QuickBooks is one of the mostly widely used accounting solutions in use by small and mid-sized businesses today. It’s incredibly approachable for entrepreneurs due to its low cost of entry, ease of setting up, and large network of professional bookkeepers and accountants available to support you.
However, like all accounting software, QuickBooks can take a while to get the hang of. Luckily with the advent of Chat GPT, you can learn how to use advanced QuickBooks features without investing large amounts of time on training courses and scouring Google.
What is Chat GPT?
Chat GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) is an innovative and powerful AI Chat Bot that utilizes a Large Language Model developed by ,OpenAI. Currently in its fourth generation, GPT-4 the technology has rapidly improved since it was introduced in 2017 and continues to be aggressively updated.
The chat bot differs from prior technologies because it has the ability to understand context, provide human-like responses, and assist users in a very wide range of tasks. It’s incredibly useful and can answer questions in seconds and even generate content on your behalf.
While it is still early, it’s expected that Chat GPT will be integrated into many different industries ranging from customer service, content generation, education, and financial management tools like QuickBooks.
By leveraging Chat GPT’s advanced understanding of natural language, businesses can streamline their processes, improve user experience, and gain a competitive advantage in the market.
Using Chat GPT for Accounting Questions
A lot of QuickBooks users are entrepreneurs and self-employed. That means that they have to learn some level of accounting and bookkeeping on top of juggling everything else in their life.
We found that Chat GPT can answer a lot of common questions about accounting and provides people with the opportunity to ask follow-up questions. We would hesitate to rely too heavily on Chat GPT for information about various tax treatments, and complex accounting transactions but for the types of things most people will run into day to day using QuickBooks it is a fantastic resource.
Using Chat GPT to guide QuickBooks Setup
Even for experienced accountants, setting up QuickBooks can be intimidating. There are a lot of options to choose from that can have implications later on. While there are many step by step guides available online but they don’t go into a lot of depth or allow you to ask follow-up questions to make sure that you’re choosing the best option.
For example, when setting up QuickBooks for the first time or adding a new company it asks what type of accrual basis you would like to use. Chat GPT can explain the differences between Cash and Accrual based accounting. You could even ask it about the differences for taxes and for other implications that may impact your business and financial reporting.
Setting up Advanced QuickBooks Features
QuickBooks provides a wide range of features from beginner to advanced. Unfortunately, many businesses will never implement many of the capabilities that QuickBooks offers.
Advanced QuickBooks features will enable you to not only save time, but they could help you avoid having to pay for additional bookkeeping help, ensure that numbers are accurate, and in some cases have cleaner books. The cleaner your accounting is, the less a bookkeeper or tax preparer may bill you. It can result in saving some serious money at year end.
Because each business is so different, we will list some of the features that may be worth implementing. Remember that implementing new features is going to be much easier before with the help of Chat GPT.
- Setup Inventory, Purchase Orders, Inventory Receipts etc.
- Automate Invoicing and Invoice Reminders
- Integrate QuickBooks with your Bank for faster reconciliations
- Setup Recurring Expenses
- Edit and Create Custom Financial Reports
These are just some of the ways that you could get more out of the software that you’re already using. All you have to do is ask Chat GPT for a walk through of how to do it.
Note: When you ask Chat GPT a QuickBooks question, make sure to include which version you are using. There can be a big difference between setting up features for QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online
Connecting QuickBooks to Power BI and other Systems
As your business grows, you may find that the level of reporting that is available out of the box does not meet your needs. Or maybe you would like to have more robust reporting through the use of a Business Intelligence solution like Microsoft Power BI.
Power BI is Microsoft’s reporting tool for creating reporting dashboards that can be easily viewed on the web or on mobile. It also allows you to pull in information from multiple sources, in case not all of your important data is stores within QuickBooks.
There is a built in connector for Power BI and QuickBooks Online that will make this task easier, but it’s worth noting that the connector may require troubleshooting at times to ensure that you are always presenting the most up to date information.
If you’re interested in using Power BI with QuickBooks online, we have published a couple guides that may be of interesting. How to use Chat GPT with Power BI and How to Build Financial Statements in Power BI.
We also have a Comprehensive Overview of Power BI for Finance and Accounting to explain the platform in greater detail.
As you can tell, we are very big fans of Microsoft Power BI, along with the other parts of the Microsoft Power Platform. It’s an inexpensive way to get more out of Microsoft Office and can give small businesses access to tools that can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to implement.
Use Chat GPT to Connect QuickBooks to Other Systems
It’s our recommendation to always keep in mind that most modern computer systems can be integrated to talk with each other. Any time you can reduce or eliminate taking information from one computer system to type into another system you should explore it.
Even large Fortune 100 companies have entire departments or offshore processing centers full of people typing information from one computer system into another. We expect that these jobs could be at risk as Artificial Intelligence and Accounting Process Automation solutions improve. Until now the techniques and technology were out of reach for many small and medium sized businesses. Chat GPT changes the game and makes it more approachable.
Chat GPT is an amazing tool at helping people integrate systems. If you’re working with multiple systems like QuickBooks Online, Shopify or Toast see if you can follow its advance to better integrate them.
If Chat GPT is unable to guide you through the integration today, it’s worth keeping an eye on it and checking back in the future. OpenAI, the developers of ChatGPT announced that it will soon be able to connect with Zapier, a premier automation and integration software that’s readily available and affordable today. Chat GPT will continue to improve now that it has the ability to work directly with integration platforms such as Zapier.
Using Chat GPT to Help with Payroll
While QuickBooks offers a payroll add-on that will help you, it can get pretty expensive as your company scales up. Other payroll processing solutions can be inexpensive but are not as hands-off as they claim to be when you are signing up for them.
Chat GPT is a very useful resource as a starting point for researching payroll treatments. We recommend using it only as a starting point because there are many nuances in payroll laws. They can vary greatly by city, county, and state that you operate in. There is also no guarantee that Chat GPT has the absolute most up to date information that you might find from your local jurisdiction’s website.
If you want to learn more about some of the interesting ways payroll professionals can utilize Chat GPT check out our broader guide on How to Use Chat GPT for Payroll.
Use Chat GPT to Code Credit Card Expenses
Going through your monthly credit card statement can be a real hassle. It takes a while to make sure that everything is in the right category for tax and reporting purposes. Each company is slightly different, but we would guess that 90% of expenses are similarly categorized into accounts like meals, lodging, parking, air travel, computer software etc.
Try copying and pasting your credit card statement into Chat GPT. You can try to copy and paste directly from a PDF, but may find better results if you can download the credit card statement as an .xlsx or .csv file.
These categories might not be 100% accurate for your business, but it’s a good starting point and will likely be able to accurately code a large portion of your expenses in a matter of seconds.
You could then copy and paste from Chat GPT back into Excel to be able to upload the expenses coded back into QuickBooks as a Journal Entry.
Use Chat GPT or Bing as a Truly Useful Digital Assistant
A little known feature of Microsoft Edge, the successor to Internet Explorer is that it has a digital assistant based on Chat GPT. It has similar capabilities as Chat GPT from the OpenAI website but has the capability to generate e-mails in different tones and lengths directly from a panel bar.
Microsoft Edge is a free download and works just as well as Google Chrome for most people. The new Chat GPT style features put this revolutionary technology at your fingertips.
The following example is an AI generated thank you for applying letter for a job applicant that did not make it to the next round of interviews. Chat GPT is also capable of generating similar content, but with Edge you don’t even have to pull up a separate website.
Beyond generating e-mails from scratch, you can also copy and paste relevant data like a sales proposal into Chat GPT and it will create one for you.
We also wanted to include this example from Microsoft Edge to highlight how fast Chat GPT is becoming common place and being integrated into more and more software. Google has their own version of Chat GPT named Bard which will be integrated into Google Docs, Workplace, GMail, Chrome and many of their other software solutions to varying degrees.
Using Chat GPT as an Excel Reference Guide
QuickBooks and Excel go together like peanut butter and jelly. Much of the data you get and most ad-hoc analysis that you’re working on will likely be a combination of exporting data from QuickBooks to your desktop to bring into Microsoft Excel.
Microsoft Excel like QuickBooks is another often underutilized platform. For example, if you are using QuickBooks for Desktop you can connect Excel directly to your accounting data using the Get & Transform feature along with an ODBC connection.
Each one of these steps takes a little bit of time to setup, but Chat GPT can be utilized as an interactive guide for you to setup this time saving feature.
Other times, you may not know which formula to use in Excel to get the results that you want, which is also a great use case for Chat GPT to assist. We wrote an in depth article on Using Chat GPT with Excel if you’re interested in some more in depth and exciting use cases.
Future of Chat GPT and QuickBooks
The future is very bright for tools like Chat GPT and what they can do to help you get more out of QuickBooks or any other accounting software that you may be using. It’s simple to use and fast, which saves you a lot of time. Being able to ask follow-up questions is a game changer.
Companies like Microsoft have announced that they are integrating Chat GPT into many of their products, such as their Microsoft Office Suite and Power Platform. It’s our expectation that most major software companies, including Intuit the publishers of QuickBooks will follow the same path in the near future.
Xero, a primary competitor to QuickBooks Online, already allows users to leverage Artificial Intelligence to reconcile bank accounts faster. Intuit is likely working on a similar solution and it would not be surprising if in the near future you could ask a Chat GPT type bot questions about your own accounting data without needing any technical skills at all.
We are often asked, Can Chat GPT do Accounting? For now the answer is sort of, but we wouldn’t be surprised if that answer became a yes in the near future as the technology is integrated with more systems and becomes increasingly better informed on your own specific data and company.