The Impact of Technology Drivers in the Digital Age

Accounting, similar to other industries, is being disrupted by a raft of new technology drivers including big data, cloud, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), robotic process automation (RPA), and blockchain. These technologies have eliminated disparate processes and created integrated, transparent ecosystems, and workflows.

A study conducted by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) stated that these technologies will drastically shift how business is conducted. To continue working successfully, a new paper by IMA says, “the accounting profession must step up to meet the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead as technology advances”. This is achieved with value creation. Specifically, this means using data to better support strategy creation and decision making.

In order to exploit the digital transformation and successfully transition into the role of ‘value creator’, an article by the IMA says that accountants will need to:

  • Enhance their skills in data analytics;
  • Know how to leverage the technology that will free them from repetitive, time-intensive manual tasks;
  • Develop their strategic management/thinking skills; and
  • Focus on innovation and change management.

To elaborate upon the first bullet of data analytics skills, the same article says that accountants will also need to be able to:

  • Explore new ways to manage, analyze, and extract value from data;
  • Apply analytical and critical thinking skills to address strategic issues; and
  • Identify the most useful questions big data can answer.

So, what does this mean for the future role of accounting professionals? The answer is two-fold. First, accountants need to develop advanced skills in data management, data analytics, and data visualization to be able to add insight. Second, accountants will need to be fluent in business, analytics, and technology in order to translate the data into key business insights.

Interested in learning more? We’ll be discussing the topic of big data and ways your firm can capitalize at our Caseware Roadshow, Putting Technology Into Practice. Register for the upcoming event nearest you, today!

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