Expanding your app-titude

A monthly look at apps and websites that can make the CPA’s job and life better.
By Greg LaFollette, CPA/CITP, CGMA

One of the most important factors for success in business is the ability to make connections. While most professionals know about LinkedIn, this month's column examines a couple of other websites (with robust associated mobile apps) that help to assess and facilitate business connections.

WHAT DO EMPLOYEES THINK OF YOUR FIRM? LOOK THROUGH GLASSDOOR

Glassdoor is a website designed specifically for employees and former employees to anonymously review companies and their management. If you're an employer, it's just good "digital hygiene" to monitor your Glassdoor page and understand what's being posted about your business. Glassdoor has obviously invested in its mobile app. It's well-designed, feature-rich, and easy to navigate. To monitor what's being said about your business (or your competitors'), set up an alert, and Glassdoor will notify you of any new activity.

Each company page includes general information, reviews, salaries offered, interviews, job postings, benefits, etc. In general, larger and more mature companies' pages are more complete. Users rate businesses on a five-star scale. The experience will be familiar to many users because it's very much like that of the consumer-based site Yelp. Glassdoor also serves job seekers and recruiters. Companies can advertise openings, and users can search for available jobs (by profession, sector, geography, etc.).

  • Website: glassdoor.com
  • Cost: Free for individuals; fee varies for job posters
  • Operating systems: Web, iOS, Android

 

WORKING TO CONNECT ALIGNABLE BUSINESSES

While Glassdoor concentrates on individual-to-business connections, a relative newcomer to the space, Alignable, focuses on business-to-business connections, with special emphasis on the local part of a small business. Alignable is sort of a chamber of commerce meets LinkedIn meets Glassdoor. Users register as business entities rather than as individuals, and then the business entity can add individual employees. Alignable's stated purpose is to enhance "main street small businesses' first- and second-floor trusted relationships"—in other words, connect street-level retailers and restaurants to one another and to professional services offices, which are often found in urban settings on the second floor (or higher) of buildings with retail or restaurants on the ground floor.

The site seems to be growing nicely and now boasts more than 8,000 active communities. These communities are structured to encourage businesses to form relationships that lead to referrals, endorsements, and the emergence of general business-to-business opportunities. Recently, Alignable rolled out "trust ratings" for nearly 100 national brands—including Apple, FedEx, and QuickBooks—with each brand listed with its respective "net promoter score" as calculated by the votes of Alignable member businesses.

  • Website: alignable.com
  • Cost: Free
  • Operating systems: Web, iOS, Android

Greg LaFollette (greg.lafollette@hq.cpa.com) is a strategic adviser with CPA.com, the commercial subsidiary of the AICPA.

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