As a flood of rising technologies such as social networking sites, instant messaging and Second Life begin to get a stronger foothold in the CPA profession, firms should begin deploying them in business-centric areas of the firms such as marketing and recruiting.

"You need to leverage new technologies, don't fight them," advised Jim Boomer of Boomer Consulting in Manhattan, Kan. Boomer led a session titled, "Technologies Young Professionals Are Using," at the AICPA Information Technology Conference, here.

"Sites like Facebook started as social, but they will begin moving toward a mix of social and business,” he said. “The Baby Boomers and older generations should also take younger workers on client calls. The younger and older workers have a lot to learn from each other."

Boomer explained the four-legged stool of the Web 2.0 technologies embraced by younger professionals: communication (texting, instant messaging, VoIP), distribution (public Web sites, blogs), collaboration (social networks and wikis), and consumption (RSS feeds, Google, Bing and Digg).

Firms that have no formal policies regarding instant messaging or posting on social networking sites should develop both personal and professional guidelines for usage, Boomer suggested. He also recommended establishing task forces within the firm and putting younger people into leadership positions.

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