Is the future of cloud accounting in Artificial Intelligence and Robotic Process Automation?

Cloud accounting is one of those human and admin-intensive processes when it comes to managing payments coming in and also chasing for them.

Credit control departments liaise with clients and debtors through phone, email and sometimes legal letters to recover monies owed. But could all that change with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA)?

In 2017 research was launched to calculate the average debt a person has in the UK outside of their mortgage. The figure was £8000 per person. That is a lot of UK debt to chase manually through traditional methods. Especially as more and more UK agencies such as local councils have to adopt a more ethical approach to debt collection, rather than just sending around bailiffs in the first instance to seize assets and collect outstanding payments.

In the US, only approximately 20% of debts are actually recovered monetarily successfully and as US is a tech giant, especially surrounding artificial intelligence, debt collection and credit control is one area of the market that would significantly benefit from more intelligent processes to help recover debts owed.

Back to the UK, in the first quarter of 2018, the total national debt amounted to £1.78 trillion. So if businesses and governments are to recover what they are owed from debtors, the solution is in technology to help speed up the process. Which is what’s already happening with the continual move towards cloud technology and automation.

Our Director, David, commented on the future of technology for the cloud accounting industry and what we are already seeing in today’s market and tech climate.

“We are seeing such a huge drive towards AI and RPA across multi-sector industries. Even now there is AI-like programming actively helping companies chase their clients for money built in by design to many cloud-hosted accountancy packages. Take Xero for example, through programmable automation and templates, it sends out invoice chasers, statements to debtors by email until the balance is paid…and it knows when the invoice has been settled through bank feed reconciliation and then stops any further action. As well as this, we are also seeing robotic process automation being used to fill in admin gaps for efficiency, speed and to reduce processing errors through using Zapier and Integromat as two cloud RPA examples”…

“So if this ‘automation intelligence’ that we have and running now continues at the pace it currently is, together with the fast acceleration towards better and more intelligent personable AI, such as with programmable AI bots and more detailed RPA levels, it won’t be long until AI as an umbrella is fully mainstream. Within the next 2-3 years this style of automated process management will not just be fully integrated into all credit control processes within cloud accountancy packages but other internal systems as well, such as CRM and cloud software packages for sales, marketing and operations”.

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