CPA2Biz—the marketing arm of the American Institute of CPAs’ products and services—has hired Greg LaFollette as its director of product strategy.

The position is new for CPA2Biz, which continues to ramp up its national sales and marketing efforts, as was the vice president of sales role that was filled in February by accounting software veteran and consultant David Pollak.

Like Pollak, LaFollette also served on the software vendor side of the profession, as well as in practice as a CPA and CITP. He joined Thomson Reuters Tax and Accounting as vice president of product strategy after more than 20 years as a partner in a small firm, LaFollette Jansa Brandt & Co. in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Most recently, he worked as an independent consultant to a number of companies and in the tax and technology consulting group of Eide Bailly.

In his new role, LaFollette will help oversee the company’s product direction and needs of the industry—a task that was previously undertaken by many at CPA2Biz but was never formalized.

“One element that was really missing [in CPA2Biz] was to have someone leading product strategy, and we were beginning to build out our platform and can now formalize the process, making it a separate area of the company,” said CPA2Biz chief executive Erik Asgeirsson. “What Greg will do is take it to the next level. He is very focused on what’s going on with firms and what do they need to build a more successful practice.”

As for LaFollette, he believes he is currently well positioned to assist firms, as well as CPA2Biz.

“I look at who is out there and what they are doing, and the single place I can have the largest impact is this job,” he said. “When [Asgeirsson] and I spoke, it was immediately apparent that this is where I want to be. They have assembled a good group of world-class products and services, and it was apparent it needs to be built out further. As they grew, I think they thought it needed someone with a longer-term vision, someone who comes at it with the background and experience to select the products. Now it’s time to figure out exactly what the profession needs, and I’ve been doing that for some time.”

LaFollette feels that while the industry as a whole doesn’t “move as one,” there is a general sense of change, and many firms of all sizes are ready. He knows a CPA at a small firm who has not changed anything at her firm in the past two to three years, but now wants to look into cloud-based document management and file storage.

“In terms of where firms are now, I can say there is a lot of energy and lots of people saying the recession is over,” said LaFollette. “Now many of them are ready to move forward.”

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