Artificial intelligence (AI) has come a long way from its (somewhat negative) depiction in popular sci-fi films. Experts are predicting that this revolutionary technology will have a huge impact on all areas of our lives, especially business. For the accounting industry in particular, AI is already bringing change to a variety of processes.
Love it or hate it, AI isn’t going away. So should you be fearful of its future or is it time to embrace change? Let’s discuss the role that AI is likely to play in the accounting industry over the coming years and what it could mean for your small business.
How is AI changing the accounting industry?
The introduction of AI systems such as ChatGPT is significantly changing the accounting landscape – and we’d say for the better. AI technology has the ability to streamline various processes and analyse data, automate repetitive and mundane tasks such as data entry, payroll and bookkeeping, help with tax preparation, improve accuracy and reduce the risk of fraud.
What are the benefits of using AI in accounting?
Understandably many people are concerned about the risk of job redundancy, but there are so many benefits to utilising AI in your accounting procedures. Firstly, its ability to do all of the above frees up your staff so that they have more time to focus on other important or more complex tasks, with one expert suggesting that employee and company productivity could be improved by 40% with the use of AI.
Its ability to analyse data also puts you (or your accountant) in a better position to analyse your financial data and identify potential risks, therefore helping you to make decisions and financial forecasts that are more accurate and better informed, and it gives you the ability to communicate these key decisions in a simpler way.
Whether you hire an external accountant or you have your own accountancy team, being able to automate tasks and reduce human errors could also help to save your business money, potentially giving you the opportunity to invest in other areas of your business.
All of these benefits can make your business more streamlined, efficient and productive, helping you to improve its overall performance and growth strategy, provide a better service to your customers and even improve job satisfaction. Is it time to start utilising AI technology in your small business?
Are there any negatives?
Nothing is perfect, of course, and AI does come with some challenges that need to be considered. There’s likely to be significant up-front costs to integrate AI systems into your business’s processes and you’ll likely find that your team need to up-skill in order to use this technology to your full advantage.
So yes there are some potential challenges that need to be considered, but we think the benefits far outweigh the negatives. It’s likely that nearly all businesses will need to embrace AI at some point in the future – and your competitors may already be doing so!