By Marca Gibson
Have you ever had this feeling? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imH1B_4Ge6w
Me too! Ah, bliss. Ah, adventure. But then. Something new comes along. The unknown, change. And change, no matter how good, can be hard. Kicking-and-screaming scary, even! We might realize change has to happen and think of ourselves as enlightened at the prospect of change, but when push comes to shove, we have to fight the urge to resist it.
Like many of you, I enjoy being an early adopter of technology; learning and using shortcuts and work-arounds to make work easier and more productive; and exploring new applications and platforms for communication, creativity, and calculation. Yeah. Well, that’s all O-rings to the rocket ship in the room! Have you really listened to the national leaders of our profession over the last year or so? Read the last several issues of the Journal of Accountancy? Seen ads on the television? Change is coming to accounting, folks, and not just change … but CHANGE. Paradigm-shifting, rock-your-world CHANGE.
Our profession’s leadership is doing all but sounding sirens and setting flares to let us know that our profession may be all but unrecognizable to us within a decade. There are buzzwords abounding – think blockchain, A.I., data analytics, the cloud – and new models for business are leaching from Amazon and Uber into our accounting offices. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants has positioned itself to function in a new world of accounting by partnering with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA); by morphing the AICPA into the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants; and by developing the new certification program for Certified Global Management Accountants (CGMA). These changes are exciting! I am excited and eager to see this new world. Even so, the projected changes are dizzying and a little terrifying. Vertigo, anyone?
What will become of the CPA? How will this new paradigm morph our roles as CPAs, or CGMAs? What about Montana? Certainly, we are buffered from all this so-called change hype! While Montana is at the headwaters of many rivers flowing to the seas, Change seems to swim upstream. Change hatches where global commerce is heaviest – on the coasts – and it wriggles along against the current of resistance until it eventually overtakes the last vestiges of What Was. That’s us, Montana. For a while, we might be able to observe what’s going on in the outside world; but exponential growth of internet communication and commerce will compress the timeline. Some Montana businesses with national and global reach are already embracing and effecting changes to usher in the new paradigm. Eventually, Change will arrive, sweep us all off our feet, and fly us to the moon.
Rest assured, the Montana Society of CPAs is on it and has your back! As our professional home, MSCPA will be with us as we step boldly into the future. Then as now, “Your Success. Our Business.”
As for me, I want to be ready. I think I will be. I’m 98% Excited and 2% Scared. Or maybe … just in case, better watch your shins.
For more details, here are some very interesting articles. Feel free to follow the links:
- Journal of Accountancy, November 1, 2017 – “We Have to Be Bold” (okay, who hears “and boldly go where no one has gone before!” when you read that headline? Or is it just me?)
- Journal of Accountancy, October 2017 – “How Artificial Intelligence is Changing Accounting“
- Intuit’s Firm of the Future, – “Four Key Trends Shaping the Transformation of the Accounting Industry”
- International Federation of Accountants, February 2017 – “Future of Accounting: Three Major Changes and Implications for Teaching and Research”
- Accounting Today, December 2016 – “The Future of Automation and Accounting”
- CPA Practice Advisor, November 2016 – “An Under 40 Perspective on the Future of the Accounting Profession”