As many of you are aware, my comical adventures in allthings technology have been documented once or twice in this space. Asevidence, I once attempted to upload a photo on my Blackberry and inadvertentlysent it to a local carpenter named Vito.

I'm equallyinexperienced in running an accounting firm.

Therefore, in what can best be described as a cruelexercise in self-deprecation, I find myself annually attending both the AICPATech + Information Technology Conference and the Practitioners Symposium,attended by folks who are all universally smarter than myself.

This year, the institute co-located the two conferencesin lieu of running them roughly one month apart as had been tradition, and drewsome 800 or so attendees to Las Vegas for the now dual confab.

To be sure, the technology and practice units eachshowcased separate tracks, but, as I've noticed over the past several years,those once-somewhat disparate areas are rapidly converging in terms ofinterest, attendance and, certainly, applicability. Far quicker in fact thanthe convergence of IFRS and U.S. GAAP, but that's comical fodder for more thanone future column.

Now, there have been a number of practitioners andhigh-profile consultants throughout the profession that have tied the two areastogether, Gary Boomer to name one, but it's quite another thing to see it upclose and personal.

During the four-day conference, where most attendeeswisely stayed inside to avoid the 107-degree oppression that greeted them whenopening the verandah doors to check messages or sneak a cigarette, I noticed anumber of decidedly non-techies attending tech-centric sessions, and vice versawith regard to tech veterans taking in a number of sessions on thepractitioner's side.

As someone who has covered the profession for the betterpart of a decade, well before terms such as "portal, " "cloudcomputing" and "social media" became part of the accountinglexicon, I was transfixed at the migration of what were once distincteducational disciplines and now are inextricably linked to the operation of anysuccessful CPA practice.

I think in an era where hundreds of easier and far moreeconomical virtual conferences have taken a sizeable bite out of attendancefrom live events, the one-track confabs - long a staple of the profession - arequickly going the way of typewriter repair shops.

As for me, perhaps some of the curricula, particularly inthe technology field, will eventually rub off into practical use.

I don't want to receive any more "do not contactagain" warnings from Vito.

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