We sat down with the CEO of MYT AI Powered Accounting Software, Oumesh Sauba, to see how he sees AI as shaping the bookkeeping landscape.

It’s fair to say that AI has exploded onto the scene for businesses worldwide in recent years.

As such, many are keen to see how AI will affect the bookkeeping industry.

The CEO of MyT, an app that utilises AI to automate accounting processes, has embraced AI for longer than it has been a hot-button topic.

We sat down with him to discuss the burning question: How will AI affect the bookkeeping industry as we know it today?

Oumesh and AI

As AI only began making a splash, many were unsure what it could do, yet Oumesh Sauba and MyT were making waves and winning awards for innovation using AI as early as 2021.

But, as Oumesh tells us, his relationship with AI and its processes began in 1999 when his IT-savvy cousin developed technology to recognise objects in photos.

As soon as this began to take shape, he says they knew the only limitation was the tools at their disposal.

“We knew the power of technology at the time that [and] what you could do. The only limitation in those days was the capacity of the computer or the telephone or the instrument.”

In 2013, Oumesh’s business realised they could do much better with the improved hardware and software and started to test a form recognition system using optical character recognition (OCR) technology.

This has allowed them to create MyT, which can use photo recognition and learn from data to streamline many accounting processes.

How does this technology relate to bookkeeping?

The draw of AI within the accountancy sector is its potential to simplify and automate its repetitive procedures like processing invoices, reconciling bank statements and data entry.

In 2013, when Oumesh was developing the technology that now makes up MyT, the challenge was not just reading the information but extracting specific details like VAT, dates, and supplier names, as the computer’s binary nature required training the system to recognise these elements.

Today, AI systems like MyT can automatically process invoices, posting the entries into the system.

This provides significant value for accuracy and efficiency when handling a vast amount of data simultaneously.

Will AI change the role of a bookkeeper?

For bookkeepers, the changes AI could bring is the potential – due to the automation of repetitive tasks – to focus more on strategic and advisory services.

AI-powered accounting software may be able to recognise patterns, differentiate between different types of invoices or bank statements, and automatically categorise and process the information.

This has the potential to increase the capacity of bookkeepers and provide more accurate and timely financial information.

Who will be accountable?

With concern about how AI will be held accountable in case of error and other potential issues, Oumesh argues the role of a bookkeeper may change, but not become obsolete.

In his view, bookkeepers and accountants will still be liable for the data and the processes, as they cannot simply shift the responsibility to the AI system.

He argues that AI should be seen as a tool that can help improve efficiency, accuracy, and capacity, like the evolution from paper to spreadsheets and desktop software to cloud-based solutions.

The key, he says, is understanding how the system works and how to use it effectively.

“A lot of these AI tools are tools”, he says.

“They’re like a screwdriver. Before, you had a hand screwdriver, now you’ve got an electric screwdriver. They’re still the same thing. People will use the technology, but it doesn’t absolve them of responsibility.”

As such, Oumesh sees that regulation and responsibility may focus more on harmonising global standards rather than significant changes to the existing accounting regulations.

The key takeaway for Oumesh is that AI could transform the sector by allowing bookkeepers and accountants to focus more on their customers and become more competitive.

However, it requires successful integration, upskilling, and resilience to address any issues that may arise.

Advancements in bookkeeping: MTD 

With the rise of digitalised solutions to support businesses with Making Tax Digital – AI presents a hugely interesting topic of conversation.

Making Tax Digital is the government’s plan to make fundamental changes to the tax system – transforming tax administration by making it more effective, efficient, and simpler for taxpayers.

As such, businesses are now required to:

  • Keep their VAT records digitally
  • Provide their VAT return information to HMRC through Making Tax Digital compatible software

AI may support accounting software and bookkeepers to aid in the processes and compliance with MTD, making it a more attractive and simpler process for businesses across the UK.

Watch this space for more on the future of bookkeeping!

Need a bookkeeper?

With legislation and technology changing regularly, for simpler, effective bookkeeping, find your local Rosemary Bookkeeping expert or call 0345 862 0072 today.

Thank you to Oumesh Sauba from MyT and Dean Kokshun from Rosemary Bookkeeping Croydon for their help in bringing this article together.