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Since human history began, new ways of working or inventions have emerged which have fundamentally changed the accepted methods of living and/or doing business. Whether this was the wheel or the printing press, the ‘technology of the day’ has disrupted accepted practice, and usually required learning new skills or approaches. In the modern era, much of this disruption has occurred through information technology, such as the internet. This chapter presents four technologies of varying degrees of maturity which are likely to change the accounting profession: Big Data, Cloud Computing, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Blockchain. We explain what each technology is and how it might impact the business world and how accountants need to potentially change their skillsets to address the challenges these disruptive technologies bring.
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