Automation has revolutionized every field of life and brought ease to mankind. Artificial Intelligence has paved the way into our lives, our homes with Amazon Alexa, our phones with Siri, and even into our jobs.
AI and other new technologies have taken millions of jobs worldwide, stripping humans of many opportunities. These advanced technologies have been replacing employees in many workspaces. Employers prefer technology over employees.
Customer service representatives have been replaced by automated voice messages, farmers are traded for autonomous machines, many retail workers were jobless when businesses went online.
It is expected that by 2030, 800 million jobs would be replaced by AI. Many professions are being affected by technology, does Artificial Intelligence affects the accounting field as well?
Can Accountants Be Replaced By AI?
As per a survey conducted by MIT-Boston Consulting Group, 79% of employers believe that technology has helped improve productivity. If we look at it from a different angle, AI does not pose a threat to the accounting field but strengthens it.
These tools help accountants do mundane tasks that take hours in a few minutes leaving them enough time to focus on important things. Tech companies have developed these tools and software for ease of use but it has perpetuated a false debate will AI take over the industry and make accountants jobless.
Things Accountants Do That Technology Can Not
With AI technology, accountants are worried that companies will not see any value in hiring a human force. It is not the case, even with advanced tools, accountants are hired to monitor their work and so many other reasons.
Businesses operating at a higher level, hire both Artificial Intelligence and accountants alike. Even with advanced AI tools, accountants are still needed to analyze data. Following things can not be executed by the AI.
No Robot or AI tool can provide helpful consultation regarding different business decisions. These tools work on data entered which affects their judgment of making the right choice. Only an accountant can give you strategic advice by reviewing the books and knowing your business environment. Sure, AI can measure data points for a numerical result but can not extract insight from the financials to help you determine your next move.
Incorrect or Incomplete Data
Machines rely on humans to some extent. Machine learning processes and algorithms used in AI are only as useful and efficient as the data entered. If the data entered is incorrect, biased, and incomplete, the result from the analysis would also be wrong. When it comes to serious matters like financial statements, payroll, and taxes, most business owners do not like to risk it.
Conforming to Changing Laws
AI relies on data extraction to draw conclusions, perform analysis, and find results. Where there is a reduced risk of loss or for simple tasks AI machines can be relied on. For complicated matters, the ability to draw conclusions based on previous clues and inferences is just not possible for these machines, for instance, audit or changing tax laws for returns.
Are Accountant Jobs At Risk?
Accountants are worried that they will soon be replaced by AI machines and software but this false narrative has been shoved in our minds by some tech companies. It is not true, tools can not replace human beings and the value they bring to their jobs.
These tools are not made with the intent to replace labor but provide ease of use. AI sure has helped in up-leveling accounting but there are some limitations to its use. Any promise to replace accountants with technology is mostly smoke and mirrors when most of the behind-the-scenes work is being performed by the people.
Tools Can Not Replace Hunan Attributes
AI is a creative tool but who brought the creativity to it? Humans, of course. AI has certainly helped with better fraud detection, risk analysis, and lowering the liability risk for accountants but to come to the right decision, human intuition is still required.
Risks with AI
- AI machines are based on mathematical and data-driven calculations and require substantial amounts of data sets to perform different tasks. Small organizations may not have enough data to test AI for accuracy.
- Without accountants working alongside AI, these machines are somewhat useless. They can not solve all problems, human intervention would still be required.
- Machines are adaptable to large volumes of complex data sets and deliver accurate, error-free solutions in a short time. However, most business models do not have the staff with adequate knowledge to operate them.
- In the coming years, AI-powered machines may revolutionize the accounting field and surpass human efforts. Still, human intelligence and technology would go hand in hand to drive accurate results.
In brief, it is better to adapt to changes, add new skills, make room for technology but by no means, technology can overtake everything. It sure helps in making life easier but still human intuition is valued as well.