Results of SocialCPAs 2011 Social Media Survey

By AccountingWEB Staff 

SocialCPAs published its Social Media Survey in December 2011. The survey was developed to gain an understanding of how the accounting profession is adopting or avoiding social media. 
During 2011, CPA Barry MacQuarrie of SocialCPAs surveyed hundreds of CPAs, CAs, and accounting professionals to learn more about their social media activities.
"The response this year was great. I heard from participants in eighteen countries," MacQuarrie said. "The majority of participants work for a CPA, CA, or accounting firm and identified themselves as members of the boomer generation. There was a 25 percent increase in the number of participants this year as compared to our 2010 survey."  
Here are some of the results:
About 32 percent of respondents said they have a written social media policy. Eighteen percent restrict access to Facebook, which is down from 25 percent in 2010. 
Very few companies train their employees on an annual basis regarding social media: 65 percent offer no training, and only 4 percent train employees more than five hours. MacQuarrie said, "At SocialCPAs, we are big believers in training! We think that a well-trained employee can make better use of social media to help with a company's marketing and business development."
When asked what their plans are in the next twelve months for using Twitter, nearly 50 percent said they have no interest in using it. LinkedIn ranked much higher, with 58 percent saying they planned to use it more often; 6 percent said they had no interest in using it at all. 
Ninety-one percent of respondents reported that they actively use LinkedIn. "Once again, LinkedIn ranks as the most popular social media site among the accounting professionals who participated in this survey. This comes as no surprise considering that LinkedIn has established itself as the premier social media site among business professionals," MacQuarrie said.
Regarding their use of Facebook, 51 percent said they'll use it about the same as in 2010. Forty-three percent said they update their Facebook status "almost never." 
When asked what their greatest concerns are about using social media, 53 percent said it would "take a lot of my time," and 48 percent said they are worried that "confidential information will leak out."
Sixty-three percent of 2011 respondents said they've been using social media sites for several years. That's up from 41 percent in 2010. MacQuarrie said, "It is great to see that members of the accounting profession are becoming active participants in social media." 
MacQuarrie is hopeful that the results of the survey and continued social media success stories will convince more accounting professionals to give social media a try. 
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