Insights from the Recent Technology Focus Group Meeting

Gerald F. Paolilli

Paolilli, Jarek & Der Ananian, LLC

It was a pleasure to meet everyone who attended the inaugural meeting of XLNC in Madrid! In particular, I would like to thank the participants in the Technology Focus Group discussion. As a group, we set out to develop an outline of priorities for future consideration.

In this Focus Group, there are likely three distinct areas that will provide valuable areas for future discussion: client specific technology industries; financial technologies; and technologies applicable to managing our practices. In this first meeting, our discussion very quickly moved towards changes in accounting information systems. The following observations were brought up as fuel for discussion: More than 50% of all business transactions are processed completely electronically; All payment transactions involve financial institution custody, which means that virtually all transaction data is available in electronic format even if a payment was submitted manually; Many vendors and customers require electronic invoice presentation; Most jurisdictions require electronic tax remittances.

Meeting participants discussed the various ways that emerging technologies have changed accounting processes. In particular, Adilson Galdeano (BRB São Paulo Serviços de Contabilidade LTDA, Brazil) and Hernan Groisman (Estudio Groisman - Auditores y Consultores S.A., Argentina) provided valuable insight into how emerging technologies have changed accounting information systems in Brazil and Argentina. As accountants we need to ask ourselves, ‘Why are we continuing to maintain accounting systems using the paper document model?’

While new technologies change our daily lives at a rapid rate, it is short-sighted to disregard how technological changes affect the guidance and services that we can provide to our clients. Automation is changing all aspects of accounting systems in acquisition, recording, reconciliation, and reporting of information. The changes brought about by robotics in other industries are now having a similar impact in the accounting profession. When automation is combined with artificial intelligence, there is a significant potential for disruption, up to and including the displacement of employment positions. If we choose to disregard these technological changes, our clients will look elsewhere for assistance in implementing information technology for business decision making.

The next step in our action plan is to outline the accounting processes and tools available in today’s technological environment. Meeting participants were asked to submit any documentation they have developed for gathering, processing, and controlling information flow using online data transfer software.


XLNC MAGAZINE | No. 02 | November 2018

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