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I moderated a social media panel discussion at the MACPA's recent Innovation Summit, and during the course of the conversation I asked the 100 or so CPAs in the crowd if they frequently use social media in either their personal or professional lives.

At most, 10 percent raised their hands … and my jaw dropped.

In a world that's been turned on its ear by the social movement, I'm stunned that so many CPAs apparently are that far behind the curve.

Sure, it was hardly a statistically significant sample … but this was an Innovation Summit, for God's sake.

Here's a truth we all need to come to grips with, and soon: The social movement has changed everything we do. How we communicate, collaborate, and network. How we shop, advertise, and market ourselves. How we do business and serve others. How we learn. How we inform ourselves and share that information with others.

Almost everything we do has evolved radically over the past decade thanks to the social movement, and too many CPAs, apparently, still haven't caught on.

If we want to remain the world's most trusted business advisors, we need to embrace the changes that are driving our world. Why? Because the opportunities that await social CPAs are huge.

Here's proof: I just finished reading “Curation Nation: How to Win in a World Where Consumers are Creators,” in which author Steve Rosenbaum offers this mind-blowing quote from Google CEO Eric Schmidt:

“Between the dawn of civilization through 2003, there were just five exabytes of information created. That much information is now created every two days, and the pace is increasing.”

Rosenbaum himself predicts that “in the near future … content on the web will double every 72 hours.”

In other words, we're being flooded with data. The most valuable people in our lives going forward will be those who can filter out all the crap and give us the information that adds true value to our lives.

Imagine, CPAs, if you could do that for your clients. Imagine how valuable — how irreplaceable — you would become to your clients.

That's the opportunity before us. How many of you are ready to grasp it?

You'd better do it soon. A line of folks who are ready to do just that is forming to the left, and if you don't step up and make your move, you'll be marginalized. You'll be rendered nearly insignificant by your clients.

Am I an alarmist? Sure … if that means that I'm trying to wake you up before it's too late.

Ignore this stuff at your own peril, people. One thing is certain: The world is moving forward whether you want to or not.

Want to learn more?
Check out these social media-related programs from the MACPA and the Business Learning Institute:

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