Kevin H. Wang, CPA/CITP

Director of innovation at Warren Averett CPAs and Advisors

PHOTO BY ANDREA MABRY/AP IMAGES
PHOTO BY ANDREA MABRY/AP IMAGES

‘Change may be hard, but it’s necessary...’

Working at the intersection of accounting and technology: Growing up, I was that kid who would take apart electronics and not know how to put them back together. One time I took apart a stereo because I was overcome by my curiosity about what was inside and how the sound was generated. Looking back, it’s apparent now that was my passion for technology shining through. My current role lets me combine my profession in accounting with my long-held passion for technology. My responsibilities include identifying areas where technology, organizational structure, and day-to-day practices can be combined to help our firm achieve its goals. I also help find technological solutions for my clients. They motivate me because I love seeing how they embrace the solutions we discover together.

I always go back to one piece of advice I received a long time ago: Love what you do and do what you love. You will be in your career for 30 or 40 years, so you should find what you have a passion for and determine what motivates you to keep doing what you love.

Learning about technology is crucial: We’ve always known that technology would have a big impact on accounting, but I don’t think anybody could have imagined how great an impact that would be. The more experience you can get at the intersection of accounting and technology, the more successful you’ll be. I’ve found the best place to learn about emerging careers and the unique skills needed to succeed is on job boards of progressive organizations. Also, look at the websites of the top firms because they will list the types of services they offer in today’s globally connected world.

Technology is forcing change: I see five areas where technology is changing the accounting profession. First, there is so much data being generated every day, and it’s growing exponentially. CPAs today need the knowledge to process that data, understand it, put multiple data sources together, and comprehend the story it tells. Second, machine learning and other areas of artificial intelligence are right on the horizon. Third, automation is going to replace many of the manual tasks we do, and accounting professionals will need to upskill themselves to stay in demand. Fourth, we will continue to adopt more and more cloud-based accounting systems, which makes processes run smoother because all parties who are privy can access information from anywhere at any time. Finally, software integration is emerging, which will allow different applications to talk to each other and allow us to move data from one to the other seamlessly.

Change may be hard, but it’s necessary to move forward. A mentor once told me if there is a better way to turn on the light switch in a room, let’s find it and let’s implement it because there’s nothing too simple to not be able to change and make better.


Favorite food or cuisine: Korean food. It’s comfort food for me.

Favorite app: Reddit. I love the different perspectives people have on topics and
ideas.

Favorite travel destination: South Korea is always on my list.

— As told to Teri Saylor, a freelance writer based in North Carolina. To comment on this article or to recommend an AICPA member as a Last Word subject, contact Courtney Vien at Courtney.Vien@aicpa-cima.com.

Where to find December’s flipbook issue

The Journal of Accountancy is now completely digital. 

 

 

 

SPONSORED REPORT

Get Clients Ready for Tax Season

This comprehensive report looks at the changes to the child tax credit, earned income tax credit, and child and dependent care credit caused by the expiration of provisions in the American Rescue Plan Act; the ability e-file more returns in the Form 1040 series; automobile mileage deductions; the alternative minimum tax; gift tax exemptions; strategies for accelerating or postponing income and deductions; and retirement and estate planning.