By Jasen Stine, David Bergstein, and Roman Kepczyk.
Artificial intelligence is everywhere and firms might be thinking how this will apply or make its way to the accounting and tax profession. The answer is that it already has and firms of every size should be taking advantage of the resources available to them, if they aren’t already.
On a recent episode of Intuit’s AccounTrends, hosts Jasen Stine and David Bergstein discussed the latest trends in technology with Roman Kepczyk, CPA, CITP, CGMA, PAFM and Director of Firm Technology Strategy for Right Networks. Ultimately, Kepczyk said the biggest trend in technology is far and away Artificial Intelligence (AI), which he’s seeing built into anything and everything from toothbrushes to lawnmowers and baby strollers to cars and even in tools and applications for the tax and accounting industry, and professionals should take note because it is here to stay.
Artificial intelligence is one of the many results of the power of cloud computing. Both of these together are creating a global environment where people can create applications, bring clients together, connect remotely, and share real-time data. For accounting professionals, this means being able to connect with our clients in ways we haven’t been able to before – remember the age of the flash drive?
Kepczyk remembers it well, but now relies on the cloud for any and all client work and communications. The cloud and AI tools are making relationship building, advisory services, and even compliance work much more efficient through e-signatures, data inputs, reporting, and more, allowing tax and accounting professionals more flexibility and time saving tools.
Kepczyk discusses how Intuit’s own role and use of AI is already helping tax and accounting professionals reconcile accounts, input data, create financial reports, and so much more. Soon, if not happening already, specialized AI will be put into every application and every hardware device as a sort of virtual assistant to help us with our day to day tasks – limiting compliance work and making room for the coveted advisory services.
If tax and accounting firms aren’t already taking advantage of cloud computing, AI and other valuable technological resources, they should start and make sure they don’t fall behind. Kepczyk calls the cloud “the great democratizer” as it offers the best technology at the enterprise level, which in turn allows major firms and small businesses to have access to the same resources and technologies to improve their businesses through processes, recruiting, and employee engagement.
Kepczyk sees the future of everything in the cloud, with AI as a great tool to facilitate compliance work and make sure tax and accounting professionals are as efficient – and their data is as secure – as possible.