NYSSCPA Promotes “Exchange”

By:
RICHARD KORETO
Published Date:
Apr 15, 2014

NYSSCPA members are used to participating in discussions on the Society’s Facebook page and LinkedIn group, as well as in other social media ventures. Now, the NYSSCPA is taking it to the next level with a new online community exclusively for members and organized specifically by committee and chapter. The Society’s new site “Exchange—the NYSSCPA’s Social Network,” gives members the ability to extend their networking activities at society events by continuing to engage with colleagues after attending a committee meeting or FAE course.

Exchange consists of “communities” of NYSSCPA members. Each chapter is a community, so all NYSSCPA members are automatically a member of their chapter communities. Members will also find communities for FAE courses they’ve attended and NYSSCPA committees they belong to, so many members will find themselves a part of multiple communities. Members who already belong to LinkedIn will find it very similar to that platform.

The best way to see what Exchange is all about is to jump right in at http://exchange.nysscpa.org. There’s no elaborate registration procedure—simply log in with your NYSSCPA membership number and email address. (If you have forgotten your login credentials or need assistance, the Society can help.) There is a certain level of privacy: only NYSSCPA members and NYSSCPA staff can join. Once you’re in, you can post messages and share files—it’s like a networking event that’s open 24/7.

As with other social media sites, once you log in you can create a profile so others know more about you. To save time and effort, Exchange will let you import your LinkedIn file—but this is not essential: Exchange is not affiliated with LinkedIn and you do not need a LinkedIn account to participate fully in Exchange.

Getting started 

Below is a recommended lists of things to do the first time you log into Exchange. Of course, you can make changes at any time; this is just a suggestion for the first session.

1. Click on “my profile” in the top menu bar. You can import your LinkedIn info or add custom details.
2. Click on “privacy settings” to choose who can see what information about you. You can always change this later.
3. Find other members by clicking on the “directory” link. You can find members based on first or last name, company name or email address. More detailed searches are available through the “advanced” tab.
4. You can request that other members become “contacts” by clicking the “add as contact” button next to their names. Contacts populate a virtual address book of members you can easily send contact messages to. You can also choose to share certain information about yourself that non-contacts can’t see. Exchange will also tell you which contacts you and any other contact have in common.

Building a list of contacts is just the beginning.  Once you log in, you’ll want to join communities. As noted above, each member belongs to at least one community: his or her chapter. Exchange helps by automatically adding NYSSCPA members to their proper chapter and committee communities. Ex­change does the job automatically, based on your chapter and committee membership and recent FAE events you’ve attended. Click on “communities” to see a list of communities available to you.

As a member of a community, you will see a list of tabs that let you view and participate in discussions, read blogs, download documents from the “library,” review events and see a list of all the other community members. When you see a discussion that interests you, click on “Reply to Discussion” to send your message to the entire community or “Reply to Sender” to send your message just to the sender; both links are located to the right of the post. We recommend replying to the sender for simple comments like “me, too” that add little value to the overall discussion. Reply to the entire community when you are sharing knowledge, experience or resources that others could benefit from. Exchange will send you emails about the posts in your communities, and by going to the “my profile” tab and “my subscriptions”  you have four choices in how to receive them.

Real time: sends an email every time a new message is posted.
Daily digest: sends one email to you each day, consolidating all of the posts from the previous day.
Legacy: sends real-time text versions of the posts, which are generally compatible with smart phone. This option also allows you to reply without logging into a web browser.
No email: allows you to be part of the group without having emails sent to you. You can still post and read others’ messages by logging into the community site. You can also leave any community from this page.

An additional way to use Exchange is by searching across all communities for posts. Let’s say you’re interested in estate tax issues, which may be a topic in multiple communities. Search for it in the search bar across the top and find all references to “estate tax.”

Once you log in, you’ll see an FAQ that explains the above items in greater detail and describes all Exchange benefits. You’ll also see contact emails if you’re having trouble or want to ask a question not covered in the FAQ. The site’s controls are highly intuitive, and we’re sure that it won’t take members long to become experienced Exchange participants. 

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