Presently, humans write algorithms and code. So, Artificial Intelligence still has a long way to go before computers can completely think by themselves. But at the same time, AI is rapidly developing and extending the capabilities of computers to an entirely new level.
AI enables systems to make predictions and create changes accordingly. The technology is fantastic for automating tasks, discovering hidden trends and insights, and enhancing accuracy and efficiency.
AI can also automatically upload documents, comprehend entries, and classify entries via the right accounting codes. So, it plays a big part in present accounting tasks, and it will become even more crucial in the future.
Role of AI in Accounting
Companies the world over are embracing AI in accounting practices. That is because it enables firms to streamline their businesses, increase productivity, improve accuracy, and reduce costs.
AI technology can analyze massive volumes of data at high speed, which is not an easy feat for human beings. For example, data generated by a tax report would not only be generated quickly, but it would also have assured levels of accuracy.
Furthermore, AI can recognize and categorize data from different sources. AI also enables the automation of administrative tasks, like processing accounts receivable and payable. That means accountants have more time to spend on analyzing and interpreting the data to extract real value.
As AI develops more, it will help the accounting profession in areas like invisible accounting, active insight, and continuous audit. So, companies will be able to capture business activity in real-time, conduct constant reconciliation, and continually make adjustments, such as accruals.
Will AI Replace Human Accountants?
In the accounting sector, AI is enhancing human capabilities for the better. Although there were initial concerns in the industry about AI taking away human accounting jobs, it is now generally considered that there will still be a huge demand for accountants.
Only, the role of accountants is changing as it aligns itself with the new technologies. Generally, accountants are expected to move into more consulting and advisory roles. So, accountants like CPAs will still be very much needed. And they can still make excellent salaries. The average salary for CPAs in the US is $62,410 per year.
Many professionals are excited about the advantages AI can provide. According to Sage’s 2019 Practice of Now report, 58% of accountants agree that AI will improve their firms in the future.
Accounting Tasks AI Is Helping
AI can help a business’s accounting processes in various ways. For instance, AI allows finance professionals to make business decisions based on actionable insights, which are derived from customers’ demographics, past transactional data, and other factors.
Furthermore, that data is available in real-time, which enables accountants to have more clarity about a business’s data than ever before. For example, accountants can use the data to perform cash flow forecasting to predict when a company could run out of funds and take actions to protect against the situation.
AI can help accountants with a variety of other tasks. Here are some of the main ones.
1. Managing Expenses
Reviewing and approving expenses, and ensuring they meet company policies, is a time-consuming task. AI makes it much easier to check receipts and review expenses, as well as warn people if there is a breach.
2. Close Procedures
The sooner a business gets its numbers, the more time it has to come up with strategies about how to utilize those figures. AI takes data from a variety of sources, consolidates it, and merges it. That allows businesses to speed up their monthly or quarterly close procedures, and gain accuracy.
The tracking and procurement method can take up too much time for many businesses because it is filled with paperwork and using file formats that are not compatible with one another. Machines with AI capability can quickly process unstructured data to make the procurement procedure paperless and easier.
With the use of AI, files can be tracked to know who accessed them and when. That increases the security of the files. It also allows for better auditing. Auditors do not need to search through heavy bundles of paperwork, and the data they have access to will be completely accurate.
5. AI Chatbots
Even though they have not been around for long, it is hard to remember before the days of chatbots. AI chatbots can efficiently resolve common user questions, like the latest account balance, when bills are due, and the status of accounts.
Artificial Intelligence is already bringing about radical changes in the world of accounting, and it is developing more and more all the time. With an accountant at the helm, AI enables possibilities for a considerable reduction in costs and increased productivity for businesses, not to mention an enhancement in data accuracy and precision.
It can also make menial and repetitive manual accountancy tasks obsolete.
Note: This a guest post from Bryce Welker CPA, he is the founder of Crush the CPA Exam. The author’s views are entirely his own and may not reflect the views of Ace Cloud Hosting.