Digital worker in accounting
Digital Workers / February, 15 2023

Why Accounting is Better when a Digital Worker is involved?

Do you know that more than 300,000 accountants and auditors have quit their jobs in the last two years in U.S.? According to Wall Street Journal, there is a 17% decline, which is not just due to baby- boomer generation retirements, but also because midcareer as well as young professionals are leaving accountancy. The waning number of college graduates stepping up for accounting roles can hardly fill the gap. Though accounting is a traditional profession, and a very process-driven one, incorporating digital innovation in its processes are very crucial to address the challenges. In this blog, let us have a look at the top 6 reasons to have a Digital Worker in accounting.

Accounting talent shortage

Accounting is a vital part of any business. However, accounting professionals are quitting their profiles in record numbers. Enterprises face an acute accounting talent shortage and that is coming up as one of the biggest challenges for the enterprises. The onset of the Covid-19 crisis and navigating the talent shortage amidst that, has caused a solid bottleneck for the growth of enterprises. Like other industries such as healthcare and retail, the accounting industry needs help to meet the increasing demands for professional accountants. Let us check out some stats highlighting the gravity of the accounting talent shortage:

  • Many accounting professionals quit their jobs because they work on calls for 70-80 hours per week during busy seasons, leading to stress and burnout.” 
  • “The number of accounting graduates has dropped by nearly 7% since 2012, decreasing the number of new accountants to replace the retirees.” 

What is driving it?  

Let us understand what is driving this accounting talent shortage. Most people in accounting department face:

  • A constant shortage of time
  • Struggles in ensuring accuracy when connecting financial reports and statements.
  • Overload of work during peak-period.

How to solve it?

In the fast-paced world, enterprises churn out enormous amounts of data which is present for analysis. Accounting standards are also constantly evolving to keep pace with the operations of the global economy. As a result, will hiring additional accountancy professionals alone solve the crunch? Definitely, no! Adopting automation and Artificial Intelligence is the key to success here.

Embracing technology

Enterprises are embracing advanced technologies to reduce the workloads on professionals. In today’s world, technological advancements have enabled us to automate many tasks that used to take a lot of effort and time to finish the tasks. Automating tasks can save time, money, and energy while improving accuracy and efficiency. By embracing technological advancements, we can reduce manual labor and focus on more critical tasks.  

Digital workers

AI (Artificial Intelligence) is emerging as one of the significant technology segments that can help combat this talent shortage situation for enterprises. Digital workers, a blend of Artificial Intelligence, cognitive automation, machine learning, RPA (Robotic Process Automation) and analytics can take up the most repetitive and huge-volumed tasks, freeing up time for team members. Emma, an accounts payable specialist, digital worker built with the blend of Intelligent Automation and machine learning, can help enterprises manage most of the accounting-related tasks such as invoicing, reconciliations, collections, payments, and more perfectly. She can reduce almost 80% of the workload and eliminate 98% of invoice processing errors. Not only that, but Emma is also programmed with extensive knowledge of the accounting and finance industry and starts performing from the very first day as part of the existing accounting team.

6 Reasons why you need Digital Workers in your accounting team

Let us see the key benefits of having AI-powered Digital Workers in accounting:

  1. Increased accuracy

Digital worker such as Emma can automate routine and repetitive tasks which are usually bound to human error, when performed manually. Automation of these tasks using machine learning and other AI tech built-in drastically improves accuracy. Being programmed to flag errors and inconsistencies in the financial data, they ensure accuracy and consistency of the information. Whenever such situation arises, they can raise the concern to the human-in-the-loop and resolve it. They also learn while doing and can train on historical data to improve the accuracy over time, decreasing the need for manual review and oversight. All these lead to higher accuracy in accounting processes such as invoice processing, accounts payable and more.

  1. Improved efficiency

AI-powered digital workers not only automate the routine and time-consuming tasks, but they also augment the entire process, freeing up accounting professionals from mundane activities, allowing them to focus on more strategic work in the field. They can seamlessly handle tasks such as data entry, transaction processing and reconciliation while accounting professionals get empowered to focus on value-adding work. Furthermore, since they operate 24/7 and do not take breaks, holidays, or leaves, it leads to efficient time management, faster processing time and reduced backlogs. Having a digital worker will skyrocket the overall efficiency of the team without employee burnout.

  1. Enhanced data analysis

By leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning, the digital worker can analyse vast amounts of financial data. Using the advanced AI features, a digital worker such as Emma can also read the data from various sources. Using the data, they can identify patterns, relationships and trends in the financial data doing which can be complex and time-consuming for human employees to detect. Digital workers can also automate the process of generating financial reports which further reduces the time required for data manipulation and analysis.

  1. Real-time data processing

In the accounting world, generating the financial insight on time is highly beneficial. Most organisations struggle to process financial insights on time. The bigger the enterprise, the struggle gets more tough. AI-led digital workers can replace the tedious tasks of data validation, intercompany reconciliation, and group reporting, and as a result, speed up the entire process. Since they are constantly working without any fatigue, they process the transactions and financial data in real-time resulting in up-to-date financial information. Additionally, digital workers can integrate with various systems and software, making the process of gathering, processing, and analysing data in real-time seamless. Achieving real-time analysis concludes in improved financial forecasting, trend analysis and data-driven decision-making.

  1. Better compliance

The digital worker can be programmed to perform tasks according to the specific accounting standards and regulations. Not only does this eliminate the possibility of human error, but it also ensures that the data is processed consistently and accurately. Furthermore, they can provide a complete audit trail of all executed tasks, easing the process of tracking compliance or identifying any issues. Additionally, a digital worker will perform the tasks in a timely manner which will reduce the chances of missing deadlines and ensuring regulations compliance.

  1. Cost savings

For organisations that process substantial amounts of data on a regular basis, having a digital worker who automates, and augments accounting processes can help save money in many ways. They reduce the cost of operations notably. Costs involving scouting for accounting professionals, recruitment, training, waiting for the new hires to deliver productively can be high. To add to that, human errors on financial accounting can cost heavily on the organisation. Other factors such as attrition, burnout, and lack of motivation of human employees keep pushing the expenses. However, digital workers start to perform from their very first day, and that too seamlessly. There are no platform licensing costs involved too. Thus, performing error-free accounting tasks, handling huge volumes of data, fast processing and performing multiple tasks in parallel, all reflect in the ROI (Return on Investment) and significantly reduce operational costs.

Take Away

The idea of humans partnering with AI-enabled digital workers is here to stay. This trend will help businesses to become more efficient all the while augmenting human employees in their processes. At Saxon, we offer you Digital Clerx, who can ease your processes, reduce timelines for invoice processing, do faster reconciliation and augment your accounting processes. You can also try a pilot to know the experience.

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