How Will Automation and Artificial Intelligence Affect the Accounting Industry The Lions Pride, Volume 14

artificial intelligence in accounting and finance

Thus, artificial intelligence (AI) in financial accounting is often applied only in pilot projects. Using AI-based forecasts in accounting enables proactive management and detailed analysis. However, thus far, there is little knowledge about which prediction models have already been evaluated for accounting problems. Given this lack of research, our study aims to summarize existing findings on how AI is used for forecasting purposes in financial accounting. Therefore, the authors aim to provide a comprehensive overview and agenda for future researchers to gain more generalizable knowledge. AI accounting software refers to applications that use artificial intelligence (AI) technology to automate various accounting tasks.

artificial intelligence in accounting and finance

NLP and traditional ML are mature, providing a strong technology readiness score. The adoption profile is also strong due to a high potential for disruption and a mix of stable data from semi-structured forms and data. Interviews conducted by Forrester suggest that artificial intelligence (AI) has not yet helped transform finance, yet it is advancing rapidly in some areas. So, AI technologies can make our lives more convenient and easy, but there will always be a need for people to control, advance, and guide the machines where they need to go. It is a common dilemma that financial automation will replace humans with robots, which is not true.

Four areas where AI in finance and accounting needs further development

With the proper training and approach, accountants can leverage AI to take their accounting practice to the next level. However, it’s important to note that while AI can assist accountants, it will only replace them partially. Accountants still need to apply their expertise and judgment to interpret the results generated by AI systems and make informed decisions. Additionally, ensuring that the AI systems used for accounting are secure, reliable, and comply with ethical standards is essential.

artificial intelligence in accounting and finance

Best of all, machine learning allows the system to remain flexible, adapting to new patterns and trends to avoid future conditions that relate to fraud. And if the same fraud attempts are made over time, the system can provide guidance on how to improve cybersecurity to prevent future threats. AI-based platforms can monitor your financial transactions and compare each to historic data. When a transaction occurs that deviates from previous patterns, the system can flag it for suspicious activity. As a result, organizations can identify suspicious activity and fraud attempts in real-time. Technology—including artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML)—will play a significant role in helping finance leaders retain talent, achieve accounting automation, and create value for the enterprise.

Challenges of Adopting AI in Accounting

It helps them to easily establish the scope of the audit and carry out a risk assessment. Robotic process automation and analytics facilitate tracking records for the audit of routine transactions. Cognitive computing, AI and predictive analytics help with more complex and non-routine transactions that require estimates and judgments. Traditionally, invoice processing has been one of the most time and cost consuming jobs done manually in any firm.

What problems can AI solve in finance?

Credit risk as well as environmental measurement and reporting are areas of significant concern to financial institutions, and artificial intelligence (AI) can play a major role in improving efficiencies and outcomes in these areas from a finance technology (FinTech) perspective.

Begin by implementing accounting AI in a small area of the business and gradually scale up as the technology is refined and employees become more familiar with its use. This approach will help businesses minimize risks and maximize the benefits of accounting AI. Predictive analytics can be used to forecast cash flows, which is critical for businesses to manage their working capital and make investment decisions. Therefore, CPAs are still essential for decision-making and complex accounting tasks that require human oversight and maintenance to ensure accuracy and ethical use. Artificial intelligence (AI) can perform various tasks related to accounting, such as data entry, analysis, and report generation. We are in the process of writing and adding new material (compact eBooks) exclusively available to our members, and written in simple English, by world leading experts in AI, data science, and machine learning.

AI and Accounting

Even though accounting is a traditional field with a long history, it has been subject to rapid changes in the past years that come along with the digital age (Berikol and Killi, 2021). In contrast to finance, which focuses on capital management, accounting uses transactional and imputed values to provide a true and fair view of companies’ assets, finances and income. While management accounting provides information to internal stakeholders, financial accounting provides information to external stakeholders (Penman, 2013). However, as harmonization efforts between the two subcategories have been observed in recent years, financial and management accounting are increasingly converging. Digital technologies have led to tremendous and fast-paced changes in almost all areas of life. Over the last three decades, advances in nanotechnology have enabled hardware development with steadily increasing computational power (Dingli et al., 2021).

  • Prediction models that detect and quantify the thematic content of financial statements outperformed models that exclusively use financial or unprocessed textual data.
  • When combined with AI, this wealth of information grants the ability to access and comprehend it, bestowing a significant advantage swiftly.
  • It mimics the human ability to analyze data and make decisions based on the data.
  • AI has significantly changed finance departments, particularly in fraud detection, financial analysis, and risk management.
  • In fact, it’s estimated by the World Economic Forum that nearly two-thirds of children will work in jobs that don’t exist currently.
  • For example, combining accounting, artificial intelligence (AI) and automation can help businesses find a balance between human brainpower and modern technology.

And that’s because, all too often, the work has historically involved the drudgery of multi-month closing cycles, endless Excel formulas, and never-ending audits. Innovation in AI is making accounting a lucrative profession for accountants who can leverage its value. Accounting managers and leaders can get real-time visibility and a better picture of their financials without any errors. They can clearly understand behind-the-scenes operations that frees up the accountants to engage more with strategic decision-making procedures. Becoming a CMA is an opportunity for accounting professionals to embrace change and sit at the head of the ship, so to speak, as it charts new waters. In a digital-first age, CMAs are in high demand to consider the business ramifications of technology – from AI to cryptocurrency accounting – and implement new strategies that will accelerate progress.

Keep up-to-date with AI Developments- Prepare for AI in Accounting as a CMA

Intelligent technology has the ability to max out efficiency and create unparalleled insights. This is shaping the world of accounting every day, and the role of accountants stands to change. Using tech-based tools that organize information can save tons of time, and mitigate the risk of human error in these important processes. AI-fueled technologies and applications like machine learning can drive new and improved practices around data analytics for accounting. However, firms are hesitant to implement AI in their workforce due to concerns about the business case or return on investment.

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For example, in the early days of bookkeeping software, accounting jobs changed drastically. Intuit, launched in 1983, and Microsoft Excel, launched in 1985 did not in fact represent the demise of human bookkeepers, as many feared. As much of bookkeeping, finance, and accounting are supported by technology, data becomes sharper… and more vast. Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming a real and prevalent part of our everyday lives, especially for many of us in the accounting industry. AI has immense potential to replace manual tasks and, in so doing, free humans up to engage in innovation and creativity.

Use Cases of AI in Accounting

Participate in this course to learn about the fundamentals of AI and specific types of problems AI can help you address. You will learn about AI features available in everyday applications – including Excel – and how you can use these features in situations such as detecting fraud and identifying potential errors in transactions. You will also learn how AI is changing how accounting and financial professionals work, both today and in the future. Leading software vendors such as Intuit, Sage, OneUp, and Xero are harnessing AI and Machine Learning (ML) technologies to automate data entry and reconciliation tasks.

“A lot of people who are trained as accountants, even a lot of people in [financial planning and analysis] don’t understand how the technology works,” Kugel said. “It’s all magic, and because it’s magic, there’s no ability to really grow with the technology. That’s not going to fly in the 2020s.” Beyond the realms of imagination, virtual and blockchain technologies emerge as cryptic enigmas, ready to revolutionize the accounting landscape. Virtual, augmented, and mixed reality transcend gaming origins, providing novel data exploration and strategic planning avenues. Meanwhile, blockchain, often celebrated for its supply chain optimization potential, holds powerful accounting applications, enticing those with the knowledge and mastery of distributed ledger technologies.


The prediction models are tested iteratively until satisfactory results can be achieved. The main challenges are seen as ensuring that people have sufficient knowledge of the data and the prediction models. Without this knowledge, optimal results cannot be generated according to the current state of technology. A further study by Zhai et al. (2021) defines the requirements for applying AI-based forecasting models in accounting. According to their study, all sources of information must be available, and there must be clearly defined business processes.

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How is AI used in automated financial investing?

AI uses large amounts of data and machine learning algorithms to identify patterns, gain insight, make predictions, and automate investment decisions. As a result, AI helps investment managers manage risk and adjust their investments in real time based on changing market conditions.