Do you prefer vegetables or cake?

Posted: 22 Mar
Do you prefer vegetables or cake?

Do you prefer vegetables or cake?

The humble garden variety bookkeeper wears many hats. Not only do we have to be great communicators, have an affinity for numbers and stay up to date with changing legislation, but we also have to stay across technology changes. Our industry is changing rapidly and what is the biggest groundbreaking advancement shaking up the world of bookkeeping in 2024? Artificial Intelligence (AI).  Wanting to be forewarned and forearmed, this week I attended an online summit, hosted by Content Snare, to gather intel on all things AI bookkeeping related. We are all about automation in Appy Books Land, so anything I can learn to improve efficiency and automate processes, I am happy to jump on that AI train. I really enjoyed the content, and the presenters were all so familiar that it felt like I was hanging out with a bunch of friends. All that was missing was a cold beverage.

You might ask, “What does AI look like in the bookkeeping space?” Well, simply speaking, it has well and truly killed off the days of manual data entry and tedious spreadsheet wrangling. With AI-powered accounting software, tasks that once required hours of painstaking effort are now accomplished in a flash, freeing bookkeepers, and other advisors, to grow their practices and focus on what truly matters: advising their clients on making informed financial decisions that drive business growth.

So, how exactly is AI flexing its muscles in the realm of accounting software? Let's break it down:

.Smart Data Entry: AI algorithms have mastered the art of data entry, effortlessly capturing, and categorizing financial transactions with unparalleled accuracy. Whether it's invoices, receipts, or bank statements, AI-powered software can swiftly sift through mountains of data, automatically extracting relevant information and populating the appropriate fields. Software like Hubdoc, Dext, Weel and even, Xero bank feeds are examples of this advancement. These tools enable us to say goodbye to manual data entry errors and hello to streamlined workflows!

.Automated Bookkeeping: Traditional bookkeeping can be a time-consuming chore, but AI is here to lighten the load. By analysing past transactions and learning from user behaviour, AI algorithms can automate routine bookkeeping tasks such as categorizing expenses, analysing transactions, and generating financial reports. The result? A real-time view of your data and financial health without the headache of manual data manipulation. There are some great products on the market that help with these tasks, like XBert and Syft.

.Predictive Analytics: Want to peer into the future and forecast your company's financial trajectory? AI-powered accounting software makes it possible. By crunching historical data and identifying patterns, AI algorithms can predict future trends, flag potential risks, and suggest strategic financial decisions. Whether it's optimizing cash flow, managing inventory levels, or identifying cost-saving opportunities, AI has your back. Check out Aider, Spotlight or Fathom as examples of apps predicting your future success.

.Client Onboarding: When you land a new client, there are so many questions you need answers for. AI has changed the way advisors onboard their clients by automating the collection of that data. By leveraging AI, bookkeepers can utilize smart forms that adapt dynamically based on client responses, tailoring the data collection experience, minimising errors, and ensuring accuracy and efficiency from the get-go. Expediting the onboarding process, allows us to focus more on delivering value-added services to clients and less on administrative tasks. Great app examples using this technology are Content Snare and Ignition. Both are lifesavers in a busy practice.

 

The integration of AI into accounting software marks a paradigm shift in how we manage finances and navigate the complexities of modern business. By automating tedious tasks, unlocking predictive capabilities, and delivering personalized insights, AI empowers us to work smarter, not harder, unleashing our full potential as financial wizards.

We have all read the many, many doom and gloom stories of how this new technology will replace advisors, but people have been banging on about this for since I started my practice, 10 years ago. I do agree that AI may replace the old-fashioned part of the bookkeeping industry, but that could probably do with a little renovation. I find it so cool that instead of eating a plate full of vegetables every day, I will get to eat cake. What I mean by that is basic bookkeeping is an absolute necessity, just like eating your vegies. But what a joy to be able to interpret that data quickly and efficiently with your experience and your knowledge, and your AI sidekick, to pass on insights and make a real time difference in the lives of small businesses. I’ll eat that cake every day of the week!

OK, all those mentions of my favourite food group has made me hungry. I am off to find me some red velvet.

Stay ‘Appy!

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