Sage has integrated its Pegg chat bot with Sage One, adding artificial intelligence technology to the company’s cloud-based accounting software.

The U.K.-based company is launching the capability in the U.S. first before marketing it in other countries. Sage showed off the technology last year during its Sage Summit conference in Chicago (see Accounting bot launched at Sage Summit).

The bot, developed in collaboration with Gupshup, a San Francisco-based developer, uses AI technology to provide a “virtual accounting assistant.” Pegg allows users to submit expenses and track receipts, and see who is late on paying an invoice, via mobile messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger and Slack. According to Sage, 20,000 customers in 110 countries have already begun using Pegg as early adopters since it launched six months ago.

Sage's Pegg chat bot mobile phone interface
Sage's Pegg chat bot mobile phone interface

“As we continue to anticipate what’s next in this industry, we look forward to expanding our smart solutions to business owners in North America based on our growing expertise in AI,” said Sage North America executive vice president Nancy Harris in a statement Wednesday.

Artificial intelligence is increasingly making its way into the accounting technology area, for automating processes such as auditing and inventory tracking. Some of the largest firms are spending heavily on AI and similar technologies. Last week, Deloitte showed off how it is using AI and natural language processing technology at its offices in New York (see Deloitte showcases new technology at Innovation Demo Day event).

Sage is also introducing Sage People, a cloud-based human capital management system for midsize businesses. In addition to being available in the U.S., it’s also available now in Canada, the U.K. and Australia, with other countries slated for the future.

On Monday, Sage also announced it has integrated its cloud-based accounting software, Sage 50c, with Microsoft Office 365 (see Sage integrates cloud accounting with Microsoft Office 365). It’s now available in the U.K., and Sage plans to make it available in the U.S. and Canada this spring.

The announcements are part of a Sage vision of achieving what it calls “invisible accounting” by 2020 to automate back-office functions through the use of cloud technology. The company plans to show off the technologies at its next Sage Summit conference in May in Atlanta.

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Michael Cohn

Michael Cohn

Michael Cohn, editor-in-chief of AccountingToday.com, has been covering business and technology for a variety of publications since 1985.