For the generations that have provided free technical support to grandparents everywhere since the ’80s and ’90s, it can be difficult to admit that the rapid pace of technological innovation is intimidating at times. There’s no denying things are changing fast. While business writers push endless streams of science fiction about robots taking jobs, technology has been quietly replacing intern busywork at public accounting firms for years. The ‘disruptive’ future accounting industry thought-leaders have been paying lip service to for at least a decade is now here in all its automated, analytical glory.
There’s no better way to push into that great, uncharted, nebulously-described ‘future’ than to turn your attention to the people pioneering the space. To open your eyes and ears to the possibilities. To let those who came before you guide you confidently into this exciting future. And to have the difficult discussions that need to be had about how AI can address some of the profession’s most pressing problems.
The keynote speaker at this year’s meeting is Dr. Daniel Susskind, a fellow in economics at Oxford University and a senior research associate at the Institute for Ethics in AI. Daniel is co-author of the best-selling book, The Future of the Professions (2015), and the author of A World Without Work (2020). You may have seen his TED Talk on the future of work in which he addresses myths about the future of work and how “automation anxiety” is a completely rational response to the rapid adoption of technology happening so quickly many of us don’t know what exactly is happening. It’s OK if you’re anxious, but you really don’t have to be.
Machines can and will do even more as we move forward and it’s time for the profession to talk about how to use that technology to meet our needs. Even before we get to the AI-dominated future Dr. Susskind describes the profession is undergoing big change right now as firms and companies figure out how to use people and technology in new and exciting ways. There is also the ongoing issue of attracting talent to the profession, and ensuring the talent of the future accurately reflects the diversity of the businesses and communities they serve.
PICPA CEO Jennifer Cryder, CPA will give updates on the accounting profession and will be joined later by Charles Weinstein, CPA, Chief Executive Officer at Eisner Advisory Group LLC, for a discussion on alternative structures for accounting firms. Attendees can choose to attend in-person at The Hershey Hotel or may opt to attend virtually and will have opportunities to interact with key speakers. There is also bonus CPE to be had!
In case you haven’t gathered by now, the big theme for the event is the transformative change happening as we speak in accounting and how CPAs can embrace it. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss technology, transformation, and talent with accounting leaders from across the state and learn more about the exciting – albeit sometimes scary – change reshaping the way CPAs live and work in today’s fast-moving world. Have you been dying to figure out what the metaverse is but too embarrassed to ask? Well here’s your chance to get an answer to that and many more technology questions plaguing young and old alike.
Registration for the PICPA 125th Annual Meeting & Celebration is open now. Hurry, the event is less than 2 weeks away! You can learn more about available sessions, fun optional activities, CPE, and register for the event here. The webcast is available to all and free for PICPA members, $100 for non-members; the webcast includes the do-not-miss keynote from Daniel Susskind, Charles Weinstein, CPA discussing alternative structures for firms, and any other relevant sessions.
About Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants
Founded in 1897, the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) is the second-oldest CPA organization in the United States and the largest CPA association in Pennsylvania. The PICPA provides continuing education, networking, leadership and volunteer opportunities to CPAs across Pennsylvania and acts as the voice of the CPA profession through advocacy efforts in the state legislature. For more information, visit www.picpa.org.