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Implementing AI requires the involvement of accountants

Accounting firms must lead the way in integrating technology into environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reporting as artificial intelligence (AI) becomes more popular according to the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

A new report from ACCA and Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) suggests that the accountancy profession is well-positioned to guide organizations in adopting ethical AI with its long-standing commitment to ethical standards.

Due to the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants’ (IESBA) Code of Ethics, which encompasses five principles, the accounting profession is governed by laws.

Integrity, objectivity, professional competence and due care, confidentiality, and professional behavior are the guiding values.

Implementation priorities for accountants

The priorities that accountants should focus on while deploying AI are spelled forth in the report by ACCA. The first step is to ensure that everything AI applied is in line with the company’s principles.

This covers topics including diversity and inclusion when evaluating the impact on under-represented groups, fairness in recruiting, employee surveillance, and company transparency, such as adequately disclosing AI use to customers.

 ‘AI adoption must consider the needs of all, especially the under-represented and vulnerable in society. That’s why one of our recommendations is to ensure the profession exercises its professional judgment, because AI may create previously unseen situations.

‘We recommend that professional accountants need to avoid over-reliance on simplistic checklist-based approaches which don’t give the full picture or leave space for unintended consequences.’

According to the research, accountants must assess the business case for AI. This includes assessing the long-term value, taking into account the reputational risk of improper adoption, public interest considerations, and immediate costs.

Use of AI in accounting

With 19 percent of accountants now using AI for accountancy and finance-related duties including preparing financial statements and management reporting, ACCA believes there is an opportunity to harness AI to a higher level in the future.

Accounting firms should pay special attention to company greenwashing, according to the ACCA. It urges accountants to question greenwashing and use artificial intelligence (AI) techniques to investigate a company’s claims about sustainability and net-zero commitments.

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The suitable examination and detailing of the company’s information give an important understanding of the business’s operations. With the presentation of VAT within the UAE, businesses will get to keep more point-by-point bookkeeping records to dodge future problems.

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