Is Artificial Intelligence Set to Replace Accountants in the Future?
Technology makes some accountant functions replaceable with software. We only need to input data or transactions in the system, then the accounting process runs automatically until it takes the form of financial reports.
Artificial intelligence takes accounting software to the next level. By using the cloud, we can be more flexible in accessing data anywhere. Cloud based accounting software also regularly updates financial information automatically so that errors can be minimized.
These technological advances lead people to conclude that the accounting profession is no longer needed in the future. Is it true that we no longer need an accountant?
Lecturer at Swiss German University, Imelda Suardi, said that currently the development of accounting has indeed developed with the presence of technology. However, the statement that the accounting profession can be replaced by robots is not entirely true.
“Maybe there is a very technical job (which can be replaced by technology), but the control is still human,” she said in the webinar event “Accounting and Taxation in the Digital Era” organized by The SGU’s of Accounting and Data Analytics study program, Saturday, November 20, 2020.
The emergence of artificial intelligence technology has actually made the accounting profession develop to the next level. An accountant is required not only to be able to do administrative work, but also to integrate with information technology.
Imelda said that previously the accountant’s job was only to reflect what had happened. But now, an accountant must be able to project what will happen in the future. This of course is supported by supporting data analysis.
“Today technology allows us to access big data. That’s what we can use, so it’s not just financial reports, ” she said.
An accountant in the future acts as a financial advisor to a company or client, which means that they must learn to master the fickle business model.
Therefore, an accountant also needs to be equipped with the soft skills needed today. These skills include communication, presentation, and language skills.
“Five years ago, creativity was ranked 10th for the skills needed by a professional, now it has climbed to number three. Meanwhile, critical thinking has increased from fourth to number two. The first place is still complex problem solving, ”said Imelda.
SGU’s Accounting Program Lecturer, Alfiandri, said the industry still needs an expert who knows the basic knowledge of accounting. The expert is needed to exercise control over the running system.
“Although everything is based on a system, if you don’t know the process, it will affect fraud. Without knowing the basic knowledge, when we wanted to elaborate with the system, we could not find errors, where fraud was, “he said.
Currently there is a new profession called forensic accounting which must have accounting skills with digital technology. Accountants can track evidence of incidents of violating the rules by including evidence digitally.
Senior Lecturer at University of Technology, Sidney, David Bond said that the future of an accountant as a trusted business advisor remains bright. The role of accounting has evolved from input data to be more efficient because these aspects have been automated. Going forward, the accounting profession will not only be numerate and tech-savvy, but strong interpersonal skills will be essential.
“Accountants who are most in demand are those who offer real business value and deep customer understanding. They are strong in communication, critical thinking, empathy, creativity, and able to truly understand and partner in business,” he said as quoted by Kompas.com.
SWISS GERMAN UNIVERSITY (SGU) is an international university in Indonesia, was established in 2000 as a joint effort between Indonesia, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. We are the pioneer in offering international curricula in Indonesia.
Qualified students can graduate with a Double Degree from Indonesia and Germany, which SGU provides in cooperation with partner universities; surely a valuable tool for your future careers. Ever since its establishment, SGU has been dedicated to delivering quality education in line with international standards and aims to develop skilled professionals who meet the demands of the industry. To achieve its objectives, SGU offers quality-oriented learning through 12 Bachelor’s Degree Programs and 4 Master’s Degree Programs ranging from Engineering, Information Technology, and Business to Life Sciences and Social Sciences. Furthermore, with small class sizes, and with English as the medium of instruction, you can look forward to pursuing your tertiary education and degree with full confidence.***