Interview with AI: How useful is it

As Artificial Intelligence (AI) moves to the top of the buzzwords in today’s business world, we decided it was time to take it out for a spin and test its insights. We asked ChatGPT, Google’s free AI engine, some of the more pertinent questions for business owners. See some of those questions and answers below, as well as an exclusive look at how BKE is training an AI engine to provide even more useful information to our clients.

Could AI be a resource for your small business? You be the judge.

Q: How early is too early to prepare for business taxes?

ChatGPT Answer:  It’s never too early to start preparing for business taxes. In fact, early preparation can help you avoid last-minute stress and ensure that you have all the necessary documentation in order.

Maybe that was an easy question – but ChatGPT provided some good advice for business owners in its elaboration, including having ongoing recordkeeping, quarterly check-ins to review the financial statements, consulting with a tax professional or accountant well before tax season, and making a budget/plan for estimated tax payments.

Q: What is the most important thing a business owner can do to create success?

ChaptGPT Answer: Adapt to Change: Business environments are dynamic. Successful business owners are flexible and open to change. They adapt their strategies and operations in response to market shifts, customer preferences, and technological advancements. Remember that success is a journey, not a destination.

We loved this answer, because there is no one secret recipe for success. Business owners have to be prepared to change when it is necessary – and the best way to know when changes are needed is to stay informed of market shifts, new technologies, and industry trends. Anyone who had a business pre-pandemic and still has one today, knows this all too well!

Q: What is the biggest issue a small business owner faces today?

ChatGPT Answer: Financial Constraints: Limited access to capital, cash flow issues, and challenges in securing financing were common concerns for small businesses.

We’re starting to think that AI has a pretty good read on today’s economy. Of all the challenges, this is unarguably the hardest to face because too many solutions to cash flow require you to invest money to fix the issue. If you’re already short on cash, you probably don’t have extra to spend on new technologies or new offerings. This led us to ask a follow up question.

Q: What should a business owner do if they are running out of cash?

ChatGPT Answer: 

  1. Assess Your Financial Situation:
    1. Identify the root causes of the cash flow problem.
  2. Cut Unnecessary Expenses:
    1. Identify and cut non-essential expenses.
  3. Invoice Promptly and Follow Up:
    1. Ensure that you invoice your customers promptly and follow up on overdue payments.
  4. Negotiate with Suppliers:
    1. Reach out to your suppliers and discuss the possibility of extending payment terms, negotiating better terms, or requesting temporary relief.

There probably isn’t anything ground breaking in those steps, but that first step is a doozy! So many business owners find themselves taking action to solve cash flow troubles – but then find themselves back in hard times a few months later. If you don’t identify the root cause, the difficulties are going to keep on coming. 

Q: Should I hire a business coach?

ChaptGPT Answer: A business coach can help you develop specific skills necessary for running a successful business. This could include leadership skills, time management, communication, and strategic planning. Hiring a business coach requires a commitment to personal and professional growth. If you’re open to learning, adapting, and implementing changes, a coach can be a valuable resource.

We absolutely agree with the AI on this one! After working with thousands of business owners, as well as franchise and business coaches, we can say with unbridled confidence that an owner who hires a business coach has to be as committed to their own growth as they are to their business’s growth. Coaches will tell you that their most successful relationships are with owners who are willing to accept feedback, learn from it, and adapt their business processes.

What is BKE Doing With AI Right Now?

Up to this point, everything we asked ChatGPT was fairly abstract in the business world. However here at BKE, we believe AI can provide more than generalized advice (good advice though it may be). We have been training our specific engine to read financial reports and identify insights based on changes in the reports over time. We uploaded sample data into our specifically trained AI engine and asked it to analyze the month over month performance for that sample business. Here’s what it generated for us:

At a high level, our specifically trained engine was able to identify positives and negatives of gross values and provide useful commentary to a discerning business owner looking at this level in the reporting. We then asked our engine to look specifically at income and expense accounts to provide additional analysis. 

So can AI be a resource for your business? You be the judge.

So let’s weigh in on the important question – Can AI be a resource for your business? BKE thinks absolutely YES! Whether it’s the free AI engines available to everyone, or services like BKE who are training engines for a specific purpose, we feel AI is an undeniable part of the future.

Any owner can use the free AI engines to ask broad questions and receive what we feel is useful, but generic advice!

If you’re already a discerning business owner, and the analysis above is more at the level of what you want and need, it may be time to call BKE and discuss bookkeeping services. We offer affordable, quality services that can feed into our specifically trained AI engine and provide you with analysis like what you see above.

If you’re ready to take that step, contact us here!