My duties as VP of Product Strategy at CPA2Biz consume my available time completely -- I am unable to continue posting to TheTechGap. In 2004 when I originated TTG it was the only blog serving the tax & technology space. Today there are dozens, perhaps hundreds, of sources providing content. While I will continue to Tweet (@glafollette) and occasionally post to LinkedIn there are no further posts planned for TheTechGap.
I heard from more than a few readers regarding my post on the MMT Field Pro mobile monitor last week . The message was consistent -- you missed the Toshiba competitor! You’re right, I did. My bad. BUT --- there’s ALWAYS a but --- it turns out that I’m standing by my original recommendation.
Toshiba’s entry is a 14-inch USB Mobile LCD Monitor for $200. It’s lighter, cheaper, and does not require a separate power brick. Game over, Toshiba wins, right? Not so fast, there Pilgrim, let’s look under those specs and see what’s REALLY going on.
Screen size: MMT Field Monitor Pro, at 15.4” is 20% larger than the Toshiba. I could live with that except the Toshiba screen, when powered only by USB, is so dim as to approach being useless. The standard measurement for screen luminosity is the “nit” and the generally acceptable line between “fair” and “good” is 225 nits. The USB powered Toshiba is rated at <150 nits. With the AC adapter (an additional $40) it’s not as dim, but still gets to only 220 nits. The MMT screen output is a very solid 232 nits. And the Toshiba screen is fixed at a 40 degree tilt while the MMT provides 180 degree tilt AND 180 degree rotation.
The Toshiba requires 2 USB ports and provides none; the MMT uses 1 port and provides two. The Toshiba is ~1 pound lighter than the MMT but the MMT case is die-cast aluminum which I suspect will have a much longer life than the Toshiba’s “faux leather”. Portrait mode? Only with the MMT, the Toshiba can’t do it. Same with Kensington lock. And daisy chaining. The MMT will chain up to 6. No chaining provided with the Toshiba. Oh, and let’s remember the MMT’s numeric keypad --- after all, we ARE accountants, right?
IMHO this is quite clearly a “you get what you pay for” decision. If you’re looking for an extra screen for casual use perhaps the Toshiba will work for you. But for the rigors of day-after-day field work I’m sticking with my recommendation. The MMT Field Monitor Pro is a fieldwork capable, light weight, thinly profiled, portable, durable and affordable dual monitor solution that deserves a hard look by firms doing a lot of field work.
I just unboxed a “mobile monitor” from (who else?) Mobile Monitor Technologies. The profession has been looking for a fieldwork capable, light weight, thinly profiled, portable, durable and affordable dual monitor solution ever since the multi-monitor craze doubled, and sometimes even tripled, the monitor count on virtually every tax and accounting professional’s desk. Productivity skyrocketed as we adapted workflows to take advantage of the newly available screen space. Until now auditors have had to hit the road with a laptop. A single screened laptop! (Unless you tried some of the huge, silly and hideously overpriced “dual-monitor laptops”.)
Finally we have what appears to be a decent quality, moderately priced, and – most importantly – easy to set up and use, solution. The MMT2 “Field Monitor Pro” has a 15.4” screen encased in a good-looking matte-black clamshell case that folds up and fit easily into my laptop bag. It includes a base with a numeric keypad – a super benefit for CPAs in the field! The 4 pound unit is AC powered and connects via USB. The design is quite clever allowing use with or without the base and also in either portrait or landscape mode. It operates based on the industry standard DisplayLink software. Total elapsed time from shipping box to fully installed and paired with my laptop was under 10 minutes. Subsequent setups entail connecting a USB cable, an AC power cord, and pushing the “ON” switch – it’s so easy even an auditor can do it! (smile). Priced at under $300.
My good friend Darren Root has co-authored what I’m guessing will quickly become the definitive treatise on “Practice Management” for accounting firms. His co-author? None other than Michael Gerber of The E-Myth Revisited fame, which sold over 3 million copies in 16 languages (his other eight books sold well, too!).
The E-Myth Accountant is sub-titled “Why Most Accounting Practices Don't Work and What to Do About It” and is available for pre-order on Amazon here. It’s due to ship in just a few days. I’m VERY excited to read it as I had the pleasure of listening to a webcast that Darren and Michael did for The CPA Technology Advisor. Unfortunately I may have to wait a bit for the book though --- it seems it is not yet available in Kindle format!
Huh? Come on, Darren ---- we’re PAPERLESS!!!! (smile)
CPA2Biz CEO Erik Asgeirsson was quoted as saying ““David has a long successful career selling technology solutions to CPA firms. He has a proven track record of building high-quality sales organizations and leading them through periods of significant growth. With our client accounting solutions—Intacct and Bill.com—getting as much traction as they are, our level of direct engagement with firms has increased exponentially. We’re excited to have someone with David’s experience onboard to help support this growth.”
Prior to joining CPA2Biz, Pollak was president of CPA Sales Solutions in Dexter, Mich., where he consulted directly with organizations selling technology solutions to accounting firms. Previously, Pollak was vice president of sales for Creative Solutions Inc. (acquired by Thomson Tax and Accounting)