The Scope of AI in Auditing and Accounting

Jay Krishnan, Partner

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Audit firms in the UAE have recently witnessed a transformation which has changed traditional audit styles, and this is mainly due to the emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence.

The impact of this shift is unimaginable, and it is quickly evolving the industry and profession. In terms of scope, the traditional concepts of bookkeeping, auditing and consulting are undergoing massive changes. Consultants can now spend more time on the quality of audits rather than on lengthy clerical procedures. The opportunities arising from AI are evident in the examples of its implementation.

A leading US audit firm is using AI to substitute their traditional physical inventory count with robots. Within ten minutes, a huge warehouse inventory can be verified with complete accuracy, removing the need for time consuming and sometimes imprecise human processes. Some firms are using AI for invoice processing. Manual posting has become obsolete: clients’ invoices can just be scanned into the system within minutes, and again, with absolute precision. With AI, the job of three accountants can be done by one. Consulting has also seen benefits from adopting AI technology.

However, AI can also become a threat if not implemented correctly. In the absence of cybersecurity audits, cybercrime can be encouraged, and data can become easily manipulated. A cybersecurity audit is necessary before implementing AI to avoid these risks.

Companies should implement AI while also focusing on having the right resources to successfully support this process.

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