Digital Accounting trends of the future – a behavioral analysis
26 Pages Posted: 28 May 2021
Date Written: May 27, 2021
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.
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