How to sell to a Beancounter

On August 29, 2005, in Rants, Security, by

There is one way to a Beancounter’s heart. 

Free CPE.

So for all you SBSers out there that realize there is a potential to upgrade the Accounting industry and possibly get them off of Win9x and Word Perfect, here’s the game plan for you:

In many areas of the Country there are local CPA chapters that are regional divisions of the larger State CPA Society.  These CPA Societies are the ones that can certify your presentation as CPE.  Do NOT make it ‘sales-ishy’, you must make it a learning experience.  Put a hook of Security in there.  Talk about how Gramm-Leach Bliley Act requires Financial Privacy.  Thus this weekend when I was watching the Hurricane coverage and they were showing ads for “Gotomypc” and the announcer was talking about how it was not problem getting the Firm’s Financial Statement off of the Home PC without having to go home, boy was that a fun thought in my mind that if an employee would think nothing of leaving confidential client info on their home PC.

Contact that larger CPA society, and find the location of the local chapter.  See if they have a Technology committee that meets. Offer to do a presenation.  You do realize that for 4 years I ran the local Technology Committee here where I live before I became the State Technology Chair.  It was a fun gig because all these vendors would call and offer to present a program.  Write up an Outline, do ‘death by Powerpoint’ and plant the seed.  Remember how “I“ first got turned on to SBS?  In a CPE class.

Here are some ideas to help the Beancounter see the Advantage of a network

  • Centralized Storage – ensuring that all the data is in one spot ensures that it’s fully backed up and properly secured.  Charlie Anthe showcased an upgrade that he did where every workstation was mapping drives to each other’s local drives and that totally blasts the rule of only set up those rights and privileges you minimally need.  All that mapping means that there is data everywhere and it’s not getting backed up.

  • Data never leaves the server – I purposely make the choice to NOT set up Outlook over Http.  Because I ‘don’t’ want any offline data file storage on a laptop that may be stolen.  The fact that I can remote back in and never pull data off that server is wonderful in my book.

  • Security – Compare and contrast the security of Remote Web Workplace to PCAnywhere.  Because, yes, that is the app you are competing with.  Point out that PCAnywhere uses two static ports and that if that router gets reset, there goes your access.  Whenever a software program starts off with “We use a proprietary encryption algorithm“ run in the opposite direction as fast as you can.  Notice that by version 11.5, they finally junked that and are using AES 256 encryption.  Now class what does RDP include?  Oh just these standard RSA RC4 encryption thingys.  So your first question should be …what version of PCAnywhere are your running because it looks to me like those older versions need to be junked and fast.

  • Multi-user means a network.  Now I’ll be the first to admit that Microsoft has this problem too.  They build a package for ‘multiuser’ and we have to hack the package to get it on the server.  Come on gang…. a Network is just a workgroup with more toys.  All those mapping of drives from one system to another means that you’ve got major major goo and a major major eggshell network setup.  We can’t set up this stuff like this anymore.  Especially not in a network for an industry that needs to realize that we have responsibiltiies to our clients to protect data.  SBS 2003 with XP sp2 puts firewalls on each computer only opening up those ports that are needed for operation and blocking all others.  It’s called defense in depth.

  • Sign them up for the MPAN program [which btw offers free CPA and an alternative to Quickbooks in the new Small Business Accounting]


…do that and I’ll stop yelling at them in the CPA listserves I’m in.


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