FreeAgent launches Smart Capture: a new AI automation. image

FreeAgent launches Smart Capture: a new AI automation.

FreeAgent has launched a new automation, Smart Capture, which uses AI to help accountants and their clients quickly convert a photo of a receipt to an expense with the date, amount and appropriate category automatically assigned.

Posted byFreeAgent
onMonday, 27 November 2023

Over the past three years, FreeAgent has incorporated machine learning into its banking features, facilitating the categorisation of over 18 million bank transactions. In an age of fear based around AI putting accountants at risk, there is a happy medium of AI-automated bookkeeping helping accountants stay afloat. The future of accounting is being changed by AI, affecting the accounting industry as a whole, but that doesn't mean accountants and their clients are getting left behind.

Smart Capture, the new addition to FreeAgent's features, aims to expedite the conversion of a photograph of a receipt into an expense. This feature automatically assigns the date, amount, and relevant category, providing clients with a more efficient method to maintain up-to-date accounts. Additionally, it contributes to error reduction, affording accounting professionals the opportunity to dedicate more time to delivering higher-value advisory services.

The process behind Smart Capture begins with the utilisation of tens of thousands of historically scanned receipts that have already undergone conversion to expenses. By discerning connections between receipt merchants, line items, and amounts, the machine learning model is trained to predict accounting categories akin to human choices. Acknowledging potential variations in data categorisation among businesses, Smart Capture cross-references a customer's receipt data with their prior expenses. If a similar receipt has been explained before, that information takes precedence over the machine learning model's prediction.

Extensive testing of Smart Capture's performance involves validating its outputs against how customers categorised receipts before the feature's release. This scrutiny ensures that the suggested categories align with historical practices, affirming the system's efficacy in saving time for accountants and clients.

The advantages of Smart Capture extend to practices of all sizes, leveraging the latest capabilities of artificial intelligence. It is emphasised, however, that while machine learning alleviates much of the workload, professional accountability remains crucial in interpreting results. By automating expense categorisation and digitising client data, Smart Capture enables professionals to delve into data analysis, unlocking the true potential of AI to provide higher-value advisory services.

More information on Smart Capture.

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