Don’t Fear the Intuit Assist ‘AI’

You knew it was coming, but ever since the latest iteration of artificial intelligence hit the accounting scene it was a foregone conclusion it would find a variety of homes in commonly used accounting products. Such is the case with Intuit’s latest offering Intuit Assist.

Let’s be clear, the product isn’t quite AI like ChatGPT and other growing household AI names but it is, or appears to be, a digital assistant at its core. Intuit, like other core accounting product makers Xero and Sage, have had “bots” and some form of machine learning in their products for some time now. And while I’ve not been given a demo nor am I a power AI or accounting product user, I have seen my fair share enter the market. Moreover, the purpose of this column is really to make you aware of Intuit Assist’s existence and offer a few missives and basic facts, based on their news.

So, here’s basically what the press release says:

Intuit Assist is a new, generative-AI financial assistant designed to provide personalized, intelligent recommendations to make smarter money decisions. From helping business owners with everything from managing cash flow to finding customers, Intuit Assist provides on-the-spot insights, empowering small businesses to make more informed business decisions.

Currently available in beta and rolling out more broadly later this year, Intuit Assist is designed to help automate tasks and workflows like invoicing, building action plans to help them meet business goals, and answering their pressing client financial questions.

Eventually, clients will have the ability to ask Intuit Assist to send invoices, surface profitability insights, identify their top-selling products by month, and more. If your clients also use Intuit Mailchimp, Intuit Assist will soon help optimize their sales pipeline by automatically drafting email responses to potential customers, using relevant product and service data from QuickBooks.

Intuit Assist

Does this sound like anything that’s going to “replace” what you do? To quote power AI user and experimenter Jason Staats, CPA who did have a chance to look into Intuit Assist, “get proactive about how your clients could use this tool. Proactively advising around what it will & won’t do is the only way to maintain alignment with your clients. Hide under a rock and your clients will form their own conclusions.”

From my view, as I mentioned above, current iterations of AI are going to appear in the majority of core apps that you use. They are meant to be like most other automation tools you use. In short, they are just that…a tool to assist the work that you do. No one really knows what the future holds, but if technology is going to work along side you and make you a better professional, it seems worth understanding and trying out.

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