Artificial intelligence and machine learning are reshaping many professional fields, including accounting. While manufacturing and labor jobs have been most affected by this technological growth, those who participate in the knowledge economy aren’t immune to these changes. Fortunately, AI isn’t going to be replacing human accountants, at least not any time in the near future. AI has the potential to be integrated into the day-to-day tasks of forward-thinking accountants, streamlining tedious processes and reducing the chance of error. In short, AI is a good thing in the world of accounting.
The Benefits of AI in Accounting
AI is an exciting prospect for small business accountants because it allows them to focus on their knowledge-based duties, leaving the repetitive tasks to the robots. Rather than wasting time with tedious tasks such as data entry, accountants can focus their efforts on all the work that requires a human touch, such as analysing and interpreting data and using that information alongside human intuition to make educated decisions on how the company should proceed.
Additionally, AI has the potential to make accountants more efficient and productive. In a traditional bookkeeping setting, accounting mistakes may go unnoticed. AI can detect errors immediately, ensuring that your books are always accurate. Machines may also be able to provide real-time financial insights, which often take accountants extra time and effort to discover.
AI Can Match Payments and Invoices
Although AI integration is naturally going to vary depending on the unique needs and preferences of accountants, clients, and companies, some accounting processes are more likely than others to be handled by AI and machine learning. One major example is clearing invoice payments.
Currently, dealing with payments from multiple invoices can be quite difficult, often requiring the accountant to dig through and match invoices or contact the client for clarification, a process that can be very time-consuming, especially when multiple clients and invoices are involved. Machine learning allows AI to analyse the data and clear out invoices or generate new ones.
AI Can Analyse Data and Perform Fast Risk Assessments
AI can also perform large-scale tasks that would be virtually impossible for humans to complete in a timely manner. For example, AI can analyse the data from every accounting project ever completed in your company. It can then provide valuable insights on how to proceed with a potential project idea most effectively or even recommend that the company scraps it all together. While a human accountant might arrive at the same conclusion, it would take countless hours to pore through the data. AI allows for fast risk assessment, helping businesses to move forward on a more efficient timeline.
AI Can Help Businesses Remain Compliant
Expense submissions should be accurate and compliant with company guidelines. AI can detect inaccuracies and flag improper submissions for removal or human approval. This real-time auditing would be quite tedious for human accountants. Using machine learning, AI can learn the company’s policies and analyse data in bulk to ensure that there are no discrepancies.
AI and machine learning can improve or replace accounting processes in many other ways, and the possibilities available in 2018 have only scratched the surface of what’s in store. From forecasting revenue projections to streamlining categorisation and organisation, AI has enormous potential to make today’s accountants more valuable to their clients. Now is the time to follow the growth and development of AI and to incorporate it into your workflow whenever possible. After all, using the latest technology gives you the competitive edge, and it’s only a matter of time before AI becomes adopted widely.