Next Wave Ideas: How AI is impacting small + medium sized businesses

How AI is impacting Small and Medium Size Businesses Financial Management

Anthony Lombardo, President at Expex Inc.

Not long ago, Artificial Intelligence (AI) was thought of as a sophisticated and expensive technology that only large companies could afford and use. As consumers, we’ve seen applications of AI in self-driving cars, voice recognition and various aspects of Facebook (Facebook has a division called “FAIR” – Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research to perform R&D for new apps and products). But what about small and medium size companies? Are there solutions that can help them become more efficient or even more profitable?

The answer is a definitive YES. Many of the applications being developed today for the SMB marketplace are using AI to create tools that make running a business more efficient, smarter and more profitable. In the fintech space these apps are starting to not only perform tasks, but to augment decision making by learning behaviors of the business, its vendors and its clientele. This requires algorithms that can access, review and assess what actions owners and manager should take. It also requires that these algorithms learn and change the results based on the behaviors of the business, vendors and clients.

For the typical SMB, understanding their finances can be a dauting challenge and these applications will be able to assist in activities such as:

  • Predicting and improving cash flow
  • Improving Day Sales Outstanding (average number of days to collect receivables)
  • Extending payable dates
  • Lowering business expenses
  • Automating bill payments
  • Predicting and improving KPI’s (Keep Performance Indicators)

So how do you find the apps that are best suited to accomplish these and other goals you may have? Sometimes the best place to start is with your financial accounting applications. Companies like Intuit (the makers of QuickBooks) have a list of applications that are integrated into their applications. Accountants and bookkeepers are increasing reliable sources of guidance as well. You can also try Capterra or a simple internet search.

As you look for tools that will fit your needs, be specific and ask questions. It’s a very exciting time for SMB’s and your ability to access some of the smartest technology ever developed to help you succeed!

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Anthony Lombardo is the President and founder of Expex, Inc in the Capital District of New York. As a small business owner, he saw that he needed to understand his finances and cash-flow. When he went to look for these tools, he couldn’t find a system that would provide him with the information he needed, so he built his own platform.

Expex is a SaaS application that automates accounting and bookkeeping tasks, improves cash flow, lowers business expenses, and reduces the time required to review financial data and transactions. The app has smart alerts that notify users of critical issues requiring their attention and is integrated with QuickBooks and 11,000 financial institutions.