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Transform Your Accounting Client Onboarding Process with the Power of AI

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Onboarding clients has always been a time-consuming and expensive process for accounting firms. With the advent of artificial intelligence (AI) and generative AI, this tedious task can now be streamlined, saving firms valuable time and resources. In this article, we will explore how AI can transform the client onboarding experience for accounting firms, making it an efficient, cost-effective, and seamless experience.

Make the new client onboarding process faster and less expensive with AI.

The traditional client onboarding process often requires highly experienced accountants to gather information through a series of Q&A sessions. This not only consumes significant time but also proves to be expensive. Generative AI chatbots, equipped with an extensive knowledge base, can step in and provide intelligent responses to clients’ queries. For instance, commonly asked questions like ‘Why do you need my tax returns’ or ‘Why do you need to know how many employees I pay every month’ will be accurately addressed by bots. By leveraging AI, firms can eliminate the need for high-paid accountants to be present in every call, thus reducing costs. Additionally, AI-powered support personnel can be sent in the place of higher-level accountants when the human touch becomes necessary, further optimizing expenses.

AI accelerates the onboarding process exponentially.

Speed is of the essence in customer onboarding. Whether you have a client with one business or multiple businesses, it can be time-consuming for both the accountant and the client to gather all financial information and complete the necessary paperwork. Instead of repeatedly asking clients to provide the same information for multiple entities, AI simplifies this process because it can pull in existing financial data from the system and apply it as applicable. New clients with numerous businesses can avoid having to fill in the same information repeatedly, and your team can get to the business of client advisory services sooner.

Let AI manage the collection of data and documents.

Once the basic information is gathered, accountants often spend considerable time collecting statements, documents, and financial records from clients. Generative AI  can assist in this task by patiently guiding clients through the list of required items and even reducing the quantity of data the client needs to provide. For example, some smaller transactions may not require receipts, and specific bills may be acceptable without PDF copies. Additionally, Docyt makes it by connecting with their customers’ bank accounts. This nifty feature allows their AI to automatically match expenses with live bank feeds transactions, performing continuous bank reconciliation. It’s like having an intelligent AI assistant that helps accountants review their client expenses by quickly spotting any duplicate, fraudulent, or missing transactions. This saves accountants and clients a ton of time since they don’t have to gather documents and go back and forth to ensure everything is in order.

Send automated reminders to your clients throughout the onboarding process.

Another advantage of leveraging AI in accounting client onboarding is the ability to send automated reminders. AI bots can act as virtual clerks, prompting new clients to provide any missing data. This automated reminder system helps ensure that all necessary information is received without requiring human follow-up. This means accountants are free from the manual work of having to review documents and identify what’s missing from their clients and then having to reach out to get the information they need. For clients who prefer a self-serving experience, AI-guided onboarding can provide a personalized and efficient approach catered to their own pace.

What AI can’t do…

While AI offers numerous benefits, it is essential to acknowledge its limitations. Experienced human accountants possess the intuition to dive into complex areas that may be uncovered in an interactive interview process. Even in this situation, AI can still play a valuable role by handling the initial information gathering, with the option to involve human accountants for more intricate matters. Furthermore, AI-powered transcription during onboarding provides an accurate record of conversations, serving as a reliable audit layer for future reviews and compliance purposes.

The power of AI will transform your accounting client onboarding process.

Artificial intelligence has emerged as a game-changer for accounting firms, transforming the customer onboarding process. By harnessing the power of AI and generative AI bots, accounting firms can streamline operations, reduce costs, accelerate onboarding, improve data collection, provide automated reminders, and ensure accurate documentation. While AI cannot provide human intuition, it can significantly enhance efficiency, enabling firms to onboard clients seamlessly, even while human accountants sleep or play.

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