Accountants are finding a variety of ways to bring their firms to the attention of the public.

One of a series of roundtable discussions at Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting’s user conference last night involved the topic of accounting firm marketing. Jack LaRue, senior vice president of myPay Solutions at the company, led the discussion.

Accountants talked about their mixed results in doing search engine optimization to draw attention to their firms, with some firms considering it a waste of money. However, some had better luck in buying Google keyword searches to market their firms to people looking for a CPA in their town. One accountant recommended that the others check their firm’s profile on Google Maps and make sure it provides relevant information and shows the correct location.

Another idea that seemed to work well was sending out invitations via e-mail to a free seminar about fraud. The seminar attracted a large crowd, and the firm plans to hold more such seminars on topics of interest.

Later in the evening, I sat in on another roundtable discussion on Windows 7 and the accounting firm, led by Brent Goodfellow of Fordham Goodfellow. He brought in a laptop and netbook with the new operating system and demonstrated some of the nifty interface features that accounting firms can use. The snap feature looked like it could be especially handy for comparing two spreadsheets side by side.