Computing is becoming increasingly useful and important in the world of business. All sorts of industries are slowly but surely transitioning to Artificial Intelligence (AI), and many worry that such technologies will find their way into the accounting profession.
So in this article, we will discuss what the future holds for accountants around the world, and how both the human and analytical elements of accountancy work hand-in-hand to provide the best working relationship with customers.
What Will Software Replace?
Accounting software has certainly sped up the process of bookkeeping and generation of financial reports. Before accounting software packages such as Xero and Quickbooks became mainstream, it used to take bookkeepers and accountants hours to fill in spreadsheets and notes for filing reports and sending tax returns.
Software has saved businesses countless hours by automatically handling various accounting tasks, such as bank reconciliations and audit preparations.
Furthermore, accounting software will never make any mistakes in its financial calculations, as long as it is fed non-erroneous data. The same cannot be said for accountants; human error is something that affects the best of us.
How Will This Affect Accountants?
So, we can envision that accounting software and artificial intelligence could replace the more basic, repetitive tasks of accountancy.
After all, computers can carry out the simpler, purely numerical duties of accounting much faster and more efficiently than humans can.
Therefore, accountants in the future will spend fewer hours on manual data entry. Instead, their focus will lie on other aspects of the profession which only humans are capable of in the current age.
The Human Element of Accounting
Accountants who have spent many years on the career path, such as our team at PPS Chartered Accountants, have a certain instinct that comes with experience. We are able to forecast and predict the financial stability and patterns of a business a lot earlier and more reliably than artificial intelligence can.
Proficient accountants can also draw on past experiences with other clients and notice similar patterns in their existing customer base. They can then suggest plans of action for the business to steer clear of financial issues down the line, way before they are perceptible as a potential risk to the client.
Most accounting software packages only have very basic forecasting tools which use simulations. This doesn’t take into consideration the individual characteristics of each business using the tool, so is not as dependable as the keen eye and mind of a human accountant.
In conclusion, software and AI is unlikely to replace accountants any time soon. Yes, it has already started to change the way in which accountants work as well as the main responsibilities that they hold. However, there is a human element to accountancy that AI is still unable to offer in its services.