For financial directors, a busy season can be an extremely stressful period. They juggle a volume of audits that would make even experienced accountants feel the weight. Pressure from evolving regulations — and clients to have audited statements available sooner — continues to threaten audit quality.
On top of those concerns and stresses, other external pressures are constantly being exerted on the office of the financial director. The pressure to reduce fees and provide additional value amid economic uncertainty and continued shortages of vital resources make life increasingly difficult for leading accounting firms. Privacy and fraud-prevention concerns add to the complexity of the situation.
Financial data size only continues to grow, which means more data for auditors to work through than ever before. Standard audits only focus on a fraction of financial data being analyzed (sampling or rules-based approach), so what are overwhelmed financial directors to do? Two letters, infinite possibilities: AI.
Yes, leveraging artificial intelligence with financial data has enormous potential to help a firm’s strategies in the days, months and years ahead. When adapted to improve your team’s work processes, the benefits of AI will be experienced throughout the organization. Artificial intelligence can improve the entire industry in real ways when implemented effectively.
How can artificial intelligence help accounting firms grow?
Perhaps AI’s biggest benefit for accounting firms is providing relief to financial directors and other employees during busy season. Lessening the pressure and giving high performers room to think and plan are growth enablers in themselves, after all.
Not convinced? Here are some of the major ways an effective AI program can help financial directors take control of their firm’s growth ahead of the next busy season:
Leveraging AI increases audit consistency
Think about how AI provides value, and you start to see a correlation between the use of AI-driven tools and audit consistency and quality. Using AI in audit planning can increase the depth of a firm’s understanding and aid in planning decisions.
As you use AI to cut down on delays, time wasters, and grunt work, you can also use it to improve clients’ experiences and boost ROI for their businesses and your own. Because AI helps you analyze 100% of data instead of just a fraction, better insights and understanding will follow, making audits more productive and transparent. Accounting firms looking to grow while staying on top of the pressures and demands of everyday auditing can think of AI as both a vehicle and a safety net.
AI makes a time-efficient team player
By providing access to more information and the ability to analyze bigger swaths of financial data, AI can be a great addition to human labor. Artificial intelligence tools can produce new opportunities by reducing the time wasted on certain activities and creating additional value-added or ROI-boosting opportunities. Taking care of data and administrative tasks more easily and effectively allows an accounting firm to expand its list of service offerings and, ideally, win more clients.
Depending on the solution, AI can augment your team’s professional judgment, giving you more confidence in your decision-making and evidence for your firm’s growth goals. AI can take hours of inefficient tasks off your team’s hands, allowing your human talent to focus on providing additional value on current engagements and taking on more challenging projects within the firm.
Gain more control over privacy and fraud.
When you’re a financial director, protecting your firm and its clients from fraud and privacy breaches while complying with ever-changing regulations can be a full-time job. AI can help shoulder that load as it uses advanced pattern recognition to identify any anomaly in a data set, making AI tools far better at detecting fraud and mitigating potential risks.
When we see how accounting firms are driving growth with AI, it’s clear there are many ways that a busy accounting season can be managed and eased. Financial directors can sleep a little easier when they entrust part of their growth journey to artificial intelligence tools.