Accountants in Artificial Intelligence (AI)
By: Fatima Ahmed
Accountants in Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a relatively new field; however, its development
shows no signs of slowing down. What does accounting mean in the context of AI? How should
accountants prepare for this future?
Today, artificial intelligence is revolutionizing every sector of our lives. The way we
communicate, entertain ourselves, shop, travel, work, and life has changed dramatically thanks
to the rise of technology and automation. As such, it is only natural that the profession of an
accountant would also see some transformation.
As companies adopt various aspects of intelligent technologies into their operations, they will
look to external sources to help manage these assets. Accountants will play an integral role in
providing support to internal departments, particularly when it comes to tax compliance.
Will AI Replace Accountants?
In recent years, the number of jobs lost due to computerization has outnumbered those gained
by them. As more businesses transition to digital platforms, the need for skilled professionals
like accountants increases.
According to Sage’s Practice of Now report, 58% of accountants agree that AI will help improve
their firm in the future. Robotics-accounting algorithms and artificial intelligence have the
potential to replace 40% of work in auditing, payroll, posting data, accounts payable and
receivables, inventory control, and other accounting functions
Accounting is undergoing a transformation due to
Accountants are being asked to do more than ever, but they aren’t always equipped to handle
all these new responsibilities. The rise of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and
automation are making this possible. It’s not only changing how we prepare financial statements
but also how we audit them.
Financial Statement Preparation
For example, if an accountant prepares a balance sheet using software that automatically scans
through thousands of transactions and then checks the data against the relevant accounting
rules, she may no longer have to manually enter each transaction into her system. This frees up
valuable time so she can spend more time preparing financial statements for clients.
In addition, AI systems are able to identify patterns within large volumes of data, which means
they can detect anomalies much faster than humans. If something doesn’t look right, the AI
system will flag it and alert the accountant to take action.
Automation has already transformed the way accountants conduct audits. For instance, the
combination of AI and ML is helping accountants to spot errors and fraud earlier. In fact, some
firms are already automating audits at scale.
This means that instead of sending multiple people to review each client file, the team can
simply send one person to scan hundreds of files. Once the audit is complete, the accountant
can quickly produce a report summarizing key findings.
Other benefits include:
● Reduced cost
● With fewer staff required, companies save money.
● Increased efficiency
● By reducing the number of hours spent auditing, businesses increase productivity.
● Improved accuracy
● Since auditors don’t miss any issues, they can avoid costly mistakes.
● More control
Since the process is automated, accountants can manage the entire audit from start to finish.