Three Places Where CFO’s Are Using AI to “Shake Up” the Accounting Suite

Chief financial officers have no shortage of options when it comes to deploying artificial intelligence.

One immediate stop of that journey is in the accounting suite, where technology has historically been somewhat slower to land compared to other company departments (think research and development, marketing and manufacturing, for example.)

Maybe AI is accelerating that process in 2023, as companies find a use for the technology on the mathematical side of the business.

A case in point.

Over 90% of accountants say AI and automation tools will drive their company’s growth, according to a new study by Intuit, the global financial technology platform.

“AI has powerful potential, and accountants are hungry to capitalize on what it has to offer,” says Jeremy Sulzmann, vice president, Intuit QuickBooks partners segment. “We see this appetite today with emerging tech, such as generative AI, as accountants look for ways to leverage new technologies that create efficiencies and free up their time to pursue higher-value work and better serve their clients.”

QuickBooks was quick to recognize this demand and has started to build solutions into its platform “to provide an AI-driven expert platform that helps accountants and their small business clients operate more efficiently.” The company states.

Those solutions include automating tasks like categorizing transactions using personalized machine-learning models that learn from user preferences and are refreshed daily.

“We will continue to invest in AI technologies that help experts save time, optimize their value, and fuel more meaningful relationships with their clients,” Sulzmann says.

Intuit is hardly alone.

At Zoom Video Communications, the company’s tax area is relying on generative AI to prepare the first drafts of department tax documents. That saves a lot of time for the Zoom tax team.

“It’s always easier to react to a document than have to draft it,” company CFO Kelly Steckelberg told The Wall Street Journal.

At Block, the San Francisco-based digital payments firm, company CFO Amrita Ahuja is using AI as a front-running technology that does everything from writing up journal reports to handling complicated financial transactions.

“We’re seeing that [exploration] now on the developer side, where some of the entry-level, earlier stage development can be aided through the use of generative AI,” Ahuja told The Journal. “The same can be the case when you look at finance functions or other back-of-house functions.”

It’s no wonder why the accounting sector is drawn to AI, yet with some caveats.

“Early adopters of these technologies say innovative tech is helping drive their businesses forward, with 91% reporting that technology has helped them support their clients’ evolving needs over the past two years,” Intuit noted. “However, some are still wary of the emerging technology’s performance: nearly a third (31%) said a top concern for adopting technology like AI is trusting the solution can ensure accuracy.”

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