The topic seems to strike fear in the hearts of employees in every industry: artificially intelligent, robots, automated systems and the threat of them taking over the world. But not every industry is dreading their presence.
With the annual tax season in full swing, accountants couldn’t be happier with the thought of automation. Accounting and tax preparation is by its very nature, repetitive work. Once the differing figures are taken into account, the procedures are pretty much standard.
Big Thumbs Up for Automated Accounting Systems
A global independent survey of 700 accountants by Sage, a cloud accounting provider, revealed that systems automation is welcomed and considered a strategic asset to their business. The company’s full 2017 Practice of Now Report is available here.
According to the report, a whopping 96 percent of those surveyed are positive about the role that automation will play in their day-to-day process.
The ability to get rid of a frustration, “number-crunching”, while freeing up time to focus on client acquisition is a great thing. Automated accounting systems allow firms to increase their scope of services, providing their clients with a broader range of financial services.
The combination of a highly accurate automated system and a human-driven service is something every accounting office is eager to implement. Ultimately this type of hybrid system means growth and more meaningful client relationships.
“89 percent of U.S. accountants view automating data entry and reporting as a way to create more value add service for clients.” The Practice Of Now – Sage (LON:SGE)
Accounting Efficiency and Security Concerns
Automated document processing and especially document transfer may carry an inherent risk although this practice is already in place. The automation and digitization of documents is by far more secure than their manual counterparts.
AI driven automation eliminates human error while increasing speed beyond the capabilities of a human accountant. It’s safe to say that automation provides a measurable increase in security and efficiency for accountants: factors that will increase the bottom line during tax seasons.
An Automated and More Profitable Tax Season
A looming deadline, coupled with not enough hours in the day is a hectic recipe. By freeing up an accountants workload, artificial intelligence has the potential to take the pain out of tax season.
The unbillable hours of shuffling papers and manual work increases during tax season and detracts from the bottom line of the accounting business. By drastically cutting the amount of time required to process returns, accountants are able to take on more clients and in turn, increase their profitability.
What automation promises is less time calculating figures and filling in spreadsheets and more time providing insight and consultancy based services.
“In an industry moving towards automation, 99 percent of U.S. accountants surveyed voiced confidence about the future of accountancy and your role in it, while 58 percent see their role becoming more strategic and allow them to provide more financial advice to customers.” The Practice Of Now – Sage
The Future of Accounting
It’s no longer enough for accountants to just “do taxes.” CPA’s are continuously held to a higher level of expectations and clients are demanding a greater level of service.
Intelligent automated accounting systems provide firms with a technology-driven component that allows them to keep pace with the market and stay relevant. It’s for these very reasons that accountants are welcoming AI with open arms.
Accounting Photo via Shutterstock