As far as technology goes in the accounting profession, there are a number of disruptive technologies that we hear about: artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain. And all of them will have an impact. However, we still need to be on the cloud. And in order to be able to take advantage of these technologies, we have to start putting plans in place so we can transform our firms and our processes to enable us to use cloud technology so that we can fully take advantage of everything that’s available to us to really revolutionize how we work with our clients.
As far as where you can start when you want to move to the cloud, I would definitely assess your general ledger system. But sometimes if you are not there yet, that’s a lot to bite off. So you can look at other processes in the firm, such as collecting payments or doing your accounts payable, where you can actually test this with your clients — or internally if you are in a corporation — of how you could automate those processes and what types of things that you duplicate in your work that you can remove. And then once you feel more comfortable there, start looking at how you could start moving from your desktop software into a cloud general ledger system, because that opens up a whole new world of integrations and being able to really fully automate your practice.