Technology Is A Double Edged Sword

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A recent editorial in The Guardian talked of technology as a double edged sword. We have to wonder how it is affecting the accounting industry and what the future holds.

Every day we hear glowing reports of how technology is making the processing of accounting data easier, and accurate. How systems can easily work across barriers and across the planet.


Transactions can be tracked and validated through a blockchain. Data can be stored in a cloud. Everything is reduced to angstrom units and we have all been saved from the drudgery of Bob Cratchit.

But, what happens to us when the other edge of the sword comes flying at us?

Will the same technology used by a Forensic Auditor to find and prevent fraud make it easier for a hacker to create more complicated and expensive frauds?

Will the same technology that allows us to streamline and record simple transactions make mid-level employees redundant?

Will the data stored ‘in the cloud’ still be there after the next wave of solar flares and electromagnetic radiation hit our network of satellites and electronic communications, and our data storage?

The great economist and historian, Joseph Schumpter, created the famous term used to describe the economic changes of boom and bust that correlate with every technological change. He called these waves ‘Creative Destruction.’

But, as the concentration of change focuses on one major technology, we become increasingly fragile and dependent. We reach the point where one major disruption could sow chaos and loss.

If ‘the cloud’ evaporates from a solar flare, if economies are disrupted from a lone hacker, if local firms are obliterated through automation, if, if, if. What happens ‘if?’

But, as the concentration of change focuses on one major technology, we become increasingly fragile and dependent. Click To Tweet

Is there room for a small local practitioner to thrive in the midst of all this technological change? Is there security in the technological wave?

Only time will tell, but it never hurts to be prepared. You might think that the hippies of the 60’s and 70’s may have had something going for them with their move back to nature and self sufficiency after all.

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