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How can we prepare financial statements faster?

Growing sophistication of the modern accounting and reporting standards is a globally acknowledged phenomenon. For example, in the IFRS context, Australian Financial Reporting Council decided to issue a special report to address complexity concerns [1]. Their dedicated team, Managing Complexity Task Force, concluded that the current body of financial reporting requirements is a shifting mix of principles and rules, too often complicated by exceptions [2].

We believe that application of cognitive automation and artificial intelligence may significantly simplify the process of financial reporting, at the same time improving its quality.

Recognising efforts of the International Accounting Standards Board to rationalise those requirements and promote professional judgement, the team described though the situation as cries for interpretation, complexity from options and exceptions, and a 'layering on' of new disclosure requirements. Framework complexity makes mastering and application of the rules and principles, or even keeping up-to-date with their changes, a wearisome and time-consuming task.

[1] Managing Complexity in Financial Reporting, Financial Reporting Council, Managing Complexity Task Force, Australian Government, May 2012. 
[2] Sources of Reporting Complexity, in: Managing Complexity in Financial Reporting, Financial Reporting Council, Managing Complexity Task Force, Australian Government, May 2012.