The discussion of AI, (Artificial Intelligence) may be a hot topic around your accounting firm's water cooler. And from this study shared at Forbes, it very well should be. Jean Baptiste Su is Vice-President and Principal Analyst at Atherton Research, a global technology consulting and intelligence firm, states in his Forbes article that by 2020, accounting tasks - but also tax, payroll, audits, banking… - will be fully automated using AI-based technologies, which will disrupt the accounting industry in a way it never was for the last 500 years, bringing both huge opportunities and serious challenges. However, accountants shouldn't fear that AI will take their jobs.
Artificial intelligence will not eliminate accountants
“Having machines to do all these tedious and repetitive tasks could sound scary for many accountants because they are also very time-consuming and thus very lucrative,” explained Stephanie Weil, CEO of Accounteam, a Silicon Valley-based accounting firm. “However, if the AI system is well configured, it can eliminate accounting errors that are generally hard to find and thereby reduce our liability and allows us to move to a more advisory role.”
Yes, AI is going to make your job as an accountant easier. The world of accounting is just the latest in a series of industries being affected by the rapid increase in the use of artificial intelligence. Bill Gates even referred to the rise of artificial intelligence as computer science's "Holy Grail." After many failed efforts in the past, the accuracy and speed of today's artificial intelligence are much improved.
Accountants can probably breathe easy for a long time. AI can do amazing things, but it's not so good at the many things humans do naturally. We make a lot of decisions based on context. Professional controller services understand the rules and regulations their client must adhere to, and they're able to present options and recommendations in a manner the client can understand.
If you want to learn more about AI we suggest listening to the weekly podcast from TechEmergence. Each week, TechEmergence founder Dan Faggella interviews top AI and machine learning executives, investors and researchers from companies like Facebook, eBay, Google DeepMind and more – with one single focus: Gaining insight on the applications and implications of AI in industry.
Here is a quote from the TechEmergence website concerning their weekly AI podcast, "Business and government leaders listen to “AI in Industry” because we cover what matters to them:
- How AI is being used in business today
- Which AI applications are driving real business value, and which are still experimental
- Strategic AI considerations for business planning
- Likely AI trends and disruptions, and what top executives are doing to take advantage of them."
Although the financial file converters MoneyThumb carries don't use AI, the software uses advanced algorithms developed from the PDF statements generated by hundreds of different banks to convert a user's supplied PDF for import into the small business accounting application. No more manual key-in, no more copy and paste and no more trying to make a generic PDF converter do the job that only a specialized financial file PDF converter can do. For the immediate future, we feel that's all the artificial intelligence you need. 🙂
We hope all of our blog readers have a safe and Happy 4th of July!