Leveraging the Power of Generative AI in Accounting
Before we even had a functioning product, our goal as founders for FloQast was simple: To develop a tool to make accountants more efficient.
In the 10 years since then, that goal hasn’t changed much. From the core FloQast Close product to additional modules like Ops, Reconciliation Management, Flux, ReMind, Analyze, and, most recently, Compliance Management, we’ve steadily grown our product suite to provide value to every corner of the office of the CFO — and we have no intention of stopping there.
As we continue to iterate on solutions we can develop to provide value to accounting and finance teams, it’s impossible to ignore the recent developments in generative artificial intelligence and what that can mean for innovation. I firmly believe AI has the potential to greatly impact the lives of accountants — for the positive. How?
Automating Routine Tasks
Accountants in 2023 are at a crossroads, and we have the data to prove it. From talent and retention challenges to widespread burnout, it’s clear that accountants need more help — and fast. According to a recent report we conducted in conjunction with the University of Georgia Consumer Analytics Program, 61% of accountants report they doubt that they can complete the work they’ve been assigned. Further to that point, 65% of accountants report that they are aspiring to take on a more strategic role in their organization. How can accountants take on more strategic roles within the organization if they’re mired in inefficient processes that take too long and, more often than not, require revisiting down the road to fix mistakes that should have been caught upfront?
By using generative AI, routine accounting tasks such as data entry, account reconciliations, and financial statement preparation can be further automated. Even an hour or two a day can go a long way in the professional life of an average accountant, and if the team as a whole can automate regularly occurring tasks over time, then whole processes like the month-end Close can require fewer and fewer days each month — something we regularly see with FloQast users.
Increasing Accuracy and Reducing Errors
That point I made above about revisiting tasks to fix errors was more about the hassle of having to stop what you’re doing and go back and fix something, but as we all know: financial accuracy is more important than ever.
Generative AI algorithms can analyze monumental data sets and quickly identify patterns and anomalies to allow accounting teams to improve accuracy and reduce errors over time. Think about that: even one simple mistake — a simple transposing of decimal points or a fat-fingered entry — can lead to hours or even days accounting teams need to get to the root of the problem.
This isn’t baseball: Hitting .300 won’t get you into the Hall of Fame (there’s my one baseball reference for Mike. Hope it worked). Introducing tools that can proactively look for those mistakes can save businesses big time in the long run.
Enhancing Reporting and Analysis Efficiency
Simply put, generative AI algorithms can be used to help finance teams more quickly and accurately generate reports that can be used for faster decision-making, even going as far as helping in the formatting of reports to be delivered to key stakeholders. At a business level, having that information quicker while ensuring accuracy can mean the difference between the life and death of the organization.
What’s to Come?
Now, these are just a few examples of how we can see generative AI positively impacting accounting teams. Obviously, these benefits ultimately lead to less time spent on mundane tasks, more efficient accountants, near-guaranteed accuracy, and, ultimately, accounting providing more value to the business. But we’d be remiss if we didn’t look at the potential implications the use of generative artificial intelligence can have.
To that end, we have created a dedicated engineering division that will focus solely on developing generative AI capabilities and accelerating our innovation in this area. We understand the importance of protecting our customers’ information and complying with regulatory requirements, and we’re fully committed to taking a cautious, thorough approach to exploring any use of generative AI while evaluating the potential risks and benefits. We will be working closely with FloQast customers to ensure that their data is protected and that regulatory requirements are assured.
Over the coming weeks and months, we’ll keep you updated via the FloVerse Customer Community. I also recommend saving the date of our fall virtual conference, TakeControl, this September 19-20, for more information on the subject.