At the AICPA Engage conference, I would like to emphasize that our competitive advantage is integrating financial data as accountants. In the accounting and business-related fields, information systems are pervasive. As an accountant, the data generated from the accounting information system can be overwhelming. To make sense of this data, we will rely on Big Data analytics and Artificial Intelligence. Whether the accountant is auditing a company, detecting fraud, or consulting, Big Data and Artificial Intelligence are positive enablers. Thus, working knowledge in these areas will amplify one’s accounting career.
Furthermore, as many businesses migrate the systems to the cloud, accountants must have a working knowledge of cloud computing. Again, this information or knowledge is helpful whether auditing a company, detecting fraud, consulting, or even better running your own accounting business. The benefits of the cloud have been purported as lower IT costs, improving efficiency, increased accessibility, and greater data security. With a working knowledge of analytics, AI, and cloud computing, one will be competitive in the job market and a better-prepared accountant for the evolving business environment.
A takeaway from this course is the importance of internal controls in the accounting process. A concept of this course that I can apply today is COSO. I believe the 17 principles of internal control are essential for any successful business. And it starts with a company that demonstrates a commitment to integrity and ethical values, a tone at the top. There is a reason it is at the top of the list as a business depends upon trust. Additionally, the principles recognize risk and the importance of internal controls to mitigate those risks. Although my current job is as an IT project lead, I hope to find accounting work as an auditor exposed to different business settings and view how COSO is employed.
Another takeaway is the importance of knowing and understanding accounting information systems. Thus, whether using the system, auditing the system, or configuring the system as an accountant, one feels confident in executing the associated AIS tasks. Associate with the AIS, working knowledge of information security is essential. Today the company CISCO predicts by 2023, the total number of DDoS attacks worldwide will be 15.4 million. Working knowledge of computer and cloud security will help accountants and the accounting practice keep critical financial data protected from such attacks.