September 20, 2019

the future

Opinion: The AICPA’s Future CPA Exam Plans Are Really Just a Desperate Money Grab

ICYMI, a couple weeks ago I wrote about a joint AICPA/NASBA plan to drag CPA licensure into the 21st century. So far, the initiative is in the early planning stages but it feels like the profession is moving far quicker than its usual snail pace to adapt to our rapidly-changing world, so to think this […]

commuting-auditors

Commuting Doesn’t Have to Be Terrible: 5 Alternatives to Sitting in Traffic

The daily commute can be miserable. No wonder people prefer to work from home. I know I do. Too bad auditing requires you to show your face at a client’s office. And don’t tell me it’s for rapport building. It’s to keep the client honest. Otherwise, I’m sure the whole audit would get sent overseas. […]

dna data storage accountants IT

DNA Data Storage Could Complicate Data Center Walkthroughs

Forget underwater data centers and outrageous cloud CapEx spending. All of it is utterly passé compared to DNA data storage. Wait, DNA data storage? You mean — storing digital binary data as DNA? Yes. And, it blows my mind too. DNA’s not just the smoking gun in a crime drama In 2012, Harvard scientists figured […]

Supersonic Travel, Part Deux

Traveling this holiday season? Here’s a little food for thought: What if you could get to your destination 2.6x faster? Say, LA to NY in just under 2 hours? Yes, please?! A new, more economical supersonic jet is on the horizon, cutting travel time without breaking the bank. For example, London to NY in 3 […]

“Rise of the Robots” – Cognitive Technology Threatens Us All

A reader’s skeptical comment on the second of this series — Part I and Part II — on the ominous messages for the accounting profession in Martin Ford’s prize-winning book of last year, Rise of the Robots was that, "The elephant in the room (is) that automation is nowhere close to being able to make […]

“Rise of the Robots” – And They’ll Audit Better, Smarter, Cheaper

“The ‘smarter’ machines get, the more and more jobs they’ll replace. Including mine. And yours.”    — Reader CommentMartin Ford’s prize-winning Rise of the Robots (2015) underlies this three-part look at the prospects that drones, robots and cognitive technology will rapidly displace jobs and careers at all levels of the Big Audit model, and that the […]

“Rise of the Robots” – It’s Time for Accountants to Be Afraid

“They’re coming – for your job.” That’s the ominous message for everyone benighted enough to believe in job security under the Big Audit model, as delivered by Martin Ford in last year’s Financial Times business book of the year, Rise of the Robots. Ford’s book brings focus to the question posed here at Going Concern […]

Augmented Intelligence in Accounting

As a follow up from my Augmented Reality post I wanted to take a moment to talk about augmented intelligence also known as intelligence amplification. Put simply, this is enhancing the human brain with technology. Believe it or not the term "intelligence amplification" was popularized by W. Ross Ashby in his 1956 book, An Introduction […]

#WhatsNext: Return-Free Filing

It's time once again for our monthly yakfest, #WhatsNext, a co-production of Going Concern and Thriveal. Today we're talking about return-free filing, something that's been in the news lately, but an issue we've covered on here for quite some time and has been a topic of debate for a decade or more. As always, I'll […]

Here’s Why There Won’t Be an Uber for Accounting

You’re probably familiar with Uber by now, unless you live under a rock, or live in the 25% of the country not yet covered by it.

Automation to Artificial Intelligence: New Frontiers for Auditors

News flash: Artificial intelligence (AI) and other cognitive technologies are eliminating jobs left and right. Bloomberg reports as many as 5 million jobs by 2020. Oh, calamity. Should auditors be worried? The short answer is no…don’t lose sleep over it. Why? First off, cognitive technologies (even super cool advanced ones) are best with structured tasks […]

What Auditors Ought to Know About the Internet of Things

Whenever I think about the Internet of Things ("IoT"), my mind jumps to a Disney original movie from 1999 called Smart House. If you haven’t seen it (no real surprise), here’s a clip. Fast forward less than two decades and “smart” technology is ubiquitous. As of 2013, there were more internet connected devices than people […]

I Am a Millennial Accountant, and I Hate Accounting

Remember six months ago when I introduced my concept of the Accountapocalypse? We talked about offshoring, and the Rise of the Lifestyle Accountant. Your comments were both hilarious and thought provoking.

Coming Soon-ish: Greener Auditing

Well, maybe. Eventually. Some time in the future. Over at the Harvard Business Review, there's a brief Q&A with Professor Robert Eccles about sustainability accounting standards. It's interesting because, as we've mentioned, sustainability (among other things) could become a big part of the accounting profession's future. We first covered sustainability accounting and reporting in an […]

Mandatory Viewing and Predictions for Understanding the Accounting Profession’s Future

Last week I decided to dust of an old favorite of mine: The Singularity is Near by Ray Kurzweil (Mandatory reading for the paranoid self-proclaimed futurist). I use the term dust metaphorically, because of course I read it on my smartphone on a flight home from Melbourne. This leads me to the point — Kurzweil […]

Are Accounting Firms Accruing Management Debt Off-Balance Sheet?

Once again I found myself at a bit of a loss as to what to write this month. So to get some inspiration (read: procrastinate) I spent Sunday morning reading the latest on Going Concern. I read Caleb’s article, Bob Moritz Has Your Back, Millennials, but was most interested in the comments. I saw this […]

Learning From Andersen: Opportunities and Pitfalls in a Long-Term Audit Career With the Big 4

Does anyone remember –- or care about -– the collapse of Arthur Andersen back in 2002? If recalled, what lessons might it have for young professionals taking serious stock of their career choices?

Is Technology Making Accountants Dumb and Lazy?

For those of you that have been following me online for a while, you’ll probably know one of the early experiments I ran at Accodex was, “How do I build a firm where I can get a 19-year-old to do the work of a CPA in one-third the time.” With this goal we invested heavily […]

5 Ways Accountants Can Protect Themselves from the Accountapocalypse

In an earlier post, I listed what types of firms and accountants are vulnerable to the Accountapocalypse. Since then, I’ve received a number of tweets, LinkedIn messages and hate mail (thanks guys) centred around this:

Parkinson’s Law of Accounting

Parkinson’s law states, “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” You guys would know this from work, if you have a 100-hour budget on a job, it will take your team exactly 100 hours to complete (probably 110). Knowing full well of this anomaly, you’ll probably get a budget of […]

In the Future, Accountants Count Everything

In today’s brain dump, I wanted to bring you some good news: Accounting is not going out of business, it’s just changing. The accounting profession has evolved from single entry, to double entry, to management accounting, to where we are today. In the not too distant future, accountants will count everything! Not just money. You've […]

Accountapocalypse: Let’s Talk About Offshoring

I’ve touched on offshoring in a couple of my previous articles, and it seems to have gotten some attention. While offshoring is prevalent in top firms it's not standard practice in the rest of the profession, it has certainly been gaining momentum. I fully expect this trend to continue, and here’s why: Barriers to offshoring […]

A Five Forces Analysis of The Accounting Profession

As a follow up from my first post “The End Is Nigh: Prepare Yourselves for the Accountapocalypse,” I thought I’d present my interpretation on Porter’s Five Forces applied to the accounting profession. These forces seem to vary between region (countries, states and even counties), service areas (audit, tax, advisory) and firm size (top tier, mid-tier […]

Reminder: Robots Are Coming For Your Accounting Jobs

As you may have heard, THE MACHINES are taking over CPA jobs. But for accounting wizards like yourselves, you probably want some numbers to tell the story. Fair enough. Last week, Planet Money covered a 2013 study entitled The Future of Employment: How Susceptible Are Jobs to Computerisation?  It’s gotten attention in the accounting profession before, […]

Now That Auditing Is Joining The 21st Century, What Will It Be Like?

Recently the Washington Post interviewed new Deloitte & Touche CEO Joe Ucuzoglu about how he has always liked numbers and stuff. We don't necessarily recommend that you read it, as that's one of the services we provide around here — reading horrible interviews with Big 4 bigwigs — but there's one topic of discussion mentioned that the opiners […]

Texas CPA Exam Candidates Excited to Embrace the Future

Wait a second… are you telling me that up until this point, one of the biggest CPA exam states in the country did not offer its future CPAs the ability to check their score online? Isn't obsessively refreshing that screen supposed to be both the best and worst part about taking the modern day exam? […]

In Other Name Change News, We Will Not Speak of SAC Capital Again

Well, I guess Point72 could be worse. Like New SAC Capital or Point72&. They’ve changed the sign. They’ve changed the email address. And presumably they will soon be giving out new fleece jackets at Point72 Asset Management, the new family office that will trade billions of dollars of Steven A. Cohen’s money and is the […]

It Is Almost Certain You Will One Day Be Replaced by Machines

The future is scary sometimes. Even scarier, the prospect that you, dear accountants, are more likely to be replaced by machines than firefighters, editors, pilots, and dentists. In fact, the only humans more likely to be replaced by machines than you are telemarketers and I think we can all agree they should have been shipped off to the Island of Unwanted People a long time ago.