Note: this blog consists of excerpts of the Market Milestone written on this topic. For the full report, go to our Research section
On February 21, 2018, MindBridge Ai announced updates to its Ai Auditor platform, which is designed to analyze financial data with machine learning and artificial intelligence tools for financial audits. These updates include
- Customizable General Ledger and Accounts Payable analysis
- 20+ financial reports including income statement, financial trending and ratio analysis
- Integration with QuickBooks Online, Intacct & NetSuite
- Natural language processing to allow auditors and accountants to use native language questions for financial data and transaction analysis
Why this matters
Amalgam Insights has previously profiled MindBridge Ai as an important startup for the future of Audit and Accounting Automation. These new updates provide three key capabilities that are of note in providing value to audit and accounting personnel.
First the out-of-the-box analysis for standard financial functions will allow accountants to align Mindbridge Ai’s capabilities to their organizations and their audits more quickly. Second, the integration with Intacct and NetSuite speak both to the market impact that these solutions have had as well as to the ease-of-integration that both Intacct and NetSuite provide for cutting-edge accounting solutions. For mid-market and enterprise companies, this integration provides an opportunity to significantly accelerate audits in mid-market organizations. Third, and most exciting to Amalgam Insights, is the integration of Natural Language Processing in interacting with financial data. By beginning to explore audit requirements and transactional inconsistencies through natural language, Mindbridge has taken an initial step towards a Holy Grail of developing automated audits where external regulatory compliance language can immediately be used to detect and enforce internal financial controls. Although this initial step is focused on enhancing the capabilities of audit professionals to identify risky outliers, Amalgam believes that the long-term promise of this technology is to eliminate manual cross-checking for regulatory requirements. As this occurs, auditors will take on more strategic roles such as competitive intelligence, business alignment, risk analysis, and management consulting.
- NetSuite and Intacct customers should consider MindBridge Ai to support and augment existing audit capabilities.
- Accountants and auditors should start thinking of audits at a higher level that can be queried through natural language and spoken questions.
- With the combination of machine learning and natural language processing, Amalgam estimates that auditors will have the opportunity to reduce audit time by 50% – 75% based on the ability to quickly identify questionable or non-standard data.
- Accountants must remember that their value is not in trying to check data more quickly than a computer chip. In the United States, the folklore tale of John Henry, the steel driver who tried to defeat a steam-powered drill, comes to mind. Rather than compete against the machine, learn to use the machine.
Amalgam believes that Mindbridge Ai’s work represents the future of accounting and audit: rules-based checks will be automated and auditors become the interpreters of showing why companies were non-compliant and how to be better companies in the future. Although this evolution is far from complete, Amalgam recommends, most of all, that accountants and auditors maintain a realistic view of machine learning capabilities in augmenting their current and future roles. By doing so, accountants and auditors will only increase their value in the business world as machine learning tools continue to improve.
For more information on this topic, read Amalgam’s Market Milestone on this topic.