The one thing that every certified management accountant (CMA) needs is more time. The highly detailed work of accounting — especially financial accounting — imposes time demands that can never be met. 

Until now. Technology has already disrupted the landscape for accountants; now, the tremors are seismic. The CMA profession is embracing technology tools that streamline task-oriented work and free time for higher-order strategic thinking. 

The impact of technology on the accounting profession is dramatic, and CMAs who incorporate tech into everything from tax workflow automation and tax strategy to data analytics are well-positioned to thrive in the digital age. How has technology impacted the CMA profession? Consider these tech tools and how to make them part of your practice. 

What is the impact of technology on the accounting profession? 

From the abacus to adding machines to artificial intelligence, the history of accounting tools mirrors the history of humanity and its ways of doing business. 

So, it’s no surprise that accountants know how to embrace change. Today, constant revisions to tax laws and regulations, and the rising tide of data analytics to inform targeted business decisions, demand that accountants keep pace. Technology puts that power in their hands.  

How has technology impacted the CMA profession? By providing access to thoroughly integrated and of-the-moment tax research and editorial insight that allows clear and meaningful guidance to clients. Accounting technology backed by machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) empowers accountants to deliver value and partner with clients as providers of strategic solutions. For the CMA profession, technology builds trust and confidence. 


The impact of technology on the CMA profession and throughout accounting begins with automation. After all, accounting is a field that relies heavily on data entry — a time-consuming, error-prone task when performed by humans.  

But give the job to technology, and day-to-day accounting becomes streamlined, faster, and more accurate. After all, a computer never tires or needs a coffee break. Accounting firms increasingly use cloud-based accounting technology to perform repetitive “swivel chair” tasks. Through cloud computing, computer processing resources are shared, and data is always available for downloading. Accountants can work from any location. Collaboration with clients across the cloud proceeds smoothly from data collection to preparation, review, and final delivery, all done in less time while increasing revenue. 

The client is happy with the simplified process, the accountant is happy with the ease of getting and processing information, and a revitalized staff has the time and energy to generate ideas and provide personalized support to clients. 

Artificial intelligence 

We know that artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation (RPA) can streamline repetitive tasks with pinpoint accuracy. Still, in the past, those processes did their work of improving accuracy through the development of complex algorithms. In those days, the accountant had confidence in the accuracy of the answer but didn’t get the reasoning behind it.  

Today’s more mature AI is auditable, deploying algorithms that support decision-making and post-fact audits of those decisions. As a tool for accounting, AI automates complex tasks, reduces operating costs, and increases efficiency, freeing accountants and their staff to perform critical thinking that grows the business and better serves the clients. With more time and better information, accountants are positioned to uncover insights and trends that benefit their clients, emerging as strategic partners in a highly competitive, highly regulated, and ever-changing business climate.  

Tax software innovations 

Tax software has come a long way. With today’s tax software, accountants can manage federal and state forms, transfer refunds, conduct financial institution downloads, produce client letters and invoices, access clients’ accounting programs and e-file. 

The time saved is tremendous, with the bonus of improved accuracy because a tired human isn’t doing all that work. Businesses appreciate the timeliness and accuracy of filings to avoid extensions and tax penalties. If audits happen, sophisticated tax software helps streamline the process in an efficient and effective fashion.  

Mobile accounting 

Finally, accountants are free to escape their desks. Increasingly, they can use mobile devices to access data and reach their clients, even while working from home or on the road.  

Companies like Xero are helping to launch the mobile age of accounting. Their mobile apps help accounting firms — even small ones — manage their business while on the move. Firms can reconcile, send invoices, add receipts, establish bank feeds and create expense claims from smartphones or tablets. Documents and information are stored online for easy access. Key information is synced, including bank and financial data.  

Impact of technology on the CMA profession 

With the newest generation of technology, future-forward accounting firms are evolving into strategic partners equipped with the power to advise tax strategy, analyze data and spot trends. They can deliver solutions based on keen insight and guide their clients on regulatory compliance, entering new markets and investing in business expansion. 

Today’s accounting technology also attracts young talent adept at using artificial intelligence, cognitive computing and machine learning technologies. Accounting firms and divisions that deploy high-technology strategies demonstrate their ability to free employees from tedious manual tasks and clear their time for the impactful work that today’s workforce demands, including tax strategy, predictive analytics, and collaborative relationships with clients. The technology generates the high-value work and flexible arrangements that talent expects in their careers. 

Surgent technology takes CMA careers to new heights 

As businesses worldwide experience the impact of technology on the accounting profession, technology is also revolutionizing the lifelong learning that comes with accounting careers.  

For instance, Surgent’s adaptive learning technology sculpts learning to the needs and knowledge base of learners pursuing accounting credentials and continuing professional education.  

For accountants planning to pass the prestigious CMA Exam, Surgent CMA Exam Review offers the full suite of Surgent advantages, built on innovative technology for a customized learning experience:  

  • A.S.A.P.® Technology: CMA students get to the exam faster because adaptive learning assesses the state of your current knowledge base — what you need to know and what you already know and don’t need to study. 
  • ReadySCORE™: Instead of taking a stab at when to register for the exam, ReadySCORE offers remarkably accurate predictions of your likely score if you sit for the test that day.  
  • Daily Surge: You don’t want to waste time reviewing your progress and deciding what to study every day. Daily Surge suggests the topics you need to cover to stay on track.  
  • MyMCQ™: Practice multiple-choice questions are customized to become more challenging with each round, incentivizing the pursuit of higher knowledge.  
  • Full access until you pass: Surgent CMA Review materials, including free content and software updates, are there for you every step of the way.  
  • Unlimited practice exams: Taking practice exams helps relieve anxiety on test day, and unlimited practice exams, included in every Surgent package, let you rehearse as often as you like. 
  • 100% pass guarantee: Surgent’s 95% pass rate outshines all other exam reviews on the market, but just in case something goes wrong, the pass guarantee means you don’t lose your prep course investment.  

Of course, passing the CMA Exam is only the beginning. Surgent CPE offers a vast selection of first-to-market continuing education courses with new content and regulatory updates. They also explore emergent trends in a timely fashion, equipping CMAs to build their storehouses of the technical skills, technological capabilities and soft skills necessary for 21st-century success. 

Technology for today’s CMA 

CMAs perform some of the most complex work in accounting. Their attention to detail ensures that enterprises remain in compliance and financially stable. It’s a solemn responsibility that becomes more manageable with each new technological marvel.  

By leveraging AI and automation, CMAs can hand the time-consuming tasks to machines, freeing time to transform themselves and their teams into strategic players and powerhouse analysts indispensable to businesses and clients managing the challenges of today’s dynamic business environment. 

Surgent CMA Exam Review and Surgent CPE offer the means for staying ahead of the technology curve as it transforms the art of accounting.