QuickBooks Online Accountant gets AI injection

Intuit wants QuickBooks users to know it's serious about automation — not just embedding it into its QuickBooks platforms, but also getting accountants to use the capabilities to their fullest potential. QuickBooks Online Accountant has received a healthy injection of artificial intelligence-fueled automation, and also features “efficiency scores” that tells users how well they’re using the platform, with tips for improvement.

“We’re in the era of AI, and the data shows me yet again that you are the trendsetters and early adopters, paving the way for it to transform the industry,” Ariege Micherghi, global accountant segment leader for Intuit, told the assembled QuickBooks accountants and ProAdvisors at this year’s annual QuickBooks Connect conference in San Jose. “I see a profession that has not just weathered change for decades, but a profession that has led through change for decades.”

Ariege Misherghi QuickBooks Connect 2019
Ariege Misherghi addressing QBConnect 2019

Misherghi introduced three new areas of the QuickBooks Accountant launching now or in the near future. Some parts of the new modules are available now, while others are not yet live.

First, the Optimization Center is where accountants can find efficiency scores that tell them how effectively they’ve set up each individual client. The score evaluates how much of the possible automation available has been set up for that client, with suggestions and instructions for improvement.

Also available are efficiency scores for employees within a firm, which will allow managers to coach staff accountants on setting up rules that could further automate their processes.

A highly efficient score means the accountant has minimized, through automation, the amount of time they spend touching a client’s files. The score breaks down data across bank account activity, expense tracking, income tracking and other tasks, and gives suggestions on how to improve each of these.

For reference, an efficiency score in the 80s is “great,” Misherghi said. And if you achieve a score above 90 for any client, be sure to let Micherghi know. “That’s major bragging rights,” she said. The efficiency score features are live now.

Also new is Bookkeeping Review. QuickBooks Online Accountant now leverages embedded AI to scan all the transactions from the last month. This process checks for entries that are missing data and automatically finds errors.

The “reconcile” tab retrieves details for each account including the number of unreconciled transactions, the date since a lapsed reconciliation, and statements from financial institutions that have already been connected to QuickBooks. This feature is currently live in Canada, but Intuit is still working with financial institutions to get it up and running fully in the United States.

The most interesting new product is the Business Performance Overview tab within QBOA. The section provides a bird’s-eye view of key performance indicators, automatically calculating ratios and displaying key trends from client data aimed at helping accountants identify areas their clients should focus on to improve business performance. The part that’s not yet live is live benchmarking, where the module aggregates data Intuit gathers from across industries to show how clients are doing in comparison to their competitors in the market.

Accountant users of QBOA interested in signing up for early access to some of the features mentioned above can do so here: Intuit.me/qb-earlyaccess.

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