By Brilliant® | July 9, 2018

While technological advances continue to evolve in the business world and beyond, many accounting and finance professionals specifically are fearing what the future holds for their careers. In fact, according to an article from Accounting Web, 40 percent of accounting and finance professionals’ job responsibilities may be replaced by artificial intelligence (AI) one day.

Some professionals may see this as the end of accounting and finance era, however I see it as a great opportunity! While AI can take on various cognitive functions, it will likely never acquire the understanding or function of human emotional intelligence (EQ). This can include critical thinking, creative brainstorming, complex problem-solving skills and human connection with colleagues.

Bots are unable to walk into a meeting and read the emotions of the others in the room. Bots can’t comprehend empathy and know how to cheer up a grumpy client. They also are unable to understand how others perceive them – which is where the opportunity lays. While technical duties of an accountant may be taken on by AI, their leadership, relationship-building and problem-solving will be in high demand in the future. So, it’s time to start preparing! Take a look at the 3 Ways for Accountants to Stay Ahead of Artificial Intelligence below.

1. Self-Awareness
Someone who has strong self-awareness is able to view themselves from the inside and out. They understand their strengths and weaknesses, and recognize how others perceive them. This is an important skill for accountants to have when gaining traction, transitioning into a leadership role or even simply working with colleagues on different projects.

2. Situational Awareness
This refers back to the ability to step into a meeting and immediately recognize the moods of the others in the room. Humans can read the emotions of others and as a result, they can tailor their behavior and language to resonate with those emotions. This skill is important when dealing with a client – reading their body language and social cues before anyone speaks. Problem-solving also plays a role in holding a sense of situational awareness, especially as accounting and finance roles become more involved in technology and strategy within businesses, the need for such awareness is even more crucial.

3. Responding Appropriately 
As previously mentioned, not everyone you communicate with is the same, and a one-size-fits-all approach is ineffective when it comes to business interaction. If you’re in constant communication with other professionals, try to understand each person you come into communication with, in order to align your language and personality with theirs. Although it’s important to think on your feet and respond to a conversation appropriately, the most critical skill an accounting leader can over a “bot” is listening – it’s key to gaining traction as an accounting leader.

These are only a few ways to stay ahead of artificial intelligence. Do you have any other suggestions? Leave a comment below!

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