Magazine article The CPA Journal

Knowledge Management Consulting Gives CPAS a Competitive Edge

Magazine article The CPA Journal

Knowledge Management Consulting Gives CPAS a Competitive Edge

Article excerpt

Knowledge management (KM) is hot, according to a recent study by Kennedy Information, a publisher of newsletters, directories, and research on management consulting. The survey found that the Big Five accounting firms have the largest practices. However, small and medium-size firms can profitably share in the KM pie.

Defining Knowledge Management

No single firm offers all of the possible service offerings that come under the KM umbrella and some are involved primarily in niche areas. Service offerings that coincide with the broadest definition of knowledge management include data warehousing, systems integration, and intranet consulting-the information technology (IT) aspects.

While KM is often thought of as a big-company concern, the increasing power of computers is making KM techniques increasingly available to small CPA firms and their small-business clients. Knowledge management IT concerns organizing and analyzing information in a company's computer databases so this knowledge can be readily shared throughout a company, instead of languishing in the department where it was created, inaccessible to other employees.

A classic example of the type of problem solved by modern KM techniques that applies to a small or mediumsize CPA firm is tax research and analysis performed for a specific client. Often, the only copy of this research sits in that client's file. If another client has the same issue shortly thereafter and the partner or staff involved with the second client is unaware of the research, time may be wasted on redundant work. …

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