5 ways to leverage ChatGPT – Lesson 3


Did you know ChatGPT can help you with your books? There are several different prompts that can be a huge help with bookkeeping clean up whether for your own books or your clients.

Many small practitioners offering tax prep are either offering some kind of bookkeeping clean up, or we inevitably end up having to participate in it when we get the financials at tax time and realize that not everything seems in place.

So what prompts can you use to make your bookkeeping easier and more efficient?

One of my favorite time savers is vendor clean up and categorization prompts. For example, how many of us see transactions, often downloaded from bank and credit card statements, where the description of the vendor is truncated, or might not make any sense.

We might see something that looks like this: WITHDRWL CUMBERLAND.

Best guess? Gas charge at Cumberland Farms?

ChatGPT can do two things for us. First, we can prompt it to expand or clean up the vendor name. Doing so will work with well recognized vendors like Amazon for example. More local vendors may be harder but still worth a shot to ask if ChatGPT can do the work for you. It also can suggest a category for the charge.

The AI tool can also give you more information about charges. For example, buy now, pay later company “Sezzle Inc.” only appears on bank statements as “SEZZLE”. ChatGPT can recognize and expand the company name as well as provide you with a company description to help you better understand what to do with the charge.

Now that you know that it essentially is a credit company, you are prompted to ask your client what they bought.

It also can help you categorize based on client notes. For example, if your month-end close process includes adding unknown transactions to “ask my accountant” and then sending the list to your client to review, you may not always get that list back with actual transaction categories.

Often, your client’s notes have to be further interpreted before a charge category can be selected. Recently a client wrote a note on an ask my accountant transactions that just said “ac repair.” I asked ChatGPT to recommend a category to record it to and it currently suggests repairs and maintenance.

That little tidbit might seem elementary, until you realize you can upload an entire spreadsheet of transactions at once and ask for suggestions on all of them simultaneously.

The best use in using AI this way is that it serves as an assistant to help train other staff while not taking up your time. Team members who may not have had the knowledge or experience to address some or all of these items on their own can utilize the tool to help them get further in their work than they would have others.

While this isn’t 100% fool proof and we still recommend a review of work, imagine each of your staff members having a personal assistant to help answer more of their questions throughout the day with less interruption for you.

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