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Choosing an AI Platform for Your Accounting Firm

Posted by Alexander Hagerup on Apr 3, 2019 8:45:00 AM
Alexander Hagerup
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Choosing an AI Platform for Your Accounting Firm

When you're thinking about how to select the right AI platform, you should first clarify why you're investing in AI. For most accounting, CPA, or outsourced bookkeeping firms, the goal is to find an AI-based accounting platform that will genuinely work for you. It should streamline time-consuming, mundane tasks.

Effective AI is Autonomous

We use technology to make our lives easier. AI or artificial intelligence systems are no different.

Many people don't realize that an AI platform is a higher level of automation than what is currently possible with a rule-based system for automation. So all previous automation systems have been rule-based.

The whole point of increasing automation is to free up time to manage complex client service issues and generate ideas to grow your business. There's no reason today to do repetitive tasks in accounting. The AI takes on the burden of repetitive daily routines.

Do Your Due Diligence

Make sure that the AI company you’re considering has developed technology that works as advertised. One important thing to keep in mind is that given the hype of AI combined with the complexity of actually developing it, most companies claiming to use AI, in fact, are not.

When you're doing your research, you’ll need to figure out if there are people working in the background to make it look like the technology is more sophisticated than it actually is. So find out if there’s any human effort going on in the background, because the easiest way to fake AI is to have humans secretly doing the work. Unfortunately, this type of situation is happening at scale today.

The best way to check this is to run live tests where there's no time for human turnaround in the background. Ask for a demonstration in a live environment with live documents which can help alleviate concerns over delays and trust erosion.

Performs at a Higher Level

The major distinction for a well-designed AI platform for accounting is one that is based on data and not on a set of rules. It should also use confidence scores. When the AI knows how confident it is in the prediction, well-trained AI asks for human input when its confidence is low, and it automates everything where the confidence is high. This is where you can already see significant benefits. As time passes and the AI becomes more and more confident, the less the human will have to review and the higher the level of automation.

So the goal over time is to have less human review. Great AI should perform at a higher level than a human is capable of today.

System-Agnostic Investment Protection

When looking for AI technology, you want to make sure that it’s accounting system agnostic. The AI platform should be adaptable to many other accounting and ERP systems.

The benefit is that it can support clients on multiple platforms, very similar to an accountant that knows several accounting systems.

If you want to have the ability to switch accounting platform technology in the future, and you don’t want to lose the time you’ve spent training the AI, you want a platform that has the flexibility to connect to many different related systems.

You don’t want to be locked into just one accounting platform. This helps to future-proof your business and zero in on investment protection.

Why are you investing in AI for your accounting practice? What are you looking for in an AI-based accounting platform? Share your thoughts in the section for comments below.

To learn how CPAs and bookkeeping firms are transforming, watch the webinar recording on “AI Best Practices for CPAs and Bookkeepers (How Accounting and Bookkeeping Firms Can Grow with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning).”

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Best Practices for CPAs and Bookkeepers || How Accounting and Bookkeeping Firms Can Grow with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning [Watch the Recording]


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Topics: Accounting, Artificial Intelligence

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