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Myths and Misconceptions: The Future of Automation in Accounting

Danny Pritchard
Someone call Elon Musk, because accounting just got a whole lot more interesting. And by interesting, we mean the Artificial Intelligence, robots, machine learning, take-over-the-planet kind of interesting. A wild leap from punching numbers, we know. But in all seriousness, Artificial Intelligence is making its way into accounting in all the best kinds of ways, and with that comes a myriad of questions about what AI even is, how it fits into accounting, and when exactly it overthrows humanity. Well, we’ve got the inside scoop.

What is accounting automation?

Let’s start with the basics. In its simplest form, accounting automation is just that - the automation of basic finance and accounting tasks. Also known as computerised accounting software, accounting automation effectively takes the most manual elements of accounting and does them automatically, working as an extra, very fast and snappy pair of hands so that accountants can spend more time working on the more creative, complex side of accounting. Yes, there is one.

Like all those tacky infomercials on day-time television, automated accounting really does help you save time, get through work quicker, and eliminate those old aches and pains. It also has loads of ‘But wait, there’s more!’ moments, but we’ll get to that. 

Long story short? With just a click of a button, accounting automation software can do all those methodical, repetitive tasks with ease, saving you time and money by chugging out numbers quicker than ever, and with better accuracy than us mere mortals. Think of it like that brilliant kid in maths class that turned over numbers like a calculator, but whose sole task in life is to do your work for you and get 100%. Your Year 8 self is frothing, I’m sure.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) runs along the same wavelength, though it is slightly different to automation in its simplest form. Just like your favourite dystopian movies taught us, it’s true that Artificial Intelligence is effectively machine learning that keeps learning. For example, instead of simply chugging out data using a set piece of code, AI begins to analyse that data and find trends or anomalies, without necessarily being told what specifically to look for. You still with me?

So yes, there’s potential for this to become problematic when building man-eating robots and hoping for the best - luckily, accounting has very few of those. No need to lock your doors just yet, Gina. This isn’t a bad science fiction.

Is there a place for automation in accounting and bookkeeping?

This may come as a shock to some, but believe it or not a big part of accounting involves processing data, manually inputting transactions, and repetitive number crunching. I know - it’s not always as glamorous as it looks, boys and girls. A sneak peak into the private life of the hot-shot accountant. With that in mind, AI technologies have the power to play a big part in accounting, taking the time-consuming, manual elements out of the everyday and leaving more time for, well, everything else.

A few of the perks?

  • Saves time

For manual tasks such as recording transactions, calculating numbers, data inputting, processing accounts payable and all aspects of bookkeeping, automation is a great way to speed up processes and keep your business flowing quickly and smoothly. And from there it’s all a domino effect, baby. 

  • Reduces Errors

How many times do you make mistakes compared to a calculator? Confronting, isn’t it.

  • Saves money

Time is money, and with automated systems saving you time across a wide range of day-to-day tasks, it’s only going to save you more in the long term. Simplified processes mean less is required to do the work, and less expenditure along the way.

  • Provides valuable insights

With access to detailed reporting and analysis, you can save time on interpreting financial data at your own pace. Automated accounting systems take the hard work out of analysis by processing data at a much faster rate and with much higher accuracy for maximum efficiency.

  • Simplifies processes

Taking the grunt work out of bookkeeping, record keeping, filing taxes, punching numbers, reporting, and auditing, automated accounting simplifies and streamlines processes, giving you the time and help you need to focus on the bigger picture.

That being said, the goal is not to replace humans entirely. Here at Bring on Monday, we kind of like people. And while we giggle at the prospect of AI taking over the world, there is the more serious issue of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and automation putting good humans out of work. 

Well, call us heroes or call us naive, but we believe in using technology for good. And for us, that looks a little like increasing efficiency, decreasing costs for customers, and above all, keeping the human in accounting. We’re more into automation assisting the team, making everyone’s lives that little bit easier, and streamlining processes to make it all the more efficient for both us and you. Makes sense to us.

Now that we’ve got that ethical dilemma out of the way, let’s move onto the next one.

What are the risks of automation in accounting?

You mean outside of all the robots coming alive in an incredible twist that no one saw coming and mercilessly destroying mankind in their quest for total control? Good question. Lucky for you, when it comes to accounting automation, the risk of total world domination is low. 

In terms of risk when it comes to putting the automation into accounting work, AI does bring its own set of potential problems. The first just might be as simple as they come, but boy is everyone familiar with it. Tech issues.

  • Tech issues

That’s right. Plain old tech issues are top of the list. Using an automated accounting software inevitably introduces software issues, bugs, or other programming issues that naturally wouldn’t be an issue when doing everything by hand. But then, therein lies the issues. You’d still be doing it by hand otherwise. So really, we’re not complaining too much - with good software, the risk of tech issues are small, so we think the risk is worth the reward.

  • Automation errors

Poorly designed AI systems or automation solutions can lead to processing errors, which in turn can reduce the accuracy of regulatory reports. That’s a bit of an issue, we’ll admit. However, in saying that, this feels like a good time to highlight the fact that human error can lead to just as many problems. To err is human, after all. And while those clever folk in the accounting profession have become pretty darn good at reducing mistakes and optimising accuracy, we’d say automating accounting processes wouldn’t hurt.

How we already leverage automation in our accounting and bookkeeping services?

Look. Underneath the casual wit and effortless charm, we’re really your go hard or go home types. Which is why naturally, we wanted to build our own Artificial Intelligence technology. And then we realised that honestly, there’s some pretty amazing companies out there that have already done AI development pretty damn well (we’re looking at you Xero and Float), and maybe our resources are better spent capitalising on their hard work. So, with chins high, we did the chivalrous thing and took a step back, deciding not to reinvent the wheel, but instead to make the most of what’s already out there. Work smarter, not harder, and all that.

For us, that meant learning those market leading platforms from the inside out. Literally. Get us in there. Once we knew the lot like we knew every line of ‘All Star’ by Smashmouth, we took our time figuring out how we can integrate different aspects of our design proposal and paperwork software (cough best one out there cough) to our all in one productivity, CRM, and workflow management system. Which could be kept a secret, but we were never the elusive types. We use Karbon, and it’s the bomb.

There’s a whole list of ways we automate our systems, like how our preferred document capture system (Hubdoc) uses OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology to analyze your receipts and other scanned documents for usable data. But the long story short is, we leverage off Hubdoc’s tech, but add in our clever humans to optimise accuracy, and avoid any assumptions robots would make.

So, to refresh? Instead of building Artificial Intelligence from scratch (too easy), we took the best of what was out there, and tweaked and twisted it a little to make sure everything was talking to each other as smoothly as possible and creating a beautiful synergy that offered seamless automation and next level efficiency.

We master each tool, platform, and software we have to ensure we are capitalising across the board and making the most of every feature. We get all over the unique features AI assists with, working with the automation and leveraging RPA to streamline our systems in a kind of beautiful cyborg way. Because our ultimate goal? To provide our clients with the best service at the lowest cost, and to enable small business owners to streamline their own accounting services in the most efficient way. Naturally.

So accounting won’t be replaced by AI?

No way Jose. 

One of our strengths is that our team works with AI to get the best outcomes. There are some things we’ve learned from our clients through our many conversations that tech wouldn’t ever know. There are some problem solving situations where it just takes plain human logic to work through, or some of that good old Kiwi ingenuity. You can’t put that in a bottle. And in bookkeeping processes, there are always exceptions and different ways of doing things for different clients depending on their specific needs and focuses - can’t get that out of a machine either. No, it’s a bit like driving a car. While machines could, and humans can, it’s the human and AI combination that is the ultimate quality control.

The best part? As automation slowly assists with the mundane, manual tasks that take so much time, it leaves the field wide open for accountants to continue upgrading their skillset, optimise their impact, and get their creative juices flowing. Working with automation and AI introduces a new set of skills - so instead of being replaced by robots, it will simply be a case of accountants adapting with the times and learning to work with automation technology to produce better outcomes across the board. Sounds like a win-win to us, and a win-win for our clients.


It really is an exciting time for the accounting world with the introduction of AI systems and robotic accounting automation slowly getting more and more involved. Like a slow-burn love story, the introduction of AI into the accounting world is making the accounting world a more beautiful place. Changing the accounting game for the better, AI researchers have worked hard to create a smarter system that saves time, money, stress, and hassle, reduces errors, and maximises efficiency. Say it louder for the people in the back.

If we’ve just sold you the dream, we also know some people that have got an absolute handle on the accounting automation combination. And yes, it’s us. So why not give us a call today and book your free consultation? We’d love to chat. Might even let you meet one of the robots out the back. Great bloke.

Danny Pritchard

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