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What’s really at stake? The risk of falling behind competitors who are embracing AI

27th Mar 2024
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In this chapter from our recent AI whitepaper ‘Beyond the hype: the real benefits of AI for your accountancy firm’, we start to unpick the benefits from the hype.

Benefits of AI adoption


“If you don’t do it, someone else will” applies to pretty much anything in life. It also rings true for digital transformation and AI adoption in business.

As your competitors adopt AI, they are gradually but consistently gaining a competitive advantage. This can be felt in various ways, including pressure on your margins or future customer losses.

Here are six areas where AI, when implemented effectively, can affect your accountancy firm’s position in the marketplace:

  1. Capacity and efficiency
  2. Consistency, accuracy and quality
  3. Customer service
  4. Talent attraction and retention
  5. Financial performance
  6. Competitiveness

Did you know? 

A 2023 Statista survey reveals just how fast companies are embracing AI. Out of the 5,369 business leaders who participated in the study: 

  • 58% already utilise AI to enhance consistency and quality,
  • 26% deploy it to assist workers through improving productivity,
  • 16% use it to improve insights. 


1. Capacity and efficiency

From data entry to report generation and account reconciliation: AI can help automate a lot of routine and/or manual work.

An advantage your competitors’ staff may already be leveraging to:

  • reduce their often-heavy workloads and stress,
  • focus on value-adding or advisory services,
  • diminish the need for additional manual labour as data volumes increase.

Moreover, AI enables your firm to further streamline processes for greater efficiency and thus higher productivity levels.

2. Consistency, accuracy and quality

By mitigating human error, AI technologies hold the potential to enhance the precision of financial reporting, using intricate algorithms to scrutinise extensive datasets and uncover anomalies that may be difficult to spot by the human eye.

Moreover, AI can support your staff by facilitating deeper data analysis and standardising ways of working across different teams and offices – boosting the overall speed and quality of their work.

“We all have a bad day sometimes, but using Silverfin Assistant is like having a friend looking over your shoulder, saying: Have you reviewed this? Don’t miss that. This looks a bit strange, don’t you think?”

Russell Frayne, Director of Transformation at Gravita

3. Customer service

There are various ways in which AI technologies can help you step up your customer service game.

Think, for example, of AI-powered chatbots offering quick responses to common queries 24/7. Or how about AI-driven platforms that fast-track your compliance workflows, producing precise financial management accounts and providing deeper insights into cost-saving opportunities, financial planning and risk management?

Overall, your customers benefit from quicker turnaround times, more precise work, reduced fees, etc. Not only does this earn you their trust, but your firm also gains time to focus on nurturing customer relationships and offering enhanced services.

> Too busy to read the whole whitepaper, why not check out our summary infographic here


4. Talent attraction, retention and development

In an alternate dimension: who would you rather work for – Kodak or Apple? One failed to innovate, the other took over…While this hypothetical career dilemma is an extreme example, it does reveal a basic truth: employees like to work for forward-thinking companies. This is true in accountancy, too. If you want to attract and retain new or tech-savvy talent, they’ll expect your firm to follow suit.

But wait, there’s more. Why not use AI to nurture talent, too? AI can educate your junior staff on identifying and resolving common issues, grasping your firm’s best practices and handling accounting scenarios in line with your standard operating procedures. It’s a way of providing on-demand training without diverting attention from your senior staff.

5. Competitiveness

The sooner you adopt a new promising technology, the better your chances of dominating the market. But don’t take our word for it… A study by McKinsey found that early adopters of digital technologies outperformed their industry peers by a factor of 2 to 3 in revenue growth.

What’s more, AI will also change the prices clients are willing to pay. Many firms are already moving away from time and materials pricing to a focus on outputs, linked to fixed pricing. In this regard, AI, and automation technologies in general, can help you boost your output and turbocharge your competitiveness.

6. Financial performance

The bottom line is… your bottom line matters. And on this account, some of your competitors may be separating themselves from the pack, financially, as we speak.

Proof in point: a 2023 study by McKinsey revealed that high-performing AI organisations report a bottom-line impact of 20% or more from AI usage.

And we’re talking top-line growth here, as study participants indicate that AI is primarily driving an increase in revenues – not just (although certainly also) decreasing costs. Talk about sustainable growth!

  • 20% Bottom line impact reported by high-performing AI organisations


A copy of ‘Beyond the hype: the real benefits of AI for your accountancy firm’ can be downloaded here


Why not try Silverfin for yourself with our free 14-day trial? Sign-up here

Silverfin is the cloud platform that makes accountants successful. Silverfin dramatically improves the efficiency, accuracy and profitability of traditional accounting work. With centralised data, standardised and automated workflows, this work takes hours rather than days. 

But that’s not all. With more time available (and Silverfin’s data, reporting and analytics tools at their disposal) accountants can also deliver the advisory services their clients value.

Launched last year in the UK, Silverfin Assistant continuously analyses client files to find unusual balances, missing transactions and outliers. Flagging these and suggesting fixes, saves hours of manual checking, improves accuracy and improves client service.

For further details, please visit the Silverfin website: