To stay competitive and differentiate your practice from competitors, you must improve operational efficiencies and transform the way you and your staff interact with clients, answer their questions, and tackle their accounting challenges. Those accountants and CPAs who embrace technology as a means to provide more cost-effective and value-based services for their clients will have a competitive advantage. Here are some ways that using Artificial Intelligence (AI) can benefit your firm.

How AI Is Benefitting The Accounting Industry

To stay competitive and differentiate your practice from competitors, you must improve operational efficiencies and transform the way you and your staff interact with clients, answer their questions, and tackle their accounting challenges. Those accountants and CPAs who embrace technology as a means to provide more cost-effective and value-based services for their clients will have a competitive advantage. Here are some ways that using Artificial Intelligence (AI) can benefit your firm.

What Is AI?

AI is a technology that enables a computer to perform decision-based tasks that were previously conducted by humans. It comes in multiple forms, including machine-based learning. The more you use it, the better it gets at analysis and decision making.

Today’s modern accounting firms are embracing AI technology. It has the ability to speed read documents with server recognition, data capture and natural language processing. Digitization and automation technologies have emerged that streamline internal processes and reduce workloads, so CPAs and auditors can spend more time advising clients and less time with administrative work.

Analytics

Text analytics technology uses AI and natural language processing to extract critical business intelligence required by other systems of record. IT uses machine learning to provide information and insights from large amounts of unstructured data.

Because of this AI improve can improve the overall quality of work. And, it reveals more issues and insights into a client’s fiscal responsibility, and can help you make sense corporate data for reporting.

Automation

Accountants today are replacing repetitive bookkeeping and process-driven tasks, such as data entry and transaction coding with AI technologies like OCR (Optical Character Recognition) and PDF (Portable Document Format) software.

Accountants have been using OCR and PDF software for some time now. It increases business productivity when working with documents, and it makes life easier when converting and comparing documents. You can digitize and manage data without retyping.

OCR converts documents such as scanned paper documents. For example, accountants are using it to scan invoices. OCR allows them to access and modify information that’s locked in paper-based documents and PDFs. They use PDF or images captured by a digital camera into editable and searchable data.

And with custom-designed software, many accountants use tax and audit data-gathering and processing tasks to streamline work processes. Auditors can access AI tools with natural language processing capabilities to interpret thousands of pages of financial information. AI technology can extract key terms and compile and analyze that information. The professional skepticism auditors are trained in will enable them to spot when the analyses are off and to deal with exceptions.

AI Is Changing The Role of Accountants

Smaller accounting firms don’t have the same resources as larger firms to develop and fine-tune their own AI products. But as AI becomes more widely available in coming years, it will become standard practice.

“Now all firms, even small ones, should be thinking about how to adopt advanced technology like artificial intelligence (AI), whether it will be by contracting with specialized technology companies or building their own departments,” said Derek Bang, CPA, CGMA, the chief strategy and innovation officer at Chicago-based Crowe Horwath, one of the largest accounting firms in the United States…”They’re going to have to have a strategy,” Bang said. “You need to start putting some money aside into innovation.”

Higher-value tasks still remain under the control of human accountants. For example, you’ll still need to advise on tax planning, discuss business operations, review client goals and more. As accountants become increasingly responsible for strategic consulting, AI will evolve into higher level tasks that they can benefit from.

Also, the rise of AI will result in creating roles that currently do not exist. For example, many accountants will become business coaches and partners for clients and businesses. In addition, much accounting work may be done remotely, increasing the need for project-based teams. Furthermore, because communication is the most important skill in accounting, the need for promoting soft skills among accountants will create new opportunities. Therefore, accountants need to be ready to learn new skills to stay ahead in the industry.

AI Can Be A Value Driver For Your CPA Firm

As AI continues to change how information is handled, it’s opening up opportunities for dealing with digital data in the accounting landscape. And your clients will also benefit. Their inquiries can be addressed quicker. And, when artificial intelligence technologies are used to reduce workloads, you and your staff can spend more time advising your clients and less time with administrative work. AI technologies are not only time and money savers, but value drivers for CPA firms.

Are You Prepared For What’s Coming In AI?

It’s time to prepare for the changes AI will bring to the accounting industry. CPAs can gain database and IT skills by taking on specialised projects in their workplace, attending seminars, using self-directed learning, or taking classes. Having a solid basis in data management and a high comfort level with new AI technologies will give those who use it a competitive advantage.

For more information about AI technologies for your accounting firm, contact CompuNet Infotech in North Vancouver at (604) 986-8170 or info@compunet.ca.

Did you find this article helpful? If so, we have many more in our Blog. Here are a few to check out:

Will AI Disrupt Accounting Firms In British Columbia?

How Advanced eDiscovery In Microsoft 365 Helps Manage Data

Report: Financial Firms See Alarming 480% Increase In Data Breaches

Author: Joe Martin, Date: 2019-06-06

Compunet InfoTech Inc.

105-135 East 15th Street North Vancouver, BC V7L 2P7 Phone: (604) 986-8170 Email: info@compunet.ca

Managed & Hosted IT Services For Vancouver& Surrounding Areas

Our Services