Artificial intelligence, commonly referred to as AI, is a revolutionary breakthrough in technology.
The definition of artificial intelligence is intelligence demonstrated by machines, which is in contrast to organic intelligence demonstrated by humans and other animals.
An example of artificial intelligence is autonomous cars (self driving cars). This technology has allowed cars to be programmed to operate independently without any human intervention. The cars can effectively navigate the streets and make the optimal decisions to reach a destination - all by themselves.
How does artificial intelligence relate to the accounting world?
It has enabled manual processes to be performed automatically. An example of this can be seen in the streamlining of transactional data (such as receipts and invoices) into an accounting system.
With the proper setup, receipts and invoices can be fed into a software, such as through emailing a pdf or snapping a photo with a camera, and the data in the document, including transaction date, supplier, amount, HST and expense type, will be automatically transcribed into the appropriate data field. Specifically, the OCR technology (optical character recognition), is able to read text and numbers and categorize such data in the right data field. Once this happens, the transaction detail can be easily transmitted to the accounting system.
How does this benefit you?
Manual inputting of data is not required. This brings enormous value. Less company resources are required to process and input data and information. This saves money. Further, it improves speed at which data is entered into the accounting system so decisions can be made with real time data. There are other benefits as well which I would be happy to discuss with you.
Once you determine that artificial intelligence would be beneficial for your organization, the next step is to map out a system setup of how source data (receipts, invoices) will be fed into the system. A more traditional method would be to simply scan all these receipts and invoices into a pdf format and upload them into the software. Although this method works well, a more streamlined approach would be to set up automatic invoice feeds, so bills are automatically fetched into the system without any scanning of receipts. Or, a combination of these two methods may be most appropriate for your organization.
During the system setup phase, you will want to establish responsibilities of who is doing respective tasks. For example, who will be scanning invoices, who will be reviewing categorizing of the transactions, etc. As mentioned, the great benefit of automation is that the manual processing of data will be substantially reduced. However, with this comes other responsibilities for personnel within the organization. One of the main purposes of the system design is to map out all of the responsibilities of the various personnel within the organization.
So, you may want to consider implementing some artificial intelligence technology into your business and accounting systems.