For both in-house accountants and outsourced professionals, today’s accounting environment can feel fragmented, chaotic, labor-intensive, and overly tactical. Financial leaders understand the importance of technology and AI to solving these problems and understand that technology is essential to the future of business. But despite the pressure to right-size internal functions, scale services, and automate business processes, he also recognizes two fundamental barriers to success.
First, many downstream accounting technology solutions are not ready for full automation or AI-powered transactions. These products rely on outdated structures that rely heavily on manual processes and struggle to “patch” new solutions to outdated software that was not built to support new technology. Second, it’s important that the business clients you work with understand that people remain critical to the nuanced day-to-day decisions that must be made in every financial role. And more importantly, talent is essential to determining the strategic direction of the accounting function.
Businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, need more modern and efficient accounting functions that take these factors into account. To close the gap, successful accounting services for the next generation of business owners must offer a combination of the following technologies: and A people-led approach. Because while more companies can and should adopt a technology-centric approach to accounting services, technology alone will never replace the need for physical humans.
Technology provides a big boost
Historically, technology has provided accountants with benefits such as automating repetitive tasks, providing data analysis and processing capabilities, and reducing human error.
The potential of AI is huge.according to
However, Thomson Reuters, in a June 2023 article,
Technology has its limits
AI is still a long way from taking over the world of accounting. No matter how fast and efficiently AI and machine learning can perform standard transactions, technology solutions cannot replace humans. That’s because machines are not yet able to interpret non-standard situations, deal with algorithmic biases, or apply the judgment needed to make complex decisions.
Only accounting professionals can leverage professional judgment, build relationships, think strategically, and convey nuance beyond data on a page.
The human element is also essential to bridging the gap between legacy systems and new technologies. For example, the collaboration and integration required to move and interpret data across multiple systems and product teams that don’t necessarily “speak the same language” can only occur through real human interaction.
embrace a growth mindset
The benefits of a technologically advanced approach are clear. Technology simplifies processes, identifies trends, and helps predict. Don’t ignore it. As financial activities become more streamlined and automated, accounting professionals can better enhance their roles and make clear, informed business decisions. As they move away from more mundane tasks and streamline processes, accounting professionals can play a more strategic role in driving a company’s success.
But the AI landscape is also rapidly evolving. As available technology improves, accountants must adapt and be willing to accept new solutions. This requires continuous monitoring of the situation and commitment to improving skills as needed. Technology and AI are improving nearly every aspect of accounting, from bookkeeping to tax reporting, forecasting, payroll, and more. The pace and amount of change can be overwhelming. But with the right talent in place and a continued focus on technology opportunities, accountants and the companies they work with can reap the benefits of his AI revolution.