Embracing AI will lead to better, bigger opportunities

Written on Apr 19, 2018

By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA content manager

In the movies, ruthless artificial intelligence is usually responsible for destroying humanity, so it’s no wonder accountants are wary of its influence on the profession. But one AI expert said it’s important to view this technology in context.

Chris_Ortega“Change is a constant. Change is always moving and it’s the driving force in business,” said Chris Ortega, senior finance manager at Emarsys. “Artificial intelligence and machine learning is just going to be a change for us in accounting, finance and FP&A. But it’s an opportunity as well.”

Ortega will speak about AI and machine learning May 17 at the Dayton Accounting Show. The opportunity he sees is a chance to focus your resources on high-value activities.

“You need your people inside the business driving knowledge that ultimately leads to data driven decision making, and that’s the opportunity we have in our profession,” he said. “And once you focus on your team providing knowledge inside the business, it’s going to move our profession away from being scorekeepers to valued integrators.”

There is comfort in doing things how they have always been done, but there is also a lack of creativity and value as the business environment changes. This is where accountants add crucial value to their organizational role. Ortega said he is often asked by CFOs and controllers if AI and machine learning will take away some of their staff’s responsibilities.

“And my answer to them is: it is,” he said. “And you have to be prepared for that. It’s going to take away the data mining, the excel churning and burning, the hours of analytical processing that it takes for somebody to be able to form an opinion that guides the business.”

If you’re looking to gain more knowledge about AI and machine learning, Ortega encourages you to read as much as possible. He also suggested reaching out to those in the tech industry to learn more, and keeping an eye on other companies who are making similar changes.

Organizations don’t need to revise their entire business strategy tomorrow to implement these changes, he said, but it’s important to start making intentional moves in this direction.

“Change is uncomfortable for some people,” Ortega said. “Organizations and teams that don’t begin to take those steps to move down that path, 10 years from now they’re going to find themselves losing top performers, paying significant premiums just to keep people and falling behind in business.”

Register now for the Dayton Accounting Show on May 16-17.

Sunrise Breakfast: Network & Learn | May 16 ONLY | 7- 7:30 a.m.

Sponsored by CompManagement and Oswald

Enjoy a delicious hot breakfast while learning from industry experts at the Dayton Accounting Show:

  • Workers Comp 101: Understanding Ohio Policy and Discount Programs with CompManagement
  • Direct Health Care Program with Oswald
    • The current broken system of delivering primary care
    • The importance of having a primary care physician
    • Explanation and strategy of the Direct Primary Care Model and Concierge Primary Care

To register sign up for the show on May 16 and select “Session 00” for Worker's Comp 101; select “Session 000” for Direct Primary Care.

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