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Artificial Intelligence in Accounting: Focus on Your Workflow

Posted by Alexander Hagerup on Mar 13, 2019 8:05:00 AM
Alexander Hagerup
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Artificial Intelligence in Accounting: Focus on Your Workflow

Accountants ask themselves questions tens, if not hundreds of times each day. What types of questions do they ask themselves? Keep in mind, these are excellent questions for artificial intelligence or AI.

The following is an excerpt from the webinar, “Automating Outsourced Accounting: How Accounting and Bookkeeping Firms Can Prepare for AI and Machine Learning.”

  • What is this?

  • Has it already been paid with someone’s credit card?

  • Is it potentially fraudulent?

  • Does it make sense?

  • Which account should it be applied to?

  • Which dimensions are relevant?

  • Who is authorized to approve it?

  • Do we/our client have cash to pay it?

Answering questions like these repetitively is part of the accounting profession. However while an accountant might use several minutes or more to understand it or look up an answer, trained AI will find the answer for you in seconds. Your job will be to help where the AI is uncertain and review its predictions.

AI Addresses Job Satisfaction Challenges

When you implement AI in your workflow, it doesn't magically replace humans. It will help us be more productive, remain focused, and ease cognitive taxation by helping us do our work faster and better. It will augment the work that we’re doing.

Employers with AI help their employees:

  • Be more productive

  • Fight boredom

  • Remain focused

  • Handle their jobs with low stress and relative mental ease

Accountants Help AI Improve Over Time

“Hey, Mark. I understood 95% of this bill, but the bank account number indicated is different from what I think it should be. Can you please check that out?”

AI can understand context. AI can also ask for help only when it’s needed. AI is able to deal with most transactions and only prompt for help when there isn’t enough context to make a safe prediction. And that’s where humans come in.

A powerful feature with AI technology is that when it’s engineered right, it learns over time from your feedback. It will start at one base accuracy and confidence level. And then for every time you’re helping the software, it will increase and grow stronger. This is a revolutionary step forward compared to legacy software where we have to key in the same information every day.

Every time an accountant corrects the AI, the AI learns from the correction and improves. You’re training the AI.

How’s Your Workflow?

Years ago, 100% of workflows were manual. Over the last ten years, there’s been a shift towards automating workflows that were manual and labor intensive. Things like Zapier or offshoring were introduced to help with automation.

Today we live in a more automated world. Over the next three years, however, we predict at least 30% to 50% of workflows will be highly automated.

Do you see your workflow as already having AI? Is it already highly automated? Or is it manual and labor intensive? Share your thoughts in the section for comments below.

To learn more about selecting the right AI platform for accounting, watch the recording from our webinar: “Automating Outsourced Accounting: How Accounting and Bookkeeping Firms Can Prepare for AI and Machine Learning.”



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Topics: Artificial Intelligence

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