The pros and cons of using Chat GPT and AI to write for your accounting firm

In recent months, the media has been full of stories about ChatGPT, the AI tool that is going to change the way we work, including content creation.

Chat GPT, which has Microsoft backing, and the newly announced rival Google ‘Bard’, are artificial intelligence (AI) tools and the war is on between the tech giants to provide the next big efficiency tool.

But do these AI content-writing tools live up to the hype? And what’s the best way to balance using a solution like ChatGPT and Bard with the core skills of good human-powered advisory?

What is AI content writing?

Let’s take ChatGPT, as it was the first to market. This tool is an AI chatbot model from OpenAI that can produce complex, well-written responses to a prompt you give it. It uses a huge database of sources to provide you with blog posts, articles, emails, etc.

For example, you could ask ChatGPT to ‘write me a 200-word email to my customers, explaining why we are raising our prices by 10%. Tell them it’s due to rising costs and the current supply chain crisis, but explain that we still greatly value their business’. When ChatGPT was set up it read a huge amount of internet information which it uses to write the email text for you. This is why some AI tools can’t accurately comment on recent events because their knowledge is limited by when they were set up, however some AI tools continue to read and learn new information.

How does it work?

Tools like Chat GPT are conversational AI systems. Unlike a normal search engine, Chat GPI offers a continuous conversation that remembers what you asked it previously. For this reason, experts believe these AI tools will change the way we search the internet, as they could refine what they show us based on previous searches and behaviour.

When you have submitted your brief, these AI tools will search for information in their database and create paragraphs in minutes by predicting what word will come next in a sentence. The result is a body of text that appears as though a human wrote it. In fact, one of the risks with these impressive new AI tools is our willingness to trust the answers they give us. But, it won’t always be accurate. You may be able to find information about your new outfit being tax deductible online, but that doesn’t mean it is!

While the internet has become our source of all knowledge, it has also become increasingly cluttered with fake news, spam links, and content created for SEO. In fact, Chat GPT and Bard will be contributing to this clutter, by producing SEO blogs that are purely designed to try and place a business’s website above others in search engine results. 

In its first public demo, Bard wrongly attributed the discovery of an exoplanet to a telescope that didn’t exist at the time of the discovery. The cost of this mistake for Google’s parent company, Alphabet, was a USD $100 billion drop in share market value. If the AI tool is writing about accounting, you’ll want to ensure the information is 100% accurate for the sake of your clients, but also your firm’s reputation. 

So how do you make the tools work for you?

There’s no denying that these new AI tools are super useful and the applications will be wide-ranging. AI can produce a page of text in a fraction of the time it will take you to write it, but it will depend on the quality of your brief and will still need to be reviewed thoroughly.

You can get the rough text for a blog, and write emails even, but content writing is as much about having good ideas as it is about writing well. So, a detailed brief is vital. Essentially, what you input as your prompt to the AI, is just as important as the text that the software spits out. 

You’ll still need someone to come up with the ideas, write intelligent prompts for the AI and edit the output so it not only sounds more human and personalised, but also ensures accuracy.

The best way to ensure you’re getting great content that is accurate and useful for your clients and prospects is by bringing your own voice and perspective to the words written by the AI tools. 

At BOMA, we work with specialist writers and accountants to create and proofread content for you. Our content partnerships are with subject matter experts such as Wolters Kluwer CCH, The Gap, and MyHR. A human will always be involved in all stages of creation and review, before you see an article in the library. We do recommend that BOMA subscribers take a few minutes to add their own unique voice to the content to help it resonate with your clients but the majority of our content is designed so you don’t have to. 

And, if you have ideas on topics you’d like to see more of in the BOMA  library, we are always open to your requests. It will take you less time than writing a detailed brief for Chat GPT.