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Samuel Slater (1768–1835) popularly called &qu...

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My family and I have enjoyed our time in the nation’s capital mooching from all of the free museum visits we can fit in between Uno’s pizza and screaming kids.  I’m of the age now that I like learning about our history.  I noted the exhibit about how our nation has changed over the years, particularly the one about the Industrial Revolution.  The one where there were such economic, mechanical and technological improvements in our country that artisan owners became business owners (Samuel Slater was the freakin’ master).  That is, instead of directly creating their craft (horseshoes, cotton blankets, etc.), those that owned the means of creation (like a mill) became business owners that managed their mill and it’s people.  And they could now own more than one mill, and continue to manage their resources effectively towards greater profit.  But they needed help – thus, the Manager was born, the individual that assisted them in running their plant, managing the output, the people and the quality control.  The middle class is a result.

Some had the foresight to see what this technological and economic upheaval would become.  Some took advantage of the change and prospered.  Some didn’t like change, and the change ultimately ran them over.  Some look back, while others look forward.

What would you have done had you known what these technological changes would have brought?  Would you be the dissenter or the one pushing the change?

Well, here is a warning for you: there is a similar change happening before our eyes in the accountancy profession, and it is affecting the whole world.  Here it is:

Rapid technological means of data creation and production are allowing the former manual manipulation of raw accounting data to disappear, forcing the profession of accountancy to be redefined towards enhancing and developing internal business processes which will ultimately become digital conduits of paperless productions of varied financial reporting.


There are five distinct aspects to this change noted in the quote above:

1.  “Rapid technological means of data creation and production…”

2.  “…allowing the former manual manipulation of raw accounting data to disappear…”

3.  “…forcing the profession of accountancy to be redefined towards enhancing and developing internal business processes…”

4.  “…which will ultimately become digital conduits…”

5.  “…of paperless productions of varied financial reporting.”


Stayed tuned for the dissertation.

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  • On 06-02-2011 at 3:20 pm, chris said:

    Thats REAL nice Mr. B!

    • Jason Blumer

      On 06-02-2011 at 9:44 pm, thriveal said:

      Thanks homeboy!

  • On 06-04-2011 at 7:03 pm, Doug Sleeter said:

    Jason, great post. Accountants need to develop a whole new set of skills. We used to have to be masters at data entry, processing and producing paper documents, managing client files, and producing backward-looking financial statements. But now, in addition to that, we need to become masters of, as you put it managing “digital conduits” so as to help our clients, no matter how large or small, view their financials in realtime so they can act and react to their customers needs.

    The pace of change is mind boggling, and it’s scary for sure. Some argue that it’s not even positive change. But as I see it, these new ways of doing things are inevitible and accountants will have to get with the program because clients will demand it. Many already are demanding it.

    • Jason Blumer

      On 06-04-2011 at 9:15 pm, thriveal said:

      I agree, Doug. These changes are not popular to all, but definitely necessary.

  • On 07-04-2011 at 12:09 am, Richard Phillips said:

    Any change has its casualties. Based on the practices we’ve seen who have converted to this new way of operating, the perceived fear is worse than the reality (isn’t that always the way!). In fact they’re all having a blast, clients are happier and the business model is pretty cool too (watch this space for some hard metrics around the business of accounting in the cloud soon). What’s even better is the early adopters have taught us a lot of lessons (thank you Mr Blumer) and we’re constantly refining the process of helping practices move to a cloud engagement model with clients.

    Still a lot to do and plenty to learn – but with that comes opportunity for the profession. The question is “Where on the adoption curve will you sit”?

  • On 08-17-2011 at 8:44 pm, Marcus said:

    I was just having a conversation with a good friend/business partner who is a CPA. We were discussing how professional industries have changed drastically in the past decade alone, more than any previous decade we can remember. The internet is so mainstream that all of his clients are now seeking out ways to minimize costs yet have instant access to data. I did a search online and found this post along with a few others discussing exactly this.

    As someone who works in the technology field and also deals with, I can say that accounting technology is evolving, yet most business owners still don’t want to be responsible for it. They are more inclined to ask me ways to integrate their financial bookkeeping directly with their accountant’s. The next stage of the internet, “the cloud” has enabled that to become a very simple yet valuable task.

    Thanks for the insight,


  • On 09-09-2011 at 8:39 pm, Andrew Jones said:

    You just blew my mind….. I think I’ll have a white russian and dwell on the “which will become digital conduits”.

  • On 09-10-2011 at 12:23 pm, Jason M Blumer, CPA.CITP said:

    Andrew, enjoy your “white russian.” Nothing like reading accounting blogs and drinking vodka!


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