The emergence of digitalization has led to machines swiftly taking over tasks traditionally done by humans, making rooms for humans to focus on higher-order jobs or new ones that need a new set of skills. Primary artificial intelligence or AI technologies, including natural language processing, computer vision, and speech recognition, help organizations enhance efficiency and procure insights for more competitive client and talent approaches. They also enable accounting functions to play a more strategic role.
A survey conducted by EY found that almost three-quarters of finance leaders across the globe believed that AI would provide a significant impact on the way finance approaches data-driven insight. Over the years, establishments have been using AI with other technologies, including robotic process automation, to automate various mundane tasks performed by the accountants, allowing them to focus on other high-value and high-impact tasks. A recent study, entitled Redefining the Finance Function with Job Redesign, also found that within the next three to five years, technology will moderately to highly change more than half of the eleven finance roles selected for the study, with the share of accounting tasks performed by machines to surge to at least eighty per cent during the period. Machines will likely take over those in the two most junior roles, whereas the most senior roles may be least affected.
Computers Become Cheaper and Faster
Back when the promotion of artificial intelligence was primarily manifested in science fiction TV shows and films, its large-scale implementation cost made it unworkable and infeasible. However, with rapid technological advancement, the availability of powerful yet affordable machines have opened the doors to exponential computing power growth.
Improved computing power also drastically enhanced processing speed; tasks that need weeks to process ten years ago can now be completed within minutes. The affordability, speed and portability make AI more readily available today for adoption and implementation by businesses.
More Accessible and Customisable Algorithms
Like computing power, AI is evolving and expanding rapidly, with the algorithms for solving different accounting problems becoming increasingly sophisticated. Open-source languages like Python and R make it easy to access these AI tools through programming interfaces. With R and Python’s advent, developers now have a plethora of libraries to help them work with AI algorithms. These include GitHub for finding relevant information on communities that may aid in their coding endeavours, as well as Stack Overflow, where they can ask questions from experts who are more knowledgeable about programming languages.
Gateway Technologies that Ushered in AI Adoption
Cloud computing is a revolutionary practice that will change the way people do business in the future. The cloud now has networks of remote servers and devices on which companies can store their data, rather than relying solely on physical limitations such as hardware or device storage space. By migrating to this platform, companies no longer have to worry about being bogged down by these limits when running operations because everything’s hosted remotely.
AI and ML services are letting companies automate processes to create custom-made solutions faster than ever before. RPA or robotic process automation is another form of automation where software robots work to solve complicated problems for businesses at lightning speed without any errors or delays, allowing them to grow exponentially in a fraction of the time it would take with human employees. One of its main functions is a technology application that enables personnel to configure software robots to apprehend and interpret transaction processing applications.
In recent years, RPA has evolved into an effective tool that can be programmed to automate repetitive tasks in accounting such as data entry or reconciliation activities on behalf of accountants.
The Capability of an AI to Analyse New Sets of Data
Structured data was previously the only kind that could be used for analytics, ML and AI. However, big data storage systems can now store all kinds of unstructured information, such as text files, images and video recordings, which were thought to be unusable in the past.
AI Limitations and Solutions
Although AI may seem like a limitless source of possibilities, there are limits to what AI can accomplish now, and it is critical to incorporate human skills and knowledge with these technologies. While AI systems can mimic the cognitive ability for learning and understanding patterns that humans have, they cannot yet replicate intuition or logical reasoning, which works well in complex and ambiguous situations just as humans do.
Hence, as the adoption of AI and other similar technologies becomes more widespread, accounting firms in Singapore should train accountants with technology skill-sets and a deep understanding of the accounting and business context surrounding data and insights taken from the data.
Artificial intelligence is the future of accounting automation, and it provides a way for companies to save time and money through machine learning. Therefore, the next generation accountants and Singapore accounting services provider should not only have sound accounting knowledge but also need to be proficient in accounting technologies, including AI.