Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly becoming a part of more businesses’ daily operations. AI chatbots and product recommendation engines are already in widespread use. Now, major accounting firms recognize how artificial intelligence is changing business accounting, pledging to invest billions of dollars in developing artificial intelligence and data analytics.
So, what does the growth of artificial intelligence mean for your business’s finances?
The use of AI accounting automation isn’t limited to global enterprises: Modern finance firms offer AI bookkeeping and accounting services that benefit businesses of all sizes. Here’s what you can expect from applying AI to your bookkeeping—both now and as this technology develops in the coming years. Check out how Zeni uses AI.
How Bookkeeping And Accounting Can Leverage AI
Artificial intelligence is a branch of computer science that enables machines to complete tasks and make decisions in a way that mimics human actions. Some virtual bookkeeping services and accounting software programs use AI to automate repetitive tasks, including:
- Recording data in the correct accounting formats
- Sorting transactions into categories
- Reconciling accounts against bank statements
- Recognizing data from scanned receipts or invoices to identify the vendor and amount
- Matching the receipts or invoices to the relevant transactions
- Compare employee expense reports against a company’s expense management policy to ensure compliance
- Track changes in price amongst subscriptions, suppliers, contractors, and more
AI is often used alongside machine learning (ML). ML identifies patterns in data that help the computer make more accurate decisions in similar scenarios in the future, using algorithms, statistical models, and feedback loops. ML also allows your bookkeeping and accounting systems to identify if incomes or expenses are out of line with previous months and why these variations are occurring. The more transactions from which ML can review and learn, the better equipped AI is to correctly make decisions and complete accounting tasks for future transactions.
Businesses that use these complementary technologies to automate bookkeeping tasks gain four key benefits of AI in accounting:
- Improved record accuracy — Manual data entry — which is core to traditional bookkeeping and accounting processes — is subject to human error, but AI completes data entry at a high level of accuracy and ensures your records are always up to date and audit-ready in accordance with internal, local, state and federal regulations.
- Increased focus of finance team expertise — Because AI takes over time-consuming work like categorizing transactions and processing reconciliations, accounting professionals or finance teams can focus on more complex, strategic tasks like financial analysis and modeling.
- Advanced financial insights — AI automation can instantly deliver financial insights, so there’s no need to wait until the month-end reporting cycle for your CPA to process transactions and communicate findings. Used in parallel with ML and natural language processing (NLP), the technology first gains an understanding of the data before analyzing and presenting the implications of the data, allowing businesses to make informed decisions and take immediate action on any areas of concern.
- Cost savings — Leveraging AI to create efficiencies in day-to-day financial processes, such as data entry, transaction categorizations, reconciliation, and insights, can save businesses a significant amount of money over time. In fact, it's estimated that the adoption of AI and robotic process automation (RPA) can reduce costs of financial services by up to 80%.
The Future of AI Bookkeeping
The application of AI in finance software is still in its infancy, but the market is growing quickly and is on track to produce multiple $10 billion bookkeeping automation businesses in the next few years. This increasing demand for AI and ML is driving development that will further improve the complexity of transactions and percentage of accounting work these technologies can handle.
However, AI cannot completely replace the human intelligence and judgment bookkeepers and accountants bring to the table. Financial management will always be a collaboration between machines and humans. Businesses will still need the oversight of finance experts to check any bookkeeping entries made by robots, and AI does not have the critical decision-making capabilities to make strategic recommendations and nuanced business decisions that finance professionals can perform.
Zeni: A Modern Finance Solution Powered By AI And ML
While the largest finance firms and accounting industry leaders are starting to embrace and implement automation, Zeni’s accounting procedures and platform have been built on AI and ML automations from day one. Zeni is a modern finance firm that uses a combination of high-tech solutions and seasoned finance experts to handle all your business’s bookkeeping, accounting, and CFO needs. Many finance platforms try to bolt artificial intelligence onto their existing services, but Zeni offers more comprehensive automation and a smoother user experience by baking AI into the core of our business model.
Zeni’s finance dashboard is unique in the market: It presents customers with real-time insights using AI- and ML-powered automation. The Zeni Dashboard provides 24/7 access to vital metrics, including your startup’s net burn, cash on hand, operating expenses, and cash zero date, plus other financial data and trends. With most bookkeeping services, you have to specifically request this data and pay for the time it takes to answer your query. With Zeni, you can go directly to your dashboard and immediately access the metrics you need at no extra charge.
There's a whole lot more to see! Schedule a free demo for a full view of our bookkeeping services.