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How Will ChatGPT Affect the Future of Accountants and Bookkeepers in 2024

Robot Working With Laptop

If you’ve been online or active on social media in the past few years, chances are ChatGPT needs no introduction. As a mainstay of American culture, nearly everyone has encountered some form of ChatGPT at this point. But on the off chance you haven’t heard, ChatGPT is a natural language processing tool driven by AI technology that allows you to engage in human-like conversations with ease and fluency. In the last six months, ChatGPT’s capabilities have grown exponentially.

Let’s explore.

ChatGPT launched in November 2022 and had over 30 million users in year one. As of April 2024, ChatGPT has an astonishing 180.5 million users and boasts an average of 1.6 billion monthly visits.  Between ChatGPT-built applications and the wide variety of available plugins on the platform, there are practical applications for everyone.  Whether you are an accountant, a creative, or a coder, ChatGPT enhances decision-making using open-source data from textbooks, websites, and other public information.

Even with widespread adoption, ChatGPT continues to generate concern about replacing people in the workforce, but the opposite is true. ChatGPT can be a valuable tool for assisting individuals in many aspects of their daily job duties, including accounting.

How Can Accountants Use ChatGPT?

Once upon a time, AI technology was a novelty that only existed in movies. However, various fields utilize AI, including accounting. AI (artificial intelligence) and NLP (natural language processing) advancements in deep learning have been happening for a number of years. GPT models are the new age models that also use deep learning to produce human-like text. There have been many series of GPT models so far: GPT-1, GPT-2, GPT-3, GPT-3.5, GPT-4.

ChatGPT is fine-tuned from a model in the GPT-3.5, which finished training in early 2022. On March 14, 2023, OpenAI released GPT-4, a pay-to-play version promising to deliver more reliable content with increased creativity, speed, and problem-solving skills. Both ChatGPT versions utilize Deep Learning-based NLP models at a scale not seen before. 

Since the release of ChatGPT 4, OpenAI has introduced its first ChatGPT mobile application and a flurry of updates that are certain to appeal to accounting professionals, business owners, and enterprise corporations alike.

These recent ChatGPT 4 updates enhance your experience further and optimize your work day: plugins to browse and access third-party apps such as Canva and Adobe Express, higher message limits, mobilized GPT to remember your chats across all GPTs, ability to add custom instructions to provide details and guidelines for your chats, new voice and image capabilities, the ability to create your own GPT tailored to your needs, ChatGPT Team and GPT store, ChatGPT Enterprise, and last but not least GPT4 Turbo, which accepts images and has text to speech.

Does that mean Chat GPT will replace an Accountant? We don’t think so. However, it can help in some areas.

More than an efficient research and analysis tool, ChatGPT can also craft responses for the back office (invoicing, bill payment, receipt requests, etc.) and accounting questions asked by your clients.

  1. It can review the financials and provide a summary of business insights. Accountants can then use these insights to recommend corrective actions that general managers and operators could implement.
  2. It can write qualitative financial report summaries for lenders, investors, and partners by analyzing monthly, quarterly, and yearly financial statements.
  3. It can help you еxpand your knowledge in accounting or rеlatеd fiеlds by еxplaining concеpts, providing еxamplеs, or rеcommеnding еducational rеsourcеs.

With the latest updates to ChatGPT, these same tasks can be handled with even more efficiency:

Custom Instructions: Accountants can now receive ChatGPT responses tailored to their specific needs, enhancing the customization of reports, interpretation of financial data, or client interactions. They can adjust these responses to align with their methods, client preferences, or industry norms.

Assistants API: Developers can craft AI applications tailored to accounting, like tax law assistants that offer current legislative insights, suggest strategies, or answer compliance queries, integrating these tools into accounting practices for improved efficiency.

DALL·E 3 Integration: Accountants who need to produce visual content for reports or presentations benefit from DALL·E 3’s ability to generate detailed charts or infographics, enriching the presentation and comprehension of financial data.

All these ChatGPT outputs still need to be reviewed and corrected by an expert, like an accountant, before any correspondence or reports can be sent to clients or used by stakeholders. While ChatGPT can’t replace human judgment and expertise, it can reduce an accountant’s workload by providing a great starting point.

Using ChatGPT Effectively

ChatGPT can only draw on the information it has been taught. As a result, it can sometimes write plausible-sounding but factually incorrect answers. Although developers constantly work to grow GPT’s knowledge base, the task is daunting and neverending. For example, GPT 3.5 was trained to consider as many as 175 billion parameters when given a query, resulting in impressive human-like responses. GPT-4, however, was trained on a significantly larger data set over a longer period, ultimately allowing it to consider over 1 trillion parameters.* Fixing the issue of misleading or inaccurate information is a challenge and might always need a human element for verification. ChatGPT is also often excessively verbose.

Most importantly, your accounting must be done right for ChatGPT to be effective. Clean books and timely financial statements are essential. Fixing the output from ChatGPT and feeding the ChatGPT model with the correct financial data is crucial and can only be done by a human accountant. If ChatGPT uses erroneous books or lacks training on the custom data set, you risk ChatGPT giving you incorrect financial summaries.

Docyt’s mission of providing real-time accrual-basis financials combined with ChatGPT can empower accountants to become much more efficient. Although ChatGPT can gather content, it still needs an accountant’s review and blessing. ChatGPT can make an accountant’s job much more manageable when used with AI accounting automation software. That’s where Docyt can help.

Using ChatGPT with Docyt

Leveraging the power of ChatGPT for copywriting and data analysis, along with Docyt to automate your bookkeeping, will elevate the productivity of accountants and bookkeepers.

Docyt learns about your business using powerful artificial intelligence (AI). Using AI-based technology, Docyt can automate your back-office and bookkeeping tasks to help your business become more efficient while providing real-time financial insights to better inform your decision-making.

While AI should not be considered a replacement for accountants, it can effectively maximize their productivity. AI-based technology cannot replace a human accountant’s judgment and ethical reasoning. However, it can help them save time by eliminating manual work.

To learn how Docyt can make your accountants’ job easier, set up a free consultation with us today.

 

Editor’s Note: This article was originally previously published and has been updated to reflect the latest advancements in ChatGPT technology.

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Sugam Pandey - Docyt CTO | Co-founder

Sugam Pandey

Sugam Pandey is the CTO and Co-Founder of Docyt, a cloud-based AI-powered financial workflow and accounting automation platform for hoteliers. Docyt makes accounting software run better. Sugam has deep expertise in software engineering, data science, security and accounting for the hospitality industry.

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