AI, or artificial intelligence, seems to be the buzz word on everyone’s lips with the release of more sophisticated programmes such as Chat GPT 4 which can generate and edit creative and technical writing tasks. So how does AI fit into the bookkeeping and small business landscape and how useful is it as a tool?
Well, if you use Xero, then you’re already using AI! AI in Xero is what suggests the best matches when you’re reconciling your bank statements and when you upload new documents. Simply put it’s the basis of intelligent form filing.
What these AI applications do is to look for patterns and trends in the data, which makes it easy to spot errors, differences or inconsistency in the data. A growing number of bookkeeping businesses servicing small businesses are implementing AI in order to ensure that the bookkeeping entries are correct and reducing time spent potentially reviewing files for errors.
One of these apps is the aptly named Xbert which uses in-built audit algorithms to ensure the data quality in the bookkeeping software, checking throughout the day. It helps to find any issues with the data, detecting errors and anomalies, even finding unusual billing behaviours! Xbert then alerts the user to any data issues, providing an auto resolve option and a client portal for any required discussion with clients. This means that potential errors are reduced and in turn the file is easier for an accountant to work with as the file should have clean data.
But what about small business owners, how do they benefit from AI? Most small businesses have limited resources and so initially the apps they seek out are those which either minimise the amount of time or resources needed for tasks or those which help them to respond to changes in their business. Organisational efficiency and streamlined operations are key areas in which small businesses can embrace AI with the use of apps and currently there is no shortage of apps for small business.
So how does the bookkeeper fit into this AI small business picture? Bookkeepers can help to guide the small business owner through the overwhelming choices when it comes to apps. Helping them to find what is beneficial for their business whether it is for e-commerce, out of office invoicing, staffing, payments or debtor tracking to name a few areas. A bookkeeper will also ensure that the chosen apps will work with the chosen accounting software, so this might be a consideration when starting out in business that everything will work together and provide the desired synchronicity.
Overall, AI provides new levels of personalisation for any business operation while helping to streamline repetitive tasks and providing a level of reporting which enables informed decisions based on data to be made.
– Louise Hogg
This article is compiled as a helpful guide for your private information and is subject to copyright. We suggest that you do not act solely on the basis of material contained in this article because items are of general nature only and may be liable to misinterpretation in particular circumstances. We recommend that our advice be sought before acting on any of these crucial areas.