I Still Love Technology… in honor of Birmingham Innovation Week 2016

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Crawford, TylerWritten by Tyler Crawford, CPA

Bean Counters. Has any human actually been party to the counting of beans in the last, oh…fifty years? If perception is reality, then I suppose accountants must be one of the most archaic, change-resistant types around. The truth is, there is data that actually supports this general perception about accountants as people that place a high premium on steadiness, stability and compliance (high “S” and “C” per the DISC personality test). Of course, this is not a condemnation of people who appreciate stability, or even those that enjoy grabbing the tax code for some light reading (I can get you a copy if you are interested). But, here is the question that we, as stable number crunchers (another one of my favorites), have to ask ourselves: “Can we survive as a profession if we refuse to change as the world is constantly and rapidly changing around us? Or maybe more specifically, how can we utilize technology to evolve in what we do before someone finds a way to use technology to replace what we do?” The good news for us, thanks to forward thinking leaders and firms in our profession, is that the evolution of accountants is already underway.

 

The marriage of accounting and technology is real, and it is a beautiful union that I predict will manifest as follows (both now and in the near future):

  • Data analytics through the use of excel functions and other proprietary software will allow CPAs to work smarter and harder. Audit tests will not only become more efficient but also more effective, as statistical analysis will allow auditors to quickly identify outliers worthy of further investigation instead of blind sampling.
  • Millennials, or “Generation Z,” will work with Gen Xers and Baby Boomers to merge new energy and innovative ideas with the invaluable expertise and experience of those who have been around the block.
  • Technology will automate some of the traditional “number crunching” tasks, and CPAs will be called upon to be translators of data and trusted advisors more than ever as opposed to mindless grunt workers.
  • Jeans and converse high-tops with a V-neck and suit jacket will become “business casual.” (Yes…I made that up.)

In summary, zebras will go on dreaming about new stripes, and old dogs will scoff at new tricks. Meanwhile, accountants are busy undergoing a technological makeover to create a new perception and a new reality – so, if you are seriously looking to engage someone to count your beans, we’d be happy to. There’s probably an app for that.

 

Tyler Crawford doesn’t just love accounting and technology. You can check out Tyler’s alter ego T.Craw alongside fellow BMSS CPA, AJ VanderWoude aka AJeezy, in their debut rap music video “The History of BMSS.” 

 

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