AI Disrupting the Accounting Industry

Artificial Intelligence (AI) the software poised to automate many of the finance and accounting functions now handled by human beings. AI, a software that can automatically draw conclusions, forecasts, make decisions and recommendations based on large amounts of data quickly and without human intervention. The amount of data AI software can analyze cannot be matched with human manpower.

How will it impact the accounting profession?

According to a recent  article in Accounting Today, the first area to be impacted may be Auditing. AI, machine learning will reduce the need for auditors to do sampling. AI has the ability to check every transaction in the system for inconsistent, risk adverse patterns.  The technology gives auditing firms the ability to really provide a value-added service to their clients. Although, the need for the auditors of today may subside, there will be a need for auditors with extensive business analytical and cognitive skills.

AI shouldn’t be viewed as a threat to the accounting profession but more of an opportunity to provide advanced services to clientele. KPMG, one of the Big Four, partnered with IBM Watson to develop and incorporated AI into its professional services. The Maryland Association of CPAs are forging new paths by working with IBM to train their accountants in AI technology and cognitive computing skills. EY and PWC are taking part in a pilot program using drones with AI and image recognition to automate auditing tasks that once was tasked to junior accountants such as scouring warehouse for physical inventory counts as part of the audit. The advances and opportunities are massive.

More technology companies are incorporating this technology into their future plans. Sage Intacct’s Senior Vice President and Head of Engineering and Technology, Aaron Harris, announced in October at the annual Sage Intacct Advantage Conference, their vision for incorporating Pacioli (AI) within the Sage Intacct Platform. While the completion of the AI integration is in the future, Sage Intacct’s first step in achieving the vision began with the introduction of Intacct Collaborate, a useful tool that allows finance users to have live conversations about transactions including invoices, journal entries, purchase requisitions, projects and more. Pacioli is the future for constant auditing in the Sage Intacct platform. Imagine having an accounting ERP solution that audits every transaction as it’s posted for anomalies versus that once a year or every other year audit.

AI is changing the future of accounting. Interested in learning more about an AI and Sage Intacct, contact us.