Welcome to arbitrue’s blog, your source of news and comment on the latest trends in technologies for accountants and bookkeepers. Read on to learn how arbitrue helps you deal with one of the most mundane and time-consuming tasks: invoice and receipt processing.
The winner of the #SmallBizHack 2017
If you’ve been following the news around QuickBooks, you might have heard about arbitrue.
During the #SmallBizHack in March 2017, we snapped up first prize for the most innovative and time-saving solution for small businesses developed during the hackathon that preceded QuickBooks Connect London 2017.
Watch this short video to check out how we fared at the event:
An AI-based bookkeeping solution
The idea we came up with was an AI-based accounting assistant based on OCR, machine learning, and voice recognition.
In a nutshell, our project captured data from expense-related invoices and sent it directly to QuickBooks using voice commands via Amazon Alexa.
During the project’s pitch, we scanned a receipt with a mobile app, extracted its content using OCR, and stored it in the cloud where Alexa could access it. Then we asked Alexa to book it in QuickBooks through a simple integration. We set up the tool to first ask about the expense category—after it was confirmed, it was sent directly to the accounting system.
The most thrilling part of our concept was that the assistant could actually “understand” what the receipt documented to let the user make decisions based on that knowledge.
These two productive days in London, full of fish and chips and intensive hacking, sparked a new exciting plan:
Let’s make arbitrue a real product that will change how companies do bookkeeping—forever.
The black box of bookkeeping technology
If you’ve never heard of the “black box” concept, here’s a brief explanation:
The black box is “a complex system or device whose internal workings are hidden and not readily understood”.
Just like a black box, arbitrue does all the magic and you don’t have to worry about how it’s all done. What you do worry about is how to cut the time spent on manual data entry and focus on what’s essential for your business. And this is where arbitrue steps up with a simple solution:
- Sign up to arbitrue and sync it with your QuickBooks account
- Upload your invoices and receipts and let arbitrue process them. It only takes a few seconds per document!
All sorted? Now send everything to QuickBooks!
That’s it. This is all you need to do to make sure your expenses are properly recorded in your accounting system.
The future: A truly intelligent accounting assistant
We’re very aware that we’re just at the beginning of the long road ahead. We’re building a truly intelligent assistant to keep the cost of bookkeeping low and make it as efficient as possible. Our product is meant to be fully capable of doing what we demoed during the #SmallBizHack with unmatched speed and accuracy.
Most importantly, an intelligent bookkeeping assistant must be discrete and independent. You wouldn’t call it “intelligent” when it needs hand-holding, right?
And thus we’re working hard to make sure arbitrue asks you as few questions as possible. Similarly to Nest thermostat, arbitrue is a smart assistant that learns based on how you book and categorise your expense documents to understand them and learn the patterns. The more you use it, the better it becomes.