Marcum just rolled out AskMarcum.ai, powered by Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service. It’s a tool to improve the productivity and efficiency of our team members, embedded within Microsoft Teams. If you’re familiar with ChatGPT, you’ll have an idea of how this works.
Not too long ago, only big tech firms incubated new tech startups, but I’m proud to say AskMarcum.ai was homegrown by the team at Marcum Labs, our very own technology incubator. Developed for the exclusive use of our team members, it will give us a competitive edge as we use it to enhance communication, knowledge sharing, and problem-solving.
Those of you who keep up with the headlines on AI may be wondering why we’re placing such a big bet on AI in such a people-driven business. Regular readers know I’ve always believed in incorporating technology into our workflows when it helps us to work smarter, but that’s not the only reason. This is a powerful tool to move the accounting profession forward, and we feel it is essential to be on the cutting edge.
Like any new technology, AI has to be managed carefully and responsibly, but I don’t believe that’s a big enough reason to bypass something that will help us serve our clients even better and ultimately has the power to transform what a career in accounting looks like.
No matter what field you work in, there are mundane aspects to every job—and that’s true in accounting, as well. AskMarcum.ai will eventually allow team members to hand over rote tasks so they can dive into the more interesting aspects of their jobs that call upon their highest capabilities.
Some people worry that while AI is incredibly efficient and precise, it will take their jobs. I firmly believe that accountants will always be needed. We do a lot more than crunch numbers and make phone calls to the IRS. It’s the strategizing, advising, listening, and long-term relationship-building we do that makes our clients seek us out. Those are things that technology can’t do. And with tools like this new one, we’ll be able to sharpen those skills even more.
Embracing technologies like this puts the onus on Marcum to continue building our bench strength. As we continue to grow, we’ll be looking for hybrid professionals—people who can toggle between learning new technologies and analytics and the service-driven people skills that make the difference for our clients. We’ve been evolving our training programs to make sure that everyone on our team has access to the learning opportunities they need to keep pace with change and continue building their professional skills.
I don’t kid myself. Most people fear change, and new technology, no matter how helpful, takes some getting used to. I’m prepared to be patient—and look forward to having a front-row seat from which to view the many ways our team puts it to work.
Hanukkah, Judaism’s festival of lights, started last night. To those of you who observe, Happy Hanukkah!