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Those who don’t stay up to date with tech risk falling behind

Written on Nov 18, 2021

By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA senior content manager  

While technology can seem overwhelming at times, those in the profession who stay up to date with trends and new tech will see the benefits sooner rather than later. 

We spoke to multiple tech experts on the areas accountants should keep their skills sharp, and here’s what they had to say: 

The value in embracing cryptocurrency for accountants 

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 need to be experts in crypto but it would benefits their business and clients to develop a base level of understanding.   

“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.  

Shayna Chapman, CPA, founder and chief strategist at Shaynaco, said she does her best to help some of her more tech-adverse clients adapt, but it isn’t always easy. 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.  

“It really is truly all about connections, empathy and sympathy,” she said. “Understanding what they have access to, what they can do, where they're headed and education them to get there. They're certainly capable, intelligent and have wonderful businesses. But it's a matter of pushing them forward, because the world is going forward, whether we want it to or not.” 

Protection from cyber hackers takes commitment  

Protecting yourself from online attacks is a journey, 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.”  

If an organization doesn’t have an IT person on staff, he suggested hiring an outside company to understand where an organization’s weaknesses are to better understand how to build proper protection from hackers. 

To listen to the highlights from these experts, listen to the episode here. 

For learning opportunities to help build your technology competencies, visit MyOSCPA.