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Future-proofing Your Accounting Career in the AI-Age

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The Clank of Artificial intelligence (AI) in Accounting

Artificial intelligence (AI) in accounting – an assuring statement, but with a rather negative undertone. Especially if you are an accountant, are going to be an accountant, or are associated with the accounting field in any form. Just as with any other business, the clank of Artificial intelligence (AI) in accounting is getting louder with every passing day. Irrespective of your preferred choice of accounting soundtrack, you cannot ignore the imminent loudening clank of Artificial intelligence (AI). There is no denying the fact that Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming the accounting landscape, perhaps a tad faster than we anticipated. And just as with any growing technology, some people feel threatened by its growing use. If you are one of those, let us tell you, fret not. Artificial intelligence (AI) is not your foe, if not your friend.

Whether you are a fresh graduate with an accounting degree or a seasoned accountant with years of experience, there is nothing to worry about regarding AI. This blog will chart a roadmap for accountants to future-proof their accounting careers in the AI age. So, instead of covering your ears for the growing clank of artificial intelligence in accounting, embracing the symphony of technology and human ingenuity creates a beautiful harmony for the future. Now, let us give you some easy steps that will help you future-proof your accounting career in the AI-age.

Understanding The Role of AI in Accounting

Before we dive deep into the roadmap for future-proofing your accounting career in the AI age, it’s imperative to understand the role of AI in accounting. For all the negative literature surrounding AI stealing the jobs of accountants or, worse, making accountants obsolete, there is no denying that AI is here to stay. So, instead of looking at it as a foe, let’s embrace the change and learn how AI can help you eliminate your daily drudgery. As of now, the widespread use of AI in accounting revolves around –

  • Automation – Automating manual tasks such as data entry, account reconciliation, financial analysis, Etc.
  • Fraud Detection – Artificial Intelligence algorithms can easily be trained to identify, recognize, and flag an anomaly in financial data, which can be a fraudulent activity.
  • Improved Customer Experience – AI-powered chatbots are a great way to address customer queries without human intervention and offer a better overall customer experience.
  • Improving Accuracy & Efficiency – AI-powered tools can analyze vast chunks of data with great accuracy and reduced time, making them a perfect replacement for humans for enhancing accuracy and efficiency.

While these are predominantly the areas where AI has made significant progress in the accounting landscape, we are seeing a great deal of progress in harnessing AI for ethical decision making, data quality management, data security, and other compliance related issues as well. As AI continue to spread its wings as a technology and reshape the accounting landscape, as accounting professionals the onus is upon us to acquire the necessary skills and know-how to stay ahead and stay relevant in the age of AI.

So, here’s the roadmap for accountants, new and seasoned both, to future-proof their career in the AI age.

The Path To Future-Proofing Your Accounting Career in AI Age

Contrary to the cinematic depiction of the rise of AI, there will not be a robot sitting at your desk at the break of the dawn, at least not in the foreseeable future. In reality, it’s less of replacement and more of transformation. We are already seeing AI automating several of our labor-intensive tasks, which is a clear hint for the accountants: it’s time to take up more value-adding and strategic roles instead of mundane ones.

If you are thinking about shifting your accounting career by the technological change happening all around you, here is the clear path for you:

Upskilling Is the Key to Success

While the mundane and labor-intensive tasks have already been assigned to AI, there still are many fields where skilled accountants can make an impact.

  • Master Data Analytics: The increase in data analytics in accounting will need accountants with proficiency in effectively using the data analytics tool and using the insights for charting a growth path. Accountants can master data analytics tools such as Tableau, Power BI, QlikView, Snowflake, Etc. Along with data visualization skills to master data analytics.
  • Time to Be Tech Savvy: No matter how much you love your spreadsheets, it’s time to move away from them in favor of newer and more efficient accounting software. Get accustomed to all the leading accounting software and AI-powered accounting tools, along with being the advocate of their integration at your workplace. This will place you as a torchbearer of change for good in your organization.
  • Broaden Your Horizon: You’ve been enjoying the fruits of your labor in the accounting landscape. Perhaps it’s time to look beyond the “traditional accounting space.” Try your hands in business strategy, marketing, and even operations.

Capitalize on the Skills That Will Remain In Demand

Despite the advent of AI-powered tools and software, there will still be some skills that will remain in demand in the future. Some of these skills include –

  • Financial Forecasting & Analysis: Using the insights gained from analyzing vast data sets, we will need human intelligence to put them to support business growth. Thus, making financial forecasting and analysis is a timeless skill to have.
  • Tax Expertise: The vast and volatile nature of tax laws and regulations makes it hard to rely entirely on a piece of technology to get it right every time. Especially when considering the associated penalties, there will always be a need and demand for tax experts, both on personal and corporate levels.
  • Financial Compliance: The stringent regulatory requirements associated with the financial field make it rather complex and delicate to ultimately assign it to an algorithm. Thus, a professional who can enforce and ensure financial compliance for the organization will always be in need.

Empathy is a Human Thing

Despite the tech-heavy nature of the modern accounting landscape, certain aspects/functions still need a human touch. Master skills and traits, particularly human traits such as empathy, can help you extensively prepare and be relevant in the AI age. Some of those skills that you can master include –

  • Problem-Solving Ability: While AI is an excellent tool for accurate number crunching, you need human judgment to solve problems requiring the ability to analyze and assess situations.
  • Communication Skills: For all its advancements, AI has a long way to go before it can attain human articulation and verbosity. Excellent communication skills can be a great asset as you establish rapport with coworkers and clients.
  • Human Ethics: Human ethics differentiates a great leader from a mediocre one. While AI is making a significant splash in the accounting landscape, it’s the leaders with great human ethics who can guide the folks responsible for implementing AI to ensure that there are no biases or negligence of any sort.

Concluding Arguments

For all its advancements, AI or the tools based on it, still are trying to emulate humans on all fronts – speech, creativity, problem solving, etc. The good news is that machines have a long way to go, before they can be human-like. That being said, it’s advisable to see this as the beginning of a fruitful partnership between humans and machines as opposed to “one trying to replace/better the other.” It’s the right way forward, and perhaps the only way forward. So, if you are looking to future proof your accounting career in the AI age, you need to hone the skills that AI or any machine is striving to emulate, rest everything will be taken care on its own. If you need help getting started in the AI powered accounting landscape, we have a rich ecosystem to help you get started. Just write in to us at marketing@datamaticsbpm.com and we will have our experts reach out to you in a jiffy.

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