Artificial intelligence (AI) has made a mark in the accounting profession in a big way. The good news is AI is streamlining Financial Accounting Services, finding patterns in data you can take action on, and improving overall effectiveness.
The accounting and finance industry in the US have witnessed transformation ever since AI came into the picture and changing the way accounting firms used human intelligence for data processing and similar tasks. However, with the advent of AI, it is now about looking accentuating the strength of the human workforce powered by AI.
What has brought about transformation and change? Why are accounting firms now considering AI for jobs that used to be up to us? AI is rapidly changing, and with machine learning, AI can decipher data and draw actionable insights from complicated situation, significantly reducing or even eliminating errors that their human counterparts would have failed to notice.
Advantages of Artificial Intelligence for CPAs and Accounting Firms
Technology empowers accountants and bookkeepers to build value-based businesses, attracting more customers, increasing revenue, while putting in less time. Cloud accounting is helping CPAs, and accounting firms make a paradigm shift from the conventional form of accounting on the desktop to the cloud. Cloud accounting helps minimize cost and storage space by allowing users to access crucial information via the internet instead of software. Cloud accounting is soon becoming a reality.
Next, in line to transform the accounting industry is AI. Machine learning and AI will change accounting, tax, payroll, audits, banking, unimaginably disrupting the industry, bringing both opportunities and challenges.
Artificial intelligence, in combination with human intelligence, can help CPAs to handle the most time-consuming, routine, and transactional tasks which are manual. This emerging technology allows CPAs to focus on higher-value skills, such as improving operational processes and building relationships with current or potential customers.
AI and bookkeeping is no longer a myth. Several of the major accounting software vendors (Intuit, Sage, and Xero) currently offering capabilities to automate data entry, reconciliations, and sometimes more. AI is helping eliminate accounting errors and reduce liability and allow them to move to a more advisory role.
Here are just a few places we see AI and machine learning impact accounting.
Accounting automation allows accountants to skip several mundane, however time-consuming tasks of accounting such as invoices and bill charges. With several accounting tasks getting automated, CPAs will be able to use actionable data to make business decisions to meet both customer and business demands.
Most accounting systems have incorporated machine learning into transaction coding. During the import of bank feeds, each transaction requires to be coded to incorporate the account code in the chart of accounts. Class, tracking codes, and other relevant custom data may also be added. Rules can be implemented so that the accounting application can pre-code the transactions; in this case, the accountant can approve or correct the entry.
Invoice fetching apps can turn pixels into data using sophisticated OCR (optical character recognition). The data is later converted into a business transaction that can be imported into an accounting system.
Auditing is an expensive and tedious process. Regular auditing of all organizations right from government agencies, nonprofits to large businesses is mandatory. AI and Smart programs can assess a company’s data and evaluate the risks and anomalies so that the audit program can be tailored to focus on the more essential parts. It reduces risk and cost for everyone involved.
One of the significant roadblocks’ businesses experience is defaulting on accounts payable. When a business charges you for a service and sends an invoice (bill) to your company, this invoice gets directed to your accounts payable. Many times, managing and keeping track of a lot of payments can turn out to be an overwhelming task. Accounts payable automation software can eliminate all the worries and keep cash flow in a healthy state.
Artificial intelligence can speed up the matching of purchase orders, packing slips, and invoices. This technology streamlines the process of accounts payable. It can also automate approvals and search duplicate invoices to avoid overpayments.
Clerical Accounting Tasks
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) platform allows users to create automation without involving the IT department. Any workflow with a volumnoius set of clerical steps becomes a use case for RPA.
AI lets accountants to spend less time on mundane tasks and more time on high end analysis work.
To stay competitive and agile, businesses and accountants must realize the implications of AI and machine learning on the finance and accounting world. It is essential to change, evolve, and adapt to the AI to stay competitive.