Dabie Tsai shared her thoughts on what the future of accounting looks like in an interview with the Daily Forex Report in 2018. She stated that technology will continue to change how accounting is done, what it measures, and how accountants do their jobs. Here is a more in-depth look at what Tsai believes will happen to the accounting field as it increasingly incorporates technology.
Big data, analytics, and artificial intelligence will impact the accounting profession in many profound ways, according to the former KPMG accounting firm partner. For Dabie Tsai, the use of data and analytics, or D&A, will allow accountants to better hone in on the more traditionally risky areas of finance and accounting. It will also enable accounting professionals to gain a more in-depth look at irregular transactions that deviate from the norm.
The use of big data will now make the amount of information available to accountants exponentially greater. This can be considered both a good thing and a bad thing. Being able to access more information is usually considered a plus. On the other hand, having an enormous amount of information that is irrelevant can create information overload according to Dabie Tsai. It will be up to accountants and their colleagues to find a way to focus only on the relevant information that they need to perform their jobs when using big data and D&A.
Big data can even create more job opportunities for accountants. More data available to companies will most likely mean that there will be a greater need for accountants to be able to review, analyze, and explain the additional new information. As mentioned previously, though, the big data must be presented in a relative and understandable format for it to have any use. Analytics and big data can also impact the kind of skills new and existing accountants need to stay employed or get hired. The increasing use of technology and software means that accountants must be able to use these tools on the job. The ability to use and analyze big data and analytics may not be optional but, rather, required for future accountants (Medium).
Artificial intelligence is another new technology that will impact accounting. While AI will not be replacing accountants any time soon, it can help accountants locate specific info. One potential use for artificial intelligence in accounting is helping flag down potentially fraudulent or irregular entries in the accounting books of a firm. Artificial intelligence will also continue to streamline repetitive tasks such as basic data entry. According to Tsai, the use of AI will likely come in the form of software or data entry automation that will aid accountants’ work, not replace them.