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No Accounting for Tech ep19: What do accountants really think of AI?

With so much hype around how the current wave of generative artificial intelligence tools will change accountancy, comparatively little focus has been given to what accountants actually doing the job want or need from the new systems. AccountingWEB technology editor Tom Herbert hit the floor at the recent 2020 Innovation conference to find out what accountants think the AI-driven may hold for the profession. 


15th Nov 2023
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Throughout the autumn conference season, one topic has dominated the stages and show floors, and that unsurprisingly has been artificial intelligence. With the likes of ChatGPT, and Google Bard hogging the headlines, it’s actually been quite tough to get vendors to talk about anything else.

But what do accountants on the ground really think of all this? Where do they see the benefits for their firms or businesses? And what concerns do they have? Roving mic in hand, AccountingWEB technology editor Tom Herbert hit the conference floor at the recent 2020 event in Birmingham to find out. 

The majority at the show remained optimistic about the potential for efficiency, although several raised concerns about client confidentiality and the ultimate responsibility for outputs generated by the systems. One of the most interesting aspects was the wide variety of services to which accountants believe AI could add value, from client research and onboarding right through to personal tax, bookkeeping and reporting.

2020’s conference approached the topic in a variety of ways, from a macro perspective with talk from Oxford University economist Dan Susskind to a more practical approach on ways to use generative AI safely in your firm from 2020’s tech lead Billie Mcloughlin.

To listen to six views from the conference, click play in the podcast box above, or search for AccountingWEB on your podcast player of choice.

Accountants and vendors features are:

  • Billie Mcloughlin, tech lead and practice consultant, 2020 Innovation
  • Paul Miller, managing director, Cornish Accounting
  • Gloria Murray, director, Xeinadin Group Murray Associates
  • Andy North, chief marketing officer, TaxCalc
  • Alan Woods, director, Woods Squared Limited
  • Paul Donno, director, 1Accounts

Background reading for the podcast:

*Editor’s note: For technical reasons, some of the interviews were recorded remotely a day or two after the conference*

Podcast written, hosted and produced by Tom Herbert

Replies (1)

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By rememberscarborough
16th Nov 2023 10:32

Might be a useful tool maybe even as useful as spreadsheets one day but the usual caveat applies - garbage in, garbage out....

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