Accounting Software Influencers
Based on Accounting Web's list of top influencers in the accounting industry, we have identified Kay Bell, Kim Bryant, Rick Telberg, George Papadopoulos (not to be confused with the Presidential advisor), and Brian Streig as among the top US accounting influencers, with Bryant and Papadopoulos being the founders and Presidents of their own firms.
- Kay Bell has 10,500 Twitter followers and 1,100 followers on LinkedIn, but only 37 followers on Facebook (which has not been publicly updated since 2011), making Twitter her chief influencer channel.
- Bell is a journalist and author who focuses on the accounting industry, with a particular focus on taxes.
- Twitter serves mostly to channel traffic to her main website, Don't Mess With Taxes, which she launched in 2005.
- While working towards a BA in Journalism and History from Texas Tech University, Bell began her career at a "West Texas daily newspaper" in 1977.
- However, she soon shifted careers, serving as a legislative assistant and, later, in government relations from 1982 to 1999, before returning to her journalistic roots as an editor and writer for Bankrate.
- She launched her own company, SKB Editorial services, in 2005, which serves to "take complex financial concepts and turn them into articles that consumers can use to better manage and maximize their money."
- Bell seems to have maintained her focus on taxes throughout her blogging career, but follows the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Association for Women in Communications on LinkedIn, suggesting that she has some interest in minority and women's rights as well.
- Rick Telberg has 25,200 Twitter followers and 176,124 followers on LinkedIn. While he has a Facebook page, it is set to private.
- Telberg graduated with a BA in Journalism from New York University in 1979.
- He soon emerged as an Executive Editor in numerous financial publications and accountant groups, including Lebhar-Friedman, Thomson Reuters (now SourceMedia), and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
- Since 2005, he has simultaneously served as President and CEO of two companies, Bay Street Group and CPA Trendlines Research.
- CPA Trendlines provides "actionable intelligence for the tax, accounting & finance community."
- Telberg has received a citation from the National Society of Accountants and has "long associations" with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Accounting Today magazine.
- In his public persona, at least, he focuses all his attention on subjects related to accounting, particularly as it relates to small businesses.
- Brian Streig has 2,260 Twitter followers and 499 LinkedIn followers. He does not seem to have a Facebook page.
- Streig graduated from the University of Texas in Austin with a Master's in Professional Accounting (Tax) in 1997.
- He has tended to stay with companies for extended periods of time: As a Tax Senior for PricewaterhouseCoopers from 1996-2002, as a Tax Manager for The Manigold Group from 2003 to 2007, and as a Tax Director for Calhoun, Thomson + Matza from 2007 on.
- While most of his tweets focus on tax laws and policies, he occasionally sends more personal tweets about his life, ranging from commenting on what he's watching on Netflix to his interest in dance, acting, and singing.
- Kim Bryant has 10,700 Twitter followers and 1,400 followers on LinkedIn. She does not have a public Facebook profile. Her company website has its own blog, but this has not been updated in over a year.
- Bryant "graduated Magna Cum Laude from Doane College" in 1990 with a Bachelor's in Accounting. Since then, she has worked in the Lincoln, NE area, where she lives with her husband and two children.
- She launched her own business, Bryant & Associates, in 2001, and remains the company President.
- Bryant is a contributing author to two books, "The Lean, Mean Business Machine" and "The Six Steps to Small Business Success."
- Many of Bryant's Tweets are inspirational rather than professional in nature; for example, quoting Anne Frank: "Whoever is happy will make others happy too."
- George Papadopoulos has 10,800 Twitter followers and 3,176 followers on LinkedIn. While he has a Facebook page, the last public post dates to 2011.
- Papadopoulos, who is apparently often confused for President Trump's foreign policy advisor, graduated with an MSA in Accounting from Eastern Michigan University in 1992.
- From 1995 to 1998, he was a Senior Tax Advisor for Deloitte & Touche to "high net-worth individuals."
- He also served as a Senior Financial Planning Counselor for Ernst & Young from 2002 to 2004.
- However, overlapping with both of those roles, Papadopoulos is also President of the accounting firm which shares his name and which he founded in 1998. His firm focuses on wealth management, including "Integrated Tax Planning and Preparation Services."
- In addition to tweeting about financial and economic matters, Papadopoulos seems to tweet about whatever catches his interest, from cute dogs to social and political commentary to food.
- He also occasionally contributes to the Wall Street Journal blog on a variety of economic and accounting topics.
Following from our initial strategy, we continued using Accounting Web's top 100 list as our starting point, as it provided a neutral perspective on the top accounting influencers based on Kred's Influence and Outreach Scores. We then vetted each candidate in order and selected those which fit the project criteria (e.g., eliminating those based in the UK or Australia, or whose areas of expertise did not include taxes and/or business bookkeeping). As Accounting Web focused entirely on the trending Twitter influencers, we pulled matching social media accounts.
Notably, none of the influencers in question seem to use Facebook for anything other than personal purposes, nor did they use YouTube as a major channel. LinkedIn was particularly helpful in identifying other associated websites and blogs and in pulling together coherent biographies of each, though we used personal and company profiles to fill in additional details.
As few of the individuals involved had public and regularly-updated Facebook pages, we have limited insight into their interests outside of accounting. In some cases we have had to make inferences based on which entities they follow on social media; in others, their own tweets provided valuable insight into their other interests.