Tax preparation, auditing, and consulting strategy are services that have historically relied on an intensive utilization of human capital. Those business models are now being disrupted by artificial intelligence (AI). Deloitte, Ernst & Young (EY), are two of the famous tax and accounting firms. They have invested heavily in innovation laboratories and claim to embrace a new era of automation and augmentation. The technology transformation at extensive accounting and consulting firms goes much further than automating standard auditing and accounting processes. Artificial Intelligence experts predict that “by 2020, accounting tasks including tax, payroll, audits, and banking will be completely automated using AI-based technologies, which will disrupt the accounting industry in a way it nevermore was for the last 500 years, bringing both huge opportunities and serious challenges.”
Learning of the Blog
- Use Cases of AI Revolutionizing Accounting
- Future Aspects
Let’s look at how auditing companies like EY and Deloitte put AI to use.
Use Cases of AI Revolutionizing Accounting
With a focus on artificial intelligence, the most prominent accounting organizations make tech a part of their permanent identity, which is the key to AI age survival. Let’s have a look.
Deloitte is one of the largest accounting brands, with several professionals and firms offering services related to auditing, strategy consulting, and tax preparation. As with most large consulting firms, Deloitte lives for market share and press through thought leadership– it has increasingly focused on artificial intelligence in its white papers and research. Deloitte breaks AI technologies down into the following discrete categories:
- Product: AI technology embedded in the product or service itself to provide all the related benefits to end-customers.
- Process: AI technology for streamlining the day-to-day workflow and operations for automating and increasing daily productivity. Automation can occur in two ways: either by directly reducing the workforce or increasing the worker’s capacity to perform a task better/faster.
- Insight:AI is applied to make informed and strategic decisions that will provide a company with targeted advice to new or existing businesses.
A solid example of an AI-enabled process is the document review platform developed in 2014 by Deloitte U.S. innovation.
Deloitte claims that reviewing and extracting all relevant information from contracts and reducing meticulous and laborious human efforts has been automated by this platform. The company insists that this technology has helped reduce by 50 percent or more the time spent reviewing legal contract documents, invoices, financial statements, and minutes of board meetings.
Lately, Deloitte has partnered with IBM Watson. The Deloitte alludes to the partnership as a way to provide cognitive-technology-enhanced solutions for their businesses to end-users.
As a consequence of this partnership, some business use-cases follow:
LeasePoint– Powered by IBM TRIRIGA, it uses knowledge from Deloittes in the leasing industry to teach the AI-enabled system to produce an end-to-end leasing portfolio
- Visual inspection of assets– Deloitte claims to be improving asset inspection on wind farms using IBM’s Maximo technology.
- Deloitte Catalyst– Another recent global consulting giant AI initiative-is a network of start-ups working together to translate AI technologies into effective business solutions for customer firms. Deloitte provides funding to Catalyst businesses and access to Deloitte’s customer base to partner with and flesh out their business applications. Most AI companies still figure out exactly how to drive business value with their technology. Deloitte aspires to forge partnerships with these cutting-edge firms to help bring their customers the latest AI innovations.
Ernst and Young
EY is one of the world’s most extensive professional services provider to companies. It operates as a network of companies that operate independently in different countries, offering assurance, audit, tax, consulting, and advisory services to companies collectively. Recently the company has applied AI to analyze lease contracts. The company claims that using AI has made it easier to capture relevant information from contracts such as the start date of the lease, the amount to be paid, and the options for renewal or termination. How EY uses AI:
- EY’s functioning to automate the auditing process
They insist that this reduces the administrative time spent reviewing audit documents and gives employees more time to participate in the process judgment and analytical part.
- EY has applied AI technology to automate routine tasks, such as auditing, using its own proprietary Robotic Process Automation (RPA) system
EY claims that this technology helps the company provide its customers with more accurate, efficient audits.
- An AI proof-of-concept was also launched by EY using computer vision to enable airborne drones to monitor inventory during the audit process.
For example, this drone can compute the number of vehicles in an audited production facility and directly communicate it to the EY Canvas – the digital global audit platform. The use of drones, according to EY, allows for more data to be captured during the audit process. It also enables auditors to focus on risk areas instead of manually taking inventory stock. This drone initiative appears to be in research and development mode and does not appear to be a service broadly offered to EY’s client base.
The future of accounting includes expanding AI software services to clients, generating reports, balancing sheets, and decreasing the time spent manually inputting data. Businesses will be seeking accountants who have leveraged technology and automation to become more specialized in their fields and their rapid response times to the financial functions they perform. AI developers say if accountants choose to embrace artificial integration notwithstanding concern that it will change their business model or be too high-priced of an upfront investment, they will be the ones who find the most accomplishment with this shift. Adapting to modern practices is critical for a prolonged future of accounting. Find the best artificial intelligence course and get a career upgrade.
Even though the big professional services and accounting firms have not turned into tech firms, technology remains the core of their future. Developing analytics and advanced AI models to derive valuable insights will be more beneficial than traditional audit firms’ processing. With analytics, companies have evaluated the entire set of client transactions in real-time, giving them the ability to spot trends and anomalies. Enroll yourself for certification in artificial intelligence today.