3E Accounting Use of Artificial Intelligence
The accounting profession has embraced waves of automation to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their work, the use of technology enablers such as artificial intelligence (AI) to replace humans for various job tasks is also an aspiration for many firms.
Embracing the growth of technology, back in 2019, 3E Accounting founder Lawrence Chai formed the firm’s Digital Research and Development (DR&D) team to lead development in new technological growth areas like robotics business automation (RPA), Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Today, 3E Accounting is the pioneer firm in Singapore to adopt robotics technology following the trend of automation shaping the accounting profession.
Long Term Vision of AI
Following the wave of automation, the intelligent systems have taken over many routine tasks and will take over more decision-making tasks in the following years to come. While this may not look like an ideal situation, accountants should make use of this opportunity to redefine their role in the organization and use the technology to improve their efficiency and improve the quality of their decision making – which is deemed the ultimate purpose of the accounting profession. The technological enablers are able to provide different approaches to achieving the goal of better decision making and solving key business problems, with this, accountants should think about how their skills can augment the automation and focus on the making good decisions.
How AI Collaborates With Human
With AI, it provides outputs that are accurate and free from error, however, it does not replace human intelligence. AI is not able to perform tasks that require human thinking and professional judgement, which includes decision making tasks. There are two types of human thinking, intuition and reasoning, this can only be done by humans themselves where they apply their knowledge to specific situations to make rational decisions yet quick intuitive decisions based on their own experience too. However, AI can be used to complement and improve human thinking, AI provides data for greater insights and helps humans make better decisions.
Using AI to Solve Accounting Problems
Machines are not only able to produce more accurate results compared to humans, they are also able to process a larger volume of data. The machine’s capabilities are important for organizations where data is increasing and humans are not able to handle the rise in data, it is essential to make use of these machines to gain meaning from the big data. In order to make full use of AI, there is a need to understand how we can use the technology to solve accounting problems and the skills and challenges that accompany the technologies.
Since the introduction of technology, accountants have been using it to help them provide better advice and make better decisions. With technology, it solves the three broad problems accountants face: efficiently and effectively providing data to support decision-making; generating greater insights from the analysis of data, and saving more time for value creation activities such as decision-making and problem-solving.
3E Accounting Use of AI
A digital master plan was developed by 3E Accounting’s DR&D team to map out the business’s digital transformation by highlighting the key challenges, mapping out the future industry trends and charting a roadmap for action. In just 15 months since the DR&D team was formed, the team successfully completed the digital transformation of 3E Accounting with all services offered to be fully processed digitally, resulting in a 50% increase in productivity.
Riding on the trend of AI adoption, 3E Accounting aims to build intelligent robots to perform tasks and work with human co-workers to improve productivity and enhanced value creation for both 3E Accounting’s internal and external stakeholders. 3E Accounting has already successfully developed Financial Report Robot and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Robot and is currently in the process of completing a Tax Robot and Bookkeeping Robot with the Tax Robot officially launching in 2021 and the Bookkeeping Robot targeted to complete by 2022.
The development of robots help save up to 90% of time spent on tasks and with these AI technology, a 99% increase in 3E Accounting’s productivity is expected. For example, the Financial Report robot is able to generate the financial statements in accordance with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) presentation and disclosure just by using inputs of Trial Balance and Profit and Loss Statement. By using AI and machine learning (ML) to perform the basic repetitive tasks, 3E Accounting’s accountants are able to leverage on the technologies to gain deeper insights and focus on value-added activities like financial advisory work.