The improvements in computing and technology research have introduced Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), and it is beginning to transform every sector of the economy. The Accounting Industry has not been getting significant impacts from AI innovations until recently, and new changes are occurring to this effect.

Accounting involves the processes of analyzing and simplifying financial transactions and reporting records to overseeing agencies. Computers are currently handling these complex activities, and they even accomplish the tasks with little or no human interference.

AI technology is projected to be at $400 billion by 2020. Many analysts also fear that the role of accountants in companies may be threatened by AI, considering the way in which modern computers are being designed to function autonomously with advanced intelligence and accuracy.

This article will help give us an insight into the extents to which AI is revolutionizing the accounting industry around the world. Below are the visible aspects of the industry which are already improving through the effects of the innovation.

Client support: The accounting industry is one of the vast sectors of the economy that now appreciates the AI innovation in customer service. The business world already recognizes that customers are critical players in the growth of any industry, so it will be best to improve client satisfaction with accurate and speedy service. AI has proven to be efficient with these responsibilities, and many companies have adopted chatbots to assist in automating responses to clients’ questions on accounting issues. AI bots are capable of engaging in business dialogue with clients and suggesting the best approach to solutions, or ultimately recommending a human accountant.

Data Handling: Accounting data is usually very bulky, and traditional computer data management is evolving into improved standards that involve cloud storage. Cloud storage is a method of keeping data safe in a secure space on the internet, and AI technology is now being employed to manage this data.The effects of cloud computing and AI is bringing speed and more accurate results for accounting firms. AI can now help detect incorrect data with its optimized bookkeeping methods; massive data search can also be effected in lesser time, and the task can be done autonomously when requested.

Cyber Security: The data involved in business accounts are highly confidential and are meant to be reviewed only by authorized personnel. Cloud computing positions this sensitive data on the internet where there will be the need for advanced security. Cybersecurity is very active in the application of AI in the Accounting Industry; the technology is capable of accessing the stored data securely and protecting the cloud with methods that are very complex for intruders. Moreover, 49% of payments are made over the Internet, and the data which they generate can be collected and appropriately managed by cloud computing innovations presented by AI.

Bookkeeping: This is a task which accountants are most conversant with as it involves the recording of financial transactions. Most transaction data is entered manually, even if the details have been captured in an invoice or a business receipt booklet. AI innovations currently utilize improved Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology to enter already capture data from various areas of the business into the accounts record. Automated data entry is now obtainable for repeated data as details are immediately compared and stored through cloud computing.

Education: The ability of AI technology to emulate humans through machine learning has evolved the training process for accountants. Many institutions allow accounting education to be handled by AI at the lower levels until the repetitive stages are over. This innovation is flexible as AI learns the study pattern of each student which it uses to help them improve in their educational process. There are also many educational support tools embedded in the AI educators like calculator, business forecast tools, and other essential functional tools that will improve study standards for accounting students.

Benefits of AI in Accounting

After reviewing the areas of the Accounting Industry which AI has made a significant impact, it is essential to identify the benefits derivable from the synergy of AI and Accounting.

  • Quality and accurate accounts: The function of accounting is the originality to provide best records for business supervision, and many accountants miss out tiny details mistakenly or purposefully. The reviews made on AI technology shows that it is very organized, and it helps eliminate errors which may have been difficult to discover by humans.
  • Speed: The introduction of AI technology to the accounting industry brings speed along with it as it automates processes involved. Automation reduces the amount of time spent on repetitive tasks that also incurs more cost.
  • Easier decisions: Adopting AI innovations in Accounting brings businesses closer to the future. Better business decisions are drawn from real-time bookkeeping and forecast to prepare for best improvements. Business planning is no longer influenced by decisions made by records alone.

How our Accounting firm is adapting

Research projections say that between 2020 to 2024 AI technologies will reach its most effective operations in various aspects of accounting, and there are so many questions being asked like what the future of accountants will be in the light of these changes.

We know that AI innovations will not eliminate accountants, but instead it will provide a synergy where accountants can join forces with the intelligence of machines. Professional accountants can still accomplish Higher-value tasks like tax planning, business operations decisions review of business goals, while the AI can handle lower-value functions like data entry, bookkeeping, and frequent client interactions.

Our Accounting firm is improving communication skills to grab the opportunity of training accountants on soft skills. We have also begun studying the decisions which AI is limited to make, and our cloud computing technology is proving to be one of the best decisions we have made this year.

The new focus for our personnel in this field is to stay above the abilities of the intelligent machines and to ensure that we have full control over critical operations in the business.

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Erasmus Pretorius

With over 23 years of unwavering expertise, I am a seasoned Chartered Accountant committed to financial excellence. My journey in the realm of finance has been marked by astute strategic insights, meticulous attention to detail, and an unyielding dedication to precision. Over the years, I’ve navigated the complexities of financial landscapes, providing invaluable counsel to diverse clients. My proficiency extends across auditing, taxation, and financial management, coupled with a profound understanding of regulatory frameworks. As a registered professional, I have consistently upheld the highest standards of integrity and ethics, earning a reputation as a trusted advisor in the dynamic world of finance.