From the AICPA (US) via journalofaccountancy.com comes a prediction that with the deepening penetration of drones into society, and the associated regulatory responses, accountants will find their professional space “invaded”.
This trend will have consequences for both the type of work accountants do, and the way they do it.
those tracking the new technology say unmanned flying devices have the potential to bring new ways of doing business to accounting firms big and small.
An obvious application for drones is for asset assessments where clients in the mining and construction industries are likely to incorporate drones into monitoring, control and verification processes.
Recent regulatory activity from the FAA will help open up drone usage to a wider business market. The rules for drone operation are now no longer locked in with the (more onerous) rules regulating private pilots. However the rules are still quite strict:
Significant restrictions are still embedded in the rules, including requirements that the drones aren’t flown over people. The unmanned devices also have to be within a pilot’s sight at all times and can’t exceed speeds of 100 mph..
Drones also opportunities for smarter risk assessment work – for example
Images captured over large worksites can …determine whether workers are wearing safety helmets to checking that cranes or other heavy construction machines are set up properly
and through leveraging a knowledge of drone usage in business situations, expand consulting work as explained by PwC’s Michal Mazur:
PwC is pursuing a two-pronged approach for clients when it comes to drones, Mazur said. The company can serve in a consulting role to help clients incorporate drones into their operations, and also can use the devices to capture information and data for audits or to be used as third-party asset confirmation in litigation, Mazur said. “It’s a new type of data assurance.”
Julia Morriss, a coordinator on the AICPA State Regulatory and Legislative Affairs Team
..expects to see drones as a topic at upcoming conferences, with discussions focused on the advantages the technology can bring to a firm.
“Drones are really poised to disrupt the market,” Morriss said. “It’s going to be really interesting to see what happens.”