The business is strong & the economy is growing.
The financials are complete.
The client is happy.

Accountants in a brief but tense staredown with a Robotic entity at a Fintech conference.

Not only this but the financials are done in a tenth of the time at a quarter of the cost. The lead accountant is Maria. Maria is a robotic technology that runs on a DAO protocol built on Ethereum that enables the oracles on the project to ensure that client financials are done at a phenomenal speed. Maria is not a 1s and 0s computer interface with dash-dash code on the screen. She has a face. A smile. And a protocol was written into her code that enables her to develop human-like characteristics. Even a sense of humor.

Maria has an API plug-in that sources data from platforms where transactions are originated. Bank accountants, online stores, social media data, google searches and even geo-locations are all written into Maria API & this enables her to understand not only the transaction that she is processing but also the context and reason for those transactions. That means that Maria can pass journals, allocate transactions & recon the notorious “.Bank” without a single client query.

Maria has effectively replaced the bookkeeper, the client manager, the client accountant & the senior accountant.

Not only this but because Maria is part of a networked system of robotic intelligence using Machine Learning to augment their work, Maria is fed with a daily dose of the latest market trends, fresh industry data, and anonymized competitor statistics, published market news, latest trends in legislated areas such as tax, most contemporary court judgments & the holy grail, competitor news. Basically, Maria is not just doing the books. But Maria is smart. Really smart. And getting smarter every single day.

I know what you are thinking.

I too run a business (several in fact) in South Africa. I get the pressures, the perilous state of our economy, the dire state of our politics, and the senseless nature of chronic levels of theft clothed by the civilized phrase, corruption. I know that amongst your worries is the civil rest-inducing levels of youth unemployment, the insidious rate of crime, and the parasitic levels of incompetence often seen in our public service.

I know.

But the world is moving. And fast.

When I started my first business, you didn’t have online banking plug-ins that would update your accounting system with the latest transactions on your account. You certainly didn’t have automated rules for transactions so that transactions that met the same criteria with follow the same path. Today not only is this happening, it is happening for micro businesses for a subscription service of R350 a month.

My sense is that robotic intelligence doing the task I have described above is about 5years away. And it will be introduced not a single robotic entity that is able to interface with people (what we call cobots) but rather as a series of applications features onto your current accounting system. It will start as a feature-led innovation (and if you pay close attention you already see this happening). It will then become a competitive advantage for the accounting practices ready to invest in this technology. Soon, driven by the efficiency of these systems, it will be the standard for all professional firms.

This is not in the far-off future.
This is in the NEXT.

Are you ready?

Vusi Thembekwayo
Global Speaker. Investor. Leader.

<< this article will also be published in the latest SAIPA magazine. SAIPA is an association of accountants, a professional body.>>