AI in Accounting: How Is It Currently Used? Use Cases and Software

7 Feb 2024

7 Feb 2024

10 min read

10 min read

Purple Flower

AI in the Accounting Industry

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rapidly transforming the accounting industry, shifting the focus from labor-intensive tasks such as data entry and analysis to offering strategic insights and advisory roles. A KarbonHQ study reveals that while 66% of accounting professionals view AI as a strategic asset, 46% feel daunted by its rapid progress. This article explores the current implementations of AI in accounting, highlighting its benefits and projecting its future influence in the industry

Benefits for Accounting Firms

AI is transforming the world of accounting, offering benefits beyond just fancy tech: it boosts the accuracy of financial statements and reports, increases efficiency in tax filings and compliance, and elevates the quality of predictive analytics for financial planning. By taking over routine operations, AI allows accountants to delve into more nuanced, value-driven tasks that benefit from human insight and expertise.

Accounting Professionals Should Harness the Power of AI

As AI technology continues to evolve, it promises to unlock even greater capabilities within the accounting profession. From complex data analysis that provides deeper financial insights to intelligent automation that predicts future trends and optimizes decision-making, the potential for AI to support and enhance accounting job is vast.

1) Bookkeeping - Invoice Processing and Reconciliation

Invoice Processing

AI is transforming invoice management by automating data extraction and interpretation, enhancing efficiency, ensuring compliance, and providing immediate financial insights. Its flexibility across various invoice formats makes it an essential, scalable solution for businesses of all sizes.

Reconciliation Processes

AI transforms reconciliation processes by automating the labor-intensive task of manual transaction matching, significantly diminishing human error risks. It analyzes extensive datasets from disparate systems or documents, accurately pinpointing inconsistencies. AI introduces a new level of precision and efficiency to financial reconciliation.

Several companies leverage AI for invoice processing and reconciliation:

  • Ocerra uses AI to automate the extraction and processing of data from invoices, significantly reducing manual entry and enhancing data accuracy.

  • Vic employs AI to streamline invoice reconciliation by intelligently matching invoices to purchase orders and receipts, cutting down on processing time.

  • Truewind utilizes AI technologies to improve the efficiency of invoice processing workflows, ensuring faster and more accurate data reconciliation.

  • Paymerang leverages AI to offer advanced invoice automation services, enabling businesses to automate payments and reconciliation processes efficiently.

These companies extract data from complex, multi-line invoices, capturing all required details at the line level, including Supplier Name, Supplier Tax Number, Invoice Number, Date & Invoice Due Date, and more. They integrate OCR (Optical Character Recognition) and identify different invoice formats, layouts, and languages, accommodating businesses of any size and industry.

2) Tax Compliance and Preparation

Artificial Intelligence is also transforming tax compliance and preparation by streamlining financial processes and reducing errors. Through automating data consolidation and organizing information from various sources into a consistent format, AI liberates accountant resources while minimizing tax filing inaccuracies. AI also offers real-time tax regulation monitoring, keeping businesses abreast of worldwide tax policies for proactive compliance and avoiding potential issues. Beyond risk assessment, AI aids in audits by quickly retrieving required documents, facilitating smoother proceedings.

  • Intuit TurboTax leverages AI and machine learning to enhance the tax filing experience, delivering tailored advice and insights to optimize deductions and refunds.

  • Exactera combines AI technology with expert knowledge to streamline tax compliance and reduce risks.

  • Blue Dot utilizes a patented AI technology in its tax compliance platform, assisting businesses in maintaining compliance effectively.

  • TaxJar’s Emmet employs AI to automate the categorization of products for tax purposes, enhancing compliance efficiency and adapting to changes for future precision.

3) Client Relationship Management (CRM)

AI technologies enhance CRM systems by automating data entry, analysing client interactions, and providing personalized insights, which allows for more strategic and informed decision-making. This technology supports accountants in managing large client portfolio and improving overall client satisfaction.

AI-driven CRM tools can process vast amounts of data from various sources, including email exchanges, social media interactions, and past transaction histories, to identify patterns and preferences unique to each client. This capability enables the creation of highly personalized client experiences, increasing satisfaction and loyalty.

  • Combinely provide daily to-do-list on which client to focus on and direct actionable insights on how to improve client portfolio satisfaction, retention, and referral rate.

  • Salesforce Einstein integrates AI into its CRM to offer predictive analytics, intelligent automation, and insights.

  • Karbon offers an AI Reply feature that automates email responses for accountants

  • Pixie provides an AI-powered tool that optimizes tasks workflow

By leveraging these AI-enhanced CRM systems, accountants can significantly improve their client interactions and operational efficiency, positioning themselves as indispensable advisors.

4) Budgeting, Forecasting, and Predictive Financial Analysis

AI offers accountants advanced pattern recognition and correlation analysis, improving forecasting accuracy. It navigates through complex and non-linear relationships to provide insights that surpass the capabilities of traditional forecasting methods, revealing hidden trends, seasonal fluctuations, and other crucial financial indicators. Accountants can use AI to develop customized predictive models that cater specifically to the needs of their client businesses.

Unlike traditional forecasting methods, which rely on static models needing periodic updates, AI introduces dynamic, real-time forecasting capabilities that continuously incorporate new data. This flexibility enables accounting firms to swiftly adjust their forecasts in light of evolving client demands and market dynamics. The ability to perform instant forecasting boosts accountants' responsiveness, allowing them to make informed, proactive decisions with the latest data at their disposal.

  • Zeni revolutionizes financial management by enhancing bookkeeping efficiency, providing immediate financial insights, and elevating decision-making accuracy for businesses.

  • Sage Intacct excels in financial management, integrating AI-driven analytics and forecasting to empower businesses with deeper financial intelligence.

  • Xero’s bank reconciliation predictions showcase the power of predictive analytics, utilizing data, algorithms, and machine learning to automate transaction matching and coding.

5) Fraud Detection

Pattern recognition is key in fraud detection for accountants, and AI technologies helps with analyzing customer data, transaction histories, and other relevant information to identify fraudulent activities. Traditional fraud detection methods often generate a high rate of false positives, necessitating expensive and labor-intensive investigations.

Through the use of analytics and machine learning, AI significantly increases the accuracy of fraud detection, reducing the number of false positives. Machine learning algorithms, integral to many systems, refine their accuracy over time as they process more data, ensuring continuous improvement. This capability enables accountants to detect emerging and sophisticated fraud schemes effectively, offering a vital edge as economic fraud and crime become increasingly sophisticated.

  • ComplyAdvantage offers an AI-driven solution designed to help organizations efficiently detect and prevent payment fraud.

  • Featurespace leverages AI through its real-time machine learning platform, the ARIC™ Risk Hub, to combat fraud and financial crime.

  • Feedzai employs cutting-edge machine learning technology for financial risk management, delivering comprehensive fraud and financial crime protection to leading global banks, merchants, and payment processors.

Artificial Intelligence in Accounting - Key Takeaways

AI is rapidly transforming the accounting industry, shifting from traditional bookkeeping to strategic advisory roles. This evolution marks a significant leap towards operational excellence, with AI driving efficiency and accuracy across various accounting functions.

The automation of invoice processing and reconciliation has streamlined workflows, enabling real-time financial insights and improving compliance. Companies like Ocerra and Paymerang show how AI can deal with complex data easily, improving both speed and accuracy.

For taxes, AI is making the process simpler and more accurate, cutting down on mistakes and making sure rules are followed. Examples include Intuit TurboTax and Blue Dot which help navigate tax laws smoothly.

AI is also making a big difference in client relationship management by analyzing client interactions and offering personalized insights. Tools like Combinely leads to more strategic decision-making, enhancing client retention, satisfaction, and referal rates.

Finally fraud detection, AI is reducing false alarms and catching more real threats by analyzing data smartly. ComplyAdvantage and Feedzai are good examples of AI fighting financial crime effectively.

Integrating accounting AI into systems makes practices more efficient and insightful. As AI keeps improving, it will offer even more benefits, helping accountants tackle complex problems with the right tools. This shift is setting new standards of excellence standards and merging technology with expertise for a better future in accounting.

Ready to transform your accounting practices with AI? Discover how Combinely can streamline your client interactions, offering unparalleled insights to improve client portfolio satisfaction, retention, and referral rate. Join us today and let Combinely empower you to better serve your clients - because they deserve exceptional service and so do you.

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