Digital Accounting trends of the future – a behavioral analysis

26 Pages Posted: 28 May 2021

See all articles by Dirk Otto Beerbaum

Dirk Otto Beerbaum

Frankfurt School of Finance & Management; Aalto University - Department of Accounting and Finance; Aalto University - School of Business

Seppo Ikäheimo

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Julia M. Puaschunder

Columbia University; New School for Social Research; Harvard University; The Situationist Project on Law and Mind Sciences

David Derichs

Aalto University

Date Written: May 27, 2021

Abstract

The academic accounting literature usually applies a retrospective approach in capturing reality. Accounting topics are explored considering past implementation in the economic practice in a ‘backtesting’ approach. This is very much criticized outside academia, as academia may thereby miss the practical relevance due to this backward approach. Accounting in academia is said to therefore fail to treat real practical business issues on time as for lacking the intention to perform any predictive statements. Accounting is the language of business, however, the landscape of business is changing dramatically at breakneck speed with a technological disruption ongoing in the wake of the artificial intelligence, algorithms and robotics introduction into our contemporary economy. This paper intends to follow a prospective approach and future-oriented direction in attempting to predict the future of digital accounting. The main research question is how accounting will be impacted by digitalization and how will the dynamic business in reverse impact the future of accounting? The method applied is a qualitative. In a focus group, in which accounting experts were asked to brainstorm on future trends with regards to accounting, four mega trends were identified. Those four mega trends are: (1) Blockchain/Distributed Ledger Technology, (2) Big Data, (3) Agile organizational model and (4) artificial intelligence, which are analyzed applying a behavioral approach in this paper to assess from which accounting will be the most impacted and how. The discussion reflects on the fact that the digital accounting revolution may be completely novel as – for the very first time in a historical line of economic disruptions and market innovations – this time decision making will be given up to algorithms. The results of this conceptual paper are structured applying Scott’s model of Financial accounting to the four mega trends. The final outlook projects the need for measuring economic growth differently and legally prepare for a preponderance of artificial agents. The paper is of unprecedented value in a current market of rising corporate debt as the outlook can aid the integration of novel economic growth features derived from the new economy that are not accounted for in neither standard economic growth theory nor accounting standards.

Suggested Citation

Beerbaum Dr., Dirk Otto and Ikäheimo, Seppo and Puaschunder, Julia M. and Derichs, David, Digital Accounting trends of the future – a behavioral analysis (May 27, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3855059 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3855059

Dirk Otto Beerbaum Dr. (Contact Author)

Frankfurt School of Finance & Management ( email )

Adickesallee 32-34
Frankfurt am Main, 60322
Germany

Aalto University - Department of Accounting and Finance ( email )

P.O. Box 1210
Helsinki, 00100
Finland

Aalto University - School of Business ( email )

Finland

Seppo Ikäheimo

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Julia M. Puaschunder

Columbia University ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

New School for Social Research ( email )

6 East 16th Street
New York, NY 10003
United States

Harvard University ( email )

24 Oxford Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

The Situationist Project on Law and Mind Sciences ( email )

24 Oxford Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

David Derichs

Aalto University ( email )

Ekonominaukio 1
Espoo, 02150
Finland

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