The global body for professional accountants' report "Digital Darwinism: thriving in the face of technology change" says these trends will significantly impact the global accounting profession with advances in technology leading to a demand for new skills and competencies, from change management to knowledge of data extraction tools.
The foremost trends its says will have the potential to reshape the business and accountancy landscape are...
Mobile: In the US, 75 per cent of respondents say that mobile technology will have a significant impact on their business in the years ahead, compared to 82 per cent in Africa and 95 per cent in Australia, the highest score globally.
Big Data: Of the US respondents, 62 per cent say big data would be influential, compared with 91 per cent of Australian respondents and only 47 per cent of respondents from Ireland. (US respondents echoed that Big Data will demand new skills, with 72 per cent responding that tools will be needed to support data modelling and analysis, and 77 per cent claiming they will need knowledge of data extraction tools to aid business intelligence.)
Artificial intelligence and robotics and Cyber security: Only 59 per cent of US respondents are concerned about the risks of cyber crime - one of the lowest scores globally, despite having the highest perceived risk at 36 per cent. Compare that to Africa, where worries are the highest at 74 per cent, but the perceived risk is only 15 per cent.
Other tech trends include: educational, cloud, payment systems, virtual and augmented reality, digital service delivery and social.
ACCA said accountants and financial professionals must be open to the changes created by Big Data, cloud, mobile and social platforms, and face up to the demands of cyber crime, digital service delivery and artificial intelligence.
"Accountancy needs to shape its technological future, rather than be shaped by it,' they say. 'The changes ahead are an opportunity to redefine roles and the extent to which the profession is involved in short- and long-term tech-related decisions. It needs to adapt to survive."
The report offers accountants actions they must take to deal with the top 10 technological developments, advising that professionals need to use technology to add value.