11 Things You Take for Granted Today that Technology Will Kill within Six Years

And what it means for accountants and the client of the future.

David Bergstein
David Bergstein

by David Bergstein
Wolters Kluwer 

The digital future is coming faster than you think.

Blockbuster, a store featuring rental videos and DVDs, once had over 4,000 locations in the United States. They filed for bankruptcy in 2010 and were eventually sold to The Dish Network, which kept about 500 stores open.

Competitors such as NetFlix, where a movie can be ordered through your television or downloaded to a computer, are the reason why consumers no longer want to wait in line at the store and worry about returning their rental.

This is just one example of an innovative company that is slowly becoming obsolete by new technology. Erik Qualman, author of Socialnomics predicts that even the DVD will be gone in six years. Other products and industries that are expected to sunset, at least in their present forms, are:

  1. Wrist watches
  2. Paperback books
  3. Instruction manuals
  4. Greeting cards
  5. Car keys
  6. Tollbooth agents
  7. Maps
  8. Credit cards
  9. Checkbooks
  10. Retail coupons
  11. Cash

Groupon purchases have replaced traditional coupon clipping. Bills can be paid with PayPal, direct-debit from your bank account, or providing the numbers off of your check over the phone. Consumers can take a photo of a check using a cell phone in some instances!

Here’s Qualman’s vision of the world:

What does this mean for the accounting practice? The client of the future prefers to communicate digitally wherever possible. They will be working from their mobile device such as a cell phone or tablet and sending their financial information via a secure web connection such as a portal where they will collaborate with their financial advisor.

The accountant of the future wants to be connected to the information they want whenever they want. They will be scanning documents upfront and keeping track of everything in a document management system tracked via a web based workflow system. All of this lends itself to utilizing cloud technology.

In fact, the accountant of the future will be more involved in analytics rather than compliance. The data of the client will be captured at source directly from credit cards, bank information and other sources via the cloud.

See the future of screen technology:

Copyright 2012 CCH. Used with permission.

4 Responses to “11 Things You Take for Granted Today that Technology Will Kill within Six Years”

  1. Henry Grabkowitz

    Parts of this are already at work but until the Gen-X’ers are in their 40s and 50s it is highly unlikely to reach full fruition. Also, the underground portion of our economy is highly unlikely to want to leave anything resembling an electronic footprint.

  2. Allen Lloyd

    So checkbooks will go away but people will still take pictures of checks and read off the numbers at the bottom? The video does not explain how any of this will actually happen. Showing that current technology COULD replace things does not explain why it has not replaced it yet.

    Also how awesome is it that the author tells us books are going away with a video to sell his book.

  3. Rob

    Wrist watches

    This maybe true for low enbd watches. But, I seriously doubt technology will put Rolex out of business.

  4. Reg Baker

    Cash will be obsolete huh? Talk about that been going on since the 80’s. Will never happen; think bell hops and car valet tips, illegal gambling and other “underground” activities and of course all the pole dancers…… LOL