Revolutionize with Microsoft 365 Copilot

By combining AI with a firm’s business data and the Microsoft 365 suite, Copilot can significantly boost productivity, streamline processes, and enable accountants to focus on higher-value advisory work. A dream come true for busy accountants across the country. But how does it actually save you time?

One of the key benefits of Copilot for accounting firms is its ability to automate time-consuming tasks. With Copilot in Excel, accountants can quickly analyze large datasets, identify trends, and generate professional visualizations and reports in seconds. Copilot can also assist with data entry, reconciliations, and audit preparation by examining supporting documents and highlighting potential discrepancies or risk areas. This frees up substantial time for accountants to dedicate to more strategic and valuable activities. If you have been following our series on ChatGPT for accounting practices, or implementing AI into your firm over recent months, Copilot essentially provides the integration right on to your desktop.

Copilot also enhances collaboration and knowledge sharing within accounting teams. Using Copilot in Outlook and Teams, firms can automatically summarize email threads and meeting discussions, propose responses, and assign action items. This ensures everyone stays aligned and important items don’t fall through the cracks, even in a fast-paced environment. Copilot also acts as an instant knowledge base – using natural language, accountants can quickly surface relevant information, guidance and best practices from across the firm’s systems and data.

To successfully implement Copilot, accounting firms should take a measured approach. Start by identifying a few high-impact use cases, such as report generation or document analysis. Pilot Copilot with a small group of tech-savvy team members and gather learnings before deploying more broadly.

Firms must also consider the governance and controls needed when co-authoring client deliverables and handling sensitive data with an AI system. If you haven’t considered the risks of AI in your practice yet, it is strongly recommended that you build an AI use and data security policy for rolling out these tools. The time savings of technology should not outweigh data security.

While there will undoubtedly be a learning curve, the firms that embrace Copilot will reap significant benefits – more efficient processes, deeper insights, and the ability to provide proactive, data-driven advice to clients. Microsoft 365 Copilot is poised to usher in a new era of AI-powered time-saving tools.

Christine Gervais

Christine Gervais is a licensed CPA, using her skills to help businesses grow and achieve their fullest potential. Christine has a Master’s degree in accounting from Southern New Hampshire University in addition to holding her CPA license for over a decade. Notably, Christine is a nationally recognized speaker providing education to other CPAs on how to best serve clients as well as instruction on a wide variety of topics for business owners on how to maximize success. Christine prides herself on the value she can bring to clients with her extensive tax knowledge and provides strategic, forward-thinking financial strategies to help clients grow. When not behind her desk, you can find Christine spending quality time with her daughter and stepson or tending to the family’s excessively loved farm animals.

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