10 Emerging Technologies That Highlight 2019

by Mark Eckerle, CPA, audit manager, Withum | December 19, 2019

As 2019 comes to a close and we prepare to jump into a new decade, let’s quickly review some of the key innovations, breakthroughs and technological changes that have occurred in the accounting landscape. Many of these technologies may seem like everyday norms by now and we may not even notice the pace at which these emerging technologies are changing.

Here are 10 of the most dominant emerging technologies in 2019:

  1. Payment applications have dramatically changed. Rather than using cash or even a physical credit card, using “digital money” has become widely popular as a means to pay on-the-go. There are a number of ways to pay for goods with your mobile device — Apple pay, Facebook pay, Google pay and more. 
  2. Streaming services were more popular. “Cutting the wires,” as people call it, has become very popular as streaming services are the new way to watch television and movies including the newly announced Disney+.
  3. Digital currency and blockchain continued on pace. The IRS announced a follow-up to their Notice from 2014 (Notice 2014-21) to shed some light on how to account and report cryptocurrency holdings and transactions. See what items were specifically addressed here.
  4. Facebook pioneered Facebook Libra. It is the leading member of the Libra association in hopes of obtaining regulatory approval to create their own currency.
  5. Self-driving automobiles made more of a presence. Self-driving cars have been around for some time, but in 2019 we saw self-driving autonomous vehicles become more common with Tesla announcing the software in their cars and Waymo announcing their self-driving taxi system.
  6. 5G broadband connection gained ground. In December 2018, this technology was rolled out globally and in just about all major cities in the United States. However, only select phones have 5G capabilities to utilize this much-faster network. As new phones come out, we should be able to utilize this mobile network.
  7. Plant-based alternatives were everywhere. Even if you are not vegan or eat a whole food plant-based diet, it was hard to miss the major breakthrough in 2019 of the plant-based burger. Whether it was Beyond Meat, Impossible Burger or another alternative, these lab-made meats became extremely popular this year.
  8. Smart home technology saw a major increase in 2019 as competition stiffened. With options such as Google Nest, Amazon Echo, Apple’s HomeKit and others, there were plenty of ways to implement cutting-edge technology into your home.
  9. Data analytics usage continued to awe. The amount of data we have access to is enormous, and 2019 saw many opportunities to utilize this data to build efficiencies — whether with artificial intelligence or a variety of analytical software to help aggregate and filter data.
  10. Data security was paramount due to the accumulation of such large amounts of data. In addition to the countless efforts by organizations to keep data safe, the United States slowly began to protect their own data by using such methods as two-factor authentication.

Mark W. Eckerle

Mark W. Eckerle

Mark Eckerle, CPA, is an audit manager at Withum. He is the vice leader of the NJCPA Emerging Technololgies Interest Group (#NJCPATech) and a member of the Emerging Leaders, Cannabis and Accounting & Auditing Standards interest groups.

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