Harnessing the Power of Artificial Intelligence
As the adage goes: “If you can’t beat them, join them.” No industry will be untouched by the automating possibilities of artificial intelligence and machine learning.
As the human workers currently immersed in the informational input, analysis, and projections of these industries’ financial operations, it’s more than a duty to stay informed. In fact, it’s an advantage.
Take a lesson from history
Before delving into the mechanics of AI and machine learning, it’s important to recognize the reasoning and impact of these technologies.
Let’s consider an analogue from the arts: the advent of photography. When photography was introduced to mainstream applications in the mid 1800s, much noise was made by painters of the era.
Back then, art was seen as an act of service to God or king, capable by only a select few. Photography put that ability to visually sing the praises of their leader into the hands of everyday people, who turned their cameras to more relatable parts of humanity instead—turning art into the channel of emotional and cultural expression we know it as today.
Automating the more routine, technical tasks of audit and accounting can result in a similar act of democratization, and with it, the same progress in human insight and critical thinking. "Once AI is more ingrained in our society, the human focus will shift to "critical thinking and creativity," said Hellmut Adolphs, founder of Intellei, an American chatbot startup.
Edith Lam, an audit partner from PKF Hong Kong, emphasizes that auditors should think through their advantages of judgment and critical thinking. After all, these abilities make up the irreplaceable elements of human capital.
Remember, the revolution is good for us
An example closer to the industry can be seen in the evolution of the tax return. It went from manually filed and totalled preprinted documents to algorithm-aided electronic spreadsheets, spearheading the importance of basic financial literacy for the average taxpayer while leaving more complex returns for the professionals.
While robots may take over some parts of the audit process, automation allows the work to be adhered to a higher standard. Lam notes the potential of improved efficiency, speed, and accuracy without accounting for human error.
The acute expertise and judgement of audit professionals has not gone unnoticed in this progression—rather, becoming even more valued, retaining it for the projects that deserve our attention.
Powering your workplace into the future
Embracing AI and machine in your everyday processes also carries recruitment advantages. For the younger bracket of the workforce, the importance to make a difference is well-documented.
For a generation and economy in flux, the power of technology and big data can be harnessed to anticipate and prepare for the unpredictable through the ability to analyze greater amounts of information and discern deeper issues in legacy infrastructures.
A nimble workplace that embraces these tools doesn't only reflect better results. It reflects a culture that's desirable for digital natives, too.