Curious about how artificial intelligence (AI) could benefit your business, but not sure where to start? Machine learning, a part of artificial intelligence, can handle many routine accounting processes, allowing accounting professionals to focus on more complex tasks. In this article, I’ll go over three steps you can take to find out if it’s right for you.
Step 1: creating a roadmap
The first step in incorporating machine learning into your business is having a roadmap to guide your business processes. It is crucial to know exactly what your business is doing and how it is performing. Once you’ve mapped your processes, the real magic can begin.
Step 2: Examine the processes
You need to examine which processes can be modified and which can be replaced by automation. It is important to do a cost-benefit analysis. Some questions to ask yourself when determining which processes to automate include:
- What processes are consuming the most time and how many employees are needed to carry them out?
- How much do these processes cost you?
- Would it be more profitable for you to automate these processes using machine learning?
The bottom line is how many people you can afford to have on staff, and depending on what industry you’re in, how much data you’re working with. If there’s so much data that your team can’t process it or can’t deliver results by a deadline, then you need to consider automation.
Step 3: pilot providers
First do a pilot project; don’t wait to kill the great dragon. However, start with a small pilot project with a vendor. There are thousands of companies from different industries working in different areas of machine learning. Many of these companies would take the opportunity to do a pilot. But remember to start small – replace just one of your processes and see how it affects your business.
At the end of the day, incorporating machine learning is about leadership and support within your organization. I’ve seen hundreds of companies spend millions of dollars on technology only to fail because they don’t implement it well and don’t help their people use that technology.
Anyone in any field can benefit from machine learning. To summarize the three steps:
- Create a roadmap of your business processes,
- Examine business processes and conduct a cost-benefit analysis, and
- Start with a small project and try a provider.