L. Gary Boomer predicts the metaverse will fuel collaboration for accountants

Advances in processing power, bandwidth, storage space and search capabilities mean collaboration and interactivity will define the accounting profession in the future, according to visionary and strategist L. Gary Boomer of Boomer Consulting — and the metaverse will be key.

Very broadly, the term ‘metaverse’ refers to the ecosystem of digital environments within virtual reality and augmented reality, as well as their intersection with the physical world. Although the precise definition is difficult to establish, the general emphasis is on collaborative conversations and digital human interactions. Boomer noted that the mass migration to remote work was the profession’s first plunge into the idea.

“I think of the metaverse when we talk about the remote workforce and how to manage a hybrid workforce in the future. You know there are a lot of tools for that,” he said. “Businesses have really moved forward five years overnight with the pandemic, and some were prepared because they were already testing and trying, and others suggested it.” fear of the unknown kept them from experimenting.. So some had to learn it and it was quite difficult, but many were prepared for a virtual environment and think it’s worth the effort.

Major investments have already been made in this area and Boomer expects this to continue in the future. Accounting firms that are gearing up at this point could have an impact akin to being the first on Zoom or Teams, but in a brand new space. Because the idea of ​​the metaverse is so new, there are still many ideas that early adopters can take advantage of.

One of the biggest benefits for pioneers is better access to talent in the global workforce. Again, companies are already seeing the start of this, as remote working has taught them that their recruiting efforts don’t have to stop at home. As the metaverse matures, Boomer predicted that companies’ ability to source top talent globally will increase. He recalled a quote from Bill Joy, founder of Sun Microsystems: “’Even if you have smart employees, the smartest employees in the world are employed by someone else.’ So having access to collaboration and a global workforce will definitely prove beneficial. We’ve been seeing outsourcing at its peak since 2004, 2005, when there was a lot of press about it,” Boomer said.

This will be all the more true as the profession continues its digital transformation. While many recognize the importance of automation, data analytics, and other shifts in traditional practices, not everyone will have access to enough local talent to implement them successfully.

And that’s assuming they even tend to do that: Boomer complained that many companies have a culture that prevents them from taking advantage of these changes. Businesses need to understand that it’s not about offering traditional services in new ways. It is a complete transformation of the company.

“There are a lot of people, myself included, talking about it, and it’s really based on skills, tools and mindset. You see a lot of skills getting outdated, but if you don’t have the mindset to update your skills and be a continuous learner, that can be a challenge,” he said.

That’s partly because people don’t like to give up control, but sometimes because of genuine concern about what change means for the profession as a whole. However, Boomer said people shouldn’t necessarily care because the profession has gone through many such changes in the past.

“We’ve seen this happen before in the profession: people are worried about losing their jobs. Jobs will not disappear, but [accountants] will have another job and learn something new,” he said.

This story is part of a new Accounting Today series called “The Frontier”.

As the global economy becomes increasingly technology-driven, so does the accounting profession. The days of hand-held calculators and pen-filled spreadsheets are long gone. Instead, there is a technological age where even the most routine office functions are now handled by sophisticated computer programs. In this world, things that once seemed like science fiction are now mundane, so intertwined with everyday life that they are barely noticed.

But what’s out there? What are the limits of what we can achieve now, and what is just beyond our reach? And how is the profession affected once they are within reach? These are the questions we want to explore in Frontier, a new regular series in which we explore the very latest accounting technology through conversations with thought leaders across the country, who will share with us their observations, hopes, concerns, and even some predictions. here and there.

We’ll see you at the border.

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