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AI can replace auditors and accountants, Union Finance secretary

Union Finance Secretary and senior IAS officer T.V. Somanathan on Saturday said Artificial Intelligence (AI) can replace the work being done by auditors and accountants.

He was delivering the CA S. Hariharan memorial lecture here.

Somanathan said that AI has specific implication for the economy and added that automation for business process can be much more potent with Artificial intelligence than it was without it.

He said that this can quite a bit replace the work that was being done by auditors and accountants.

The finance secretary also said that he can foresee an expansion of credit lending in the Indian economy.

T.V. Somanathan said, "In India credit to the private sector is approximately 55 per cent of the GDP while in China it is above 180 per cent. I would not say the Chinese level is healthy or desirable .. it is not. This is not a goal we should see, but one can argue that India’s level is too low. It has
to rise to 100-120 per cent  of the GDP which will accelerate investment and growth."

He said, "Projects that would not start will start if they get enough credit. But the challenge is to expand the volume of credit without bad debts which we politely call as NPA’s. This expansion of credit will expand demand for accountants."

The Union finance secretary also said that in the future to come the number of Income tax payers in India will increase continuously for many years to come. He said that he could see an annual expansion of 6-7 per cent in the number of Income tax payers and this would increase the demand for good accountants.