The accounting profession sits on the cusp of unprecedented change. Transformative technologies such as automated data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and blockchain will reshape virtually every corner of the accounting world — changing the way CPAs work, whom they work with, where they do their jobs, and how they connect with clients and colleagues. The very nature of core services including tax and audit will evolve by leaps and bounds into something dramatically different. For CPAs to survive and thrive, they will need to learn — and unlearn — on a scale and at a pace that can seem overwhelming.
To help CPAs prepare, the JofA gathered three of the profession’s top technology experts for its annual accounting technology roundtable. The participants included:
- Al Anderson, CPA, owner of the accounting and insurance advisory firm ACCOUNTability Plus, leader of the AICPA Rutgers Data Analytics Initiative, and an adviser to the AICPA’s future of audit initiatives.
- Rick Richardson, CPA/CITP, CGMA, founder and CEO of Richardson Media and Technologies.
- Amanda Wilkie, a consultant with Boomer Consulting and former chief information officer at regional firm WithumSmith+Brown.
The conversation, held in late January, is presented in two parts. The first part focuses on the radical changes emerging technologies will bring to accounting — and accountants — over the next 1–5 years. The second part continues that discussion and lays out what CPAs need to be doing now to prepare for the rapidly approaching new day in accounting.
What you’ll learn in this podcast (part 1):
- A streamlined, understandable definition of blockchain and what CPAs need to know about it.
- Why the permeation of technologies such as AI and blockchain may portend heavy consolidation among accounting firms.
- That accounting firms may have to collaborate more with one another and with other types of business with different skill sets.
- The litany of changes coming to the audit and how real-time access to data is driving everything.
- How AI and blockchain technologies will transform the audit.
- What smart contracts are and why “smart” might be a misnomer.
Play the episode below:
Check out other Tech Roundtable podcasts:
- 2018 Part 2: A New Staffing Model for Accounting Firms
- 2017 Part 1: A Factor of Singular Importance in Cloud Computing
- 2017 Part 2: Real Talk About Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain