Category Archives for "Technology"

The Exciting (and Scary) Future Changes in Accounting
May 21

The Exciting (and Scary) Future Changes in Accounting

By Charles Hall | Technology

Are you ready for the exciting (and scary) future changes in accounting?

I have spent the last two days talking to and listening to CPAs talk about the coming changes in accounting and auditing. What’s the cause of the changes? In a word: Technology.

The Exciting (and Scary) Future Changes in Accounting

The Coming Changes in Public Accounting

Specifically, we will see changes from artificial intelligence, blockchain, big data, and audit tools. The big four have already spent hundreds of millions of dollars in developing (and embracing) these technologies.

The expectation, so I am hearing, is for CPA firms to reduce the employment of traditional positions (e.g., auditing and tax) and increase the use of other disciplines (e.g., data analytics, leveraging AI and other technologies).

When these changes occur (and yes, I believe they are coming), CPAs can get hurt. Or we can embrace the changes and continue to be profitable. Ignoring these dynamics (or saying they are overstated) will—I believe—leave one blind-sided. 

Could I be wrong? Well, yes. And it would not be the first time. But based on what I am reading and hearing, it appears we will see more change in the next five years than we have in the last twenty-five (that’s a pure guess).

Examples of Emerging Accounting and Audit Software

Firms will need to make investments in emerging technologies and new software products such as Onpoint (a compilation and review product developed by the AICPA and CaseWare).

One platform, Mindbridge, offers audit technology with artificial intelligence. (Mindbridge works with standard accounting software packages such as QuickBooks and Intaact.)

An interesting platform for bookkeeping is AutoEntry. This package automates the entry of information into QuickBooks (it works with the online and desktop versions). Hector Garcia provides a nice YouTube video demonstrating how this software works.

Onpoint, Mindbridge, and AutoEntry are examples of technologies that will transform accounting as we know it. Anybody feel like we’re watching the accounting version of the Jetsons?

Advisory Services: An Opportunity

Interestingly, one of the fastest growing areas in public accounting is advisory services. So, smaller CPA firms should expect more demand from bookkeeping clients in terms of providing business advice: strategic planning, how and when to borrow money, where to invest excess funds, etc. This makes sense. The newer technologies are providing accountants with more time. And with that time, we can become better advisors.

how to extract pages from a PDF
Mar 05

How to Extract Pages from a PDF

By Charles Hall | Technology

Your PDF has 116 pages, but you desire to send ​a single page ​to a client. So, you're wondering how to extract a page from a PDF. Below, I show you how. Then I  demonstrate how you can email the information. It only takes seconds. (I am using Adobe Acrobt DC in this demonstration.)

​More Adobe Acrobat How-To Videos

comparing financial statement numbers in a PDF
Feb 21

How to Compare Financial Statements Numbers within a PDF

By Charles Hall | Technology

Sometimes you need to compare financial statement numbers within a PDF–even though the numbers are pages apart. How can you do this without printing the PDF? Below I show you how.

Of course, a second way to compare financial statement numbers is to open a second instance of the PFD on an adjacent monitor. I do both, depending on the numbers I am trying to compare. I might use the first method (in the video) to compare rows of numbers (e.g., equity totals) and the second method to compare financial statement numbers to disclosures.

If your financial statements are in Word, you can easily convert them to a PDF.

converting scanned images to readable text
Feb 06

Using Adobe Acrobat to Convert Scanned Images to Readable Text

By Charles Hall | Technology

Are you wondering how to convert scanned images into searchable text?

Some scanned documents (PDFs) aren’t searchable until optical character recognition (OCR) is applied.

In the video below, I show you how to convert a scanned document (PDF) into searchable text using OCR. But why would you do this?

Suppose you use your local scanner to scan a 100-page debt agreement. You do so because you desire to electronically search for the words “covenants” and “debt ratio.” Once you create the PDF, you hit “control F,” so you can search the document. But you get a message saying the document is not readable. What should you do? Convert the scanned pages to readable text using OCR. Then you can search for whatever words or phrases you wish. 

Once the scanned document is readable, use “control F” to activate the search box in Adobe Acrobat. Then enter the words you are looking for. This is so much easier than reading 100 pages and still not finding the information you desire.