The threat of automated machines replacing workers has been a concern of humankind since the industrial revolution. In our lifetimes, we have seen technology take the place of some unskilled laborers. Currently, artificial intelligence is the frontier of science. This raises concerns about what professions AI might take over. But AI cannot replace accountants. Here’s why.
AI Cannot Find Incomplete or Incorrect Data
While AI does have characteristics that make it wildly similar to human ‘thought,’ remember that it is still a machine. And like any machine, it can only operate based on what it ‘knows.’ In the case of accounting, this would mean the financial data it receives.
It follows that if the data the AI receives is imperfect, the information it produces will be imperfect as well. When a human handles your bookkeeping and accounting, they can recognize incomplete data. They know when a number appears to be inaccurate.
AI might be able to catch and flag an outlier in financial data. But there’s no matching the experience and wisdom of a trained accountant.
Machines Make Poor Consultants
If you work with a great accountant, you know that they don’t just take in and spit out data. No—the best accountants are good business partners, too. There’s a good chance that you value your accountant as a consultant.
You can expect a machine to take in and to provide you with data. But machines make poor consultants. You cannot expect them to synthesize a wealth of knowledge about finances, your goals as a business, and human psychology to take on an advisory role for your small business.
AI Cannot Navigate the Complexities of Law
Make no mistake—AI will replace certain professions. Although it will certainly revolutionize the field of law, there’s a slim chance that it will replace lawyers in our lifetimes.
Accountants are not lawyers. But they must have thorough understanding of laws—especially tax law—in order to perform their jobs well.
AI may be able to answer simple legal questions. But when it comes to law, things are not always black and white. Rather than there being a clear, explicitly written law in a particular situation, lawyers—and accountants, too—often have to come to a conclusion using only incomplete data and inferences. Machines are notoriously bad at reading between the lines.
If you find yourself asking if AI will replace accountants, don’t worry. You can look forward to a lifetime of fruitful financial discussion and consultation with your favorite accountant.
Contact Bowman & Company Today
Bowman & Company CPA, PC provides all of our individual and small business customers with experienced, accurate, and affordable financial services. Our financial services aim at decreasing your taxes and increasing your net worth through responsible, timely, and accurate recordkeeping. We offer our services to clients throughout the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area including Maryland and Baltimore County, Columbia, and Howard County. For more information on our offerings, contact us online or call us at (410) 381-8121. You can also find us on Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, and Youtube.