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Practical Technology for Accountants: AI and Machine Learning

Posted by Alexander Hagerup on Jan 16, 2019 9:25:00 AM
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Practical Technology for Accountants: AI and Machine Learning

AI and machine learning lead to higher employee satisfaction, more robust recruiting, happier clients and a superior service offering to those clients. Here is how these two core technologies are fundamentally transforming the way outsourced accounting services are priced, purchased by and delivered to clients.

The following is an excerpt from The Future of Accounting Technology: Preparing for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning.”

Instead of becoming stagnant or outdated, AI software constantly learns, growing even better over time. Every time AI is used, it is a better version than it was before.

Invoice Processing Process

Deploying AI for invoice processing requires a phased two-step approach:

1. The AI is set up to make suggestions, and the accountant decides whether to accept or correct those suggestions.

2. Once it has trained for a while, the AI is allowed to process bills automatically. The accountant only provides feedback when the AI is below a certain confidence level.

Throughout both phases, the AI learns the idiosyncrasies of every client. Not only does that mean more accurate work for each individual client, but that knowledge also benefits every other client on the platform.

Approval Workflow Process

For an approval workflow, the AI silently learns what to approve and what not to approve – in much the same way that a new assistant might observe an executive’s daily routine for a few days before beginning to actively help.

For approval workflows, AI requires a phased three-step approach:

1. The approval technology silently records every approval and rejection, learning from clients’ work.

2. When ready, the AI will start making suggestions about whether to approve or reject, helping the client avoid costly mistakes.

3. When mature, the AI will handle first- and second-step approval automatically, only asking for assistance when it is not confident.


What experience does your accounting firm have with AI and machine learning? Share your thoughts in the section for comments below.

To learn more about practical technology for accountants, download your copy of “The Future of Accounting Technology: Preparing for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning.”

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Topics: Accounting

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