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October 16, 2013

Technology reshapes accounting profession: ACCA and IMA

By Vincent Huck

The accountancy profession will be significantly impacted by 10 technology trends according to a joint report by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA) and the US Institute of Management Accountants (IMA).

The report entitled, Digital Darwinism: thriving in the face of technology change, was based on interviews with academics and experts in accountancy and technology, and a survey of 2,100 ACCA and IMA members around the world.

Participants identified 10 technologies with the potential to reshape the accountancy profession and business landscape, such as mobile, big data or the cloud among the 10.

Mobile technology is the most cited technology amongst participants, with 75% of them saying it will impact business in the years ahead. Mobile is closely followed by big data, mentioned by 62% of the participants, and cloud (57%).

But technological changes come at a cost. First, they imply new risk, with 54% of the participants saying they are concerned with risks associated with cybercrime.

Secondly, the advances in technology will demand new skills and competencies from accountants and finance professionals.

ACCA head of future research Faye Chua said the profession is an influential agent of change and therefore should be prepared to face the challenges offered by technology.

Chua added that these changes are an opportunity for accountants and finance professionals to redefine their role and the extent to which they are involved in technology related decisions.

"Ultimately, they need to use technology to add value, and to use their influential positions as trusted advisers to business to bring about change.

"The profession needs to shape their technological future rather than be shaped by it," she concluded.

Related link:

Digital Darwinism: thriving in the face of technology change

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