Tech Happens

June 23, 2021

By Aldo Maragoni
Technology is a funny thing. It’s one of those topics that excites some and frightens others. Depending on who you talk with, technology can hold the excitement of, “imagine what could be!” to the anxiety of, “what’s wrong with the current way?”

These reactions—and everything in between—are understandable given that tech means change.

And the key to change—and new tech adoption—is in how you approach it. There was a popular saying some years back to stress why organizations should embrace change—“adapt or die.” There’s certainly some truth to that, even if it’s on the extreme side.

You can sit back and let tech control you, or you can step into tech and control it. Sure, we can get into conversations about how much control we really have, especially in the world of social media and who is really using whom, but that’s another column.

I love this definition of technology from Encyclopedia Britannica: “The application of scientific knowledge to the practical aims of human life or, as it is sometimes phrased, to the change and manipulation of the human environment.” (Emphasis added.)

Safe to say we’ve seen tech change and manipulate the human environment—from the real world of how we communicate and get our work done to creating virtual worlds to developing cryptocurrencies. And most recently, we’re seeing tech move into areas like trading cards and art in the form of non-fungible tokens, or NFTs.

Tech is woven into nearly everything we do: Work, home, school, play. And it’s also woven through this issue of California CPA. We’ve invited some of our tech expert members to write about how tech has affected their work and offer you guidance about putting these tools to work.

You’ll read about what you can do to reduce the likelihood of becoming a ransomware victim, learn one of the latest features of Excel and, as we emerge into our post-pandemic world, how tech is even more weaving its way into business practices.

This adoption and evolution of tech is something we’re implimenting at CalCPA, as well. “Reimagine & Transform Our Organization” is one facet of our strategic plan, which means we’re eyeing tech advancements and new ways of doing things. The reasons for this are what you might imagine and have likely heard—maybe even used to sell new technology to your respective staffs: Increased effciency, differentiate ourselves from others, position us for future growth, etc.

As a marketer and communicator, I like to skip all that formal language and see it more from the member and customer point of view.

Our efforts in this area mean, among other things, developing learning opportunities that you can take when you want, where you want and how you want; better providing you with information and resources to move your career, firm, organization and clients forward; and new ways to meet and greet members statewide.

One piece related to that latter benefit is something we’re excited to introduce. It’s a place where you can talk with other CalCPA members from the comfort of your home or office. Where members can share ideas, best practices and other relevant info with each other. 

In other words, a place where you can connect. Which is what we’re calling our newest member benefit.

Our goal with Connect is to create online interest groups where members can engage with each other, build meaningful community and share information to help each other. 

You’ll find relevant articles, events and learning opportunities, CalCPA updates and other need-to-know info to help you make the most of your membership and career. 

But wait, there’s more! You are able—and encouraged—to determine what that information looks like by commenting on and posting articles, starting and participating in discussions, and private messaging other Connect members. 

All of our Connect communities—currently 14 chapters and three related to state committees (Government Relations, Personal Financial Planning and Management of an Accounting Practice)—are open to any CalCPA member. That means even if your preferred chapter is Los Angeles, but you’re curious about what’s going on with our Inland Empire Chapter, you can join that Connect community. 

Or, if you have an interest in personal financial planning, feel free to join our Personal Financial Planning Connect.

And you can join as many Connect communities as you like.

To get started, visit our Connect homepage and login with the same credentials you’ve been using to log into our main website. Once you’re in, you’ll find a handy how-to in the Documents section of any Connect community you join.

Happy connecting!
Aldo Maragoni is CalCPA’s associate director of communications.

Back to News