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3 ways accountants can implement AI today


Newyork, USA (Wiredrelease) Boost SEO Metrics: Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a disruptive technology has begun to dramatically change the landscape of accounting and bookkeeping. Just as Henry Ford's Model T transformed the transportation industry, the rudimentary forms of AI available today are transforming the accounting industry. The century-long journey from the Model T to today's Formula 1 race cars will feel like an eternity compared to how quickly AI will evolve in the coming decade. Accountants who become early adopters of AI features already available in such systems as QuickBooks will be in the pole position to jump ahead of the competition.

Promises of Artificial Intelligence

AI sounds mysterious, a thing of science fiction, Star Trek, and androids. The basic objective of AI is to enable computers to perform intellectual tasks, such as decision-making, problem-solving, and human communication. AI applied to a specific set of problems is called "Narrow AI", and examples are all around us: Google Search; image recognition; Siri, Alexa, and other personal assistants; and self-driving cars.

Surely only the brightest computer geeks can grasp the dark secrets of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. Right? Not so, according to companies like QuickBooks and BooksTime.

AI tools are available to use today in modern accounting systems, and they can help accountants be more accurate, efficient, and productive without requiring the technical expertise of a software engineer or a data scientist. For example, QuickBooks and Xero offer 30-day free test drives of their AI-equipped systems. Tech-savvy outsourced bookkeeping services, such as BooksTime, employ experts in AI technology who know how to get the most value out of the latest features of these software platforms. Using a service like BooksTime makes it easy to take AI accounting for a spin and experience the full value and power of an AI-enabled system – without having to learn all the technology yourself.

AI in Accounting Systems

In 2019, Intuit announced AI-based product innovations in their QuickBooks system to bring cutting-edge computing technology—usually reserved for the biggest corporations—to small businesses. The AI capabilities in QuickBooks remove the drudgery of traditionally tedious bookkeeping tasks by identifying patterns in the billions of transactions that traverse the QuickBooks platform. Their online system automates repetitive back-office chores, streamlines accounts payable, and improves cash flow forecasts. AI clears the road for small businesses to get smarter, achieve higher success, and focus on delivering customer astonishment.

Accounting Today refers to this ability as "invisible accounting". It eliminates the repetitive, mindless tasks of bookkeeping and opens the door to a ready understanding of the health and direction of a business. Automation reduces errors and the potential for fraud, thus increasing trust in the data even as the volume of data increases exponentially. AI can analyze large quantities of data to provide powerful, actionable insights for steering business decisions.

AI Plugins for Accounting Software

As intelligent as modern accounting and bookkeeping applications have become, they get even smarter when AI-enabled software plugins are applied. Third-party plugins are like putting a supercharger on a big-block V8 engine. Commercially available apps that can plug into QuickBooks to rev up their AI motor include:

  • Expensify – tracks receipts and expenses
  • Siyea – automates accounts receivable management
  • Clockwork – produces financial projections and cash flow forecasts
  • – generates beautiful management reports
  • Centsoft – captures invoice data and automates mobile approval workflow
  • Airbase – manages all credit card, invoice, check and ACH spending in one place
  • Roger – automates accounts payable

These days, accountants who want to automate as much as possible cannot rely on a single app —  instead, they need to piece together a system of several apps and plug-ins based on the specific workflow or process being automated. That requires expertise in a broad range of software. It can be a daunting challenge – which is why accounting firms are increasingly relying on outsourcing services with AI expertise, such as BooksTime.

Auditing with AI

Using AI in audits is more comprehensive than random sampling, improving the ability to identify high-risk transactions. MindBridge is an example of an auditing system that integrates with QuickBooks. Pinpointing high-risk transactions enables a single auditor to complete the work that would normally require a whole team and a lot of time. AI not only streamlines auditing, it puts it on rails. says, "Artificial Intelligence can turbocharge the profession from a backward looking ‘bookkeeping' function to delivering forward-looking insights which can drive strategic decisions. Machine learning models applied to data can reduce fraud, enhance trust and increase compliance." AI creates the potential to do more with existing resources. By automating administrative tasks, accountants can devote more time and energy to creativity—analyzing and interpreting the data to extract real value for the business and their customers.

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