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May 15, 2019

PICPA’s New, Digital-Only Publication Offers Insight into the Tech Revolution

Ryan Lafferty, CPABy Ryan G. Lafferty, CPA


Blockchain. Cryptocurrencies. Artificial intelligence. Ten years ago, these words would have seemed like they were another language for those in the accounting profession. Now, these technologies are changing our profession in such a way that CPAs are expanding their skill sets, gaining new credentials, and altering the way they do business daily.

For the PICPA members who work on the Pennsylvania CPA Journal, we know it is part of our mandate to make sure you are up to date on the most important technical information in the profession. That is why we put together Accounting and Technology: PICPA’s Guide to an Evolving Profession, the new digital-only special edition of the Pennsylvania CPA Journal released this spring.

Spring 2019 Digital Pa. CPA Journal coverIn this blog, I summarize several of the publication’s features, but I will not be able to give you information on all the offerings. Just know that it covers everything from technology’s effect on compliance for those in business and industry, to the tax rules involved in cryptocurrencies, to what educators need to do to ensure accounting students are prepared for an increasingly technological accounting industry. As an added component of the digital-only version, we offer podcasts and videos that go deeper into select features.

Accounting AI and Machine Learning: Applications and Challenges” by John “J.L.” Alarcon, CPA, CGMA, CITP, Troy Fine, CPA, CITP, CISA, and Cory Ng, CPA, DBA, CGMA, focuses on possible applications, current uses, inherent risks, and ethical implications of artificial intelligence. This feature includes a podcast with Fine that adds details about artificial intelligence and its effect upon the profession.

Digital finance is addressed in two different features: “Cryptocurrencies and the Tax Rules Involved” by Judith Herron, CPA, and “Blockchain Technology: Answering the Whos, Whats, and Whys” by J. Stephen McNally, CPA, CMA. Data protection is discussed in detail in “Cybersecurity Opportunities for CPA Firms” by Paul R. Brazina, CPA, CGMA, CFF, Bruce A. Leauby, CPA, CMA, CFE, and Charles Sgrillo, CISSP, CEH.

The publication also takes an unconventional look at cloud computing. Everyone is aware of the technology’s benefits in the area of data storage, but according to author Mike Whitmire, cloud computing also can go a long way to helping an organization strengthen its hiring and retention efforts. Check out “Embrace the Cloud to Help Hire and Retain” to learn about these benefits. Go more in-depth with Whitmire’s colleague, Blake Oliver, in the accompanying podcast.

I don’t plan on giving away every detail about the publication in this blog. I’ll leave it to you to read and learn about the technologies affecting CPAs. It is our hope that after checking out this digital-only magazine, you will be more informed and confident about the changes taking place and the steps you need to take to ensure your future success within the evolving marketplace.


Ryan G. Lafferty, CPA, is a partner with Attolon Partners LLC in Philadelphia and immediate past chair of the Pennsylvania CPA Journal Editorial Board. He can be reached at rlafferty@attolon.com.


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