Will AI replace accountants? 

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To be or not to be replaced by AI

Are you using artificial intelligence? As we see artificial intelligence (AI) more and more in our everyday life, we’re also hearing debates and speculations about its potential to replace traditional professions, including accountants. While AI is indeed transforming the finance industry, the question remains: will it do finance professionals (like me!) out of a job? Afterall, HMRC has already started rolling out their making tax digital, which will sooner rather than later be obligatory for all business owners. In this blog post, I’ll discuss the impact of AI on accounting, discuss the ways in which AI can assist bookkeepers and accountants and give you my view of the future of these professions.

Will AI replace accountants?

AI for accountants

AI is hot on the agenda at every accounting event right now. We’re seeing changes behind the scenes with the software we use, with numerous tasks being automated and much better real-time insights into financial data. This all sounds like really good news indeed. Who doesn’t want to deliver a faster and more accurate service ?

Here are some of the ways AI is reshaping the accounting profession:

Data entry

The biggest change right now is the potential for AI-driven software to simplify data entry by automating processes, reducing or even removing the need for manual data input. This minimises the risk of human error.

Improved accuracy

AI tools can identify discrepancies and inconsistencies and they can also spot patterns in data –  including financial data. AI has the potential to maintain and even improve levels of accuracy, giving us even better insight into your numbers and more opportunity to talk about what matters to you – reaching your financial goals and the power of your numbers to allow you to do that, which leads us to…

Real-time insights

When we spend less time fussing with the accuracy because AI is doing that for us, we can get involved at a deeper level into the insights you need to understand and improve your company’s financial health. This allows you to make informed decisions promptly.

Time efficiency

Automation of routine tasks frees up time for accountants to focus on more complex financial analysis, scenario and strategic planning for your business. This further translates to more profit and more cash for you.

So, will AI replace us ?

You’ll notice that the role of AI as we see it is focussed on speeding up and improving the accuracy of what an accountant would traditionally spend the majority of their time doing. And this is important to remember. I see AI as a valuable assistant, not a replacement. While AI is a transformative force in accounting, it is not poised to replace accountants. Here are a few reasons why:

Human judgment

Accounting often involves subjective decisions and judgment calls that AI simply cannot make. Human professionals will always be important for interpreting financial data, understanding the context within the specific business and having real conversations with you, the business owner.

Relationships

At LAS Accounting Ltd, earning your trust through real communication and relationships matters to us. When it comes to finances, you need somebody on your team to run queries past, and AI can’t replicate that. Data is data, but we’re here to address your concerns, know your goals and help you reach for them.

Adaptability

As humans, we can adapt quickly to unpredictable scenarios. We do it every day on a smaller or on a larger scale, whether we be aware of it or not.  However, AI may struggle to adapt to rapidly changing financial landscapes and handle unique, complex situations.

Security and ethical situations

And this is the big one for me.

As a professional accountant, ensuring compliance with financial regulations, security of data and maintaining ethical standards is crucial. We would never put your data at risk and we’re keeping a constant view of developments of the software we’re using and how they incorporate AI.

AI-based accounting software, when properly developed and implemented, can be highly secure. These accounting softwares often use encryption and other security measures to protect financial data. However, the level of security can vary depending on the software provider and the software configuration. We see this as a risk, and for this reason, at LAS Accounting Ltd we only work with reputable software providers.

This topic is high on the agenda of every accounting event, it’s an area that is moving fast and which we’re watching closely.

One last word

While AI is reshaping the accounting profession by enabling software to automate some tasks and provide better insights into patterns and inaccuracies, AI is not poised to replace accountants. AI should instead be seen as an assistant that will enhance services in the future allowing us to give you better data and insights, but the vital human touch is still crucial.

The future of accounting is certainly a relationship between human expertise and AI innovation, bringing the best of both worlds, but you can rest assured that I’ll always be here.

How can LAS Accounting help you ?

You deserve to know exactly where you stand with your finances. To feel excited about the future, not anxious. We’re here to support your growing business in any way we can. With our pricing method, you can be confident that your accounting is an investment into building the business of your dreams. To start turning those dreams into a reality get in touch with us.

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