Introducing Spark: AI purpose-built for accounting

Accountants have been unsure of the impact AI will have on the profession. Now they can know. Spark delivers AI purpose-built for accounting.

minute read

Last Updated February 22, 2024

Category Tech trends

Rightworks Spark logo


Accountants aren’t quite sure what to do with artificial intelligence (AI). Some fear it. Others are excited about it. A few employees at accounting firms worry that AI might eventually replace them. Not much of anyone really knows what to do with it—yet. With the new Spark AI accounting tool, however, that’s about to change.

First, here’s a quick look at what accountants think of AI today. The sentiment is mixed, a recent survey reveals. While 71% of respondents said they felt AI would bring “substantial change” to the accounting profession, they aren’t necessarily in agreement about how that change might look. More than half—56%—believed AI would lead to a reduction of human relationships, but almost half—46%—said it could bring more talent into the accounting profession.

Image that says: While 71% of respondents said they felt AI would bring “substantial change” to the accounting profession, they aren’t necessarily in agreement about how that change might look.
The sentiment around AI is mixed among accounting professionals today.

AI is causing uncertainty in firms—but not for long

More than half of respondents said the value of a firm drops if the firm doesn’t use AI, and 67% said AI could be a competitive advantage. But an enthusiasm gap between firm leaders and employees was clear. While 41% of firm leaders said they were excited about AI, only 26% of employees shared that sentiment. Only 12% of firm owners, partners and directors said they were concerned that AI would replace the role of an accountant. Among employees, more than twice that number—31%—said they were worried about being replaced.

So, with confusion about AI established as the prevailing feeling, what are firms doing with AI, anyway? Almost 60% are using it to write emails, essentially. Much smaller percentages are using it to automate tasks (36%) and do research (31%). Overall, nearly half of firm leaders and employees alike said they felt intrigued by AI.

But that was all before Spark from Rightworks Labs: AI purpose-built for accountants.

Rightworks delivers Spark, AI purpose-built for the accounting profession

Rightworks has developed an AI experience that firm leaders and their employees, as well as sole practitioners, can use to conduct research, create written communication and even search their own existing documents. Spark is an AI tool built by accounting experts for accountants of all kinds, created with the benefit of Rightworks’ decades of experience serving the profession.

AI built for accounting helps accountants do their jobs more efficiently and liberates them from time-consuming tasks. It’s not AI intended to replace accountants. On the contrary, Spark exists to help accountants and the accounting profession as a whole improve the value of their firms and their quality of life. The less time accountants spend on tedious and mundane tasks, the more time they can spend serving clients—or not working at all.

Image that says: The less time accountants spend on tedious and mundane tasks, the more time they can spend serving clients—or not working at all.
Technology such as automation and AI tools can help firms focus on higher-value client services.

Built on the popular and powerful models created by OpenAI, Spark is completely purpose-built for accounting. Like ChatGPT, Spark takes your questions and prompts,  processes them and uses them to generate responses to queries in seconds. But Spark includes a key provision for privacy and security that ChatGPT doesn’t.

Depending on your subscription level with ChatGPT, it’s possible—even likely—that the information you provide in your prompts could become ingested into ChatGPT’s larger language model (LLM). It could then potentially be included in a response to another user’s question in the future.

Spark uses OpenAI’s API, which has a different set of rules for the use of data, ensuring that your information doesn’t become part of the LLM.

As a result, Spark offers security and privacy that are not always present within the original ChatGPT, particularly for users without a premium ChatGPT subscription. It also incorporates a set of features specifically designed to help accountants do their jobs better and more efficiently.

Spark AI offers powerful features

Spark takes the most powerful aspects of ChatGPT and customizes them for the accounting profession.

Key features include:

Chatting and sharing with natural language

Spark query page
You can use natural language to have a conversation with Spark.

As with ChatGPT, you can enter just about any kind of query into the Spark AI tool. You can also follow up a query using natural language. For instance, “tell me more about that,” or “explain that in simpler terms.” Spark includes pre-crafted prompts to help you if you’re unsure which query to enter. Spark can even cite online sources for much of the information it retrieves. Plus, you can easily share a Spark conversation with anyone else who has an account, internally or externally. The other person will see your queries and answers to the conversation you’ve shared with them, but they will log into a separate session so that the queries you haven’t shared remain private.

Virtual assistants with different areas of expertise

Spark virtual assistant page
With Spark, you can create virtual assistants in various fields of expertise.

Spark gives you a virtual team ready to answer your questions. Four pre-programmed personas are available: firm owner, client relations, human resources and marketing. Set your persona to firm owner, for example, if you want a question answered from a firm leader’s perspective. Need some legal advice? You can create a persona, in this case a virtual attorney who can provide answers about the law. Want to know something about, say, estate law? You can customize your attorney persona to answer specific estate-law questions. With Spark, you have a lawyer, a marketer, a tax expert—an entire virtual team at your disposal.

Pre-built workflows designed for specific tasks

Sparks page
Sparks are pre-built workflows that can save you time.

Developing and automating workflows is a time-consuming process and one of AI’s most common and effective use cases. Instead, you can use Sparks. Sparks are pre-built queries and workflows that can help you accomplish tasks more efficiently. If you need to respond to a tax notice, for instance, there’s a Spark already created and ready to do that for you. The same goes for creating a tax strategy plan or a post on social media. Firm leaders and employees can save precious time by using the pre-built Sparks that Spark automatically provides.

Your own searchable content library

Content library document search
Make just about any text easily searchable with Spark’s content library.

If your firm has internal documentation, you can plug it into Spark and make it searchable. You can use Spark to search for and retrieve in seconds an HR policy that’s hard to find in the employee handbook or important notes from a client meeting. You can also take documentation from anywhere on the internet and plug it into your Spark content library. For instance, you can copy and paste IRS documents and find specific pieces of information in them quickly and easily. Spark can find in seconds what might take a human hours to find.

The present and future of accounting AI: Spark

Spark from Rightworks Labs is a powerful tool that will absolutely revolutionize the way accounting firms use AI. If, like many firm leaders, you’re intrigued by AI but unsure of how to use or benefit from it, give Spark a try. It exists to make your job easier and your firm more valuable and attractive. Spark is AI designed for accountants by accounting experts—just the innovation the profession has been looking for to get the most out of an exciting new technology.

Are you ready for the AI revolutions in accounting? Discover Spark today.

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