Talking all things metaverse with Glenn Friedman, CEO of Prager Metis, a global CPA firm that made headlines this year as one of the first accounting firms to set up shop in the metaverse.
The metaverse is loosely defined as a new iteration of the internet - a virtual world running in parallel to the real, physical world. You can create a virtual avatar of yourself and interact with other avatars anywhere throughout the world to do almost anything; business, learning, networking, entertainment, commerce, and more.
The metaverse is reminiscent of "Second Life", a virtual world that was popular 10-15 years ago. It was, and still is, known as an "exclusive haven of self-expression". When Second Life started to become popular in 2007-2008, it become known that a very real economy existed in this space, which required CPAs. Training and education opportunities were developed to help accountants navigate this virtual world.
At the time, the Maryland Association of CPAs created "CPA Island" in Second Life, a designated space where resources could be provided for young professionals and educators to help them get started in this virtual world. However, the experience was less than optimal given the restraints of technology at the time and overall interest waned.
Now, in 2022, looking at the metaverse, questions arise: how is it an improved experience compared to Second Life? How does it interact with the new platforms for virtual learning and communication? There has been a lot of news surrounding the metaverse lately and accounting firms are jumping back into the virtual world. Accounting Today published a recent poll from Big Four firm, PwC, showing the following:
- 67% of executives are actively engaged in metaverse projects
- 20% report they are currently "looking into it"
- 82% believe it will become "business as usual"
- Despite the fact only 9% of the executives currently use any of the existing environment
Those who are in the metaverse see the potential in the areas of client collaboration, business demos, recruiting, and training. I spoke with Glenn to find out how the metaverse compares to Second Life, and whether there are new opportunities in this space that will mold the future of the profession.
Prager Metis, Metaverse Services
Glenn Friedman, CEO, Preger Metis, LinkedIn
PwC 2022 US Metaverse Survey