Skills That Help Accounting Professionals Succeed Alongside AI

By Ken Tysiac

There’s some understandable concern these days about the possibility that increased use of artificial intelligence (AI) will lead to job losses among accounting and audit professionals.

But Mike Baccala, PwC’s U.S. assurance innovation leader, predicts that while accounting and auditing jobs may change as AI use becomes more prevalent, those jobs won’t go away. Baccala is co-author of a recent PwC report that predicts the effects that AI will have on the business environment.

He said PwC already is working with AI in a few capacities in client engagements. The firm is using an AI platform to help nonaudit clients extract data from their lease agreements as they implement the new FASB lease accounting standard. Without AI, this extraction would take eight to 10 hours to perform for each lease contract, and some clients have thousands of lease contracts. With AI, that time is down to three or four hours per contract, and it’s continuing to decline.

In addition, PwC financial statement auditors are using AI to draw data out of client bank statements to help with substantive testing that’s required for auditing of cash. In both cases, Baccala said, the AI hasn’t resulted in people being taken off the projects; instead, the people are performing different duties.

Read the full article on the Journal of Accountancy website.