According to a study by Oxford University and Deloitte in 2015, accountants will be among the first professions affected by the rise of artificial intelligence (AI). Up to 95 percent of accountants will face some threat due to the advanced automation capabilities provided by AI. While this is categorized initially as a "threat," it also opens the door to a new kind of accountant. The modern accountant does much more than crunch numbers. In fact, in the future, AI might do most of the number-crunching.
Sage, a market leader in cloud accounting software, today announced the results of a new global survey of 700 accountants which shows that attitudes towards automation within the accounting profession are changing as the benefits become clear -- signaling a new era for the accounting practice. The'Practice of Now' report, conducted for Sage by independent research company Viga, reveals that 96% of those surveyed are confident about the future of accountancy and their role in it, despite 68% seeing their role changing through automation in the future. "Technological change can be divisive -- some are quick to adopt while others are more hesitant. This research shows that the majority of accountants see the empowering opportunity that automation can create and how it will free up more of their time so they can focus on their practice and their clients," said Jennifer Warawa, EVP Product Marketing, Sage. "As artificial intelligence and bots become progressively more intuitive, there is even greater potential for a future of invisible admin to help accountants focus on more strategic areas of their business.
Artificial intelligence has already begun to impact on our everyday lives and the technological revolution we are witnessing is set to transform the accounting profession – and the relationship between accountants and SMEs. That changing relationship will benefit accountants and businesses, heralding new ways of working and putting our service and knowledge at the heart of business development and strategy for the good of SMEs and the wider economy. There is no doubt that we are on a journey that is going in only one direction. Sophisticated accounting software and systems will change our role as artificial intelligence (AI), smart machine learning and increased automation takes over traditional accountancy roles such as bookkeeping and data entry. And the direction we are heading is already being well signposted.
Artificial intelligence is no longer the stuff of science fiction and Hollywood movies. So many works of film and fiction are hooked on the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and what it might mean for humanity. They are often apocalyptic tales – Blade Runner, Alien, Terminator – where mankind comes off badly. But now that AI is being spearheaded by internet giants such as Google, Microsoft and Amazon, and our daily lives are increasingly affected by AI systems – chat bots, purchase prediction, news generation – what will really happen? In 2015 the UK media widely picked up on American media organisation NPR's calculator that could predict which jobs are susceptible to computerisation.