by Stella Fayman on March 20, 2013
Last week, I paid a visit to my accountant, Mike Carney. “Pardon the mess,” he said casually as I walked into his office. I imagined piles of tax returns and boxes of papers since it’s tax season. All I saw was a stack of about 10 papers on his desk.
“Seriously?” I said.
Mike Carney has been my accountant for the last three years and every time I see him, I get inspired. As someone who works with entrepreneurs and startups, Mike is an avid (and I mean AVID) user of technologies that we use ourselves: Basecamp, Evernote, Dropbox, etc. Mike GETS it. He understands that to make my life easier as his client, his job is to answer my questions in a timely fashion and perform the accounting tasks for which I hired him. Mike goes above and beyond his job by identifying with, understanding, and using the tools I already use. My previous dealings with accountants meant faxing papers back and forth and mailing stacks of forms and Mike simplified this by digitizing everything.
Mike has processes in place to simplify his life with technology: he showed me how he uses a LiveScribe pen to take notes which automatically upload to Evernote to ensure he always has access to his notes. He is familiar with Expensify and has a simple receipt scanner on his desk. He also uses Shoeboxed for those clients who still keep piles of receipts in boxes.
What was so refreshing was how Mike had processes in place for organization using tools systematically. Tax forms? Upload to ShareFile. Question about Illinois taxes? Ask in Basecamp. This keeps him not only sane, but relaxed and able to approach situations with poise.
He has inspired me to digitize and organize my own life and come up with ways to stay organized using established processes. For example, I just ordered my first LiveScribe pen and notebook for meetings. I organized my closet at home because it was really frustrating not being able to ever find black socks (apparently I own 10 pairs, they were just hiding under the mess). Once the process is in place (read: organized sock drawer) it’s much easier to keep things organized.
So thanks Mike, and happy tax season!