New-age technologies like AI are automating menial tasks to reduce the number of errors and increase productivity in the accounting and finance industry.
Artificial Intelligence is poised to eliminate rote tasks performed by accountants and finance professionals so that they can focus on providing greater value to clients.
According to a recent survey by MIT-Boston Consulting Group, 79% of business owners say that AI is the key to increasing their company’s productivity.
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But the question arises, what is AI?
AI is a technology that delves into the idea to eliminate mundane tasks using computer programming to imitate human intelligence.
A lot of businesses are incorporating AI to their business models as it streamlines data entry processes, reduces fraud, and provides a clear insight into big data.
Are the jobs at risk?
Experts believe that automation will not destroy the accounting industry, but rather strengthen it. With the intrusion of machine learning and automation at one end, there will always be a need for human intelligence at the other.
The future of the accounting industry will transition from a backward-looking “data-entry” function to driving forward-looking strategical insights.
Nothing Can Replace Human Attributes
Business intelligence is just a creative tool, while humans are the ones bringing creativity to it. Though AI will help in better fraud detection, risk analysis, and lowering the liability risk for accountants, there will always be some tasks that would require human intuition.
Accountants apply their extensive knowledge to make quick, intuitive decisions to specific situations, and AI cannot replicate human instinct.
New Technology Means More Jobs
With technologies like AI and machine learning automating menial accountancy tasks, accountants and bookkeepers will have enough time to focus on other areas such as data analysis and consulting to provide better business solutions.
AI will reduce the need for compiling and computing data, thereby arising the need for higher-value tasks such as:
AI cannot understand and manage relationships between firms and clients. But with accurate analysis and reports generated by AI, accountants will be able to assist their clients in forecasting financial statements and determining the profitability of their business.
Recommended Reading: How CPAs Can Become Business Advisors
Accounting consultants would collaborate with business leaders to prepare financial data and improve future outcomes.
AI algorithms are often referred to as being biased, thereby arising a need to be more auditable, transparent, or explainable.
With business intelligence, conclusions derived from complex algorithms applied to non-linear computational data often lead to a trade-off amongst fidelity and accuracy. Therefore, human intervention is necessary.
Tools Are Not Replacements
Innovation cannot replace humans. For instance, the development of accounting software like QuickBooks and Xero simplified the manual accounting processes for CPAs and bookkeepers instead of taking away their jobs.
Similarly, automation will push the users towards new technology for a better future so that accountants can focus on delivering valuable services to clients.
AI – A Critical Component Of Your Business
Artificial Intelligence empowers humans by solving complex algorithms in no time, thereby freeing them up to spend time and build relationships with their clients. In order to streamline accounting processes and dig deeper insights into the financial data, incorporating AI into the business models has become essential.
However, it is vital for the firm to clearly understand the drawbacks before adopting the transformative strategy into the business models.
Problems with AI
AI-powered solutions are based on mathematical calculations and require substantial amounts of data sets to perform specific tasks. Hence, they are not flexible.
So, it’s most likely that smaller organizations would not have enough data to test AI for accurate results before incorporating it into their business models.
Furthermore, not all problems can be solved with a machine learning approach and, therefore, would require human intervention. In such cases, AI works alongside accountants and assists them in handling complex data and determining risks.
Yes, machines learn faster than humans. AI adapts to large volumes of complex data sets and delivers accurate, error-free solutions in no time. However, most organizations do not have the staff with adequate skills to be able to operate AI-related tasks. Hence those firms do not reap all the benefits.
AI is going to revolutionize the way accountants work, and in some aspects, superseding human efforts. So, in the future, AI and HI (Human Intelligence) will be equally necessary to drive the best results.
Are you ready for AI?
Businesses need to understand the importance of artificial intelligence and train their team before incorporating AI into their business models.
In the long term, business intelligence is going to simplify mundane tasks. So, rather than worrying about if AI would take over in the near future, accountants should leverage AI-powered solutions to enhance customer services.
It’s best to adapt the changes, add new skills, and learn what may come to stay on top of the game always.