How Artificial Intelligence is Changing Accounting

The accounting world is one of the latest in a series of professions affected by the rapid worldwide adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) in professional software systems. Since accounting is a numbers and data game, it’s well-suited for this technology which acts without human input to draw conclusions from large sets of data. Helping companies get a more profound understanding of their customers, AI helps accounting professionals streamline critical information gathering to divide their market into finer segments.

Why, then, are some accounting professionals resistant to embrace AI technology for their firm?

What is Artificial Intelligence?

AI is the technology that allows computers to perform decision-based functions which previously required the hand of a human. Artificial intelligence extends a system’s typical usefulness by allowing it to make predictions and adapt its response to specific outcomes.

Taking many different shapes, AI is giving accounting executives new ways to increase their organization’s productivity to offer a competitive edge. One example of this is machine-based learning which enables a system to become proficient at repetitive analysis and decision-making. Speech-based technology is another form of AI which can learn voice and language over time. AI is replacing human eyes for the better in professions such as accounting which involve repetitive tasks.

Goodbye to Accounting Staff?

Despite the clear benefits artificial intelligence brings to accounting, there remains some concern that the technology will replace the profession and professionals within it.

This is hardly the case. While AI technology may takeover the accountant’s role in performing audits and other traditional accounting services, it can’t replace human accounting departments completely. Through AI-based technologies, it’s expected that many repetitive accounting tasks like banking, payroll, and tax preparation will be fully automated by 2020.

But instead of a corporate strategy being used to replace humans, AI is called on to compile and analyze large datasets more accurately and much quicker than individuals or teams of people could. In a nutshell, artificial intelligence is capable of managing more of the accounting staff’s menial and time-consuming accounting duties. Once those tasks are automated, human teams are freed to refine other skills by focusing on higher-functioning tasks which require true human insight.

Due to the tremendous effect AI will have on accounting departments around the world, accounting professionals should learn to use AI’s capabilities to their advantage today. Here are some of the ways accounting processes are already being managed seamlessly by AI.

No need to hunt high and low for accounting files required for an audit. By leveraging the digital files, auditors improves the efficiency and accuracy of audits

Existing AI-powered invoice management systems already provide more streamlined invoice processing such as Invoice Separation, Data Extraction, and Eata Completion as well as by learning the accounting codes appropriate to each invoice.

Machines post data and consolidate data from a number of sources to reconcile.

Machines can read receipts and alert humans when an infraction has occurred.

Manual solutions plague the procurement and purchasing processes for many organizations. Machines are able to tracking pricing changes among a number of suppliers.

AI automates the search for a selection of new suppliers. It can check credit scores tax information and credit scores while creating a customer account in the system without any human involvement.

Working Together

AI automation leads to improved operations and lower costs overall. This allows companies to be more productive and efficient and take on more workload than those who have yet to embrace AI technology. Companies large and small should be planning their adoption of advanced technologies like AI so human accounting professionals will be free to take on tasks for which they are better suited.

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