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Expert advice on ChatGPT: Stay open-minded

Written on Oct 26, 2023

By Jessica Salerno-Shumaker, OSCPA senior content manager  

ChatGPT is an opportunity for accounting professionals if they can overcome their fear of it.  

“People are sometimes afraid of it because of the unknowns,” said Noah Jellison, executive director of the Risk Institute at the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University. “But I think it's about understanding what it is and not being afraid to leverage and embrace it.” 

ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence chatbot developed by OpenAI, has revolutionized the way the public interacts with chatbots. It has the potential to change countless industries, accounting included, and Jellison said this can make some people uneasy. He will present on this topic at the November Ohio Accounting Show and will also be featured in the November Advance sessions.   

But intelligence demonstrated in machines has been around for decades, he said, and this is just the latest development. Rather than seeing all the risks related, consider the benefits.  

ChatGPT can take your questions and develop new content and new capabilities based on those interactions, and it learns and refines the answers to your preferences. It can help parse through data, offer facts and figures that would take a human hours to find and free up professionals to focus on more value-add work. While users should remember to fact-check along the way, it can save time and increase efficiency.  

“It’s going to shift the profession in a way that our work in accounting will change entirely,” he said.  

It’s not every day you are able to sign up for the free version of a program and experience true added value to your role, but that’s what’s available with ChatGPT, Jellison said. Now is the time to experiment and see how you can best leverage its capabilities.  

“We as a profession have a real opportunity here,” he said. “We can embrace it in a way to leverage AI and the concept of AI to further elevate the profession and elevate the brand of what accountants do.”  

Register today for the November Accounting Show! 

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