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Driving Efficiencies with AI
accountants and bookkeepers

Driving Efficiencies with AI

AI is no longer a distant concept. It’s here, and it’s transforming industries – including accounting and bookkeeping.

It’s already embedded in some of the accounting tools you’re using to complete those returns, and your firm can start using it to automate repetitive tasks, analyse large volumes of data, and even assist in client communication. 

The impact of AI on the accounting profession continues to grow. Consider that generative AI (GenAI) in the accounting market will be worth an estimated $USD 9BN by 2032, growing at an annual compound rate of 47.1%. You can see how seriously some of the biggest players in accounting are taking it too. In the US, PwC has set aside a massive $USD 1BN to invest in AI over the next few years. 

Intuit is a leader in AI, with GenOS, our proprietary GenAI platform, rolling out across our solutions. GenOS’s custom-trained financial language models will specialise in solving, tax, accounting, cash flow and personal finance challenges.

Research from Intuit Canada shows 89% of accountants agree that AI can positively affect the profession, more than half of all accountants (52%) plan on investing in AI in 2023, and 97% already feel confident using AI in their day-to-day work.

In this post, we look at the benefits of AI for accounting and bookkeeping firms, as well as a case study from a firm who has started integrating AI into their business. For further case studies and practical tips on harnessing the power of AI for your firm, download our latest eBook.

Improving Efficiency and Productivity

AI can automate routine tasks like data entry and reconciliation, reducing time spent on repetitive tasks and minimising errors. This means you can focus more on strategic tasks, like financial analysis and advising your clients. 

It also powers smart data analysis, yielding valuable insights from large data sets that take humans considerable time to sift through. Using AI enables your firm to make data-driven decisions swiftly and confidently. 

Lastly, AI-powered tools speed up written client communication. You can draft up client emails and reports in minutes with AI before using AI tools like Grammarly to proofread them.

Enhancing Decision-Making Through Data Analytics

With AI, you can turn raw data into meaningful insights. AI-powered data analytics will help you identify trends, patterns, and anomalies, giving you a deeper understanding of your clients' financial health. It's like having a crystal ball that enhances your ability to predict financial outcomes and provide strategic advice.

Suppose you're working with a small start-up that’s considering expanding its business. Using an AI-powered tool like QuickBooks Cash Flow planner, you can analyse their financial data to forecast the future health of the business under different scenarios. 

Reducing the Risk of Errors and Fraud

AI significantly reduces the risk of errors by automating data entry and calculations. Think of the transaction categorisation tool in QuickBooks Online. It’s there, working diligently for you to automatically tag and categorise different transactions in your client’s bank accounts, saving you countless hours each week. 

There’s also the automated form pre-filling when you import your client data from QuickBooks Online into QuickBooks Tax, powered by LodgeiT. These AI tools not only increase your productivity through automated data pre-filling but also prevent those inadvertent mistakes that can creep in with re-keying data, as do other intelligent AI-powered error-checking features.

The regulators are also using AI. Over the last few years, the Australian Taxation Office has used AI tools to identify more than $530 million of unpaid tax bills and to stop $2.5 billion from being fraudulently claimed. They also used AI to help their staff identify $295 million in superannuation guarantee underpayments, putting money back in your clients’ pockets.

Run a more productive practice - discover more tips and tools on our Efficiency Hub.

Case study: AI in Practice at Regional Business Services

“Like most tech-based seismic shifts, AI has been spruiked for a very long time, largely along the lines of “the robots are coming” but up until recently, was the subject of Silicon Valley coffee chats, Boardrooms and secret divisions of engineering teams,” said Trent Yesberg, Director of Regional Business Services, and QuickBooks ProAdvisor.

That was until ChatGPT burst onto the scene in 2022. 

“Like most, we’d been a little sceptical ChatGPT would deliver on the many promises being made in so many emails, articles and video content online, demonstrating the insane capability of “the computers”. As with most tech, resistance is somewhat futile. In this instance, it definitely is.”

So how has Regional Business Services used AI in their Bookkeeping Business? 

With ChatGPT, they have:

  • Turned a Bank Statement PDF into a CSV file format
  • Drafted a presentation on Single Touch Payroll Phase 2
  • Prepared a Farm Biosecurity Management Plan for Beef Cattle in North Queensland
  • Collated minutes of a meeting and prepared action items

“All of this took literal seconds and required very few amendments, highlighting how impressive it is,” Trent said.

“Other tools we have seen in action have been – which produced a live document for meeting attendees to update in real time, remotely, as well as transcribing the meeting, collating the contents and then emailing through a copy to all attendees – very cool! 

“The AI-drafted presentation mentioned above on Single Touch Payroll Stream 2 was brilliant. It covered all the important topics, was written in a very simple and easy-to-understand flow, and it just felt very natural to recite, after we double-checked it for accuracy of course.

“While turning a PDF into CSV may seem quite basic, it is much easier to ask ChatGPT than it is to walk a client through downloading a CSV from their online banking.

“There will be so many improvements in the near future, and our business is definitely leaning into the tech to enable ourselves to best understand the benefits for not only ourselves but especially for our clients. Utilising AI in our role as a trusted Advisor is now part of our Toolbox.”

Trent Yesberg

Trent Yesberg, Director of Regional Business Services, and QuickBooks ProAdvisor

Looking Ahead: The Future of AI in Accounting & Bookkeeping

As AI continues to evolve, advisors must adapt and embrace these new technologies, working with vendors who integrate AI into their offerings. To thrive in an AI-enhanced landscape, you must also prioritise continuous learning and upskilling. Stay updated on the latest AI trends and developments. Carve out time to acquire new skills, experiment, and work out ways to be innovative. 

Remember, AI is a tool, not a replacement. By leveraging AI, you can become more efficient, provide better service to your clients, and take your career to new heights. Embrace AI – it’s here to stay.

How Intuit Is Powering an AI-Driven Future

Here at Intuit, we’re pioneering the next frontier in AI technology by integrating GenAI into our offerings. 

Our proprietary GenOS harnesses the power of custom-trained financial Large Language Models (LLMs) to solve complex financial challenges in areas such as tax, accounting, marketing, and personal finance.

GenOS comprises four core components: 

  1. GenStudio, a dedicated environment for our developers to create and refine GenAI experiences.
  2. GenRuntime, an intelligent layer ensuring accurate responses to user queries.
  3. GenUX, a library of user-interface components for seamless interaction with our LLMs.
  4. The Financial Large Language Models, which provide actionable insights to address financial challenges.

We believe this continued investment in GenAI will revolutionise our users’ experience. Intuit customers will be able to ask complex financial questions and receive nuanced, data-informed responses. Whether they want to understand how to double cash flow within a specified timeframe or assess their business’s optimal inventory levels, our GenAI will be there to help.

We’ll be bringing you the latest information on how AI can help drive efficiencies, grow your business, or make the EOFY returns period less stressful.

Read more in our post on preparing your firm for AI integration, looking at evaluating the need for AI in your firm, understanding the investment and resources required and creating acceptable AI usage policies, and download our eBook, ‘Driving Efficiencies with AI: A Starter Guide’.

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