In the face of the many advancements now in data and technology, it is undeniable that accountants are put in the position to keep up.
The development in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and ChatGPT have revolutionised the accountancy profession by increasing efficiency, accuracy, and the ability to provide valuable insights. Automation has been a notable shift, as routine accounting tasks have become less manual and time-consuming. Accountants now have access to advanced tools that enable them to serve their clients or organisations better by delivering timely and accurate financial information.
“Accountants used to manage mountains of paperwork, manually recording financial transactions, and calculating balances which was a slow and error-prone process. However, the introduction of accounting software like QuickBooks and Excel revolutionised the field. Electronic transactions and real-time reporting became possible, vastly improving accuracy and efficiency,” says Sajid Khan, director in India at the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).
Khan said that the influence of data, technology and AI has been two-fold, as increased efficiency and automation have elevated the accountant's role within the organisations. "Accountants now serve as strategic advisers, offering valuable insights for data-driven decision-making, particularly in financial analysis."
However, this transformation necessitates a commitment to continuous learning and upskilling. "Accountants must adapt to embrace AI to maximise their potential which will help them with promising job prospects,” said Khan.
Meanwhile, upskilling offers several benefits to learners, whether they are current professionals in the field or individuals looking to enter the accounting profession. Learning AI and technology skills in accounting can boost their career prospects, professionals tend to command higher salaries, making them more versatile and adaptable to industry trends.
AI in accountancy is no longer in its nascent stage as many accounting firms and organisations are now actively incorporating AI tools and systems into their operations to improve efficiency and service quality.