CPA.com, the business and technology subsidiary of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), has announced its plans to deliver a series of initiatives designed to support accounting and finance professionals in building awareness and understanding of generative AI (GenAI) and its potential impact on the accounting profession. The announcement came during a keynote session at AICPA & CIMA ENGAGE 2023.

CPA.com CEO and president, Erik Asgeirsson, said: “Generative AI is going to have a profound impact on the accounting profession.

“While other technologies like cloud computing have transformed how firms deliver services, we believe generative AI’s impact could be much more dramatic and evolve much more rapidly.”

CPA.com has initiated a series of thought leadership activities aimed at accelerating the profession’s understanding of generative AI, including how it works with specific use cases within tax, audit, client advisory services (CAS), finance, practice management and marketing.

With that insight, CPA.com is also developing practical tools and resources—as it’s done with other emerging technologies and categories including the cloud, blockchain and ESG—to empower firms to assess the potential of generative AI in their practices.

Activities will include:

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  • Ecosystem Review: An ecosystem scan of solution providers who are experimenting with AI and Large Language Models (LLMs) in their software to deliver new features and functionality for accounting and finance professionals.
  • An AI Symposium that will bring together subject matter experts, firm practice leaders, thought leaders, AI solution providers and technologists to exchange strategies and information on the real and potential impacts of the transformative technology on the profession.
  • An AI-specific cohort within the 2024 AICPA and CPA.com Startup Accelerator to support the growth of early-stage companies harnessing this technology to benefit accounting and finance.
  • AI-focused training:
    – A toolkit that firms can use to inform their AI strategy across multiple practice areas.
    – Special webinars including “Generative AI, The Great Equalizer,” to be held Oct. 24, which will provide a demonstration of various GenAI use cases specific to accounting firms and ways to leverage the emerging technology within their firms.
    – Dedicated sessions at Digital CPA 2023, including one with innovation expert Pascal Finette during which attendees will map out their own GenAI use cases in roundtable groups.
    – Thought leadership resources to support awareness and education including a security checklist, explainer videos and special reports.

Many firms are already leveraging AI through their existing solution providers who are moving fast to incorporate the technology into their platforms. Various solutions have enabled practitioners to generate client email responses, review documents and automate processes and workflows within practice management.

Commenting on this, Be Radical co-founder and CEO, Pascal Finette, said: “Simply said, AI will increase our productivity and spark our innovation potential by allowing us to make new connections between disparate ideas.

“It’s not a question of ‘if’ generative AI can fit into a practice, but ‘how’—and that will vary by firm and use case.”

Asgeirsson concluded: “We want to create education and resources that support firms through this change.

“Generative AI has significant co-pilot like capabilities for practitioners and we think this is a great opportunity for the profession.