Benefits of using AI in accounting

Jan 24, 2024

Jan 24, 2024

10 min read

10 min read

Teal Flower

Artificial Intelligence in the Accounting Industry

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is transforming the landscape of traditional accounting practices by harnessing its ability to execute tasks traditionally requiring a human touch. AI boosts operational efficiency in various ways, from automating data entry with OCR for documents like invoices and contracts to pinpointing anomalies in vast datasets, suggesting potential irregularities.

How Can Accounting Firms Leverage AI?

  • Extraction and interpretation of data from invoices, contracts and more

  • Analysis of client interactions for insights to enhance satisfaction and loyaulty

  • Monitoring of transactions for compliance and fraud detection

As AI integration into accounting and financial planning accelerates, its benefits become increasingly evident, showcasing a transformative impact on the field. Let’s dive into the benefits and challenges of AI in the accounting industry.

Benefits of AI in Accounting

Efficiency and Precision

AI enhances productivity by automating manual financial processes such as data entry, which often consumes considerable time and is prone to human error. It ensures greater accuracy and allows accounting professionals to allocate more time to strategic analysis and advisory roles, adding more value to their organizations.

Reduction in Operational Costs

By taking over repetitive tasks, AI technology reduces the need for extensive manual labor, especially as the need for data management grows. AI-driven processes decrease the likelihood of costly errors and the subsequent need for corrections, streamlining operations and saving money.

Data Analysis

Leveraging AI to analyze financial data transforms interpreting such information. AI can sift through massive datasets to uncover patterns, trends, and anomalies that would be difficult, if not impossible, for a human to detect. This level of data analysis is crucial for making informed business decisions, forecasting future trends, and identifying potential financial risks early.

Regulatory Compliance

The ever-evolving landscape of financial regulations governing the accounting profession challenges businesses and accountants. AI-powered tools simplify this aspect by automating the tracking and application of current accounting standards and tax laws. AI technology ensures that financial reporting is accurate, compliant, and up to date, reducing the risk of penalties and enhancing the organization's reputation.

Immediate Access to Financial Insights

AI's real-time data processing and analysis give businesses immediate access to financial insights and enable agile decision-making. This real-time data processing helps accountants to quickly adapt to changes, seize opportunities, and advise on potential risk mitigation for clients.

Challenges and Considerations of AI In Accounting

Data Security and Privacy

Accounting AI handles confidential financial statements and data, elevating the importance of securing this information against unauthorized access, breaches, and cyber threats. Implementing stringent data security measures, such as encryption, rigorous access controls, and secure storage, is imperative for organizations to protect financial data and adhere to stringent data protection statutes like the GDPR and CCPA.

Bridging the Skills and Knowledge Divide

The intersection of accounting and AI expertise often reveals a pronounced skills and knowledge gap. To address this, concerted efforts in upskilling and reskilling are essential, ensuring that accountants possess the requisite skills to harness the capabilities of advanced accounting software and AI tools effectively.

Seamless Integration Challenges

Legacy systems might not be inherently compatible with AI technologies, necessitating extensive modifications to ensure seamless integration, data congruity, and cooperation between AI solutions and current accounting software infrastructures. Solutions that can effortlessly meld with ERPs and other accounting solutions are a priority.

Ethical Implications

AI's decision-making capabilities, derived from natural language processing and machine learning algorithms and patterns, underscore the need for ethical considerations. These decisions must be equitable, devoid of bias, and transparent.

How AI Empowers Accountants to Strengthen Client Relationships

As AI streamlines accounting operations, it allows accountants to pivot their focus towards the human and relationships side of their profession. With the burden of routine tasks lifted, accountants can allocate more time and energy to build stronger relationships with their clients. They can engage in meaningful conversations, gaining a deeper understanding of their clients' financial goals, challenges, and aspirations.

This enhanced client interaction not only fosters trust but also enables accountants to offer personalized guidance and solutions tailored to individual needs. Accountants can become strategic partners, leveraging their expertise and empathy to guide clients through complex financial decisions, retirement planning, and investment strategies, ultimately adding significant value to their clients' financial well-being.

How Combinely Can Help Accountants with Client Relationship Management

Combinely supports accountants with real-time client intelligence tools that integrate seamlessly with Gmail and Outlook.

Agenda / To-do-list feature

Automatically compiles client interactions, extracts key information (outstanding replies, follow-ups, commitments, complaints), and acts as a personal assistant for monitoring emails and flagging important items.

Response Time

Tracks response time and metrics for your team and accounting practice, providing a competitive edge in client acquisition by offering real-time response time monitoring, a feature that clients value.

Client Satisfaction

Provides a client satisfaction report, analysing metrics to identify and proactively engage with at-risk or dissatisfied clients, while recognizing those receiving excellent service. This information can help, for instance, in checking with unsatisfied clients or requesting Google reviews from satisfied ones.

Client Profitability

Combinely assesses communication volume and type per client, enabling cost-effectiveness comparisons. Future integration with QuickBooks and Xero will further enhance client profitability insights by incorporating relevant bookkeeping metrics.

Combinely works alongside any accounting firm's current tech system and doesn't require replacing it. It's fully automated, so there's no need for manual input, and onboarding takes minutes.

Get started today at Combinely and take your accounting client services to the next level.

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