The challenges of the disruption of digital technology – make it an opportunity

This is the second part of my article ‘CPAs in the Public Practice‘. This part will discuss disruption of digital technology. During the academic conference, one of my topics is ‘Succeeding in disruptive times’ to introduce the innovating public practice to the younger generation of young Filipino CPA aspirants. Philippine Regulation Commission (PRC) Board of Accountancy (BoA) member Eliseo Aurellado was also there to discuss about the government sector but prior to this, he provided an insight on what to expect in the accounting profession.

After the public practice sector’s introduction, a question-and-answer portion was held. I was proud and I did not expect to hear question from an accounting student from Far Eastern University-Manila – with this changing world of robotics and artificial intelligence, is there a threat to the accounting profession?

Leaders of KPMG are prepared for this kind of questions from client – how to convert challenges into opportunities? Digital disruption continues to redefine what it takes to compete and survive in today’s fast- moving business environment. This is why KPMG launched new tools for Data and Analytics, artificial intelligence, cognitive computing and robotics process automation.

In all Data and Analytics trainings I facilitate, I always emphasize that the only thing in this world that is permanent is change. Businesses continue to grow. The economy continues to soar high. Whatever the results maybe, business transactions are growing constantly, which means to say that data is much bigger than you expect.

In a recent interview, the CEO of Daimler Benz (Mercedes Benz) said their competitors are no longer other car companies but Tesla, Google, Apple, Amazon, among others.

“Software will disrupt most traditional industries in the next 5-10 years,” he said.

“Uber is just a software tool, they don’t own any cars, and are now the biggest taxi company in the world.”

“In the US, young lawyers already don’t get jobs. Because of IBM Watson, you can get legal advice (so far for more or less basic stuff) within seconds, with 90% accuracy compared with 70% accuracy when done by humans.”

“IBM Watson already helps doctors diagnose cancer 4x more accurately than humans. Facebook has algorithms that can recognise faces far better than humans can.”

“There will be a $100 agricultural robot in the future. Farmers in third world countries can then become managers of their field instead of working all day on their fields.”

With this progress, artificial intelligence might replace a bookkeeper who posts all transactions in the ledger. Robotics might change the way businesses do the processes. One thing cannot be replaced – how human beings gather and analyze audit evidence. Technology can never do this alone. Technology will never have its own professional judgment alone.

In a world shaped by digital disruption, KPMG Data and Analytics professionals focus on helping companies drive value by making better, faster decisions. For many years, Data and Analytics professionals have been analyzing data to help clients drive value by investing in innovations, capabilities and tools.

Today, we continue to stand at the forefront of innovation in the field of data and analytics.

At the end of Data and Analytics trainings I facilitate, the message I always leave is that change is not about technology, change is about your capabilities as a CPA – anticipate, innovate, deliver.

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About the Author

Paul Michael Jaramillo
Paul Michael JaramilloExecutive Editor
Paul is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), a youth and environmental advocate, leader, writer, blogger, filmmaker and an organist. He’s the former Chairperson of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines-Ilocos Chapter. As a writer, he has found focus and interest on reproductive health, deaf rights, youth development. At the age of 14, he has fully embraced the call of leadership by leading student organizations and college publications. He was a recipient of the PGMA Campus Journalism Award. He joined and won national contests and published some articles related to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals in a Spanish paper and website. Some of his articles were also published in leading Philippine news websites and featured in international organizations website.

He launched his career as a CPA in KPMG R.G. Manabat & Co. Paul is currently leading the Data and Analytics Network (and its university arm) of KPMG in the Philippines. He is also the Business Lead for Innovation. He provides trainings to KPMG professionals in the Philippines. He also joined Financial Services Academy for Shared Service Centres (SSC) as a presenter. He is part of the Technical Advisory Group of the Firm's Department of Professional Practice, focusing on data and analytics, audit methodology, accounting standards, root cause analysis, system of quality management, and financial statement quality control review. He represents the Firm as a resource and motivational speaker, arbiter, adjudicator and judge in academic conferences, audit conventions, accounting and audit cups, and audit case study competitions. He sits as a member of Root Cause Analysis team of the Firm. Paul is an Audit Methodology Champion and Workforce of the Future Champion of the Firm. He is also the Firm's System of Quality Management Implementation Manager.

Paul is the Review Master and Head Coach of PREMIERE Review School.

Paul is a member of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) and a Church officer in their locale congregation.