The State of Accounting Automation
The world of accountancy is increasingly using automation processes. Accounting automation can boost efficiency, so it is no wonder these technologies are being used more and more in the accounting profession throughout the world. If you are an accounting professional, you need to be aware of the latest accounting automation technologies and be prepared for the fast-changing future.
Will automation negatively impact accountancy jobs?
The most respected accountants in the industry are Certified Public Accountants. They are highly qualified, as to become a CPA, one must study exam review courses to pass the CPA examination. But with accounting automation becoming increasingly popular, flesh-and-blood accountants will not be needed as much in years to come. In fact, according to a research paper by Carl Frey and Michael Osborne, 47% of job categories could become automated in the next couple of decades. According to the research, accountants, and auditors, along with telemarketers, are top of the list for roles that could become the most threatened.
There are already plenty of innovative tools that accountants regularly use, such as accounting and invoicing software like ZipBooks, which offers the lowest rates in the industry for accountants. But accounting tools have developed far beyond accounting software products, and they look to develop even more in years to come. If you work in a finance role, such as accountant, auditor, or budget analyst, you need to be aware of the latest accounting automation technology being used in the finance sector.
Types of Accounting Automation Technology
Technologies such as cloud computing, virtual reality, and software robots are already transforming the accountancy profession, and the future will undoubtedly see many more automation applications and technologies being utilized. Here are some of the leading automation technologies that are presently being used.
Robotic Process Automation
RPA concerns automating repetitive tasks. Modern RPA tools like Blue Prism and Kofax are very powerful and can be used to automate all sorts of complex processes.
AI is a long way from looking like the representations in sci-fi movies. But at the same time, AI is increasingly being used in a wide variety of industries, including accounting. Today, AI focuses on machines mimicking human decision-making and executing tasks in human ways. For instance, many financial companies use AI processes to detect fraud.
ML is similar to AI. It enables software to edit itself via continually improving without the need for human intervention. The software does that by analyzing vast amounts of data, identifying patterns, and using those findings to improve performance. Basically, ML allows machines to learn and adapt over time.
Natural Language Processing
NLP turns documents and speech into structured data, which enables computers to write or speak in a way that sounds natural. Essentially, NLP is bridging the gap between human and machine communication.
Accounting Automation Tasks
Accounting automation is taking on some of the tasks previously performed by accountants. Some of the key accounting tasks automation will likely affect in the coming years include the following.
Any task that involves following an algorithm, such as depreciation calculations, can become automated using Robotic Process Automation tools.
Natural Language Processing allows the computerization of various customer and accountant interactions, from contract preparation to chatbots.
Strategic thinking requires analysis, and in that area, AI excels. But strategic thinking also requires creativity, which still requires humans at present. In years to come, the area of strategy could be dominated by symbiotic computing, which is the process of AI and humans working together as equal partners to create the best results.