Artificial intelligence and robotics are no longer a thing of science fiction, it is real. Technology is infiltrating every industry and accounting is no island. This leaves many wondering whether the software can replace accountants.
Much as it a work in progress everywhere, computers are coming into all spaces. Completely? Only time will deliver the answer whether it will be an overhaul or a streamlined co-existence between CPAs and AI Technology.
Many of the leading accounting software providers, including Xero, Intuit and Sage, and the new MonkeyPesa have incorporated AI technology into their software to handle basic accounting tasks, such as bank reconciliations, invoice categorization, risk assessment, and audit processes, like expense submissions and invoice payments. This actually already supports the idea that software can replace accountants.
In all honesty, bots and cloud accounting solutions make it easier than ever for small business owners to manage their accounting and bookkeeping tasks with the efficiency that only their larger counterparts formerly enjoyed. Artificial intelligence is in every aspect of our lives. For example Siri on our phones. As AI technology is becoming more popular, accountants are becoming increasingly worried that companies will not see the value in hiring an accountant any longer.
With further inspection, it is essential to understand what makes a CPA more valuable than just AI. Why still hire a CPA with this technology available? There is something about the human aspect that a robot will not get you. To say that software can replace accountants is much up for debate.
In fact, according to leading research firm, Gartner, AI is set to create more jobs than it will replace, leaving workers, including accountants with options. Accountants don’t have to worry about their job being replaced by AI any time in the near future. … In many ways, AI will help accountants improve their services
AI Technology In Accounting
The assumption is everyone knows how to use the various software and cloud applications. And that is not absolute. There are a few gifted people and there are those who may not be as tech-savvy. As a matter of fact, even if people are making use of the software applications to prepare their taxes, they need assistance with using those software tools and reviewing their submissions. Such tasks can easily be performed by accounting service providers. Accountants have one in their corners. Maybe software can replace accountants, but not fully.
Accounting software programs aren’t a new concept. It is not the first time it has come up that software can replace accountants. These programs to help carry out bookkeeping and tax preparation tasks have been around for years now. Actually, accountants are themselves playing a major part in suggesting and consulting software application developers to create agile systems that could possibly facilitate them in doing faster and better accounting.
For a business to operate at the highest level and compete favorably in the current space, AI Technology is going to be applied. But even with the use of Artificial Intelligence, an accountant would still be needed to analyze the data provided by the machines.
Here are three things accountants do for their clients that AI cannot.
- Personal Consulting. Artificial Intelligence is made to replicate human learning as it repeats tasks over and over. However, robots will never be able to articulate or replace or even relate on a more personal level with you after going over your books in relation to the business environment and financial behavior. The strategic advice your accountant gives you from reviewing your books can not be substituted by AI Tech. Artificial Intelligence is not able to extract insight from your financials to help you determine the next step for your business, it can only measure data points for a numerical result.
- Finding Incomplete Data. With machines, what you see is what you get. Also, what you feed them is what they work with. They do not have the luxury of going over data to proofread if it is right or wrong. These are errors they aren’t built to catch. Machine learning processes and algorithms that are used in AI are only as useful as the data that is entered. If the data that the software is using is incomplete, biased, or incorrect, the results from the automated software will also be incorrect. This would become a serious problem in the accounting field in areas such as financial statements, payroll, and taxes because no machine is worth losing money. This can only be rectified by using a CPA to check the data.
- Conforming to Legalities. Artificial Intelligence relies on data-extraction to draw conclusions and find results. Therefore, the AI machines such as Siri on your phone can answer simple questions when asked to. However, though the technology is impressive, the machines do not have the ability to draw conclusions based on previous clues and inferences. This will make it difficult or impossible to perform a perfect audit or conform to new and changing tax laws for returns.
Involving the human aspect for your business ensures that both accounting practice and theory are in play. While machines can help with the job, and are even proven to be faster than humans, there is nothing that can replace the relationship with a certified accountant. Your tax returns, payroll orders, and other sheets of data are reviewed from team-member to team-member to make sure you are getting the best results possible. The luxury to go over data to identify bottlenecks is a luxury machines don’t have. Well, yet.
MonkeyPesa Accounting is a new business accounting software tailored for startups, small and medium businesses. It allows you to easily manage the money flowing in and out of your business, on top of managing your customers and invoices, while keeping expenses in check. MonkeyPesa Accounting gives a 30-day free trial after which you can subscribe to the Starter, Standard or Premium Plans according to preference. The MonkeyPesa accounting features include expense tracking, invoicing, automated working.
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