Throughout the years, technology has managed to push every field of activity towards change, and accounting is no different. With new mechanisms being implemented constantly to improve certain operations, people have to change the way they approach daily tasks. Dabie Tsai, a long time accounting and auditing expert, talked about the changes that have been occurring in her line of work and why things aren’t as grim as people might fear.
Tsai is a former partner with KPMG, one of the Big Four accounting firms, and has had a 23-year tenure with the firm, serving in leadership roles linked to her specialties, such as US GAAP, SEC 33 and 34 Acts filings for domestic and foreign registrants, and IFRS. She considers accounting the foundation for any company, and when it comes to new innovations, she believes that data and analytics, as well as artificial intelligence, are recent innovations which will continue to revolutionize her profession.
Effective use of data and analytics, according to Tsai, has enabled her profession to focus on risk areas such as unusual transactions. As a result of incorporating big data, the amount of business activity which can be in scope for review and examinations ends up expanding significantly. Discussing the benefits of D&A, the accounting veteran went as far as to say that it is transforming the way businesses operate. As a result of mining big data, companies are able to identify variables of concern which were not previously measured to improve performance or enhance strategy (Gazetteday).
When adding artificial intelligence to the mix, Tsai considers that it will be possible for large amounts of information to be analyzed, processed, and evaluated while, at the same time, identifying complexities or irregularities. She does, however, point out that AI is still at the tip of the iceberg.
Dabie Tsai notes that these advancements in her line of work will end up requiring a new skill set from accounting professionals, requiring them to be more tech savvy and possess the ability to translate and interpret the analysis provided to understand how it impacts businesses.