In this paper, we survey public accounting professionals to gauge the extent to which Artificial Intelligence (AI), specifically Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Machine Learning (ML), are currently being utilized by the profession, as well as perceptions about the impact and receptiveness to this technology. Quantitative and qualitative responses from ninety participants, representing various firms, service lines, and positions, indicate that both RPA and ML are currently not being used extensively by public accountants nor by clients of public accounting firms, and firms are conducting some, but not extensive training on these technologies for employees. However, respondents strongly indicated that AI will significantly impact their daily responsibilities in five years and that employees in the profession are very receptive to these changes. Additionally, we find that firm size appears to be the most significant factor impacting differences in responses. These results indicate that while large-scale AI adoption has not yet come to public accounting, substantial changes are on the horizon.
The Robots are Coming...But Aren't Here Yet: The Use of Artificial Intelligence Technologies in the Public Accounting Profession
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Kathleen M. Bakarich, Patrick O'Brien; The Robots are Coming...But Aren't Here Yet: The Use of Artificial Intelligence Technologies in the Public Accounting Profession. Journal of Emerging Technologies in Accounting doi: https://doi.org/10.2308/JETA-19-11-20-47
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