The accounting profession helps businesses drive successful commerce around the world. From tax law changes to financial statement reporting changes, there is so much happening in this space it can be hard to keep up. Rather than trying to gather all of the information yourself, you can follow industry thought leaders who are sharing critical information through their own speaking and social media channels.
The following is a guide (in no particular order) to those who have their fingers on the pulse of accounting and its intersection with technology.
Table of Contents
1. Jennifer Wilson
(Co-founder and owner, Convergence Coaching)
Jennifer Wilson is co-founder of ConvergenceCoaching, LLC, a management consulting firm that helps CPA firm leaders achieve success. The creator of the first successful CPA firm influencer program while an employee of State of the Art Software (creators of MAS90 software which was later acquired by Best Software and then Sage), Jennifer changed the relationship between accounting and technology forever.
She has been recognized by awards in every category and is a thoughtful and outspoken mentor to CPA firm managing partners around the world. You will find her annually in the list of ‘Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting’ by Accounting Today, the Most Powerful Women in Accounting, and in CPA Practice Advisor’s Top 25 Thought Leader Hall of Fame.
2. Randy Johnston
(Regular columnist, Entrepreneur, Technologist, CEO – K2 Enterprises, Network Management Group, Inc.)
Randolph P. (Randy) Johnston, is one of the top-rated speakers in the field of technology. His entertaining and informative presentations make him a regular at National Conferences and State CPA Society events around the US. He is a CPA Practice Advisor Top 25 Thought Leader and has been recognized by Accounting Today as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting for 13 consecutive years.
Randy’s ability to share key information about multiple applications in a short period of time (in a way that still qualifies for CPE) has enabled accountants of every generation to keep abreast of the latest technology.
He is a partner in K2 Enterprises in Hammond, LA and Founder of Network Management Group, Inc. in Hutchinson, Kansas.
3. Doug Sleeter
(Founder and former CEO of The Sleeter Group, Advisory Board Member – Multiple Companies)
Doug Sleeter is the founder and former CEO of The Sleeter Group. After selling his business to Diversified Communications (Accountex conferences) in 2015, Doug has provided his considerable insights to technology companies around the world. His advice and mentorship on applied technology and the people behind it is a priceless gift to everyone he meets.
A CPA Practice Advisor Top 25 Accounting Industry Thought Leader, Doug was inducted into their 2017 Hall of Fame. Throughout his career, he has been instrumental in driving accounting software education for bookkeepers and accountants which has led to numerous industry awards including Accounting Today’s ‘Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting’ list from 2008-2015.
He is passionate about small businesses and the technology that enables them to thrive. His latest mission is getting the profession to embrace blockchain technology and cryptocurrency when he’s not busy with his real passion, woodworking.
4. Erik Asgeirsson
(President and CEO – CPA.com, Speaker)
CEO of CPA.com, Erik Asgeirsson has more than 20 years of experience leading technology organizations. He has been recognized as one of the ‘Top 100 Most Influential People in the Accounting Profession’ by Accounting Today for 10 consecutive years, thanks to his influential role in identifying technology solutions and promoting them to accountants through CPA.com.
He is a frequent speaker at conferences and seminars and a member of the Digital Now Advisory Group for business leaders.
5. Joanie Mann Cooper
(Consultant and Hosting Solution Pioneer)
Joanie Mann was one of the first people involved in hosting desktop applications. Her blog, bookkeeping in bunny slippers, helped accountants around the world embrace the idea of hosted accounting applications. Her expertise in SMB/SME application hosting and remote access solutions plus her knowledge of accounting software makes her a sought-after speaker and consultant.
A true believer and frequent evangelist for the technology-enabled or cloud-enabled service model, she also has a deep understanding of the SMB market and their unique requirements.
6. Chandra Bhansali
(President at AccountantsWorld, President, and co-founder – Micro Vision Software Inc.)
Dr. Chandra Bhansali was a proponent of cloud technology before it was called the cloud. He is president and co-founder of online accounting software and a community for accountants at AccountantsWorld.com.
He introduced the first Windows-based professional tax system in the ’90s and has been listed in Accounting Today’s list of ‘100 Most Influential People in Accounting’ for more than ten years.
7. Geni Whitehouse
(CPA, CITP, CSPM, Author of “How to Make a Boring Subject Interesting: 52 Ways Even a Nerd Can Be Heard”, Writer, Speaker, Blogger)
Geni Whitehouse is recognized as one of the most powerful women in accounting (by CPA Practice Advisor), a Thought Leader, and one of the Top 100 Influencers in accounting. A keynote presenter at accounting and tech conferences around the world, she divides her remaining time between working as a winery consultant at Brotemarkle Davis & Co in the Napa Valley, and speaking, writing and tweeting about the latest happenings in the accounting profession.
A former tax partner in an Atlanta CPA firm and a former software company executive, Geni is the author of “How to Make a Boring Subject Interesting: 52 ways even a nerd can be heard” on Amazon.com. She is also a co-founder of Solve Services, a remote bookkeeping firm serving the wine industry.
8. Gary Boomer
(CEO at Boomer Consulting, Visionary & Strategist)
Gary Boomer is a visionary and strategist at Boomer Consulting, Inc., and is recognized as a leading authority on technology and practice management in accounting firms. He speaks around the globe on topics related to strategy, firm practice management, and technology innovation. An innovator in the accounting profession, he also launched groups, called “Circles” that meet regularly to provide Chief Technology Officers of larger CPA firms unique learning opportunities and peer support.
He is the author of numerous books and a regular contributor to Accounting Today. In addition to his work with large CPA firms, and his participation in organizing the annual Winning is Everything Conference, Gary has counseled companies like Microsoft, IBM, Intuit, Sage, and more.
9. Paul Caron
(Publisher and editor-in-chief TaxProf Blog)
Paul Caron is one of the most popular online bloggers at TaxProf Blog. As a Dean and Tax Professor at the Pepperdine Law School, he has published 6 books on tax concepts, including Estate and Gift Tax.
10. Jeanette Franzel
(Former Board member, PCAOB)
Jeanette Franzel was appointed to the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) by the SEC where she served until January of 2018. Before joining the PCAOB, she spent 23 years at the Government Accounting Office, ending her tenure as a Managing Director overseeing all aspects of the organization’s financial audit oversight of the U.S. federal government.
A speaker and lecturer, Jeanette has been awarded GAO’s Distinguished Service Award and the AICPA’s Outstanding CPA in Government Award. In 2010, she received the International Achievement Award from the Association of Government Accountants.
11. Tom Hood
(CEO and executive director at MACPA, Influencer in Leadership, Learning, & Technology)
Tom Hood is one of the most innovative influencers and change agents in the accounting profession. As CEO of the Maryland Society of CPAs, he has created and delivered learning programs that have helped accountants make the shift to firms of the future.
A regular member of the Accounting Today Top 100 Influencer community, in 2018 he was named the second most influential person in the profession, coming in second to Barry Melancon.
Tom is also one of the first five leaders inducted into the CPA Practice Advisor’s Thought Leaders Hall of Fame. His mission is to help CPAs, accounting professionals, and finance executives thrive in these times of change.
12. Rita Keller
(President at Keller Advisors, Speaker, Blogger and Management Strategist for CPA Firms)
Rita Keller is a CPA firm consultant focused on firm practice management. She helps firms address partner issues, marketing, HR, management, and technology topics. She has been an influential member of the CPA Firm Management Association which helps firm managers advance their careers through professional education and peer networking. She is a speaker, coach, blogger, advisor, and champion of CPA firm managers around the globe.
13. Jody Padar
(Accounting Ambassador & Bot Advisor at Botkeeper, The Radical CPA, CPA Firm CEO, Accounting Technology Influencer, LinkedIn Top Voice)
Jody Padar is a CPA leader who is driven by a mission to bring real and sometimes “radical” change to the accounting profession. She has been in the frontlines of the ‘Digital CPA movement in the accounting profession.
Jody embraces social media, cloud computing, and other advanced technologies and is always looking for innovation that enables accountants to have a greater impact for their clients. She is the author of two books for accountants: The Radical CPA and From Success to Significance.
14. Jennifer Warawa
(Executive Vice President – Partners, Accountants & Alliances at Sage)
Jennifer is the executive vice president of Partners, Accountants, and Alliances at Sage. In this role, she is in charge of strategy and execution for Sage’s partner program. Before joining Sage, she built and ran an accounting, bookkeeping and consulting firm in Canada for 12 years. She is a regular presenter at Sage events around the world.
15. Dawn Brolin
(Speaker, Certified Public Accountant, Certified Fraud Examiner, True Accounting Rockstar, and QuickBooks Expert)
Dawn Brolin is a Certified Public Accountants and CEO of Powerful Accounting, LLC and a Certified Fraud Examiner. Thanks to her energetic and entertaining presentation style and her experience as a podcaster, Dawn has been named as one of the ‘Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Accounting’ 2012-2017 list by CPA Practice Advisor and in the ‘Top 10 Managing Partner Elite – Great Accounting Firm Leader” list by Accounting Today in 2017. She specializes in Taxes, QuickBooks Solutions, Accounting, Cloud solutions, Payroll options, and more.
16. Sandra Wiley
(President, Boomer Consulting, Inc.)
Sandra Wiley is a visionary leader and serves as the president of Boomer Consulting, Inc. A human resource specialist, strategic planner, and personal coach, she is a frequent lecturer at conferences around the country. Sandra has written for the CPA Practice Management Report, Accounting Web, Accounting Today, Lagniappe of Louisiana, and many other publications.
Connect with Sandra on – LinkedIn
17. Joanne Barry
(Executive Director of the New York State Society of CPAs)
Joanne Barry currently serves as the Executive Director of the NYSSCPA (New York State Society of CPAs). Her specialties are advocacy, media, business development, editing, strategic planning, governance, writing, and more.
18. Rick Telberg
(President and CEO at CPA Trendlines)
Rick Telberg is President and CEO of CPA Trendlines, a paid subscription service that delivers timely news and practice management tools. A former editor of Accounting Today, Rick has a depth of understanding across all areas of the accounting space and can be found frequently sharing his knowledge and deep insights on social media channels of all kinds.
19. Ron Baker
(Founder, VeraSage Institute)
Ron Baker is an anti-timesheet revolutionary. He is the founder of the VeraSage Institute, a think tank for like-minded visionaries seeking to move the accounting profession forward. He is a deep thinker and futurist and the author of ‘The Firm of the Future’ and ‘Pricing on Purpose’. He specializes in ethics economics, marketing, pricing, and leadership for professional services firms of all kinds from accounting to law, to IT and advertising.
20. Carol Campbell
(Director of the IRS Return Preparer Office)
Carol Campbell was named director of the IRS Return Preparer Office in August 2012. As a director, she is responsible for the IRS’s oversight program of the tax professional industry including the Annual Filing Season and PTIN programs.
She worked at the U.S. Department of Labor prior to joining the IRS in 1991. At the IRS, she served as a senior docket attorney in Chief Counsel and later as counsel to the National Taxpayer Advocate. In 2003, she became Division Counsel for Wage and Investment. In May 2010, she became Deputy Chief of Staff for the IRS Commissioner.
Read more about Carol on – Website
If you are looking to learn more about accounting and the latest technology, start by following these leading voices in the profession. You can also follow Ace Cloud Hosting on social media –Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook to get the latest insights into the world of accounting and the cloud.
Are we missing any name that should be in the list? Please mention it in the comment section below.