Will bookkeeping and accounting be replaced by robots or AI?

With the rise of AI and more computer automated everything, the question does come up a lot about whether or not bookkeeping and accounting will be replaced by robots or AI. 

If you think about it, there is a possibility that it could be. 

But let’s look a little deeper at it here for a minute. 

Bookkeeping isn’t just categorization

Most people think bookkeeping is really just categorizing the transactions that a business has each month. 

The categorization could be done by a computer. But it would still need to be reviewed in depth by a human to make sure it’s actually categorized correctly. 

I know Quickbooks has a feature where you can set rules so that each time a similar transaction comes through it will automatically be categorized a certain way. 

But then what if you set up that rule for a transaction, one that is similar, but not the same, comes through, and it gets categorized that same way? 

Humans must review the work anyway. 

Not only does the categorization need review, once the categorization is done, more review needs to be done. 

A computer can spit out reports that are summary type. Of course. I won’t deny that. 

But those reports aren’t going to be able to give the business owner, the accountant, the CFO the actual data they need to make more financial decisions. 

It’s still going to take a human going over those reports and digging into the data provided on those reports to make the financial decisions of the business. 

 Accuracy is important

I mentioned how robots and AI can still categorize things wrong and can’t actually make the financial decisions above. 

And with that same idea, when it comes to your bookkeeping and accounting, accuracy is very important. 

How many times have you gotten a notice from the government or IRS that something was wrong on your return? But yet it really wasn’t wrong at all. The robot that read your return read it wrong. 

I’ve personally seen it happen a lot. 

And the accuracy with your business finances is very important. 

Robots don’t think 

A robot doesn’t have an actual brain to do any form of in depth thinking. 

As much as we would like to be able to not have to think sometimes, we will not be able to replace thinking with robots, no matter how much we try. 

Thinking is something that humans do.

Yes, overthinking is also a problem that we have, but let’s talk about that another day. 

Robots can spit out reports and summaries. They can’t do actual evaluations. They can’t spotcheck to make sure things are correct like a human can. 

Part of Bookkeeping & Accounting Could be Replaced

I do believe that a few parts of accounting and bookkeeping could possibly be replaced by robots or AI, but it’s not that likely. 

The human interaction with the business finances and just the human review are very crucial parts of your business. 

Whether you have a bookkeeper and an accountant working with you in your business, or it’s just you, it will work much better for you and your business if robots and AI are not involved in the accounting and bookkeeping part of your business. 

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