Software Integration and The CPA Firm

In going through old blog posts, I had the chance to revisit this article from the Journal of Accountancy from June 1, 2012.

Technology and CPAs: Visions of the Future

The JofA assembled a distinguished group of thought leaders to identify and discuss the key technology trends that CPAs should keep top of mind in the next decade.

In reading this article nearly a decade later, these experts were pretty much dead on concerning where technology was going. I recommend you read the entire article, but there are two comments from the experts I want to highlight.

The first involves this question: What technology improvements would you most like to see? David Cieslak, CPA/CITP, CGMA, principal with computer consulting firm Arxis Technology, and former chair of the AICPA IT Executive Committee stated: “Better, more seamless integration of data/information across disparate applications and ecosystems.”

This would be a great improvement – but it has not yet come to pass. Although, advances have been made, there is still a lot of work to be done. The technology footprint continues to remain complex as more solutions become available to CPAs. Deciding which option lessens your footprint and which one just adds one more login for your daily routine, is one of the major challenges that firms are still trying to solve.

The second comes from L. Gary Boomer, CPA/CITP, CEO of Boomer Consulting Inc. and past chair of the AICPA IT Executive Committee. When asked about the future of accounting software, “Boomer offered a similar vision, one in which he foresees the end of data entry, with all transactions being automated and aggregated into accounting software.”

Again, a great vision – but tax and audit processes continue to have an unacceptably high level of manual activities and one offs.

So where do I stand with our vision of technology for 2021? I agree with the thought leaders from 2012. Integration and automation are two of the biggest areas for CPAs to target for improvement.

What do you think?