ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE THREAT OR OPPORTUNITY FOR THE ACCOUNTING PROFESSION
I read a book recently and I was so inspired to start preaching the principle of automation because it has the potential to help us do more with less effort; and that’s putting it mildly. The book was written by Ray Dalio and it is titled ‘Principles” This man used 2 principles that I also use but on a larger scale. The first principle is that people should be given roles to which they are best suited in terms of personality and behavioural preferences. What this means is that when you select your employees, make sure that their roles are those that they are naturally disposed to do effortlessly and effectively. Everyone excels at something but that doesn’t mean they are aware of it directly; but as a leader you are responsible for finding out what it is. How do you do this accurately? Use psychometric tests. I have taken many psychometric tests in the past and I am very much aware of my strengths and weaknesses. However, the psychometric test I use now is so uncannily accurate that the first time I took it, it felt like someone had been spying on every step I take in my life and recording it for me. The result was mindboggling and all the tests I have done before that were good but not anywhere as accurate. I have always known that it is important but the book brought it home to me how you can create enormous value by getting the best out of your people. Ray Dalio is a billionaire stock broker and he attributes his success to selecting the right people for the right job. Albert Einstein said ‘If you ask a fish to climb a tree, the fish would think that it is stupid all its life’ So, I cannot share the psychometric test here because it is a proprietary asset but I would leave my details at the end if anyone reading this is interested, I would share it privately free of charge.
You may be asking where is the artificial intelligence threat in this treatise so far? Yes, that’s the second principle shared by Ray Dalio and I am now going to share his principle with you here now. The human capacity to make decisions at speed is now being replicated by Artificial Intelligence (A.I). The scary part is the quality of those decisions are far better and more accurate because they tend not to make errors or get emotional. When we make mistakes, we usually defend ourselves by saying, oh you know I am human after all. I am going to discuss briefly, how A.I. made billions of dollars for Ray’s company. He was one of the pioneers of programming systems to records events, trends, economic upheavals etc to predict what is likely to happen to stock market movements. The system is so robust that it helped him make billions of dollars in the process and he revealed all in his book.
My point about threat to the accounting profession is that most of the specialized skills we so much cherish is gradually being transferred to machine. What can we do about it? There is a saying that if you cannot beat them, then join them. Accountants must adopt the technology and be at the fore front of using A.I to improve what we do. You don’t have to be one of the big 4 or work there to take advantage; actually, the current trend favours the myriads of firms of accountants and auditors because you may adopt automation of your marketing strategies to get consistent clients without the awkward networking or cold calling. What does it mean? I have been an expert in the digital marketing space for almost a decade now and I help clients adopt a proven system that get them clients consistently using automated lead generation systems to help fellow accountants, consultants, coaches, authors etc. There is a saying that ‘all the money you will ever need is in the pocket of those that are just one click away from you’ this is now truer than ever.
A client of mine who has been running his firm for decades came to me one day and said, he is likely to close his practice and look for a job. I asked him why would he even entertain such a thought? He complained that the market is dry and the clients he has been getting are now interested only if you reduce your charge to the barest minimum. So accountancy is now being commoditized! I asked him how he currently gets his clients and he said through networking and referrers. I asked him to change his approach and find below how we helped him rebuilt his firm which is now bustling with activities and he cannot handle all the clients.
Selling breaks rapport and no one wants to be sold but people are in need of a very good service. There are 3 simple parts to the strategy which I am going to share with you here but they are not deep enough because of space limitation. There are six principles of persuasion but I would share only four of them relevant to professionals seeking new clients.
Authority– when you show that you are an authority in your area of expertise, people would naturally gravitate towards you.
Trust – In our profession, if you are not trusted, nobody would do business with you. However, just holding a qualification alone doesn’t confer trust any more.
Liking – People are likely to do business with you if they like you (its not like the recommendation in ‘how to win friends and influence people)
Reciprocity – people are likely to want to repay you when you give them something.
We have numerous strategies suitable for different markets because what works in UK may not work in Nigeria and vice versa. This strategy is what I called the educational marketing strategy. Find a problem faced by your market place. Create an educational program to teach about the problem. There are many easy tools you can use today to do this. Announce to your market that you want to teach about the problem. Teach your marketplace how to solve this problem without selling yourself 80% of the training program. Towards the end of the program, show them how your service is one of the solutions to the problem. Where does automation come into this process? The whole process from beginning to the end may be automated and you just deliver the training once and it could be replicated 1000 times if you want.
My client adopted the above strategy and got 9 clients from his first attempt and that’s a miracle to him because he hasn’t got up to that all year. Now that the system is automated, he is unable to handle the number of clients; now his fees are now going up for the first time in years. In one of my interviews in the newspaper recently, they carved out this as the headline ‘we are living in a world of opportunities, intense competition’ It is very true because if you stay the same, the world around you is moving at a very rapid rate and you may be left behind. In my book ‘Goldmine of Your Mind-Your Fast Track to Abundance’ I talked about technology a great deal and how to use it to grow our business rapidly. I also talked about changing our self-image to the kind of person who is capable of achieving the success we desire.
In my book ‘Goldmine of Your Mind-Your Fast Track to Abundance’, I talked a little bit about how success is largely dependent on our self-image; that is, the way we see ourselves and our place in the world. The book is available on itunes, audible and amazon worldwide in audiobook, ebook and paperback. I would recommend that you buy the book by Ray Dalio ‘Principles’ but before you do so, make sure you buy my own book first! Just joking. If you want to learn more about innovative strategies to grow your business, you can follow this link to book a free session with me https://mbckonsult.com/schedule-appointment/
Ayo Benson Olarewaju FCCA FCA MBA is the author of ‘Goldmine of Your Mind – Your Fast Track to Abundance’ CEO MBC Konsults Ltd United Kingdom