Every morning when I get into my car to drive to work, my phone pops up a message to tell me that it will take me about 18 minutes to get to work in current traffic. When I get into the car to go home in the evening, it tells me it will take me 21 minutes to get home in current traffic. My phone is so smart that on Saturday morning, when I get into the car to drive to meet friends to run, it tells me that I have a 10-minute drive to our regular meeting place.
Technology is becoming a big part of so much of our day to day life, and new technology is constantly being developed. Could you have imagined 10 years ago that you’d be able to deposit a check, buy almost anything, control the thermostat in your house and a countless list of other tasks all from your cell phone?
And of course, technology is impacting our professional lives as well, and will continue to play an even larger part as we move forward. From things technology is already doing for us, like cloud-based software and applications, phone apps for expense reporting, remote deposits and on and on.
Until now, technology has been great to replace task oriented processes, but I saw recently that KPMG and IBM have formed a partnership to use IBM’s Watson computer, you know, the computer that won Jeopardy, to do cognitive tech audits. What is that, you ask? That means that the plan is to have Watson analyze and interpret large amounts of data. Previously, the data interpretation had to be done by a human, but now Watson can use artificial intelligence to interpret data. This is great for review of large volumes of data to look for abnormalities.
Do these technological advances mean that CPAs will be replaced by computers? No, but it will likely change what we do. As computers “learn” to do more and more tasks, our role will likely evolve from auditor to data interpreter and advisor. It’s all part of embracing that expanded role in business, which is all part of the Society’s INCPAS 2025 document.
Are you ready for that evolution? What new or expanded roles do you envision for yourself in the future?