The introduction of ChatGPT, Bing’s artificial intelligence (AI) powered search engine assistant, set the world abuzz last November. Since then, countless articles, talk shows, and more have discussed, dissected, and analyzed the use of AI in the business world.
AI isn’t new. You’ve probably encountered it before and assumed it was part of a website. Have you ever used a website’s chatbot function to answer a simple question? If so, you’ve likely used AI. Or perhaps you’ve tapped the “design help” function in PowerPoint to help spruce up your presentation. That’s also a great example of AI in action.
AI can assist the average nonprofit in many ways. One way in which AI offers powerful time-saving features is in the accounting department. Here, we’ll unpack why and how AI is a powerful tool for nonprofit accounting needs. Then, if you’re interested in exploring this topic further, reach out to us and we can discuss how AI can be used to automate and improve processes in your nonprofit accounting team.
Why Use AI for Process Automation?
Consider how much time is spent on routine tasks each week: emailing reminders to employees to enter their hours or submitting expense reports, for example, or emailing common forms and paperwork to constituents. Even something as simple as sending a participant quiz to those who have taken a webinar with your organization can take over an hour, depending on how much or little it is automated.
AI is an excellent tool for repetitive, rule-bound tasks. You can automate tasks, workflows, reports, and reminders using AI in your accounting department. A quick estimate of the time saved through automating these tasks is eye-opening. With that time saved, you can focus on more pressing needs requiring creativity and expertise. Let the AI batch and send expense report reminders while you strategize with the program team on their accounting needs; it is time well saved and better spent with your teams.
Improved Data, Analytics, and Forecasting
Another area in which AI greatly helps with accounting and financial needs is in data, analytics, and forecasting. Because AI can analyze vast amounts of data rapidly, it can provide insights into constituents’ needs, program demands, and operational performance. With rapid information at your fingertips, you can make better decisions.
Not All AI Is Created Equal
Now comes the hard part. How do you select the right platforms that have AI enhancements without choosing something that will be obsolete tomorrow?
The key is finding the right consultant to assist you in the process. You need someone well-versed in accounting and financial needs for nonprofits who also understands the software world.
Choose from among vendors with time-tested platforms. Sage Intacct, for example, is used worldwide by over 11,000 for-profit and nonprofit companies. It is a well-known accounting and finance platform that includes many time-saving automations. MIP Fund Accounting is another platform that can be deployed on-premises or in the cloud that offers many time-saving automation for payroll, HR, accounting, and more.
Ultimately, the choice of the right nonprofit accounting and finance software is a decision that may take some time. Most software companies include AI-powered automation in their products, especially as consumer interest and acceptance of using the tool to save time has grown. There is no better use of AI than to automate manual processes, thus freeing up accounting professionals for more creative and challenging tasks.
Welter Consulting bridges people and technology together for effective solutions for nonprofit organizations. We offer software and services that can help you with your accounting needs. Please contact us for more information.