Artificial intelligence software – is it wise to put your books in the hands of AI?

Martyn Thorp

Will AI replace accountants? No! It’s highly unlikely for AI to replace the need for your friendly neighbourhood accountant, although it does have a huge impact in the accounting and finance world.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is dramatically changing our world. In many ways, it has already become part of the fabric of modern life. Voice assistants like Siri and Alexa, search engines like Google and Bing and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter all use forms of artificial intelligence to process and deliver information.

Over the last few years, AI has made a big impact on the world of accounting. As technology continues to improve and more practices embrace remote working, this trend only looks set to continue. 

Because of its ability to process and interpret data with increasing speed and accuracy, AI can handle many time-consuming admin tasks for accountants and bookkeepers. For example, FreeAgent uses machine learning to automatically identify and explain bank transactions as they are imported from your clients’ bank feeds. This enables your accountant to spend more time in other areas, such as providing their clients with strategic advice and insight.

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However, there is something that AI doesn’t currently have the ability to do. Account for human error. AI is run by code and must follow a framework designed by a developer. There are multiple practices that have been perfected over many years by human accountants that make the fight a little unfair for AI. While AI can free up time for accountancy firms by removing the more traditional time consuming tasks like data entry or an audit, it cannot offer the more holistic financial consulting accountants can. But this isn’t a chess game or a boxing match between the two, it is actually an eye opening insight into how accountants can use AI software to provide their clients a faster and more efficient approach to their finances, making accountancy practices now more cost effective and accurate.

In short, will AI replace accountants? No, but by working work together, they can become a superpower that will help your business in ways you couldn’t possibly imagine.

If you need help with your business accounts, or you want some forward thinking financial guidance, get in touch with us today and come by the office for a chat.