May 10 Tech & The Accounting Industry
Automation is changing the way many industries do business. For certain industries, such as the manufacturing sector, it has been and continues to be somewhat easy to predict the rise of machines that can perform certain tasks that were once performed by workers. It has generally been assumed in the past that machines would have the most impact on occupations in which the work was physical in nature. In recent years, however, there has been a growing awareness of automation’s potential to disrupt even those professions that primarily involve mental processes. Even disciplines like engineering are predicted to become increasingly affected by advancements in technology and artificial intelligence. While some predictions focus on the negative implications of workers being displaced by artificial intelligence, many observers point out that in the past, technological advancements have tended to create just as many, if not more, jobs than they have eliminated. As a result, the true measure of how an industry is affected by technology is how able it is to adapt to change.
The accounting industry is one industry that has been affected, perhaps unexpectedly, by technological advancements. Historically, the accounting profession is one that has been versatile and durable enough to withstand centuries of technological change. Here is a look at how recent technological advances have affected the accounting industry and how the industry has responded thus far.
Entering Correct Codes
Many New Jersey accounting professionals and accountants throughout the country are already incorporating machine learning into their work, though at a level that is somewhat subtle. The advent of cloud-based accounting platforms and software is obvious, but the machine learning that helps improve their functionality may be less apparent. When businesses create invoices for services, they assign the proper code to the transaction. Incorrect coding is a common error that accountants correct as they provide financial services for businesses. The latest cloud-based accounting platforms are able to automatically suggest account codes during invoice creation, which significantly reduces the time it takes on the business end and on the accounting end. It also, of course, reduces errors on both ends. Most people are so used to the predictive search feature in Google that they may not even notice the same technology’s presence in accounting software.
Artificial intelligence is also increasing the efficiency of reviewing contracts. This increased efficiency is affecting the legal industry as well as the accounting industry. Lawyers as well as accountants are using platforms that incorporate artificial intelligence to more quickly analyze commercial loan contracts. What used to take thousands of hours for highly-skilled and highly-trained experts to complete is now only taking seconds for machines.
Observers predict that these trends toward automation in the accounting industry will only increase. As more data becomes available for analysis and technology continues to develop, the effectiveness of artificial intelligence to complete these tasks will also increase. As mentioned in the introduction, however, this doesn’t necessarily mean that artificial intelligence will replace accountants. In fact, it may only make it easier for accountants to complete more routine tasks and create time for more complex, innovative thinking.