in order to survive in the future accounting world.

About the author:

Christi Hillegass of Atlanta, Georgia, a junior attending the University of Georgia working towards a bachelor's degree in accounting. She chose to study accounting because she has always enjoyed numbers and solving problems, and wanted to pursue a career in a business field. She also hopes that a background in accounting will open doors in the business world. She plans on getting her masters in accounting at UGA and pursuing a career in public accounting. She also is interested in travel and hopes to work abroad.

You may like these other stories...

Many firms these days claim the bulk of their new business comes from referrals, essentially saying their existing clients do all the business development for them. But this won't work unless you can build true client...
Have you thought of what it means to have employees and clients in different generations? Accountants should consider the following statements about the people in their firms and their client rosters. If you're answering...
There is a growing trend of accountants moving away from traditional compliance work to more advisory work. Client demand is there, but it is up to the accountants to capitalize on that. What should accountants' roles be...

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Apr 22
Is everyone at your organization meeting your client service expectations? Let client service expert, Kristen Rampe, CPA help you establish a reputation of top-tier service in every facet of your firm during this one hour webinar.
Apr 24
In this session Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA introduces you to a powerful but underutilized macro feature in Excel.
Apr 25
This material focuses on the principles of accounting for non-profit organizations' revenues. It will include discussions of revenue recognition for cash and non-cash contributions as well as other revenues commonly received by non-profit organizations.
Apr 30
During the second session of a four-part series on Individual Leadership, the focus will be on time management- a critical success factor for effective leadership. Each person has 24 hours of time to spend each day; the key is making wise investments and knowing what investments yield the greatest return.