As I've documented many times in the space, I'm not someone you could accurately label a technology guru.

Oh sure, I'm reasonably able to navigate a Mac and I can shoot a short video on my BlackBerry, but a potential career in science was, if you'll pardon the pun - short circuited - by a high school science project when I wired an old dry cell battery incorrectly. Needless to say, my presentation backfired like a potato wedged in an exhaust pipe and did not merit a mention from any award committee.

By contrast, one 16-year-old student at my local high school, who was a recent Intel National Science Award finalist, was so, for constructing a fully operable bionic arm.

Sort of puts technology advances in generational perspective if you will.

I recall my truncated science aspirations only because recently the AICPA released its annual Top 10 Technologies listing and the increased use of mobile devices in the workplace emerged as the top tech initiative for CPAs and financial professionals.

Which sort of surprised me not at all.

As a daily commuter from the northern suburbs of New York, the number of mobile devices, whether BlackBerries, Droids, or iPads have increased exponentially.

So the fact that their frequency of penetration has progressed to a point where researcher Gartner predicts that some 17.7 billion applications will be downloaded to mobile devices worldwide by the end of the year gives you an idea of the breadth of their collective use.

You don't have to be a tech professional to discern that as productivity tools transition from desktops, there will be a greater reliance on mobile devices and mobile apps.

It's a rather defining statement of how CPA firms currently operate: a greater ability to provide on-demand service for clients, as opposed to the traditional procedure of field visits and then returning to the office.

For those keeping score at home, information security and data retention policies ranked No. 2 and 3, respectively in terms of top technologies. Meanwhile, remote access and staff and management training finished out the top five.

As someone who recalls dry cell batteries and even the first incarnations of the electronic calculators (when they were priced at $150-$200) I sort of marvel at new and emerging tech trends - particularly in mobile apps. I always knew those cool "communicators" from Star Trek would be mainstream someday.

But in full disclosure I draw the line on seeing people at the gym checking BlackBerries or on cell phones in lieu of exercising.

In fact I recently got into trouble with the management of a health club for telling a rather paunchy member on a neighboring treadmill who was busily chatting away on a cell phone it was a scientific

fact that more calories are expended using the equipment for its intended purpose as opposed to a phone booth.

A phone booth? Wait, do they still have those?


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