Chief Futurist Futuracy
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AI in Accounting
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3 Steps to Using AI in Your Business

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Many accounting firms are now using artificial intelligence to automate simple processes and stay ahead of the tech races. But how do you know if it's right for your business? In this article, Ian Khan of Futuracy explains the three steps to deciding whether AI will help you prepare for the new age of accounting

Sep 17th 2021
Chief Futurist Futuracy
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Are you curious about how artificial intelligence (AI) could benefit your business, but not sure where to start? Machine learning, a part of AI, can handle many routine accounting processes, allowing accounting professionals to focus on more complex tasks. In this article, I’ll discuss three steps you can take to find out whether it's right for you.

Step 1 – Creating a Road Map

The first step to incorporating machine learning in your business is to have a road map to guide your business processes. It’s crucial to know exactly what your business is doing and how it's performing. Once you have mapped out your processes, the real magic can begin.

Step 2 – Examining Processes 

You need to examine which processes can be modified and which ones can be replaced by automation. It’s important to do a cost-benefit analysis. Some questions to ask when determining which processes to automate include:

  • Which processes are taking up the most time, and how many employees is it taking to perform them?
  • How much are these processes costing you?
  • Would it be more cost efficient for you to automate these processes using machine learning? 

The bottom line is how many people you can afford to have on staff and, depending on the industry you're in, how much data you’re working with. If there’s so much data that your team either can’t process it or can’t deliver results on a deadline, then you need to consider automation. 

Step 3 – Piloting Vendors

Do a pilot project first; don’t wait to slay the big dragon. However, start with a small pilot project with a vendor. There are thousands of companies across different industries that work within varying areas of machine learning. Many of these companies would jump at the opportunity of doing a pilot. But remember to start small: replace only one of your processes, and see how it affects your business.

At the end of the day, incorporating machine learning is about leadership and support within your organization. I've seen hundreds of companies spend millions of dollars on technology only to fail because they don’t deploy it well, and they don’t help their people use that technology. 

Anyone in any field can benefit from machine learning. To summarize the three steps:

  1. Create a road map of your business processes,
  2. Examine business processes and do a cost-benefit analysis, and
  3. Start with a small project and pilot a vendor.

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