Foresight CPA podcast episode 3

Episode 3: Are financial statements dead?

Financial statements are at the foundation of investment decisions. With a myriad of financial tools, alternative sources, and AI more readily available, are financial statements on their way to becoming relics of a bygone era?

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Are financial statements relics of the past? A myriad of financial tools and alternative sources of information have crowded a space once dominated by financial statements and the accountants who prepared them. But, as AI expands and grows more sophisticated, can CPAs maintain their role at the centre of economic activity?

David McGuffin speaks with Jon Lukomnik, managing director of Sinclair Capital and Cathy Cobey, the EY Global Trusted A.I. Advisory Leader, about how big data and AI are changing everything about investing—and how CPAs need to respond to thrive in this new environment.

View transcript

In this episode

  • how investing has changed dramatically over the past two decades, with profound implications for the role financial statements play in investment decisions (1:00)
  • why CPAs need to understand how financial statements link to the broader universe of data, both structured and unstructured if they wish to remain central to the economy (5:30)
  • how AI fails differently from humans (9:10)
  • great example of how altered pixels can fool AI (9:40)
  • how we need to weave “trust-by-design” into the earliest stages of AI projects to mitigate potential risks (13:30)
  • the role CPAs should play in creating governance and integrity over data (15:00)
  • how CPAs need to educate themselves about AI and get involved in projects in their organization where it is being used if they want to thrive in this new environment (18m: 30 secs)

Key takeaways

  • CPAs need to understand how financial statements link to the broader universe of data, and if that happens, the centrality of the profession to the economy will continue.
  • Offering assurance and securing trust in AI is a growing role for CPAs.
  • There’s a huge opportunity for CPAs to understand what is driving value creation.
  • Historical biases exist in the data AI uses.
  • All technologies are subject to error or failure. AI is not immune.
  • CPAs need to be more comfortable relying on technologies for the grunt work to create more time to focus on analysis.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the guest and do not necessarily reflect those of CPA Canada.