Thriday – The ChatGPT of Accounting
As ChatGPT continues to take the world by storm, business leaders are asking the same question, what does the generative AI chatbot mean for their industry? With everything from journalists to designers in the firing line, if you believe the hype, there is a lot of heated discussion about what industries will see the most disruption from OpenAI's incredible new technology.
One industry expected to be the most disrupted by artificial intelligence (AI) and automation in the coming years is accounting. Dubbed the 'ChatGPT of accounting', Australian startup Thriday is leading the way by using AI and machine learning to automate banking, accounting and tax. After raising $9 million, and with an ambitious goal to eliminate time wasted on financial admin, we connect with CEO and co-founder Michael Nuciforo to learn more about just how they do it.
When was Thriday founded?
Thriday was founded in early 2020, when Ben (my co-founder) and I started discussing the financial admin issues we had personally experienced. Ben and I were both involved in various businesses, and we had spent countless hours doing the books using online banking and accounting software. We couldn't believe how antiquated it was, and it felt like the time was right to do something different.
What was the inspiration behind Thriday?
Ben and I both felt that banking, accounting and tax was highly repetitive process that could be automated. If you could understand a transaction, specific rules and tax implications could be coded into a system. I remember we were both super frustrated about reconciling transactions, deciphering non-descript bank transactions, and picking up the phone to accountants to confirm what chart of accounts to use. It became clear that if we could get our hands on an extensive data set, we could train a model and automate the financial back-office of running a business.
Over time, our vision and ambition grew, and besides accounting, we also thought that BAS and tax could be automated. Then we started to explore other repetitive financial admin tasks that could be automated, such as accounts payable and receipt scanning, and that's how we ended up with what Thriday is today.
How does Thriday work?
Thriday is unique because it offers an all-in-one solution to banking, accounting and tax. When you sign up for Thriday, you get issued a business bank account* and a Visa Debit card* that you can use to get paid and spend money. By integrating banking into the product, we avoid the data quality issues and delayed processing that occurs with bank feeds. This is important as it allows us to categorise transactions automatically, to a much higher degree of accuracy than anything else in the market.
Once a business uses the Thriday bank account* or Visa Debit card*, all income and expense data are analysed in real-time using artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate tasks. This ground-breaking innovation is known as 'Luca' – a homage to the inventor of double-entry accounting, Luca Pacioli. Luca is the basis for forecasting cash flow, scheduling bill payments, and everything in between. Thriday can save you up to 90 per cent of the time you waste on financial admin. To find out how much time you can save, take the time saver quiz.
Using the same approach as ChatGPT, the 'Luca' AI model was trained by testing on a data set of over 50,000 real-world bank transactions. The new solution means that small businesses only need to earn and spend money using their Thriday transaction account, and all their financial admin is completed on autopilot. Like ChatGPT, Luca is already incredibly powerful and accurate, but over time, we expect it to get even smarter as more businesses use Thriday and more transactions are processed.
What does Thriday mean for the future of accounting?
We're excited about the challenge of automating banking, accounting and tax. It's a huge undertaking, but something we know will help millions of businesses worldwide. We see a world where Thriday can determine and act on behalf of your business, with the proper permissions, to keep your business on track. This could be paying a bill, securing finance, or lodging the correct tax reports on time.
AI will inevitably be more accurate and faster than a human ever could be. AI can perform complex calculations quickly, meaning business owners can make decisions faster. This leads to fewer errors in the decision-making process and a better understanding of the financial state of a business. The accuracy of AI is also a factor. It's always right! If you have an accountant who makes mistakes in their work, this affects your credibility and your bottom line.
But it's not all doom and gloom for accountants. We see Thriday as a way to encourage accountants to become more strategic in how they work with clients. By leaving the number crunching and categorisation to Thriday, accountants can support their clients in terms of planning, strategy, and expansion opportunities. AI is a tool, not an end in itself. Thriday is the ChatGPT of accounting because it can automate the work of an accountant, not replace the need for an accountant. The AI that powers Thriday can free up accountants' time to focus on more critical services.
What's next for Thriday?
We are very early on in our journey, and for now we want to continue to optimise our existing feature set. The key is to train our models to be as efficient as possible, learn from our customers, and use the data at our fingertips to automate as much as possible.
In the future, we also see an opportunity to improve business-to-business interactions on the platform. At present, our automation is very much geared around the individual business, but over time there is nothing to prevent us from automating interactions between Thriday customers. For example, if an invoice is sent from Business A to Business B on the platform, payment could automatically be made from Business B's account to Business A. This opportunity excites us immensely and really plays into our mission of eliminating financial admin.
Thank you for the chat. Are there any final comments?
Accountants that embrace AI and tools like Thriday will significantly benefit in the long run. Instead of fearing it, you need to learn about it and figure out how to use it. For accountants on the front foot, Thriday has the potential to improve your relationship with clients. It can also move your work from a more transactional bookkeeping focus to something deeper and more meaningful. We firmly believe that Thriday is a tool that benefits everyone, business owners, employees, investors and accountants. So, check it out, and let us know your thoughts.