Business owners, be forewarned: The AccTech (accounting + technology) bots are taking over. But they’re not the towering metal giants or eerily humanoid robots of sci-fi nightmares. These bots are lines of code that grab information and communicate with humans about your business operations. They know (almost) everything before you’ve even whispered the thought, and they might want to take your bookkeeper’s job — or maybe just work alongside her.
I had a recent conversation with Jan Haugo, CEO and vice president of the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers USA (ICBUSA), who emphasized all the ways emerging technologies will transform the role of small business bookkeeping. In particular, we discussed how machine learning and artificial intelligence will enable accountants to interact with bots the same way they would with a human co-worker.
Accounting technology brands such as Xero are already capitalizing on this trend. It’s continued its innovation by releasing AI tools that will minimize — and ultimately eliminate — the amount of transaction coding businesses must do. This may seem scary now (at least for a few old-school number crunchers), but as technology develops and people cozy up to the practice, bookkeeping bots will continue their industry domination.