ChatGPT AI: The Future of Bookkeeping or Just Another Hype?

Artificial intelligence has taken centre stage in the business world in recent years, promising to revolutionise everything from marketing to customer service. One area AI has generated a lot of buzz? Bookkeeping! Have I broken out in a cold sweat wondering if my job is about to be obliterated in favour of AI? Short answer: NO. 

Long answer? There’s room for automation in every industry but without the right knowledge, ChatGPT AI is a fail. 

AI is a tool not a replacement 

Think of AI like your robot vacuum. Yes, it can clean your floors but you need to clear the way and program it correctly for it to be of any use. 

ChatGPT AI is only as effective as the knowledge and expertise which is programmed into it. Bookkeepers still need to have a deep understanding of accounting principles and financial regulations to ensure the AI tools are being used correctly. Human bookkeepers bring a level of judgement and critical thinking which AI is simply not capable of replicating. 

Sure, use it for data entry, but when it comes to strategy & insight there’s no comparison. 

Bookkeeping know-how 

Bookkeeping errors can lead to inaccurate financial data, which in turn can have serious consequences for your businesses.  I’ve had so many new clients come to me in complete frustration after they’ve had a terrible experience with a virtual assistant or family member who they trusted to do their books. When I think of AI replacing qualified bookkeepers altogether, I can’t help but see BIG red flags. 

AI can’t impersonate:

🚩 Years of professional education (or my hard earned Associate Commerce Degree with a Major In Accounting)

🚩 Industry experience 

🚩 A tick of approval and compliance with the Code Of Professional Conduct 

🚩 Strategic, customised and educated advice 

🚩 Specialised knowledge and experience (I’m a Xero Certified Retail & eCommerce Specialist!)

🚩 An understanding of ethical and compliant bookkeeping practises  

Sure, ChatGPT AI can turbocharge efficiency when it comes to bookkeeping, but it’s no substitute. 

We use both ChatGPT and AI here at AFY all the time, to support the work we do for you, not in place of. It makes great suggestions, and can provide alternate views. But bookkeeping is way more than clicking buttons to suggested previous entries!

ChatGPT is NOT a BAS Agent

If you’ve been outsourcing your BAS to someone who is not a registered BAS agent, like ChatGPT AI or your Mum, you’re going to want to rethink how you’re doing business. 

It’s crucial to keep in mind ChatGPT AI is not a substitute for a registered BAS agent. In Australia, BAS agents are authorised by the government to provide advice on compliance and tax matters, and businesses are required to work with one to ensure their financial processes are in line with Australian tax regulations. 

While ChatGPT AI can certainly assist with bookkeeping tasks, it’s essential to have a registered BAS agent on board to ensure everything is compliant and accurate.

Using technology to streamline bookkeeping tasks makes life easier for bookkeepers and business owners. But, it’s vital to use it as a tool alongside a professional to ensure compliance and accuracy are in check. Make the most of ChatGPT AI but pretty please, keep your financial processes are above board and most of all, legal.

Submitting incorrect, late or misleading figures can result in hefty fines and more. Don’t leave your finances in the hands of a bot. 

Lisa x

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