Nick Sinclair, Founder & Managing Director of TOA Global, and host Liam Martin discussed the changing accounting landscape and how artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the sector in a recent episode of the Future Workforce podcast. This conversation illuminated the fine line that accounting must walk between automation and the essential human touch.
The accounting industry’s continued automation was one of the main topics examined. Cloud accounting in particular is quickly replacing the labor-intensive, traditional tasks that have long been the foundation of the profession. It may surprise you to learn, nevertheless, that despite technology advancements, accountants are now busier than ever before rather than less relevant.
Automation has led to a change in the role of accountants rather than making them useless. The accounting industry has developed into a more strategic one, allowing accountants to shift their attention to higher-value work while technology takes care of the routine parts of their jobs.
The transformation of roles by AI
Intuit’s AI bot is one standout example of how AI has the ability to completely change the accounting sector. With the growing use of artificial intelligence in business, bookkeepers’ and accountants’ duties are likely to change. The major goal is to move team members up the value chain and out of boring duties like data entry. The objective, according to Sinclair, is to increase TOA Global’s accuracy and efficiency by utilizing AI’s natural capabilities.
Though they might not be using AI solutions for individual clients just yet, the company is committed to educating its staff for the upcoming AI wave. The emphasis switches to training, with a focus on equipping team members with the skills they’ll need to effectively use AI technologies when they become available.
The human element in accounting
Throughout the discussion, everyone comes to the painful realization that artificial intelligence (AI) cannot take the position of human accountants in all situations, particularly when it comes to critical duties like information validation and verification, which are especially important to tax-related issues. The reliability and accuracy of financial data still require human participation, despite the development of technology.
Accountants appear to have recession-proof jobs. Their expertise is crucial for managing finances and providing insightful advice during economic booms and crashes. This recurring necessity emphasizes the versatility and continued importance of the accounting profession.
Evolving skill sets
The traditional job of the accountant—who crunches numbers—is changing as new technologies are employed by the accounting profession. Future accountants will need a wider range of talents in addition to their technical expertise, such as soft skills like effective communication, teamwork, and customer service.
According to Nick Sinclair, accounting is not just a numerical profession but also a customer service sector. This change in viewpoint acknowledges the value of effective client relations and communication in a sector that is undergoing significant change.
An outline of TOA Global’s and the accounting industry’s revolutionary journey may be found in the Future Workforce podcast episode featuring Nick Sinclair. As AI changes the world, accountants are positioned at the nexus of technology and tradition, adapting their work to meet the ever-changing needs of the company.
Rather than being threatened with extinction, accountants are reevaluating their profession and viewing AI as a tool to advance their knowledge rather than a threat to their survival. It seems that counting numbers won’t be as crucial to the future of accounting as using technology to add value for clients and the accounting profession overall.
Andy is a technology & marketing leader who has delivered award-winning and world-first experiences.