Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data are two disruptive technologies that have been making waves in the accounting and finance industries. Recognizing the significance of these technologies, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) held the fourth instalment of its Regional Thought Leadership Roadshow in Vietnam in April 2018, with a special focus on “Artificial intelligence and Digital Disruption”.
Here are some key takeaways:
- AI and Big Data impact accounting.
- Accountants need to adapt.
- ICAEW prepares industry for digital disruption.
The workshop, which was jointly organised by the ICAEW and IBM, drew the attention of major organizations, public agencies, and scholars from various universities in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Speaking at the event, Ms. Kirstin Gillon, Technical Manager, IT faculty, ICAEW, highlighted the potential impact of AI on the accounting profession and how it can transform the role of the accountant-auditor of the future.
The Role of Accountants in the Digital Age
Kirstin emphasized that AI would help accountants focus on the real value of their occupation, enabling them to make accurate decisions, helping organizations thrive, and guaranteeing the accountability of stakeholders. However, she also warned that the accountant of the future would need to be innovative and possess a range of professional, technical, data, statistics, and soft skills such as communication and critical thinking.
At the same event, Mr. Vũ Ngọc Hoàng, IBM Vietnam’s Software solution architect, shared some interesting projections for the accounting profession in a digital future. He predicted that simpler tasks like manual entry, book-keeping, annual financial reporting, profit and loss reporting, payroll, and financial analysis would be automated and replaced with software. This will require accountants to adapt to cloud technology, or they risk being replaced by it.
The workshop demonstrated the potential impact of AI and Big Data on the accounting profession and how it will enable accountants to take on a more empowered role in the organization. These technologies can help accountants do manual-intensive reporting jobs, enabling them to spend more time on higher value tasks such as data analysis. Ultimately, the accountant in the digital age will become the interface between the sales team and technical team, adding value to the organization.
The ICAEW’s Commitment to the Accounting and Auditing Industry in South-East Asian Countries
The ICAEW’s commitment to Vietnam, as well as other South-East Asian countries, is vital in ensuring that the accounting and auditing industries can keep up with new global trends. It is essential for educators, students, and learners to adapt to the rapid changes in digital technology, particularly as Vietnam actively seeks to capitalize on the opportunities thrown up by Technology 4.0 and prepare its economy for take-off.
In conclusion, AI and Big Data are at the epicenter of the ICAEW’s 2018 Regional Thought Leadership Roadshow, and this year’s event demonstrated the potential impact of these technologies on the accounting profession. It is vital for accountants to adapt to these changes and possess a range of professional, technical, data, statistics, and soft skills to succeed in the digital age. The ICAEW’s commitment to the accounting and auditing industry in South-East Asian countries is commendable and will help to prepare the industry for a new era of digital disruption.