Richard Worzel - Futurist - Speaker - Consultant
Keynote & Workshop Topics
Keynote & Workshop Topics

AI, Technology, and the Future of Accounting

The accounting profession has experienced significant changes due to technology already. Yet, the changes to come promise to be even more disruptive still, especially the emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Richard Worzel is a futurist who also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst professional designation. As such, he has both studied accounting, and has worked alongside accountants for much of his career. In this overview of how technology is going to effect the practice of accounting, he outlines the changes ahead, and how practitioners should be preparing today for the changes to come, including:

• What AI is, and why it will be both important, and disruptive, in the practice of accounting;

• The three characteristics of AI that are key to understanding its future effects on your practice;

• Why AI is not a magic formula, and the three things you must have to make effective use of AI;

• The areas where AI will have the greatest impact, and how to prepare for them;

• How Cloud computing is changing business, and what its strengths and weaknesses are;

• The advent of Fog computing, along with the Internet of Things, and why you should be preparing your clients for the massive changes ahead.

“Bean counting may be in the DNA of the accounting profession,” says Richard, “but strategic planning and the practice of active foresight are its future. Accountants have the training, the tools, and the mindset to lead their organizations and clients into the future – but that means they need to keep up on the changes that are rapidly overtaking today’s business practices.”

Not Good Enough: The Future of Big Data & Analytics

It’s tempting to face a screen-full of real-time business statistics, complete with graphs, dials, and summaries, and believe that you’ve got a handle on what’s happening with your data stream. And it’s true that without good analytics, contemporary businesses, most notably those that work in cyberspace, retail sales, and credit risk, couldn’t function effectively against sophisticated competition without analytics. Yet, as Richard Worzel, today’s leading futurist, points out, all of this reflects today’s marketplace, not tomorrow's. In this overview of the future of business analytics, he discusses:

• Why statistical analysis will be relegated to a poor relation among analytical tools;

• How astonishing advances in technology are changing both what can be done, and how it can be done most effectively;

• How new tools are emerging that will produce a fundamental change in the interaction between the human looking at a screen, and the analysis going on behind it;

• The Achilles’ heel of analytics, and suggestions on how to deal with it effectively; and

• The critical element that does now, and probably always will, determine how business analytics can be used most effectively.

The field is changing with astonishing rapidity, yet knowing how it will change is not clear. To help participants deal with these unknowns, Richard will leave conferees with a toolkit designed to capture the uncertainties ahead, and turn them to your advantage.

Dark Clouds & Silver Linings: Tomorrow’s Prospects and the Future of Accounting

It’s as if the skies are starting to clear following a major storm; the economy is beginning to look better, and people are once again more hopeful about the future. So, do we return to “business as usual”, or will tomorrow’s economy and tomorrow’s world be different? Richard Worzel is a Chartered Financial Analyst, a strategic planner, and one of today's leading futurists.

In this presentation he assesses the future of business with an eye towards the future of accounting, covering: the outlook for the economy, plus wild cards for which you should prepare; technology, and how it will continue to reshape business; why we are leaving a period of demographic calm, and what we are headed towards; and how globalization and governments are going to change the economic landscape ahead of us.

Life & IT: The Revolution Begins

You have only to look at the changes that IT have wrought in the world over the last 10 years to see how changes in technology can produce significant changes in business, social, psychographic, governmental, and interpersonal relationships. Now, if you consider that Moore’s Law has been shown to be too conservative, and that the pace of change is not only accelerating, but the rate of acceleration is increasing, it becomes clear that the non-technological changes ahead of us due to IT will be even more startling. In a very real sense, the IT revolution so far has merely achieved lift-off.

The consequences will be far reaching. Business will continue to experience steadily rising competition, and the only successful response will require both innovation and far-seeing forward planning. Individual life will be affected in the way people interact – and fail to interact – with each other, coupled with the accelerating erosion of privacy and community. Governments will continue to lag, both in their use of technology, and in their regulation of it, leaving embarrassing and potentially dangerous gaps for groups seeking to exploit and distort social and economic activity. The biosciences will experience a significant acceleration of discovery, leading to remarkable advances in medical diagnosis, treatment, and cures, while biotechnology will transform industry into a greener, more productive offshoot of agriculture. Computer companions, acting as smart butlers or avatars will become commonplace, as will genuine robots, in both functional forms, and as human simulacra. And the rapid advance of technology will cause a further spreading of the bell-curve of human ability, producing significant winners and losers along the way. The results will be exalting, humbling, dangerous, and enlightening.

Richard Worzel holds a degree in computer science, is a Chartered Financial Analyst with broad experience as an institutional investor, a strategic planner, and one of North America’s leading futurists (as well as a comprehensive professional member of the World Future Society). In this far-ranging presentation he will draw on his IT, business, planning, and futurist credentials to outline the vast potential for the constructive and disruptive impact of the future of IT in our daily lives.

Lethal or Liberating: Corporate Financial Management and The Gale Winds of Tomorrow

The winds of change are reaching gale proportions in business and society, and organizations that are not prepared could face disastrous consequences. Among the forces driving change are:
  • Climate change, the Green Economy and sustainability, and the shifting public expectations of corporate behaviour;

  • Governments are facing enormous challenges, both from the growing importance of international agreements, agencies, and markets, but also from the looming financial pressures of an aging society;

  • Technology is changing all the rules of how business – and social interactions – are conducted, with significant risks consequences for everyone; and

  • Globalization is raising the stakes, both by offering more opportunities, and heightening competition.
Richard Worzel is a strategic planner, best-selling author, a Chartered Financial Analyst, and one of today's leading futurists. In this broad-ranging overview of the future, he will outline the perils and possibilities of tomorrow, and how financial executives can prepare for what’s ahead..

Things You and Your Clients Need to Know to Survive in Business Now

Many of us feel that the pace of change is accelerating. This isn't quite true: the pace of change is accelerating, but the rate of acceleration is also rising, which means we keep being caught off guard by change. This creates a quandary for many organizations, because they already feel that they are working as fast as they can, and as hard as they can, so that the prospect of needing to do more fills them with dread. Yet, forcing the rate of change, if properly managed, can be a competitive weapon of immense value. In this far-ranging and upbeat presentation, futurist and strategic planner Richard Worzel talks about the nature of change and where change is coming from. Building on this, you will get a range of strategies, both for coping with change on your own behalf, and how you can turn change into an asset rather than a liability. Among the topics covered are emerging technologies and their effects; the changing nature, composition, and behavior of consumers and the companies that serve them; how globalization is shifting gears and altering playbooks; and the sometimes paranoid and irrational behavior of governments.

When Does the Future Begin?

Following the events that have shaken the accounting industry over the past five years, those who plan to prosper in the future need to consider the forces that are going to shape the future for them and their clients. From the pace of technological change to the shifting priorities of government, to the threats and opportunities of globalization, the future will be distinctly different from the recent past. This keynote will not only give you a road map of the perils ahead for you and your clients, but help you prepare and implement plans to make change an ally instead of a threat.

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