Business Sherpa Group recently held a discussion on bookkeeping technology for small businesses and how small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can get the most out of their tech stack. Our Marketing Coordinator, Ward, spoke with Accounting Practice Lead, Nick Adamson, about various topics related to the consideration and implementation of bookkeeping technology. In case you missed it, we’ve outlined some key points in the following paragraphs.
When SMEs Should Invest in Technology
A Deloitte report penned in 2022 outlined that many smaller and medium organizations still do their accounting processes manually, adding significant time and resources to their operating budgets. Trends indicated this is changing, with more organizations getting online and onboard with continuous accounting to give themselves that competitive edge.
But doesn’t that switch to an online system take time and cause delays? Less than you’d think, according to our experts. Most SMEs only need 2 – 3 business days to make the switch, and while the learning curve for employees can take longer, the return on investment begins almost instantly. That’s why our experts tell SMEs, the right time to invest was yesterday, but it’s still right to invest in operating technology now.
The Role of AI In SMEs and Bookkeeping Technology
In the second half of our discussion, Ward and Nick discussed the role of AI in SMEs, and where it will lead businesses that lean into its capabilities. Accountants and Bookkeepers alike are no strangers to AI, with tools such as Dext and Plooto already using machine learning to improve their automated processes. With that in mind, we wanted to look at what comes next for AI in SMEs.
As the software improves, Bookkeepers will have to learn to work alongside AI, becoming more of an observer of processes than someone who is pulling the process along. This allows bookkeepers to add more value to the organization in other places, looking at the real-time data AI can pull to help an organization figure out their financial next steps.
When discussing the ethical use of AI, the onus to disclose use of AI is on the business. For most bookkeepers, using AI is a given, as all bookkeeping tech equips it in some form. Information that should be kept confidential, is not tracked by these technologies.
When inputting data about an organization into a software like ChatGPT, the parameters change a bit. Here, businesses should disclose its usage if AI is used to develop policy or strategy. When it comes to what gets disclosed to AI systems, it’s simple: don’t disclose things you’d want to keep confidential; the machine keeps it and learns from it.
Next Steps for SMEs
So, if you’re a business owner looking to create more efficient business practices, start your search at tech-investment level. Review processes that take place at your organization and determine their timelines, then speak to experts, like the ones at BSG, if you need more insight into how to optimize the way you work.
If you want to get more free insights from the BSG team, they’re not far off. We have one more event coming up at the end of the year on compensation strategies and how they impact business objectives and will have lots of great events in the new year.