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How Does ChatGPT Affect the Future of Accountants and Bookkeepers?

Robot Working With Laptop

If you’ve been on the internet or social media recently – you’ve probably heard of ChatGPT. ChatGPT is a natural language processing tool driven by AI technology that allows you to have human-like conversations.

Since its inception in November 2022, ChatGPT has been downloaded by over 30 million users. ChatGPT enhances decision making using open source data from textbooks, websites, and other public information.

Although ChatGPT has generated concern about replacing people in the workforce, the opposite is actually true. ChatGPT can be a useful tool to assist individuals in many aspects of their daily job duties.

How Can Accountants Use ChatGPT?

Once upon a time, AI-technology was a novelty that only existed in movies. However, AI is now being used in different fields such as accounting. AI (artificial intelligence) and NLP (natural language processing) advancements with 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 series, which finished training in early 2022. On March 14, 2023, OpenAI released GPT-4, currently 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.

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

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 the financial statements on a monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis.
  3. It can help you еxpand your knowledge in accounting or rеlatеd fiеlds by еxplaining concеpts, providing еxamplеs, or rеcommеnding еducational rеsourcеs.

All of 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 the 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 amount of data over a longer period of time – 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, ChatGPT can’t be effective if your accounting isn’t done right. Clean books and timely financial statements are important. 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 is not trained 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 when used with AI accounting automation software can make an accountant’s job much easier. 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 also providing real-time financial insights to better inform your decision-making.

While AI should not be considered a replacement for accountants, it can be an effective tool to maximize their productivity. AI-based technology cannot replace the judgment and ethical reasoning of a human accountant, 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 published on March 1, 2023, and has been updated to reflect the latest advancements in ChatGPT technology.

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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