“It will take a maximum of five to ten years until all accounting processes are completely digital.”
Managing Director, Enteos Shared Service Center, Budapest
Anyone who still asks whether AI will persist in accounting asks the wrong question. Béla Tasi, Managing Director of the Shared Service Center of Enteos in Hungary, knows that “it’s only a matter of time before document processing and accounting is largely automated. The experience of recent years suggests that this will happen sooner rather than later.” It is time to redefine the division of labour between humans and AI, and to create future-proof processes. A wake-up call.
In the world of accounting, a new division of labor is spreading: More and more tasks that previously had to be performed manually can now be automated thanks to artificial intelligence (AI). This opens up immense potential. While the “robots” are taking over ever more routine tasks, the increasingly scarce specialists can devote themselves to more complex and analytical tasks.
The significant savings generated by using the self-learning software Finmatics can be seen from the example of Enteos Hungary. Until a few years ago, the team’s core task was to manually enter accounting data into the system. This meant that one employee could process an average of 35 documents per hour. After the introduction of Finmatics, this figure rose by a remarkable 77% to 62 processed documents per hour. As a result, the team’s focus is increasingly shifting towards checking the information extracted by the system – instead of typing in data as before.
That way the shared service center of Enteos does not only save time, but also improves the quality of its results. Errors such as typos were almost completely eliminated with the help of the AI. “But that is certainly not yet the end of the story,” says Béla Tasi. Thanks to the learning algorithm, the neural networks of the AI continue to develop independently. Today already, up to 80% of invoices can be read out automatically by the software. This rate depends to a large extent on the layout and content as well as the quality of the documents. The more invoices become standardised, the better the results that can be achieved with AI. “In the foreseeable future, the proportion of automatically read out documents will be 99.9%,” Tasi predicts.
However, the possibilities do not stop at data extraction. Finmatics also allows automated document processing and account assignment. For this purpose, at the beginning of a new collaboration, the AI is “trained” by the shared service center to execute the company-specific accounting processes. With each document, the system learns which invoices are usually assigned to which accounts. As a result, the AI can carry out the accounting process completely automatically after a short time. For this to work smoothly, it must be possible to transfer the information seamlessly from the document management software to the accounting software. This is ensured by means of appropriate interfaces to financial and ERP programs such as DATEV, BMD, Helios, RZL, Microsoft, Sage and SAP.
According to Tasi, it will take “a maximum of five to ten years” until all accounting processes are completely digital. Companies that keep clinging to manual processes will no longer be competitive in this future. The advantage of using AI is simply too significant for that. “Now is the time to create a future-proof IT infrastructure”, Tasi concludes. This is also a benefit for the accountants, who in many firms are still struggling with paperwork today. When they work hand in hand with AI, the best of two worlds comes together in one organization: The precision and efficiency of AI with the creativity and vision of humans. This is a future perspective that we are enthusiastic about. Thank you, Béla Tasi, for this exciting outlook!