When Arnold Schwarzenegger first immortalized those words as an AI machine from the future, who would have thought that the accounting industry at large would be affected, and yet here we are. Artificial Intelligence is not just around the corner, it’s here already and making a huge impact. When Arnie said he’ll be back, he meant it!
AI can conjure up visions of a future not yet here, but you’re already using it. It’s easy to think that there’s going to be a day where everything just switches over and suddenly becomes more technological, automatic and makes many accounting jobs redundant. However, more and more, AI technology is creeping into everyday use. Double-entry bookkeeping is technology that has essentially survived for over 500 years in the accounting profession, and it’s only now that we’re starting to see the changes take place to better understand where all those numbers go. 10 years ago there was no such thing as “the cloud”, but now we’re all storing so much in the cloud that soon it’ll be raining data down on us. Remember when your predecessors used to lament the use of computers and having to learn new technology, like computers? Remember when you used to keep Excel spreadsheets as your tool for running reports? Just like the Terminator, technology keeps on coming.
How will the accountants of tomorrow even manage to make a living, and will the accountants of today just creep away into some form on non-existence? There’s a lot of history to go on with how technology improves, integrates and obsoletes entire professions as it marches on year on year, just look at Google, Uber, Apple and Tesla. It’s relentless and unstoppable. The only way to survive is to quickly get on board with changes as they happen and adapt accordingly. Ironically, software in the accounting industry helps you to do that, and the more and more you use it, the more that gets automated and the reliance on you as an accountant becomes less and less. With the advent of block-chain technology and the rise of software going mobile, it’s fast becoming apparent that something has to give. For some it will mean an early retirement or changing of careers, but for others it means a new chapter in their career and a widening of their skillset.
What sort of unstoppable beast have we created for ourselves by utilising the latest in technologies to make out jobs easier, while running from a never-ending threat of obsolesce? The way to overcome is to change, specialise, be proactive and upskill. The worst thing you can do is put your head in the sand and hope it will all blow over, because if you do that, you will be burnt to a cinder and be nothing but ash on the breeze. AI has many benefits, benefits that you can take advantage of and use to ensure the longevity of your career, and businesses will see your real expertise come to the fore. Accounting will be improved upon in many ways, most of which will be by the accountants themselves. We will see improving processes to gain better knowledge and accountants will save businesses money and increase your profitability by becoming analysts and advisors, rather than remaining expensive bookkeepers. You will spend less time entering data, and more time analysing and collating it for your clients who just want to know the results, and not the process of getting there.
AI is coming, and we need to move with it and adapt, change our processes and improve. If you look at AI as being a tool to improve yours and your clients work, rather than a threat, the change will be more meaningful and create less of a burden. Accepting that AI is going to be used extensively is just one step in the process, there will be a lot of questions along the way. Being able to analyse the data that these systems give you will keep you ahead of the curve. Accentis is a technology company thinking into the future. We automate, schedule and enhance the many systems and functionality that are needed by our clients every day, as their processes and requirements change. Accentis can give you the tools to get the most from big data while providing the right kind of service to your clients. Accentis also provides free training on Accentis Enterprise for all accountants, so why not see where else your skills can be put to good use?
Email us today at firstname.lastname@example.org, or give us a call on 07 3256 6875 so we can have a chat, about AI, the Terminator or our free training.
Accentis will be at the Accounting Business Expo this month, so stop by stand B35 for a chat with Charles and Tim.
Adam Schell| Accentis | SEE, KNOW and GROW your business.