Q: What is artificial intelligence and how could it impact my outside accounting-related functions in the future?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is no longer just the stuff in Hollywood movies. With recent advancements in technology, computer systems are able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making and translation between languages.
AI has recently started to develop in the audit, tax and accounting world, but it likely won’t be the predominant way tasks are done in the immediate future. Like any technology, there are pros and cons. With the use of AI, you many see increased speeds of task completion, reduced costs, and more analytical tools that management and outside advisors can use to increase profitability.
However, there will be a downside to implementing AI in the accounting realm – at least for a while. There will need to be a shift in the role your accountant plays. Today’s current accounting professional will have to become much more proficient in understanding and communicating the new information produced by AI. Although it will present challenges, as AI gets implemented into your businesses’ accounting engagements it will also provide large opportunities to give your business the competitive edge it needs to maximize its profitability market share.
Patrick Fuelling, CPA, is a Shareholder at Doeren Mayhew. With nearly 25 years’ experience in public accounting, Patrick focuses on specialized audit services, as well as internal controls, fraud analysis, succession planning and a variety of accounting services for his clients.