The Effects of Technology on the Accounting Profession

Business organizations around the world are finding the need to be able to make sound financial decisions based on increasingly large amounts of information that is produced by business enterprises.   Successful businesses are discovering that it is necessary to incorporate information technology into its fundamental processes.   In the past, companies relied upon large mainframe computers and a skilled IT department to maintain and interpret informational data, and accountants, financial experts, and executive management to run the company.   Innovative technology has advanced to a user friendly environment, creating the need for information technology and computer concepts to become part of the knowledge and skills of accounting specialists.
Accounting information systems merges the practice and study of accounting with the outline, implementation, and observing of information systems.   These systems apply modern technology resources to the customary accounting methods and controls to provide end users with essential financial information to manage their organizations.   Computer and accounting software has eliminated the need for calculators, ledgers, pencils, and adding machines and has replaced it spreadsheets and customized financial reports for internal and external users.
Some technologies that have affected accounting processes are Wi-Fi technology such as laptops, cell phones, Blackberry’s, and I-pods.   All of these devices allow a person direct access to the World Wide Web, so work can be done from virtually anywhere.   Electronic conferencing enables multiple users to join a discussion at the same time, accounting relevance would include interviewing potential job applicants remotely, tax and audit consulting with current clients, and planning corporate budgets.
The SOX Act of 2002 really changed the accounting profession, increasing the amount of time accountants, financial officers and executives would have to spend to insure compliance and reporting...