AI vs. Accountants

AI vs. Accountants: Do Businesses Still Rely on Accountants

Predictions on AI, and their impact on our society, business in particular, are everywhere, and some of them say it means doomsday for workers. That has typically included those in accounting. It makes sense on the surface, given the math involved, but the forecasters forgot something. Human nature.

As a small business owner, consider what AI might “look” like, with cognitive functions to learn and problem solve, with little help needed from people. If you were to have a sort of “taste test” without blindfolds, but given the same actionable information, one from a computer or droid figure, the other from a live person. (Both looked at the same set of data.) Who would you trust and come back to?

If you say you would choose the person, you are in good company, along with 72 percent of small business owners who would do the same. This despite accounting being held up as the poster child for professions most likely to be negatively impacted by AI.

Why do you suppose they missed on that? Could it be that people value that human interaction and others’ ability to understand both us and our small business? That that we prize human insight? Or is it that we don’t completely trust computers or AI?

AI Can Be Useful

Don’t dismiss AI altogether. It is the wave of the future for a reason, and it has benefits for small businesses. Even more, data shows that using it and keeping an accountant as a trusted advisor for your business gives your business the best chance to beat the five-year failure statistics.

Xero, accounting software that falls under the AI umbrella, announced that it has reached 1 billion, machine-learned suggestions to its customers in the areas of invoicing, bill code, and bank reconciliations. They say that 90 percent of their small businesses who use their accounting platform regularly connect with an accountant.

More Businesses Using Accountants Than Ever Before

A study conducted by Xerocon Atlanta showed that AI advances actually resulted in more businesses using accountants than ever before, rather than driving them away as had been feared.

This, according to the study, is because: accountants’ business advice is the most trusted; 80 percent of small business owners plan to keep working with their accountant; accountants can help small business take advantage of AI and using it to their benefit.

Blending the usefulness of AI as a method of data analysis and analytical model building with the expertise and business advisory services that accountants offer their clients can be seen as a win-win, for both the small business owner and today’s accounting firms.

Klein Hall CPAs offer a wide range of business advisory services in addition to traditional accounting services. Our goal is to help you achieve success. To find out more about how we can help you, contact us today.