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If you’re in the accounting profession, chances are you’re getting used to the integration of various forms of technology in the industry, including machine learning, cloud computing, and different forms of automation. Small and large accounting firms alike have begun recognizing the importance of automation as they move forward with modern-day trends in bookkeeping. Though the onset of artificial intelligence (AI) may bring up memories of sci-fi movies and rogue robots, companies are beginning to embrace the value AI brings to their processes, making them more efficient by shifting the allocation of mundane tasks to reduce human error.
With these changes, the main question that comes up is, “Will this reduce the number of jobs in the accounting profession?”
The short answer is, maybe.
What is Artificial Intelligence?
Artificial intelligence (AI) uses computer systems to perform tasks that typically involve and require human intelligence, like visual and speech recognition, language translation, and decision-making. The most common way we currently see artificial intelligence being deployed is with automation.
Businesses seek automation to improve how they allocate their labor hours. Tasks like data entry, emailing, and billing are now automated so that employees can dedicate more time to the operations of the business to allow growth.
As machine learning and AI-assisted accounting continues to serve multiple industries and demonstrates significant returns on investment, business owners are more open to automating their processes than ever before.
What Will Change for the Role of an Accountant?
We know an accountant’s responsibilities fall on a rather wide spectrum for any given business. Accountants manage and perform the financial functions of your business, including collection, record keeping, analysis, and verification for accuracy with regard to your organization’s financial operations.
But wait, there’s more! Accountants may also be responsible for data entry and reports. They can hold roles as advisers and interpreters, while also dealing with a company’s vendors, customers, and their respective financial institutions.
Long story short, accountants can perform simple bookkeeping responsibilities, all the way up to advising senior staff and decision makers as they interpret financial information.
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How will AI shift the future of accounting? What we’ve observed so far is that accountants have automated their processes to become more available to their clients in the form of diversifying their accounting services, increasing their accessibility, and providing more strategic advice.
It is ironic, but in an industry that involves service along with financial and regulatory expertise, artificial intelligence and automation increase the human interaction with clients while reducing human error. It represents a shift that includes a mutually beneficial relationship between software and the services of an accountant.
What about Junior Staff?
While we …