Machine learning, data analytics and artificial intelligence are having a significant impact on many areas of the finance profession, including invoice processing, credit decisions, and communication. Alongside the efficiency gains brought by such technology however, are increased concerns about job replacement and redundant skills. Stuart A. Brown, associate director of quality and technical assurance at Duncan & Toplis, says that rather than being something to be afraid of, technology should be embraced by auditors and accountants, adding that while it can be seen to answer the questions “What?” or “How?”, it rarely answers the question “Why?” Software algorithms are no replacement for the professional scepticism essential to a successful audit, and can never replace experience, knowledge, and a questioning approach.

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