How is AI improving Truewind's bookkeeping and what areas (besides expense classification) can generate 10x leverage?
Co-founder & CEO at Truewind
Yeah, I'll touch on both, on the bookkeeping productivity and the customer experience.
On bookkeeping productivity, a very common task required of bookkeepers is to read an invoice, read a contract, figure out which data came in, and if an accrual expense needs to be written. So very specifically, let's say I used a vendor from January 1 to January 31, and then I received an invoice on January 31. Everything is squared, my expense happened this month. I got the invoice this month, we debit expense, credit accounts payable, we're done.
But what if your service period was for January, but then you received the invoice on February 3? Well, then the invoice received on February 3 creates a journal entry automatically, but then it was actually for the previous month. So you need to reverse this journal entry and then write a new journal entry for the previous month. Then, what if, because this happens all the time, you get service for 31 days and the vendor never sends you an invoice? But you know you used a service, so an invoice is coming at some point. You’ve got to mentally remember that and maybe put in a number that you think will be your expense, and when you receive the invoice later, you'll then adjust it.
These are all manual tasks that need to happen. Right now the first task is to read the invoice that is received and then go do it. Now, before AI, we couldn't do that programmatically. Now we can, whether it's with Google OCR or with AWS, I think it's called Tesseract. Now, we can read those invoices and contracts with AI and make a recommendation for what it is. Then all the bookkeeper has to do is verify it or make simple changes to it. That's a 10X improvement in their productivity from just a contract reading standpoint.
From a user experience lens, the most common exchange from the operator to the bookkeeper is the bookkeeper sending an email at the end of every month. You can just imagine the dread on the operator's face, ‘oh, man, I got to do this again.’ So I'll wait, I'll wait, I'll wait until it's 31 days into it. You're already in the next month, you haven't finished closing out the books yet. So let's think, is there a way to abstract the experience to something more real time? I think about receipts and expense management. Before or after a trip, you had to hold onto all your receipts and do it manually into SAP. Now with Ramp, or Brex, or Expensify, you take a photo of your receipt at the moment, you throw away the receipt, and you're done.
Can we replicate that type of experience with bookkeeping? I think we can. Something like, I don't want to send you a text every day, Walter, saying, "I don't know what this transaction is." But maybe once a week I send you a text. "Hey, these transactions, we recognize. These, we don't, can you tell us a bit about them?" And you just text me back in plain English. Now we can recognize what the context means and categorize it correctly. I see that as also a 10X improvement in the customer experience.