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Emerging artificial intelligence (AI) is a hot topic in the news. It transcends industries, and everyone is trying to find new ways to adopt the technology for its task automation and analytical capabilities, including certified professional accountants (CPAs). Understanding how to utilize AI in accounting and finance will ultimately help your CPA firm digitally transform into an industry and marketplace leader.
AI’s primary value is tied to the fact that it’s nearly the equivalent of having extra personnel on staff but for a fraction of the cost. That’s why every vertical, including manufacturing, healthcare, tech, and everything in between, is eager to adapt it into its daily operations.
Businesses can use AI to analyze vast amounts of data, receive performance-enhancing recommendations, and make more accurate predictions. There’s also the entire automated component of AI.
For instance, service and sales teams can use AI bots to engage customers, while marketing teams can generate ads, email campaigns, social posts, and other content on command.
While AI is constantly developing and improving, it’s already leaving a footprint in the CPA world. Nearly half (48%) of firms plan to invest in emerging AI tools by the end of 2023, and 91% report that this technology has already helped better support their customers. This emphasizes a concern on everyone’s mind: Will AI replace accountants?
To best understand the trends of AI in accounting, we should first cover the many ways it’s getting utilized:
These use cases allow CPA firms to focus their time and effort on more strategic, big-picture activities while prioritizing improving their client relationships.
Adopting AI for auditors, CPAs, and accountants comes with a clear set of business and operational benefits:
AI is redefining a CPA’s scope of work and desired skill set. While the modern-day CPA still needs to grasp basic accounting principles and understand unique compliance requirements, they now have a major role to play in finding opportunities to deploy AI tools in their day-to-day activities.
Additionally, as more and more repetitive tasks are automated, CPAs must find new ways to differentiate themselves by possessing more interpersonal and communication skills that improve client relations.
CPAs also have a role in perfecting AI technology for accounting and finance operations. They will need to continue finding use cases and help guide the algorithms and machine learning (ML) programs that power AI to complete complex data analysis.
Adopting AI into your accounting operations can be exciting due to its potential upside. However, to avoid an expensive failed adoption project, developing a clear action plan is vital. Consider things like:
The role of artificial intelligence in accounting is constantly expanding. We encourage your firm to embrace the technological revolution and maximize the value of your accounting services.
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