Rob McGillen
Rob McGillen
Chief Innovation Officer at CBIZ

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Rob McGillen is the Chief Innovation Officer at CBIZ Financial Services with 25+ years’ working with innovative companies. Focus includes Professional Services, Financial Services, Manufacturing, Health and Life Sciences, Technology / SaaS, Insurance, and Energy.

Artificial intelligence in the accounting industry

January 17, 2024

Sector: Technology, Media & Telecom

Rob McGillen, Chief Innovation Officer at CBIZ Financial Services, was recently featured in an article for AAT Magazine on the impact that AI is having on the accounting workforce. Click here to read the full article, or read a summary below.

Accountants utilising artificial intelligence

The accounting sector is swiftly embracing Artificial Intelligence (AI), with the Big 4 (Deloitte, PwC, Ernst & Young, and KPMG) leading the charge. The Institute of Analytics (IoA) recognises accountants as strategically positioned to address the AI skills gap.

While the Big 4 invest in and experiment with AI tools, the broader UK business landscape needs to be adopted faster. According to a 2022 report on AI activity in UK businesses, only 15% currently use AI to some extent, with 2% piloting AI technologies and an additional 10% planning future adoption.

Despite this, the potential benefits of AI in accounting, including predictive analysis, AI-enabled document reviews, natural language processing, AI-assisted forecasting, and audit automation, are significant. Dr. Clare Walsh, Director of Education at IoA, emphasises the value of AI technologies in providing more significant insights amid the shift towards automation and the demand for accurate, real-time data.

In exploring how smaller practices leverage AI, we delve into the AI technologies accountants are testing and the tangible benefits emerging for professional practices.

Document and template generation

Rob McGillen noted that the shift from exploratory to demonstrable prompts involves upskilling professionals through prompt engineering training and demonstrations, fostering adoption within accountancy practices. Rob addresses AI challenges with practical, prompt building, custom instructions, and private data sets. Emphasising the need for the right tool for specific tasks, he acknowledges the evolving nature of the field, requiring continuous focus and updates.

Generative AI enhances efficiency by minimising time spent on lower-impact tasks, enabling professionals to focus on insightful analysis and application of expertise. Overall, the verdict is positive, highlighting AI’s role in improving document and template generation for increased work process efficiency.

If you are interested in implementing artificial intelligence in your business, please contact us.