Three ways AI can augment your company accounts

From providing better insights, to simplify calculations, AI has a place in your accounts department.
13 August 2019

Accounting with AI could reduce all these headaches. Source: Shutterstock

With the ability to process millions of data and translate them into real-time results, more businesses are using artificial intelligence (AI) to get things done in the shortest amount of time. There are many areas that AI can be applied to, including in accounting– the heart of every business in today’s industrialized world.

Dealing with endless spreadsheets, invoices, payment orders, accounting work can be a tedious, high-pressure and time-consuming task for many in the industry. AI can help relieve that burden in three simple ways, helping to avoid costly mistakes. 

# 1 | Easier data entry & holistic analysis 

Current accounting practices involve formulas in a spreadsheet, multiple documents, receipts, printouts and so on. Working across all these data points does not just take up time, it leaves more room for human errors to happen as well. 

By analyzing and extracting data from receipts and classifying them into categories based on set rules, machine learning tools can offer an all-in-one solution that can offer companies everything they want to know on a digital ‘silver plate’.

Machine learning can also populate reports that companies can use to formulate better business strategies. 

Since machine learning draws deeper insights from the data that’s fed to it, companies can get a holistic view on long-term spending patterns. Accounting firms that employ machine learning can also advise clients on how to optimize their budget forecast based on the data they get from the program. 

# 2 | Tackling fraud

With the massive amounts of money being transferred digitally to dozens of clients and contractors every day, financial data keeps growing and spreading across various channels and banks. When this happens, it opens up more risks for fraud and noncompliance issues to arise.

In fact, The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners noted that businesses lose 5 percent of their annual profit to internal fraud. Since companies and auditors can only audit 10 percent of expense reports manually, potential fraud cases can slip under the radar. 

AI has the ability to audit everything without missing a mark, around the clock. By accounting with the help of AI, companies can predict patterns and detect a wide range of anomalies in financial data– giving no room for fraudulent activities to take place. 

And since its scalable, AI can easily handle a financial data influx with the same accuracy– while making it smarter as it analyzes more data. 

# 3 | Corporate policy enforcement

It’s easy for corporate employees to break their company’s spending policy to gratify themselves on the company’s expense. Detecting it is hard, making it a blind spot in companies’ accounts. 

By accounting with AI, companies can easily scan purchase orders, employees’ receipts, travel bookings and company credit card transactions to detect anything that’s going against the company’s spending policy. With this, auditors can quickly raise the red flag and enforce corporate spending policies better. 

The visibility and holistic data AI provides can also be used to study the company’s corporate spending policy to determine if its indeed viable, or suggest updated policy procedures that align better with employees needs. 

The numbers can also help finance managers make data-driven recommendations for client’s corporate policies. 

Accounting teams should be AI-ready

Finance professionals need to look no further for the smart assistant they have been needing for a long time. Should more firms and companies adopt AI-powered solutions, they can streamline their data analytics and deal with clients, employees and policies better.