AI is making headlines, but how could it impact your business’s financial future?

AI is making headlines, but how could it impact your business’s financial future?

Debbie Boulton, managing director of Richardson Swift takes a look at what the future could hold.

It’s the time of year where we tend to look back over the past year and consider the highs and lows. At Richardson Swift we’ve had a busy and successful 12 months: we’ve added a new director to our board, had a full office and IT refit, and launched a hugely successful business support network -The Breakfast Exchange - in collaboration with Thrings Solicitors and the one and only TBE!

But while reflecting on our successes, in business you have no time to standstill and as the news reminds us daily, we are in the throes of a technological revolution that even the most traditional of businesses can no longer avoid.

Constant developments in technologies like AI and cloud accounting are changing the way we do business and manage finances.

With technology advancing at such a rapid pace, it can be difficult to keep up. The business landscape has shifted significantly in the last few years alone, and it’s likely to change even more as we develop more AI capabilities.

If you want to future-proof your business, you should embrace technology, but you also need to understand its limitations. So, what are the pluses and minuses, and how can accounting tech empower you to move your business forward?

Well, on the plus side, whether you’re looking for innovative solutions to common accounting problems or you want to dive deeper into your financial reports, there is now a tech out there that can help.

If you want to make the most of it, however, you need to know how to use it effectively. With a wealth of information out there, cutting through the noise and finding exactly what you need can be hard. So, make sure you get expert help.

As accountants we work with these technologies all the time and keeping up with new advancements and how these can benefit clients is just part of the job.

I’m a firm believer that early adoption of new practices is the best way for clients to boost productivity, streamline time-consuming processes and future-proof their business finances.

So, let’s take a look at some of the most common accounting challenges businesses face and how tech can help you overcome them.

The challenge: your clients are paying late

Last year, analysis from cloud accounting provider Xero showed that around half of the invoices issued by small businesses were paid late. Over one in ten (12%) of these invoices were still outstanding a month after they were first issued.

The solution: automated invoicing

Automated invoicing allows businesses to schedule client invoices in advance at a specific date and time. This not only saves you time manually issuing invoices yourself, but also encourages prompt payment by getting invoices to your clients as early as possible, and chasing them for payment so you don’t have to. Depending on your chosen cloud accounting platform, you can also set up automations to chase late-paying clients.

The challenge: you spend too much time on accounting tasks

If you and your team spend hours on routine recordkeeping tasks, you may not have time to focus on bigger-picture strategies. Plus entering your financial data doesn’t just take up a lot of time, it can also increase the risk of human error in your accounts.

The solution: track business transactions automatically

Instead of entering your transactions manually, you could link your business bank account with your accounting software. This allows your software to automatically download your bank transactions so you can easily track your income and expenses.

While this feature has been available on most platforms for some time, it’s still evolving. Thanks to recent developments in AI and machine learning, software can often categorise your business transactions automatically, winning back more time for you to spend on your business.

Other software solutions can help to automate the record-keeping process by importing bills and receipts, automatically recording the description, tax rate and amount on digital or physical documents.

The challenge: you want to make better business decisions

If you want to implement a solid business strategy, you’ll need to do much more than balance your books and meet your obligations.

The solution: combine technology with accounting expertise

With technology analysing your real-time data, you can draw up forecasts, budgets and other financial statements to help you make well-informed business decisions. Computer-generated reports do have their constraints, though. Even the more sophisticated accounting tools don’t include external factors like current industry trends and economic conditions in their predictions. So, happily for us you’ll still need expert insight to get a truly accurate picture of your business finances.

A good accountant will help you navigate accounting software with ease and spot anything that could improve your financial processes or boost your productivity.


If you’d like to talk to us about cloud technology and your business, we are happy to offer an initial consultation free-of-charge. Contact us on 01225 325580 or email