The CPA profession in the digital age: What you think

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We talk a lot about the digital transformation of the profession, but where do you, as a CPA, stand on this issue? Are you truly comfortable with these new technologies, which are expected to revolutionize the way we work? Do you think they will have a real impact on your profession? Here are a few findings from a survey of Quebec CPAs.

CPAs and their digital technology skills

While CPAs consider themselves skilled in management-related activities, especially when it comes to finance, they do not perceive themselves to be particularly skilled in these activities:

  • automating financial transactions using artificial intelligence solutions (46%)
  • setting up cybersecurity measures to protect information (34%)
  • implementing cloud computing solutions (27%)

Generally speaking, very few are familiar with the following new technologies:

Statistiques technologies

A quarter of CPAs (26%) claim to be unfamiliar with any of the proposed technology concepts. In contrast, slightly more than one out of ten (14%) respondents say that they are familiar with all of the technologies mentioned.

Impact of the digital age on the CPA profession

According to the data collected, 73% of respondents believe that the new technologies will have a major impact on the CPA profession, but only 43% feel that they will have a direct impact on their daily practice.

  • Proportionately fewer self-employed/contractual practitioners (30%) and retirees/others (35%) think that the new technologies will have a direct impact on their daily activities.
  • The more familiar respondents are with the new technologies, the greater the impact they perceive, both on the profession in general and on individual practice.

Statistiques impacts de l'ère numérique

Few CPAs (31%) believe that their organization is proactive in terms of adopting new technologies. A very small minority (14%) feel prepared to incorporate the new information technologies in their workplace.

What do these findings tell us?

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The Order is making significant efforts to help CPAs cope with the various changes that are already in motion in the business world. For example, it has:

  • expanded the competency map for future CPAs by adding concepts like data analytics, cooperation, agility and creativity;
  • added courses on new technologies used in CPA practice, such as artificial intelligence project management, cybersecurity audits and cloud computing architecture for the finance function;
  • negotiated a range of cloud computing services for members;
  • communicated known impacts on the profession through various mediums, including a new guide to the CPA profession in the digital age and several public speaking engagements.

Some CPAs are already deciphering the concepts of transformation and innovation. Others want to review their operational processes so that they can better meet market demands. Regardless of where you stand, the Order is working hard to support you in your efforts.

Comments or questions?

Contact us to share your thoughts on the survey, potential course ideas or projects worth considering.