LeaseQuery recently conducted a free virtual event to help accountants identify how technology can aid in a variety of accounting tasks and transformations. Over 750 event attendees heard accounting experts discuss how technology impacts day-to-day accounting tasks and frequently asked questions surrounding artificial intelligence (AI) within the accounting industry.
Highlights from the 2023 Accounting Tech Summit
During the Summit, there were presentations from experts from LeaseQuery, FloQast, Oracle Netsuite Global Business Unit, Sovos, Crowe, and Marcum Technology. Each session offered tips on leveraging technology to help with various business functions and enable accounting and finance professionals to do their job with ease.
We have highlighted some of the most important quotes from the summit below. For more details, watch the 2023 Accounting Tech Summit Recap.
Tom Kelly, Director of Product Marketing and Management, Oracle NetSuite Global Business Unit
“When we talk about transformation and how to go about doing it, meaning solving two full-time jobs, you have to leverage technology. The reality of it is, many applications today are being built around things like automation, and, going even further, AI. You can at least rest at night knowing that if you set the system upright and things are configured in a certain way, you are defacto compliant.”
“There’s hype, and then there’s reality. I think this is the case with AI. When we think about things that are going to ‘take our jobs away or replace us’, we still have to have people who are knowledgeable and able to run it. So, it’s important to try to embrace these new things that are coming.”
Sam Hart, Technical Accounting Manager, LeaseQuery
“A lot of companies did not anticipate the ripple effect of activities that would follow adoption. Most were primarily concerned with getting a total population of their leases, making sure everything had been gathered and identified, and getting those initial journal entries and disclosures. Now, we’re faced with this growing list of challenges and revisiting ongoing accounting for leases to determine how to enact these new processes and procedures for long-term success. Ultimately, the goal is to establish and document repeatable and scalable processes to address upcoming risks or the assertions your auditors will be testing you on.”
“ASC 842 hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves at a lot of the companies I talk to. It’s almost like people think it’s going away after the first year, but it’s not. It’s going to be an ongoing process. We want to make sure the team is trained properly. Initially, maybe they were just trained on ‘what’s the technical definition of a lease? What are embedded leases? What’s an incremental borrowing rate or the risk-free rate?’, but there are a lot of nuances that echo into ASC 842 compliance. You want to make sure your team is trained properly on all of that.”
James Dinardo, Business Operations Manager, Sovos
“My team has been working a lot with simpler AI. We instruct the tool to go through and take care of a lot of the manual and repetitive tasks that our frontline teams have to deal with on a daily basis. We’ve had a lot of success where the person used to be copying and pasting from one sheet into another sheet, a website, or whatever it might be. We build out those programs and have AI take care of them. It can do it quicker and frees up the time for the frontline team so they can focus on dealing with clients and things that take more brain power than just to copy and paste.”
Thomas Callaghan, Director of Data Science, Crowe LLP
“If you have a tedious simplicity that you can do more efficiently, yet it feels complex because of the data needed to make the decision … I feel like AI is really powerful at bringing both of those extremes together to find a scalable solution and more human-purposeful work.”
“How can you do tasks more efficiently and prioritize your time? With documents, whether they be leases or contracts, how can you use natural language processing to extract things out of unstructured text? Use computer vision for more structured text documents to pull things out of that. Anomaly detection for fraud detection purposes. In the manufacturing space, we do stuff related to optimization and forecasting of demand.”
“We’re using AI all over the place, and with generative AI now coming in, I think it’s really opening the door to making an impact on a lot of other problems as well.”
Attendees of the 2023 Accounting Tech Summit ended the day with a better understanding of how evolving technology will impact the accounting industry and the ways AI is an efficient tool to help finance teams accomplish their goals. For more information, watch the recap video below.