- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Accountants all over the world will soon face stiff competition: artificial intelligence.

A new startup that specializes in automating financial processes through AI has secured $3.5 million in venture capital from Cherry Ventures, Rocket Internet, Dieter von Holtzbrinck Ventures, Grazia Equity and angel investors.

Smacc, founded by businessmen Uli Erxleben, Janosch Novak and Stefan Korsch, have created a self-learning program renders the need for a team of human accountants obsolete.

“Now you have all you need for liquidity planning and revenue/expense reports close to real-time in the tool w/o the need to input data yourself or wait for your external account to do it for you at month’s end,” Mr. Erxleben told Tech Crunch on Tuesday.

The trio’s business model echoes the work of companies like Thoughtly, which uses AI to allow customers to analyze, visualize and summarize large volumes of data in real time.

Smacc’s team told Tech Crunch that its product for small and medium-sized businesses differs from existing cloud-based accounting software because it automates processes that historically require manual input.

SEE ALSO: Masayoshi Son, Softbank CEO, changes plans for robot apocalypse: ‘The Singularity is coming’

“Next: Startup builds AI to automate all humans, reports say humanity is no longer necessary and should be put to rest,” joked Tech Crunch reader Kieran Herridges.

“Speaking as an accountant, I’m not worried,” replied reader Michael Katz. For one, we do more than mere bookkeeping, including assurance-level engagements, tax planning, operational efficiency discussions, etc. […] Someone will still need to ensure that the automation process is properly attributing transactions to the appropriate accounts. I’d be curious to see how the system handles invoices from suppliers who provide a mix of goods and services. We’re not all destined for the ash heap — at least not yet.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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