by ACCA student blogger Naresh John
Hi all…so we’ve passed over the hurdle of results, I hope everyone was successful in their exams.
We’re approaching 2015 and already we’re seeing the dawn of a new era in education: From free online courses, like Discovering Business in Society to how we sit ACCA exams – as of January 2015 papers F1-F3 will only be available through Computer-Based Exams (CBEs) in certain countries. This shows us that technology is giving us new options and allowing us to do things in new and more efficient ways.
We as future accountants are exposed to technology in every aspect of our lives including work, study and leisure. Therefore in this article, I focus on how technology impacts our daily lives, referring to my own experiences and specifically relating to work and study.
Within the workplace, the internet leaves us with information overload on most occasions due to the near unlimited access we have. As such, we must use information wisely in order to achieve efficiency and effectiveness at work.
Technology in the workplace can be utilized in several ways:
Mobility and access to information
With the use of video technology and the use of Virtual Private Networks (VPN), employees no longer need to be in the office in order to communicate with their colleagues or have access to information related to work. Video technology can result in virtual meetings being set up via the use of programs such as Skype and will reduce transportation cost to the firm. With the use of VPNs, employees can configure their device to have access to the organization’s network once they have an internet connection. This will facilitate working from home which can motivate staff.
Improvement in efficiency
Technology saves times by speeding up the work flow process. This includes digital filing systems which save space, paper and printing costs. The use of computer systems allow for corrections to be made instantly via the use of software such as Microsoft SharePoint. In addition, submissions of documents for approval can be carried out quickly as the documents could be forwarded using email or via the intranet. This will save time especially in the case of submissions to be made to superiors who are not in the same geographic location.
Quite often, messages can be distorted when it passes through different individuals via ‘noise’. As such, the use of technology can allow messages to be sent to the all the parties necessary at the same time to ensure that the same message is received. In addition, communications will be quicker through the use of instant messaging and emails as opposed to letter writing or telephone calls.
With regards to study and academic related tasks, technology plays a key role as it has shaped the way that I carry out these tasks:
Life hack ‘to-do list’ apps
Our daily routines and special events can be set on our phones or laptops to remind us of what we have to do for the day. This includes leisure as well as study time. As such, we can set study schedules in order to utilize our time more efficiently so that we can achieve the objective of passing all our exams.
Socialising with fellow students across the globe
Information technology has broken down the barriers of communication globally. Tools such as blogs, video communication and social networks (like the ACCA Learning Community) can connect global networks of individuals with a common interest. This allows for the exchange of ideas and getting a wider range of perspectives than if the individual was restricted to socialising with individuals from their country alone.
These are just a few of my thoughts as I believe that technology has indeed shaped our lives differently. While there are the benefits, there are also the inherent risks such as security issues (hackers, identity theft etc). We must therefore keep in mind that having the technology would not benefit us by itself, it is how we utilize the technology that will make our lives easier and more effective.
I wish you all the best for the upcoming semester. Take care till next time.
Photo by Luke Wroblewsk via Flickr