Chartered Accountants and Artificial Intelligence

CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE


· What is artificial intelligence?

The theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision making, and translation between languages. 

Artificial Intelligence is a technology which is extremely powerful and provides the output which is extremely accurate and sometimes superseding human efforts. In the coming decades, intelligent systems may take over more and more decision making tasks from humans.

· Artificial Intelligence and Technology

So what? Is Artificial Intelligence a part of Technology?? 
If you think deeply Artificial Intelligence is NOT a part of Technology. According to the father of Artificial Intelligence, John McCarthy, Artificial intelligence is a way of making an intelligent system which thinks like a human brain. To learn AI you need to learn about human psychology, human philosophy, neuron science, mathematics, biology, and typical computer science. In contrast to information technology, which is part of computer science where the main focus is concentrated on software-based solution. 

· Artificial Intelligence and Accountants

Accountants have used technology as part and parcel of the profession. Though for some AI and its use in the Finance field is in vogue, Expert system is such an example of Artificial intelligence. Accountants have improved their way of working over a period of time with the assistance of AI.

‘Smacc’ a German-based software firm, uses artificial intelligence to help freelancers, small companies and medium-sized enterprises automate their accounting systems and financial reporting. They received tons of money in this Series - financing from a variety of high-profile venture capitalists and angel investors, and the founders developed the concept after experiencing difficulties with accounting in the initial stages of their own startup company. The clients transmit their receipts, which are then converted into machine-readable form. The receipts are allocated to the proper account after encryption. Over time, the system teaches itself to improve its functions: sales, expenses, invoice management, and liquidity profiles. Use of Artificial Intelligence has definitely improved the decision-making process and with the evolving technology, the same load of work is taking lesser time. 

· Future of AI and Chartered Accountants?

This question has been raised in the past too- Not a day goes without accessing social media where we read an article about artificial intelligence and how it will take your job in the next few years, but these concerns are not new. The same fears were at the forefront of people's minds as factories spread throughout Britain 200 years ago. As it is said Change is permanent- Chartered Accountants can provide much better services than ever with the assistance of AI. The mind-numbing, monotonous minutiae of number crunching in accounting is taken care of, and all that’s left for professionals are to tackle the tasks their cognitive engines are geared for. 

Cloud computing and artificial intelligence are technological advancements that will play supporting roles in this changeover from tools to solutions. Machines have the ability to compute massive amounts of data almost instantaneously, and humans have the ability to spot inconsistencies and exceptions to the rules. The key is pairing them together. Accountants will leverage the computing power of software and AI to help them better manage clients’ financials while providing an accounting and bookkeeping solution.

Technology is never the future on its own. The future is about the ways in which humans can leverage technology to make them better at delivering value in the market in the long term. There are, however, things professionals can do to ensure they also thrive in the short-term. Here are a few ways you can move into the future right now:

· Move everything to the cloud. Big data and the ability to integrate with third-party automation, AI and machine learning will be critical.


· Prepare yourself and your team to provide value-added analysis. 

As automation replaces the mundane pieces of accounting, your role will be to interpret data and communicate it to your clients. We suggest training your team to do this high-value service as soon as possible. With a new focus on technology, analysis and communication, you can move into new markets armed with the ability to best serve the entrepreneurs.

· Scalable Solutions for Millions of New Customers

In addition to spending more time on value-added services, there is a massive benefit to this new reality: We can now empower small business entrepreneurs. The cost of accounting services will drop considerably as automation becomes commonplace. Millions of small business entrepreneurs, who previously could not afford your services, now can and will be able to. They’ll have access to a plethora of high-quality robot-accountants, professionals who have integrated machine technology paired with human intelligence and communication into their firms for maximum value to the customer. Nothing excites me more than empowering small business entrepreneurs to grow their businesses in a way they never could before.


Author:

CA Radhika R Mandhani
Aurangabad

Sources: www.accountingtoday.com; www.balancesmb.com; article of icai and icaew


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