How will artificial intelligence impact accountants?

Artificial intelligence, or AI, is no longer the stuff of science fiction movies. Today, more and more businesses are recognizing the benefits of AI and investing in artificial intelligence capabilities. As opposed to automation, AI uses technology to replicate human behavior and make decisions without human input. AI manifests in myriad ways, from machine learning and robotics to natural language processing and artificial neural networks.

AI is impacting a wide range of industries and is increasingly making its way into accounting technology. The ability to easily and quickly analyze huge quantities of data, enable deeper insights, and empower quick decision making all offer potential for your accounting practice. In addition, AI has the ability to automate many of the repetitive tasks that occur on a daily or weekly basis. Here are some of the ways artificial intelligence will impact accountants.

  1. Help your clients forecast their finances.
    Predictive and forecasting solutions are valuable services your practice can offer. With AI functionality integrated into accounting software, you can provide your clients with extensive and accurate insight into their finances without the hours of data analysis previously required – increasing your value and deepening your relationships.
  2. Handle routine client questions.
    Have you ever wished, during those busy times when every client seems to want your attention, that you had a robot to handle routine inquiries? Artificial intelligence is getting you closer in the form of smart assistants. A smart assistant can be either a scripted bot or a natural language bot. Scripted bots identify key phrases and provide predetermined responses, while natural language bots are better able to respond to natural language queries. Either version can be used to handle routine inquiries, freeing you up to handle more important tasks.
  3. Tag transactions correctly and assign them to the right ledger account.
    With the machine learning that comes with AI technology, your accounting software will learn from previous tagging decisions, then tag transactions based on that learning and assign them to the proper ledger account – reducing a significant portion of your workload.
  4. Identify anomalies.
    Artificial intelligence enables your accounting software to analyze vast quantities of data more quickly than ever, and to spot anomalies that may indicate a problem much sooner so that you can help your client formulate a solution.
  5. Leverage OCR solutions.
    The application of AI to optical character solutions can greatly reduce the human effort required to extract relevant information from documents. Historically, while computers have been able to store the numbers from any document, those numbers were indistinguishable to the computer and required a human to identify where the relevant information was stored. With AI capabilities, the OCR software will be able to both recognize document types and distinguish the various types of data the document contains, allowing the software to extract the necessary data without the need for human interaction.

At MicroAccounting, we offer a broad range of cloud-based accounting and ERP solutions, including Sage 100, that allow you to leverage the benefits of AI. Call us today at 855-876-3773 or email us at [email protected] to find out more.