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The Biggest Misconception about Adding Artificial Intelligence to your Firm

In the rush and excitement to launch your accounting firm into the future, you might find

that you’ve overlooked a critical question: what exactly are you going to use artificial

intelligence (AI) for?

Sure, you’re probably going to use it to automate your processes, but which processes? And

what will the anticipated ROI be?

Let’s break down the biggest misconception about AI right now: AI, like any other

technology, is not a miracle cure or a magic wand. In order to determine if it’s the right

solution, pick a specific use case your firm is trying to solve for - that way, you have a clear

focus when selecting an accounting AI provider.

For example, if an AI platform claims to be able to run your entire business for you, that

should raise some red flags right away.

When you start outsourcing your outsourced accounting and CFO services, the first thing

that you lose is control. Control over things like:

  • The security of your clients’ data. Do you know how many third parties have handled it? Does the data live in the U.S. or somewhere else that has more lax regulations?

  • The accuracy of the accounting AI. What is the error rate for the AI, and how can you tell if you can’t see for yourself?

  • The intelligence of the AI . Is the AI operating on its own, or is it overseen by another bookkeeper who may not even have your team’s skills?

  • Your revenue. If your clients interact directly with your accounting AI vendor and have to turn over all your books, that’s going to start eating into your margins. Where does that leave your business?

If you’re looking to add AI to your organization, you’re not looking to do so because you

want to outsource your operations entirely and put yourself out of business. You’re

interested in accounting AI to make your business more efficient and accurate so that you

build client trust and have time to scale your organization.

AI automation should be something that your team can use and control internally to do

tasks like processing invoices better.. It should not be something that competes with your

business model. Do you really want to outsource your outsourced accounting department?

Or do you want to fix it so you can keep all revenue in house?

The choice comes down to hiring more headcount or finding the right technology partner to

enhance your team’s capabilities. Like hiring a new assistant, your accounting AI should

continuously get smarter so it can function as the new, little genius team member who

always remembers what it’s been taught, never gets tired, whose talent you never lose to

other opportunities, and who you manage directly.

The options for accounting AI are constantly growing and can get pretty confusing very


The challenge is not just figuring out what technology to source, but also figuring out what

problem your organization needs to address first. Without that key step, whatever AI

platform you choose, no matter how advanced, may prove to be utterly useless for your


For additional AI technology considerations, check out the eBook How to Select the


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