Technology advancement has taken the front seat in the past decade. From medicine to processing and now accounting and finance. Cloud technology was the biggest leap that introduced the possibility of huge advancement in future.

The start of the Covid-19 pandemic fast-tracked the adaptation of technology and remote working. Which meant that there was very little to no contact with clients or paperwork. Many accountants were forced by the pandemic to move to cloud accounting.

Proven to work great and reduce the time spent collecting data manually, cloud accounting software is the most loved tool used by accountants.

ACCA conducted research to simplify what automation is and what it will mean for the accounting industry. The image below clarifies what artificial intelligence means to the industry versus what people thought it would mean.

The research also included a classification of 7 Robotic Skills (groups of common skills) that can drive the automation of what traditionally has relied upon human skills and manual effort alone:

It is now clear that AI is here to enhance the profession in a way that will benefit any accounting and finance professional.

In an interview with QuickBooks’ head of sales and marketing, Amanda Newton simplified what AI was bringing to the industry and how it will simplify the lives of accounting professionals and business owners

“One big issue that I see fit to address first is the fear that accountants have for AI. I can assure accountants and mostly small businesses, that AI is going to be your best friend than an enemy. It will simplify your processes, giving you real-time data and allow you time to focus on the things that matter most which are focusing on being an advisor and building good relationships with your client.”

She emphasised the need for AI to automate the repeated processes that accountants go through regularly, she said that the system will learn the repeated tasks, recognising investments and data that is constant. “Most importantly, the system will also be able to predict future transactions and learn your client data, that is one thing every business needs.”

AI is bringing efficiency and more time into the hands of accounting professionals, as a business owner, you can now focus on growing your business instead of working in your business. You will be present in the most needed decision making, processes and strategy, bringing change and growth to your business.

In a closing statement, Amanda highlighted the known difficulties faced by the accounting and finance profession due to the pandemic, the need for accuracy and the value it brings for small businesses. She encouraged the use of cloud accounting software like QuickBooks online and it is the first step to changing for the better.

As more research and processes are being conducted to suit the needs of accountants, there is certainty that artificial intelligence is going to help you grow your business and allow more time for you to focus on building your clientele. You can learn more about the trends in accounting influenced by technology here.