Want to leverage AI to better serve your business and your clients?

Artificial Intelligence can save you time and money by automating repetitive tasks, so you can focus more on creative ideas and strategy to better differentiate your business from the competition. You probably already use AI more than you realize. It’s already in much of the software we use today and has the ability to drastically improve workflow and increase your profits. According to research by Accenture on the impact of AI in 12 developed economies, “the impact of AI technologies on business is projected to increase labor productivity by up to 40 percent and enable people to make more efficient use of their time.”

So, how can the science fiction of yesterday help you to better serve your business today?

Cash Flow Forecasting

Predicting and managing cash flow is one of the top challenges that small businesses and self-employed people have to deal with. To help relieve this problem, Intuit introduced a Cash Flow Planner for QuickBooks Online (QBO) to give you a daily view into your cash flow, 90 days in advance. The planner enables small businesses to get ahead of challenges before they become real problems. The planner works especially well when you connect it to your business’s bank account, so any outstanding QBO transactions with dates in the future will show up in the Planner as expected future transactions. Once these are paid, they disappear from the forecast. The tool can use its machine learning intelligence to advise on strategic decisions, such as whether it’s safe to hire an employee, given your forecasted cash flow.

Qualifying Leads

Automated chatbots for your website are a great way for AI to improve your customer service and qualify potential leads. Chatbots like Drift use AI and natural language processing to understand what a human wants, and then guides them to their desired outcome. Think of a chatbot as a virtual assistant for your customer experience touchpoints. Using one reduces your response time to mere seconds and allows potential leads to connect with you 24/7. Although it’s lovely to talk to every lead and ensure they’re a good fit before you schedule a meeting, in reality, that can be difficult to do as your business grows. Bots can help use advanced qualification logic to generate more qualified leads and improve sales acceleration. There are a variety of chatbot styles and approaches for B2B, B2C and everything in between.

Managing Customer Relationships

The right CRM software can help you maintain strong customer relationships while also keeping you organized. Zoho is a top pick for people who run small to medium-sized businesses. Within the user-friendly interface, you can keep track of leads, contacts, accounts, deals, activities, reports, analytics, and more. You can add extensions and integrations—including QuickBooks—through the Zoho Marketplace to better manage your finances, improve sales, increase productivity, and much more. Zoho CRM is good for service businesses because it streamlines business processes and drives growth. Jobs can be assigned to team members with notifications automatically alerting them. Customized job sheets can guide team members to record necessary information before they mark their service as completed. All client-related files are conveniently stored in their profile for quick referencing.  In addition, the AI powered CRM even tracks individual clients, their business, and your interactions across multiple channels—phone, email, live chat, and social media.

Data Entry Tasks

Zapier’s automation tools give you the power to get stuff done. It’s purpose is to take care of tedious and repetitive data entry tasks for you. Zapier moves information between web apps automatically through an API, a translator that can speak all programming languages. The technology links your apps, so they can share information. It creates an automated cause and effect within a single process workflow called a “Zap”. 

Start a workflow Zap from almost any App out there including QuickBooks, Twitter, Gmail, Slack, Zoom, MailChimp, Asana and about 3000 more. You can make any two Apps or more communicate.  Multi-Step Zaps let you chain several actions with a single Trigger. Picking a Trigger sets your Zap into motion, completing routine tasks and actions automatically. 

For example, you can set up a Zap that automatically adds starred emails from your Gmail Inbox to the Todoist App. This way, you can work through your to-do list when you’re ready to work on those tasks.  A Zap could be set up from email attachments from specific people to automatically save to a related Dropbox account. If you routinely purchase small business supplies from Amazon, you can have a Zap set to detect an Amazon receipt in your Gmail Inbox. The Zap, once set in motion, will auto-publish those receipts into QuickBooks Online as an expense, in category: small supplies.  It can be set up with rules, so if an Amazon receipt is more than $100, it can code it as a different expense or ‘for your review’.

Video Conferencing Technology

Although it’s not AI, video conferencing has become one of the most important technologies since the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way we work. You can connect through Zoom for face-to-face meetings with your accountant and bookkeeper. A bookkeeper can look after your QuickBooks Online setup, your business’s ongoing transaction categorization, and an organized and accurate monthly and year-end books closing. Your accountant can verify and analyze data to create reports, perform audits, and prepare income statements, balance sheets, and tax returns. A small business accountant can also find opportunities for growth and forecast business trends.

Work Smarter

Through artificial intelligence and the power of an online accountant and bookkeeper, your small business will work smarter, not harder. AI has developed into impactful technologies—including cash flow forecasting, lead qualification, customer relationship management, and data entry—that are changing how small businesses grow and prosper. According to TechJury’s AI predictions, it will increase labour productivity and optimize business efficiency by 67 percent, automate communication by 70 percent, and improve data analytics by 59 percent. Take advantage of using AI for small business to save time working IN your business so you can spend more time working ON your business.