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What does AI have to do with finance?

The world is changing and technology is at the heart of that evolution. Here, we explore the intersection between finance and AI, and question how the two can work together.

As with previous industrial revolutions, the fourth industrial revolution is beginning to transform the way we live, work and spend our leisure time. The difference this time is that the pace is more accelerated.

Admittedly, the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) tools in accountancy is in its nascent stage, but developments are happening fast. Firms, large and small, are at different stages of using AI, though many are already well advanced in using AI systems in certain service lines like audit. AI tools in audit can now do the job of 30 accountants in a quarter of the time and with greater accuracy.

That creates huge opportunities for accountants to move away from the more mundane side of the job, leaving that to the machines. Instead, humans can focus on analysing the data to improve decision-making and providing advice to business leaders.

It’s vital accountants embrace change in order to benefit from this revolutionary journey. Finance professionals should be looking at what skills they need to gain to move up the value chain. Crucially though, humans will be critical in training, managing and guiding the machines. But this means the accountancy profession of the future must know and understand how and where AI works and where it doesn’t.

One area where accountants are expert is in setting standards and providing assurance around the quality and governance of data. We don’t yet know the full extent of what AI can do for the accountancy profession and the wider world. We are all in learning mode. What is critical though is that humans remain in charge of the machines and that AI makes our lives easier. Accountants are well-placed to set those benchmarks and to establish trust in the data – which is an area where executives remain cautious.

We want to encourage wider debate about the long-term opportunities and challenges for the profession that AI poses. You might also like to read our other related articles: