It was love at first sight. Initially, I thought it might have been because it looked like a calculator with very clean lines. See what happens to someone who has been around accountants for a number of years?

I discovered the newest love of my life at the AICPA Spring Council meeting. My view of technology is that I am not interested unless I can see the benefit in less than 10 billion nanoseconds (ten seconds).

So, I saw the benefit right away for the interactive standalone wireless keypad, with the size and look of a calculator, that Council members used to answer various questions. The results were instantaneously tabulated and displayed in bar charts on a huge screen on the stage. A couple of demographic questions as to the type of work done by and age of the respondents, allowed for responses to be segregated by the respondent's category or class.

It was amazing to watch as CPAs were laughing and really enjoying the interactivity. The keypad was extremely easy to use for you simply type in a number based on the answers presented on the screen.

The system was the Quick Tally Audience Response System ( and an accounting professor indicated to me that his university has a similar system.

Use your imagination and think about the uses for a system like this in your practice. How about at a financial planning seminar to determine the most critical financial concern that keeps attendees up at night? Or maybe at a client's facilitation meeting in which you need to accumulate data from a multitude of participants quickly and painlessly?

If you really want to have fun, why not use one at a staff or partners meeting or retreat? Besides getting a ton of information, you should get an instant love-in to this new technology and your partners and staff will be doing just what I am doing, using their imagination as to ways they could use this technology.

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