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Businesses have seen significant changes and faced unique challenges over the past few years, and 2023 will be no different. Accounting professionals will be in the middle of it all as their organizations adopt new technologies, many of which will automate recurring accounting tasks.
Most, but not all, trends in 2023 deal with technology. Technological advancements will meet the softer side of science in 2023 as businesses continue to balance their functions with environmental concerns. Additionally, diversity and equality remain at the forefront of workplace issues.
You’ll be primed for success when you know what to expect in 2023. Your consistent and thoughtful action now will pay dividends in the future. Addressing key issues before they become pitfalls will help you and your organization maintain a competitive edge.
Decentralized information will continue to get more attention next year. Cryptocurrency and the revolutionary blockchain technology it brought to light are to thank for that.
Until recently, there has traditionally been a go-between to establish trust between two parties doing business with one another–notaries, banks and PayPal, to name a few. These intermediaries verified identities, developed good faith and facilitated exchanges.
However, centralized systems can have their pitfalls: Security measures can fall short. Checks and balances can be insufficient.
Not only has blockchain technology allowed people and businesses to bypass intermediaries (and their fees), but also the decentralized technology proves helpful in other ways, such as programming, data storage and security.
By spreading data out in a decentralized, authenticated system, a “bad actor” is less likely to interfere with information because they won’t gain the necessary permission. Establishing proof of ownership will be the future norm. Accountants can look forward to increased security measures and new steps to safeguarding and authenticating data.
In the year ahead, business professionals must determine how they’d like to show up and play a role through artificial intelligence, both internally and externally. Internally, AI can deepen and broaden data. It can also take over recurring or mundane processes, freeing accountants for more intellectual undertakings.
Externally, artificial intelligence will lead to the creation of more satisfying consumer services and experiences. For example, accountants will better serve their clients or organizations through consulting and advisory roles rather than clerical ones.
Not only will technology aid our remote interactions with each other across the globe, but it will also allow us to interact “differently.”
“How?” you might ask.
Imagine a cyber-world even more immersive than it is now. The so-called “metaverse” will transform us and how we do business.
Not unlike the fictional worlds in the films “Ready Player One,” “Free Guy,” “Avatar” and any of “The Matrix” movies, expect the metaverse to become the everyday way we interact with each other and products. It’s possible that a decade from now, we’ll be meeting, selling and consuming through our online avatars and marketplaces. We might even conduct stakeholder voting through our fictitious online universe.
As with AI, knowing about and planning for the digital marketplace now will ensure our sustainability in the future.
We can look forward to more cross-communication between platforms, easing our flow of information and enabling more efficient collaboration. In addition, we’ll have data coming at us faster and more efficiently. It’ll be up to us to analyze that data and determine what’s essential and what isn't. We'll then train the software to filter information for us.
With new technology comes security risks. Accountants will have to stay informed of vulnerabilities in new systems.
It will also be critical to lead the way in readying the workforce for technological changes. As technology improves, employees must learn new skills to work in tandem with advanced robotics.
Bots will create new niches for accountants as tasks shift away from clerical work. Machines can’t automate uniquely human characteristics like critical thinking, leadership, creativity, relational communications and empathy. Accountants who excel in these soft skills will be invaluable.
Looking forward to 2023, diversity, equity and inclusion issues will remain prominent. In accounting, women and minorities need more inclusion and representation.
Education, childcare and flexible work schedules are often driving factors preventing these minority groups from realizing equitable representation in our field. Closing the wage gap between women employees and their male counterparts is achievable if we continue to hire, train, nurture and compensate purposefully. Meeting the needs of various employees ensures you retain the best talent for your firm while having the beneficial insights of a diverse workforce.
Conscientious consumers look to invest in sustainable partners, products and services. History has shown that enterprises out of harmony with the planet or its people do not stand the test of time. Business does best when it has a holistic approach.
Accounting professionals can aid businesses in environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategies, which will become the center of the business model. These strategies can improve the use of natural resources while concurrently preserving valuable assets.
Thoughtful consideration and implementation of the right processes now will pay off in the future as you are better prepared to meet changes and demands with greater ease. Being well-informed is a critical component of being well-prepared for the future of business and accounting.
The Ohio Society of CPAs (OSCPA) has a dedication to education. We are committed to informing and equipping our state’s accountants and finance professionals to be the best they can be so that they remain relevant and competitive. We offer a wide variety of quality continuing education courses for accountants in Ohio on special interests such as technology’s impact on the future of accounting. Visit our website to learn more. Get involved, stay connected, have fun and advance your career.