The drivers for change in the field of accounting are real. The adoption of new regulations around mandatory audit firm rotation has stimulated competition in the market. The most progressive firms have identified AI capabilities as an important differentiator, but still appreciate that the best practice is a collaborative approach, one that augments human and artificial intelligence. In the same way that the human brain cannot compute hundreds of thousands of data points in a split second, a machine cannot understand the subtle dynamics and context of real-world accounting. In combination, an accountant fuelled by AI-powered data analytics is turbo-charged to make faster, more accurate decisions, while having more time to focus on providing guidance, value and insights.
Although proactive firms are deploying AI to help drive efficiency, reduce risk and increase quality in their compliance processes, there still remains caution in some parts of the market. Implementing AI to augment and support the practitioners in the accountancy world has shown how this technology can benefit the industry, so why is there still hesitancy? It’s a caution that’s driven by myth, misunderstanding and misconception regarding the perceived black-box nature of artificial intelligence. Each is an unnecessary barrier to the progress all companies need to make if they’re to compete in the modern marketplace.
Often the adoption of AI tools remains hamstrung by the idea that they are costly, complex and difficult to implement. The fears are misplaced. The most effective solutions are affordable and accessible. They’re designed to demystify AI and make them intuitive to use. Moreover, as regulators take an increasingly tough stance on audit failures, AI solutions are a long-term investment that can reduce risk, increase efficiencies and improve the quality of financial analysis.
In the age of AI, each company must become a technology company in order to defend and grow their market, including the financial industry. It’s time to forge forward and recognise that accountancy will actually thrive with the rise of artificial intelligence, unearthing more of the risk in financial data, and providing greater assurance than ever before.
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