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Embracing the AI Wave in Accounting: Predictions and Possibilities

Martha Yasso
Posted by Martha Yasso on Jul 27, 2023 12:49:02 PM

Ah, the AI revolution! In the realm of numbers and spreadsheets, fear has taken hold. The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) has people in the accounting world trembling at the thought of losing their jobs to robotic overlords. But hey, before you start writing your resume for a new career, let's take a moment to calm those nerves. We'll compare this AI revolution to historical, technological advances and shed light on the future of accounting amidst the AI whirlwind. 

Chat GPT's Accounting Adventures 

Let's start with Jason Staats, our AI explorer. He's been busy uncovering Chat GPT's accounting possibilities. With a mix of humor and know-how, Jason showcased how Chat GPT swiftly identified transaction categories with about 85% accuracy. He even dared to hand it a tax return! The results were pretty darn reasonable. It shows that when you give Chat GPT specific instructions, it can provide specific answers. 

The Hector and Intuit Connection 

Hector Garcia, our bookkeeping industry QuickBooks Guru, asked Chat GPT to tackle questions in Intuit QuickBooks' Support Community. The outcome? Chat GPT delivered answers with a whopping 90% correctness. It's like having an AI sidekick with encyclopedic knowledge, making accountants ponder the endless possibilities. 

Intuit's Vision for AI in Accounting 

Enter Michael Hitchcock, the Intuit Director of Product Management, Accounting & Tax. He shared Intuit's AI plans while on AI in Financial Service Podcast, and guess what? They're not out to replace us accountants with soulless robots. Intuit aims to automate 80% of transaction categorization with confidence and accuracy, demystifying accounting for business owners and increasing their confidence. So, breathe easy, accountants; we're still the wizards behind the curtain! 

Looking at the Past: 

Remember when chunky computers and floppy disks entered our lives? Ok, for some of you, no, but us Old Guard remember when office cubicles buzzed with whispers of impending doom as computers threatened to steal the show. History has a funny way of repeating itself. The computer age birthed new job categories and expanded the tech workforce. Instead of replacing humans, computers became can’t-do-without tools. We were told we’d gain plenty of time sitting on the beach! We ended up significantly increasing the volume of work we handled. 

Predicting the Future 

Every article I’ve seen talks about AI as it relates to the accounting industry as a whole. But how does it impact us? Bookkeepers. Accountants?  Let's look into our crystal ball. Here's what I foresee for the future of ProAdvisors: 

  • Compliance and Bookkeeping: Neural networks will play a pivotal role in apps connected to QuickBooks. They'll help identify transactions that need further explanation, zipping through categorization clarity. And who wouldn’t want to get through those tedious outstanding transactions faster? 
  • Faster Reconciliations: Brace yourselves for a reconciliation revolution! Neural networks will assist in narrowing down possible answers and hunting for missing deposits, expenses, receipts, and even transaction details. We're seeing this already in apps like Fyle. My guess is we'll see this soon in Keeper and UnCat. Quickbooks already uses neural networks to identify transactions, but expect this capability to improve within the product significantly. Prepare for warp-speed reconciliations! 
  • Insights and Trends: As data accuracy within QuickBooks files improves, we'll witness a leap in reporting and trend identification capability. But data still must be entered accurately to get quality reporting. Our skills in connecting, mapping, and troubleshooting apps will make us more indispensable.  Our clients didn’t go to business school; if they did, they didn’t enjoy it. Guaranteed, their heads still spin when they see ratios. They’ll need help making heads or tails of the insights and trends reporting results. 
  • Predictive Actions: Armed with data from QuickBooks and other Intuit platforms, AI will step up its game, predicting actions tailored to each business owner's unique situation. It will help us whisper in their ear, "Hey, your expense category spending looks like this. Here are some steps to take." 

So take heart, ProAdvisor community! The AI revolution won't leave us stranded on a desert island with nothing but calculators and abaci,...although add a bottle of rum, and that could be fun, especially after tax season. Instead, it opens doors to exciting possibilities. Technology can’t communicate with clients or help clients overcome psychological roadblocks better than humans! Chat GPT, Intuit's vision, and the power of neural networks will shape the future of accounting, making our lives easier and leaving us more time to focus on the other, more valuable aspects of our profession. So, let's embrace the AI wave with wit and the assurance that our accounting superpowers are here to stay! 

Topics: Modern Practice


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