Software Integration and The CPA Firm: Visions of the Future From 2012

In going through our archives we found this article in the Journal of Accountancy from June 1, 2012.

Technology and CPAs: Visions of the Future

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

In reading the article a few years later these experts were pretty much dead on concerning where technology was going. We recommend you read the entire article, but there were two comments from the experts we wanted 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. In fact, the case can be made that the typical audit and tax environment in 2016 is less integrated than it was in 2012. The technology footprint has become more complex as more solutions have become available to CPAs. This will be one of the major challenges for firms to solve in the coming years.

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 we stand with our vision of technology for 2016? We agree with David Cieslak and Gary Boomer from 2012. Integration and automation are the two biggest areas for CPAs to target for improvement.

What do you think?