Several years ago, the prediction was made that personal computers were a passing phase, and that they would never make a huge contribution to business. Do you think now that the individual who made that observation was wrong? Yes, we know now that the prediction was poor judgment, but the prediction was made by an IBM corporate executive, the "big" computer people of yesterday. What does this have to do with accounting? Almost everything.
Computers have made accounting a tremendously important part of every individual's life, just as personal computers made computer skills an absolute necessity. Accounting as a profession, will see more growth over the next 50 years, than ever thought possible, but it will also impact every phase of your adult life, in so many more ways than we thought possible. Take a look around, everything around you is electronic, digitized, or synthesized. Accounting has become a part of that life, too. Bank accounts with paper checks may never be obsolete, but there's a whole generation that uses debit cards, credit cards, and electronic payment methods, such as PayPal to conduct business. This too is accounting.
Rather, it is the everyday form of personal accounting that all individuals need to have an understanding and knowledge of use. As we progress further into the computer age, and the information revolution, the concepts that rule the world of accounting will have a more common place in our everyday lives. Just a few short years ago, it wasn't necessary to understand banking, credits, debits, and the use of a debit card in order to conduct your personal finances. It was a matter of simply exchanging cash. Today, however, there is very little direct exchange of cash for services rendered. More often than not, it is an electronic transaction of either a direct deposit, or money transfer.
Many schools today have not come to the realization of the importance of teaching money management as a necessary core, in addition to the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic; however, over the course of another 50 years, this necessary skill will become as vital as being able to read and count. In order to ensure the success of tomorrow's adult, they must be given all the tools and basic skills necessary to compete in a rapidly changing and advancing world. The ability to manage your finances will either help to assure your success or failure in a world heavily dependent upon the knowledge of financial responsibility. Your access to credit, your ability to budget your household, and plan for your retirement will all rely on your accounting skills.
As you prepare to enter a world that computes everything about you according to a number, you will need to be a "numbers" person, in one sense or another. Your household income, your credit rating, your ability to capitalize on those figures, will all come down to numbers. Traditionally, accountants have been the "numbers" people, and our everyday life didn't revolve around accounting and financial expertise, but that world is changing.
Information is for educational and informational purposes only and is not be interpreted as financial or legal advice. This does not represent a recommendation to buy, sell, or hold any security. Please consult your financial advisor.