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How do you prepare your accounting firm for artificial intelligence?

With artificial intelligence and automation of tasks becoming increasingly present in the accounting industry, some professionals unaware of the benefits see it as a threat. However, various studies have shown that AI should be seen as an opportunity in the industry. Within its many benefits, AI allows professionals to better their productivity, responsiveness, save time and improve communication with their customers.

 

AI, a learning machine in the automation of accounting tasks

 

In its early stages, accounting AI was complex and required so much data to be manually inputted that using it would result in a waste of time. Nowadays, through its evolution and many innovations, AI has become more efficient for accountants than thought possible. It is now able to adapt its functionalities based on the firm, the client, and the ever-changing regulations the industry faces. Current accounting AI optimises a firm's workflow and allows its users to save time and concentrate on more important tasks.

 

Make AI appear as a help and not a threat

 

Bookkeeping and auditing are the most common tasks to be undertaken by accountants. With AI being able to automate these tasks, it is essential for employees to understand that it isn’t intended to replace them and that they can benefit from its assistance. By automating certain repetitive and time-consuming tasks, employees will be able to focus on other aspects of their job that they might further enjoy.

 

Dematerialisation and document collection

 

Whether you have an employee dedicated to data entry or each employee takes care of their own clients, collecting administrative documents can be very time-consuming. Getting clients to send their financial documents over by email or through certain software, completely streamlines the process. 

 

Preparation of accounting records

 

Artificial intelligence requires a strong customer/supplier identification system to function properly. In the initial/learning stages, it is imperative that the information fed into the system is correct in order to allow the AI to function properly long term. The input of incorrect or incomplete information will stall the development of the AI and also require human interaction to fix the mistakes.

 

Plan a pilot phase for the implementation of AI

 

On average, it takes a human 6 to 12 to fully adapt to new working habits, whereas improvements with AI can be seen in just 3 months.

 

A learning phase is therefore necessary, to do so, it is recommended to input data from your most detailed client profiles, also clients who are open to change and using new software themselves.

 

If you do not have a member of staff fully trained in the particular software, it is also recommended to hire a specialist to ensure a smooth transition.

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