Y2K, 2020, and beyond: Where will the future take us?

December 1, 2019

by Kari T. Patterson, 2019-20 OSCPA Board Chair

It’s hard to believe that the year 2020 is rapidly approaching and that it has been 20 years since Y2K concerns were causing hours of extra work and planning. Back in 2000, current high school students, as well as first- and some second-year college students, weren’t born yet, and the first iPhone was still seven years away from being released. Text messaging was a rare form of communication, you had to pay to make long-distance phone calls, airplane boarding passes were on paper, the term “app” was for appetizers, and the CPA exam was administered on paper, twice a year, over the same two days across the nation.

These are just a few things that have changed in what feels like a relatively short period of time. Predicting where the future will take us next is speculative at best, but what is certain is that the world will not look the same in twenty years as it does today.

Anticipating and preparing for an unknown future creates challenges and prompts varying opinions. The AICPA continues to focus on the future of the CPA profession and strives to be forward thinking about the needs of tomorrow. Current accountants are passionate about what the accounting profession means, what needs to be preserved, and what areas of change should be considered – and all are passionate in different ways with differing opinions about how it should be.

As the AICPA explores options for the CPA education, exam, and experience requirements, they are gathering input from various stakeholders across the nation. The OSCPA has participated in the process by attending AICPA council meetings, providing feedback to written reports and proposals, and participating in various workgroups.

Maintaining the relevance of the CPA license is critical as technology and processes change at rapid pace. The role and work we do must adapt to these changes at the same pace. As accountants, we are well-positioned to provide the critical thinking skills, financial insight, and strategic vision necessary to lead organizations through these changes, as we always have. “Digitally mature companies are three times more likely to report profit margins and revenue growth significantly above industry averages.”¹ It is our job to stay current and adapt to changes in order to provide the same level of value to the organizations and clients we serve well into the future.

One thing we do know is that the pace of change today is slower than it will be tomorrow.

1Source: Deloitte Digital Transformation Executive Survey 2018
View all News