Enhancing your Digital Skills
Thursday, July 12, 2018 at 03:02PM
Charlie

Professional accountants and other business leaders will need to enhance their "digital skills" in order to be efficient at accounting, reporting, auditing, and analysis in a digital environment.

Allan Grody, in his article, Banking could use more leaders with STEM skills, points out the importance for those in leadership positions to become conversant in the important details about the technologies they will inevitably employ:

"It's important that those at the front end of this information - legislators, regulators and financial executives - become conversant in these skills, lest the back-end stumbles over meaning and intent and, in some cases, declares it impossible to be implemented."

While those in leadership positions don't need to have a deep understanding of math or computer programming; they do need to have the capacity to ask good probing questions and be able to have a meaningful conversation about the digital construction materials those that they lead are working with. Leaders should be able to question and challenge how their direct reports are overseeing the implementation digital tools that will be used to perform work using algorithms, metadata, conceptual models, and other tools, techniques, and processes.

Don't be an information barbarian.  Leaders have a responsibility to acquire these "digital skills" that allow them to understand how accounting, reporting, auditing, and analysis work in the digital age; ultimately your industry or your customers hold leaders to a higher standard.

But what skills do you need?

STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) is a very general description.  "Learn to code" is a hysteria, which likewise is a very general description and it is simply misguided to think that everyone should be a programmer. Simply understanding "technology" is too broad and general to be helpful.

Understanding the specifics of how computers work will help you understand how to employ these very useful tools for your work.  The document Computer Empathy strives to provide you with very specific details of what you need to learn with enough information to help you understand why you should learn it.  That document should provide you with a good theory, framework , and principles to help you not only survive, but to thrive in a digital environment.

Article originally appeared on Intelligent XBRL-based structured digital financial reporting using US GAAP and IFRS (http://xbrl.squarespace.com/).
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