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Automated assistants, bots tipped to ramp up in accounting space


One administration firm believes automated personal assistants that use natural language processing and leverage big data to provide users with personalised answers to questions will begin to play a key role in the accounting industry in coming years.

By Miranda Brownlee 12 minute read

Intello director Kris Kitto said accounting software providers are gathering huge amounts of data, which could potentially be plugged into machine learning software to provide quick answers to users.

While the large accounting software firms already report on some of the insights gathered from their data, he said, this would take it to the next level and make it more personalised.

“Very quickly [professionals] will be able to interrogate their database and find clients that are suitable for a particular strategy, based on the data that’s available,” he explained.


This is largely a manual process at the moment that requires people’s knowledge of the clients to be able to narrow down the list of clients, and then using data to confirm that strategy is actually appropriate for those clients, he said.

Chat bots are a similar tool to this that have already been adopted by the big banks and some accounting firms for their clients, he said.

“Bots are simple programs, which can interact with users and help explain information and find answers. For example I can ask my mobile banking app how much I spent at Woolworths in the last six months and it will tell me,” he said.

“We’ve actually put a little bot in our portal and it invites advisers to ask a question, and depending on what they ask, it’ll search for key words in our articles and find potential answers depending on what they ask. So it’s a very simple self-service type of bot.”

With many of the artificial intelligence solutions currently out of reach on a cost basis for most firms, he predicts that the industry could see partnerships develop between accounting software providers and AI or machine learning solutions.

“We need some of the artificial intelligence tools to evolve more and become more accessible to smaller players in the market,” he said.

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Miranda Brownlee

Miranda Brownlee


Miranda Brownlee is the deputy editor of SMSF Adviser, which is the leading source of news, strategy and educational content for professionals working in the SMSF sector.

Since joining the team in 2014, Miranda has been responsible for breaking some of the biggest superannuation stories in Australia, and has reported extensively on technical strategy and legislative updates.
Miranda also has broad business and financial services reporting experience, having written for titles including Investor Daily, ifa and Accountants Daily.

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