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  • Writer's pictureMatt Bontrager

An AI Takeover: How AI is Reshaping the Bookkeeping World

Updated: Jul 10, 2023



It is no secret that AI has been changing the world for over a decade and the bookkeeping world is no exception.


Historically, Bookkeeping has always been a crucial role in finance and business and now is experiencing mind-blowing transformations thanks to the incorporation of AI.


Such innovation is changing the world of bookkeeping for the better, from enhancing productivity to providing novel perspectives on financial information, technology is changing the game.


The Impact:


Thanks to AI incorporation, from a bookkeeping perspective, this means reinvention. Recording transactions, tracking expenses, and financial reports, are now being generated in more efficient ways.


Traditionally, bookkeeping involves keeping accurate records of financial transactions such as, purchases, sales, receipts, and payments. Many may agree that these are very meticulous tasks, likely to be responsible for human error, and often require copious amounts of time commitments.


Fortunately, AI dramatically alters this by introducing automation, efficiency and accuracy through many ways.


Automation of Transaction Entry:


This is possible one of the most significant impacts. Traditionally bookkeeping meant manual entry of every financial transaction- down the road we could use a calculator to help. So it is no surprise that errors were bound to arise.


Flash forward to today, and now AI powered software can automatically extract and process any kind of information: invoices, bills, bank/credit card statements.


Machine learning algorithms are specifically designed to recognize patterns and learn from them in a matter of seconds. They can learn from past transactions in order to accurately categorize and record new ones as needed.


This means a drastic reduction in the time and effort required for data entry.


Real-Time Data Analysis:


Before, bookkeepers had to compile and analyze the financial data to generate reports, typically performed either weekly or annually.


I don’t even have to explain how long that would take.


Now we have AI-powered bookkeeping systems that can take this data and analyze them in real time, giving us valuable insights and reports at any time we need it.


These technologies are now programmed to predict cash flow trends, estimate future revenues and expenses, and even flag potential risks or opportunities.


This is especially helpful in spotting financial trends, predictions, and making informed decisions.


Fraud Detection and Prevention:


Before our methods of fraud detection were heavily based on manual auditing, which we could only do periodically and again also prone to error.


AI now is able to analyze copious amounts of data quickly and efficiently and is also able to provide reports on anomalies or discrepancies that may indicate fraudulent activity.


Furthermore, they learn. This technology now learns from historical fraud patterns, remembers it, and will apply it to flag potential fraud in real-time.


Error Reduction:


The error reduction capabilities are far more advanced than being perfect and accurate in calculations or reports.


If you were to send a record of mistakes or things to look out for by identifying and correcting it in the system, the AI algorithm is now so far advanced that it will learn from correction you made and will be wary to prevent it from happening again.


This multiplies the system’s accuracy by a large amount.


Role Change?


Let me be the one to ease your fear and assure you that AI is not here to replace our jobs.


However, it is here to TRANSFORM and EVOLVE them.


With our routine tasks now being automated, think about the free time we now have. This means, we can direct our focus to the more complex tasks that need our judgement and specific expertise.


Examples of this would be, interpreting financial data, advising, strategizing, and ensuring compliance.


This also means expansion: Since AI is providing us with the detailed analyses and forecasts, we need to be at the ready to understand and explain the findings to potential owners, investors, and managers. As a result, we need to have a deeper, creative, more analytical, and persuasive way understanding of conveying, operations, and strategy.


Lastly, while AI is accurate, even machines make mistakes or break, it could fail to catch a mistake. Which is why, our oversight is always needed to ensure the flow and accuracy of processes. Which also means we need to have a distinctive understanding about AI, their mechanisms, and how they work, as well as their limitations.


Obstacles:


Obstacles are always going to come about, especially in an industry like this.


Being so technologically reliant, privacy is always the first. With bookkeeping processes quickly becoming more digitized, we need to be very mindful that all financial data is secure and used in a way that is legal and is in accordance with regulations.


Secondly, AI is a rapidly changing and growing technology. As a result, we need to be regularly up-to-date with the changes, skills, and our knowledge. This does not mean just knowing how AI works, but also keeping up with the changes in regulations and practices.


The Road Ahead:


AI is going to keep on growing and evolving, so we can expect to see further improvements designed to add value to organizations and businesses.


The future of bookkeeping has zero to do with replacement but more to do with leverage, evolution, enhancement, and transformation.


Incorporating AI means we can now focus on what we were meant to do: interpret, advise, ensure compliance, strategize, and check for accuracy/errors, while we let the machines handle the mundane work of number crunching.


This integration paves the way forward in financial management, further securing even more productive, accurate, and insightful bookkeeping for businesses and corporations worldwide.


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