The Start of EnterpriseTechKnowlogies
Luckily, Seven-Eleven Hawaii, a client that I had been working with since 1997 (the start of my full-time professional career) wanted to continue working with me. So with one contract in hand for roughly 24 hours of work a week, I officially started EnterpriseTechKnowlogies in December of 2001. As I worked more on my website, I realized that I had a fundamental disconnect between part of the company name, enterprise—which was often associated with large companies—and who I wanted to work with: small businesses. So I drew upon another thing that was popular at the time: intranets, and combined that with enterprise to coin the word “intraprise”—the internal working of an enterprise. In this context we were using the dictionary definition for enterprise, essentially a business entity.
The Quick Switch and Growth of IntrapriseTechKnowlogies
During the course of these 10 years, my team grew to be as large as 19 people, including the full spectrum of application development skillsets: business analysts, database developers, Microsoft developers, quality assurance testers, IT consultants, and network/server engineers. At first it was exciting building the team and seeing the solutions come to life, but eventually (especially as the team grew) it begin to feel like we were much more application development outsourcing (like Data House), rather than a true consultancy (the work I had been doing at PwC when I left).
Becoming a CPA Firm
Then in 2006, I started serving on committees for the AICPA and really saw the power of having this dual expertise. Through my involvement with the AICPA I learned more about, and actually helped to define, the body of knowledge for the CITP. That experience showed me the real power of the CPA brand and reconnected me with my roots in IT audit and the world of risk and controls. A world I realized that I really missed, and had enjoyed working in. So I began shifting ITK’s work back in that direction and started partnering with some of the Hawaii CPA firms to do IT risk assessment and IT general controls work for their engagements.
By 2011, I knew that part of my mission was to help grow the number of CITPs, not just in Hawaii but throughout the United States, so I registered ITK as a CPA firm to ensure that the experience gained by staff who joined us could count toward their CPA. We also switched from calling ITK an IT consulting firm, to a CPA firm that specialized in IT—again emphasizing our dual expertise and ability to drive accounting innovation.
ITK Today: Innovator, IT Consultant, Advisor, and Educator
Starting around 2007, we also provided outsourced IT support (what is now often referred to as an IT managed service provider) to small business clients. When we first started providing that service, we were doing both “break-fix” and full managed environments, however we quickly realized that if we did that, we were working with clients that often saw IT as a cost rather than an investment. So today we work primarily with organizations that place a high value on IT planning and budgeting, IT risk management, and IT security & privacy (all which tie into the CITP expertise areas). By better defining the clients we wanted to work with, we reduced the number of clients, but increased breadth and depth of how we work with them. This has enabled those clients to better leverage IT for the strategic evolution of their organizations. At the start of the new year, we also re-launched our website for these services: www.myintraprise.com.
In 2015, we also formally launched our professional education services, primarily working with CPA state societies and accounting technology vendors to bring more IT education to their conferences and continuing professional education (CPE) programs that bridged accounting and technology—in other words, content that was more in the CITP realm rather than pure technology realm. Starting this year, we are also expanding those education offerings to reach directly to accounting firms, and accounting/internal audit departments within mid-sized organizations. Our goal for these services is to elevate and accelerate the transformation of the accounting and internal audit functions from compliance to advisory functions that can help drive organizational resilience and agility.
ITK Tomorrow: Organizational Development
Continued Accounting Innovation and Transformation
If you’re already an ITK client, thank you for your continued faith in us and for allowing us to be a part of your organization’s journey. If you’re not an ITK client yet, I welcome you to contact me to see how our unique blend of advisory services, professional education services, IT consulting, accounting innovation, and technical expertise can really help to accelerate your organization’s excellence.
In closing I thought I’d leave you with this quote: “Chance favors the connected mind.” ~Steven Johnson, Author The Natural History of Innovation. Don’t leave your intraprise excellence to chance, connect with us and let us synergize your intraprise!