By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA senior content manager
While accountants aren’t expected to be tech wizards, understanding the trends and what’s on the horizon for technology in the profession can be a significant career benefit.
Several tech experts have joined us recently on the State of Business podcast. Here are some key ideas they’ve shared that you should be aware of:
Sean Stein Smith, CPA, assistant professor at Lehman College and who also serves on the advisory board of the Wall Street Blockchain Alliance, said accountants don’t necessarily need to know everything about cryptocurrency, but they should develop a basic understanding of the crypto space.
“I'm getting questions now from my external clients that are not crypto native companies asking ‘How do I start using crypto for payments? How do I integrate blockchain into my operations?’” said Smith, said.
The interest in cryptocurrency continues to grow, Smith said, and while in certain areas of the country blockchain and crypto aren’t in the news regularly, these new currencies are still becoming a bigger part of the economic landscape.
“I try to as much as I can, I'm as forward-thinking as I can be, I adapt the latest technology as soon as I can,” said Shayna Chapman, CPA, founder and chief strategist at Shaynaco. “But then getting my clients to take hold of that and adapting it on their end is challenging. That is not easy to do.”
Chapman said her rural clients are successful business owners, but that doesn’t always mean they’re current with recent technology. She said she strives for a balance when working with clients who are more hesitant around tech: showing them the benefits of upgrading their technology and encouraging them to do so, while understanding some might take longer to accept it.
Protecting yourself from online attacks isn’t as simple as checking off a box on your to-do list, said Greg Gomach, senior client executive at DMC Technology Group and part of Ohio CPA Proud organization William Vaughan Company.
“There’s no easy solution,” Gomach said. “You have to stay on top of this stuff. Otherwise, you're just leaving yourself wide open.”
Protecting yourself and your company from cyber-attacks is a journey, he said; it’s something that will constantly have to evolve as technology evolves. This might sound tiring, but it’s essential as attackers get savvier and more persistent.