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Three Practical AI Strategies for Accounting Firms in 2024

Tim Sines
Posted by Tim Sines on Jan 29, 2024 8:52:08 AM

Unless you’ve been living on a deserted island for the last few years, you’ve seen the significant impact artificial intelligence (AI) has had on nearly every industry under the sun. Almost every major tech company you can think of is devoting time and manpower to creating their own AI tools or incorporating them into their existing offering. 

For example, take search engines. Google’s recently launched Search Generative Experience (SGE) incorporates AI to provide broader overviews of specific search topics and contextual links that search engine users may be interested in. Earlier this year, Microsoft launched its Copilot AI tool, which provides additional features for some of its most popular enterprise products, including Teams and Outlook. 

These massive companies have significant money and entire teams of researchers and engineers available to work on AI projects. The good news is that you don’t need to have an eight-figure budget available to make AI work for your firm. If you’re looking to make 2024 the year your firm starts using AI for more than just a fun experiment, here are three practical strategies to consider.

1. Create an automated chatbot for high-level client inquiries

If you’ve been on the website of a large consumer brand in the last few years, you’ve probably noticed a small box or window pop up in one corner of your browser, prompting you to ask a question or offer more information about your needs and interests. 

These chat prompts are extremely valuable to the companies that use them because they provide a platform where customers and prospects can get basic questions answered. You can create a similar kind of chatbot functionality using one of the many language model AI tools available, such as ChatGPT – though its custom GPT feature is only available to paying subscribers. It may also be worthwhile to consult with a developer or someone who has experience with AI-related coding, as they can provide an expert perspective on what you are looking to achieve and what kind of time and effort it may require.

2. Inspiration for marketing campaign

One of the most buzz-garnering features of artificial intelligence is the ability to write sharp, coherent sentences. Some AI platforms are even able to create poetry and song lyrics. And while it may be interesting to read a sonnet or haiku written by AI, there is still some debate about the effectiveness of this work. This holds true for business communications as well.  Artificial intelligence is not yet ready to completely take over the job of creating content for your marketing campaigns, but it can be used as a source of inspiration. 

For example, let’s say you’re looking for a new topic for your newsletter, which goes to enterprise CFOs and business leaders. You can go through the normal process of marketing research – visiting related communities, talking to people you know in the field, and checking to see what your competitors are talking about in their own newsletters – but now you can also ask artificial intelligence to help come up with a subject. This technique can be used for almost any kind of marketing, from email to social media posts to content on your website.

3. Assist with mundane admin work

There are many positives and bright spots about working as an accountant who helps other businesses get their numbers in order. But for many, one of the biggest downsides of the accounting field is the relatively significant number of repetitive requests that must be completed. Two companies can have drastically different profiles when it comes to things like size, service, and physical location – but they’ll still need to fill out the same exact government forms when it comes tax time. 

For people who complete this kind of repetitive work, it’s not the most exciting. But thanks to AI tools, these rote tasks can be completed relatively quickly without manual effort. A few examples: 

  • You can feed a dataset to AI and ask it to present it in a different format, like organized by rows or columns 
  • You can give raw data to AI and ask it to locate a certain word or phrase that you’re looking for 
  • You can set up AI to remind clients of important deadlines or milestones related to their services with your firm 
  • You can ask AI to give you a sample communication for an important email or chat message meant for a prospect or client. 

These are just some of the more prominent examples of how AI can help your accounting firm – spend some time doing your own research based on the specific tasks you need help with to figure out how best to leverage AI for your firm. 

Accounting firm AI in 2024 is a supplement, not a replacement 

Despite all the hype, we’re not yet at the point where we can completely hand off accounting operations to AI and head somewhere tropical. However, that doesn’t mean artificial intelligence has no use for your firm. Using these three strategies as a starting point – plus some of the best accounting practice management software tools you can find – will help give you an edge over competitors in 2024 by letting you provide better service without a corresponding increase in manual effort. 

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Topics: Business Technology


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