During Intuit’s sixth annual QuickBooks Connect conference, the company announced its plans for bringing advances in artificial intelligence to small business through its new QuickBooks programmes. According to the company, such technology is often reserved for major corporations with budgets to match.
“The vision for QuickBooks is to build an expert-driven, AI platform to make better decisions and improve outcomes,” Alex Chriss, executive vice president and general manager of the Small Business Self-Employed Group at Intuit, told Forbes.
QuickBooks first made a name for itself through its accounting software programmes for SMEs—accepting business payments, managing bills and performing payroll functions. At the 2018 QuickBooks Connect conference, Intuit displayed the first new innovations to the platform, such as the addition of payment capabilities to invoices to help customers get paid faster and a flagship online payroll product.
By using artificial intelligence to focus on three key areas—money, decisions and connections—QuickBooks is now helping small business simplify and automate back-office tasks and get paid more efficiently, opening up more time and energy to focus on what they do best.
“The reality of running a small business is hard, and often owners are left to figure out how to leverage and take advantage of AI by themselves,” Chriss explained in a statement. “QuickBooks is changing this by leveling the playing field, giving small businesses access to data and insights they’ve never had before.
“By turning data into meaningful and useful insights, QuickBooks will be able to help small businesses make more data-driven decisions, spotting mistakes that would otherwise cost time and money.”
With the “Smart Money” features, customers will be able to predict their cash flow; create a payment-enabled invoice in less than one minute, with their hours, expenses and mileage added automatically through AI; and set permissions for their staff to get paid directly at job sites.
“The new Cash Flow Planner is a first in the industry,” Chriss explained. “Our AI sees transactions across the platform and starts to parse out expenses. We look at cash flow, expenses and things like invoices pending. The AI also figures out the likelihood a customer will pay on time.”
Also, the QuickBooks Capital programme now uses machine learning to assess risk by utilising 26 billion transactions and data points, which helps the platform provide loans to small businesses that otherwise might not qualify.
Quickbooks is also helping businesses make “Smart Decisions” through features such as receipt capture, mileage tracking and a new business performance dashboard to help accountants oversee key metrics, trends and ratios. “Smart Connections” are made through the new Live Bookkeeping component that matches small businesses to experts to help the companies grow.