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The Potential of AI in the CPA Industry

The use of AI in the accounting industry is gaining rapid significance as the role of CPAs changes from crunching numbers to offering financial advice and strategy. AI in accounting industry is, therefore, crucial for CPA firms to maintain relevance in the midst of this change. The use of AI will allow CPAs to focus on mission-critical, high-impact tasks while rote tasks will be automated and handled by AI. This significantly enhances performance. 

However, what is the best way to leverage the potential of AI? 

Here are a few ideas from various aspects of accounting.

The Scope of AI

1) Invoice Processing

Conventionally, invoice processing is time-consuming and labor-intensive with accountants having to go through each email individually, download invoices, validate them, extract data manually, and ultimately, process the payments.

The use of AI in accounting services such as payment processing allows CPA firms to handle larger volumes, eliminate human error, maintain vendor relationships, and improve the efficiency of invoice processing. 

2) Supplier Onboarding

AI-powered accounting systems are capable of evaluating suppliers by examining their tax details or credit scores. Using AI, supplier information can be automatically keyed, eliminating the need for human involvement. Additionally, the use of AI in accounting systems allows for query portals to be set up to obtain the necessary information. 

Leveraging AI in the CPA firm’s onboarding process will simplify reaching new target demographics while increasing revenue and helping the firm maintain relevance.

3) Procurement

Filing an organization’s procurement and purchasing methods requires maintaining vast records on isolated systems, which often leads to data duplication and miscommunications. AI is capable of processing unstructured data by employing APIs that allow the entire procurement process to be automated.     

Research by Gartner shows that AI technologies will add enormous value if the optimal platform is provided. This means application leaders in procurement need to encourage superior adoption of fundamental procurement solutions.         

4) Audits

AI in auditing allows for automatic analysis of complete datasets, eliminating human involvement. The definition of reasonable assurance is evolving with the use of AI in auditing and accounting. AI can run through the complete ledger and recognize irregularities based on risk, rather than precepts.

Files that are accessed can be traced using digital trackers. This allows auditors to work intelligently by investigating digital files. AI in auditing processes allows CPAs to employ their skill and judgment in analyzing extensive sets of data and documents, improving the accuracy of results and reports. In addition, AI in accounting and auditing helps record every financial transaction, increasing productivity, and helping companies meet their goals.

5) Monthly/Quarterly Cash Flows

AI provides businesses with financial management tools to swiftly and effortlessly reconcile the company’s activity, examine their past cash-flow activity, and future cash requirements. 

Moreover, AI-based accounting tools expedite processing while making financial processes reliable and secure. These include the collection and integration of data from multiple sources to make non-siloed monthly/quarterly cash flows rapidly.

6) Expense Management

Revising and finalizing expenses to ensure compliance is exhausting. Integrating AI into accounting speeds up the process eliminating human involvement. This allows for an entirely automated, digitized expense management system that is faster and more accurate. 

Deploying AI automates the analysis of receipts and audit costs while notifying in case of non-compliance.

7) AI Chatbots

Simple, routine queries, such as outstanding expense reports, account balance details, credit bills, etc., can be handled by AI chatbots. Additionally, employees can submit reports and receipts directly to the bots. 

This significantly reduces the volume of inquiries with AI handling tier-1 level support and filtering only the important queries to the help desk. 

The Road Ahead

With rapidly evolving customer expectations, the technology available to accountants is progressing. Businesses and customers across industries are increasingly relying on their CPAs. 

At Sentient Solutions, we use AI to help CPAs transition from traditional roles to professionals who offer nuanced financial reports with expert analysis. The use of AI in accounting reduces time, resources, and money consumed by rote tasks, providing CPAs more time to work on financial analysis and tailoring reports based on clients’ requirements.

While AI in accounting industry offers tremendous benefits, humans will always be required in understanding clients’ present needs, future plans, and draft reports to help them reach their goals. We are here to help accountants and CPA firms scale up and lower their operating costs through process automation, AI, and scalable services. 

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