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Artificial intelligence continues to tighten its grip on the way we engage with information both at home and at work, and the accounting profession is no exception. Despite fears about the ultimate impact on job security, accountants are finding new ways to embrace generative AI tools and machine learning to streamline their workloads

Samantha Bowling, managing partner of Maryland-based GWCPA, uses generative AI to sift through the information that previously took hours for humans to process, which she then uses to offer financial statement analysis. While her firm has always done this, it used to take hours; AI allows her to cut this time down to mere seconds. This has vastly increased the scale at which her firm can perform these analyses, enabling them to expand the number of clients they can offer them to. 

“We’re using it for clients who do bookkeeping work and outsourced CFO type work. We see this being a quicker tool to get answers on stuff and maybe provide this information to people who are just doing bookkeeping and not making financial statements … as opposed to waiting for the year end,” Bowling recently told Accounting Today. 

Read more: KPMG initiative helps nonprofits use AI 

Other AI applications not only analyze information, but can produce some of their own, too. Sergio de la Fe, digital enterprise leader with Top 10 Firm RSM US, said they’re using generative AI to draft tax position documents. While humans have long done this for clients, he said that things “get very complex very fast,” so professionals must take into account things like the actual tax law itself, legal precedents about taxes and RSM’s own positions on tax strategy. The company’s internal AI can do all of this much faster. 

“We’ve been able to create and leverage language models and generative AI to help us write those memos, because it accesses all of those databases and information, and is able to help us generate the response,” said de la Fe. 

De la Fe also pointed to the firm’s bespoke solution, RSM Automation Compliance, which takes clients’ regulatory requirements and their internal control and process documents to map where they may be falling short on compliances. This used to be an exhausting process for human accountants — especially for complex clients — but now they can near-instantly analyze their regulatory compliance. 

Read more: IRS tries to use AI to close tax gap 

Read more about how accountants are implementing AI below.

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