In almost every industry, there’s a growing concern that artificial intelligence (AI) will eventually replace the workforce.
This premise is not born out of paranoia or unreasonable expectation, because the evidence suggests that Artificial Intelligence technology can be found in workplaces all over the work.
This technology has far-reaching tentacles that affect the retail, manufacturing, customer service, and agriculture industry, to name a few.
Due to their capacity for almost limitless productivity and razor-sharp efficiency, both Artificial Intelligence and machine learning (ML) have replaced or made redundant many job positions.
According to experts, this trend is set to continue as Artificial Intelligence is expected to replace almost 800 million jobs by 2030.
At first, it appeared as though Artificial Intelligence technology would only affect blue-collar and pink-collar job positions.
But, Artificial Intelligence computers have come a long way since then, and have become powerful enough to threaten even white-collar professions, including accounting jobs.
AI and Accounting
Artificial intelligence refers to advanced machinery that’s able to perform repetitive tasks at incredibly fast speeds.
AI technology is usually more accurate and more efficient than humans
Thanks to machine learning AI technology also comes with the ability to analyze, observe, study and process data and systems to provide improved accuracy and performance.
AI technology can easily take care of most accounting tasks, including but not limited to payroll, tax preparation, bookkeeping and audits.
The best accounting software providers know the value of AI technology and have incorporated it into their software to handle tasks such as audit processes, risk assessments, invoice labelling, and bank reconciliations.
Most of these tasks are extremely repetitive, mundane and time-consuming and make up a large chunk of an accounting firm’s billable hours. This is one of the reasons why accounting firms are concerned about the possibility of being replaced by AI technology.
How AI Actually Benefits Accountants
While AI technology can handle most of the standard accounting tasks required by a business with better efficiency and speed, there are still lots of other processes and tasks that require a human touch.
At the end of the day, AI technology is a tool for man. Its effects depend on how it is channelled.
With the right approach, AI technology can actually help to create new jobs instead of replacing them.
For instance, most business owners don’t have the time to analyze AI-generated reports and there is always a need for advice that can only come from a seasoned consultant.
Artificial Intelligence is much more likely to lighten the burden for accountants and transform their duties instead of taking them over.
AI technology can be programmed to manage all of the routine tasks involved in the accounting process so that accountants have more time for data analysis and consulting.
This is music to the ears of accounting firms who know how to leverage the power of Artificial Intelligence to their advantage.
Artificial Intelligence can improve an accounting firm’s ability to offer sound business solutions and accurate data analysis.
AI technology can also reduce liability risk through efficient fraud detection, which benefits both accounting firms and their clients.
This technology is very useful at assessing patterns and large data sets in a short amount of time, to produce accurate future projections.
Preparing for the future
AI technology is here to stay and it’s up to accounting firms to find ways to use it to their advantage.
It operates at speeds and offers a level of efficiency and accuracy that can greatly benefit smart accounting firms who know how to leverage this technology.
Plus, business owners are more likely to work with accountants who can help them to maximize AI technology.
The future, therefore, belongs to those accounting firms who have developed systems that integrate AI technology and machine learning.
Accountants can easily adapt to the changes brought on by this technology by upskilling through seminars, taking college-level part-time courses or self-learning online programs.
Accountants should also stay abreast of accounting trends, industry legislation changes and emerging technologies.
This can significantly improve a firm’s competitiveness and ability to offer more efficient and effective services.
Instead of worrying about Artificial Intelligence, accountants will do well to educate themselves about this technology and embrace all that it has to offer in the way of improved efficiency and productivity.
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