In professional accounting today, I see AI being added to help with data acquisition, extraction, integration and standardization problems.
Any lookback to 2023 has to include some commentary around how AI has captured so much of humanity’s mindshare. A question of interest, do you think we’ve hit the peak of inflated expectations yet? I sat in conferences and on webinars where futurists pondered almost any scenario imaginable from “AI is destined to destroy humanity…” to “by 2030 humans won’t have to work; they will choose if they want to live forever making interstellar space travel possible.”
As for what’s happening in professional accounting today, I see AI being added to help with data acquisition, extraction, integration and standardization problems, all low level, repetitive tasks that humans don’t even try to do today. The emerging class of systems providing the new abundance of data are called Verified Financial Intelligence, or VFI systems. The value of these platforms are that CPA’s can verify more data points, reduce or eliminate sample risk and provide more transparency for the financial system. It’s the first indication of the significant transformation that’s in store for the accounting profession.
As a software provider to professionals that work on Bankruptcies, Corporate Restructurings, and Refinancings, our senior team pays close attention to macroeconomic conditions. Given the federal interest rate increases starting in March 2022 from 0.08% to 5.33% in July of 2023, conventional thinking would lead one to believe that we’d see a spike in Bankruptcies, Corporate Restructurings, and Refinancings given the increase in scarcity of money. That didn’t happen. Call it a soft landing, or just a really good economy, almost all economic indicators outperformed expectations going into the year. It’s amazing to me that with all the data, AI, information and technologies available, we still have no clue what’s going to happen economically.
During all of this, Valid8 was able to achieve some significant milestones. To start the year, we revamped our entire user experience. As many founders know, you start with a super focused tool to solve a very specific problem, which needs to expand to solve adjacent problems so you can achieve product market fit. After several iterations driven by feedback from customers, soon you have a Frankenstein UI. We found ourselves there in 2021, invested in a professional firm to help us design a new UX and spent 2022 developing the new interface which was released in 2023. It was, at the time, one of the largest investments made into the platform.
AI was and will continue to be an area of significant investment. We believe AI can be used as a tool for dozens or even hundreds of procedures within professional accounting. In 2023, we added a new AI categorization schema for banking transactions.
Throughout 2022 and into 2023, users were pulling us into larger, more complex, and international engagements. To respond, we implemented support for multi currency engagements which eliminated the need for customers to go pull daily exchange rates to convert transactions into a base currency. Our platform supports 166 different currencies including bitcoin.
The last and most important milestone that Valid8 achieved in 2023 was our Series A fundraise. The economic conditions are decent but fundraising has become much more difficult than it was in the 2020-2021 timeframe. It’s a testament to the Valid8 team, dedication, focus and execution that we were able to achieve this. Looking forward to delivering more value to our customers and an exciting 2024.
- Chris McCall