Bots are a tool that makes it easy to engage with clients, leverage your brand, and quickly address client concerns at speeds and quantities that would be impossible for humans alone. Some bots–chatbots–communicate with users through an instant messaging platform, but bots can perform a number of functions, including robotic bookkeeping.
Bots are yet another example of automation. Just like all emerging technologies, there are both advantages and disadvantages of utilizing bots for your business needs.
Some bots are replacing the apps that we use on our mobile devices. And there are good reasons for this: bots are cheaper, bots are faster, and bots can mimic the human touch better than apps can. Today’s bots can: take orders, provide information, provide personalized advice, provide real-time updates, and lead customers through purchases, among other functions.
Bots are also known for: buying concert seats, playing games and farming for resources in massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG), increasing YouTube views, and increasing traffic for analytics reporting. And bots are starting to make their way to the accounting space as well, by retrieving accounting data on request, providing robotic bookkeeping services, offering an automated receipt data entry tool, and more.
Know the pros and cons
There are many positives that come with the use of bots. At the core, bots bring automation to the table, and automation can speed up the rate of business while also reducing the cost of labor. Bots are exceptional at performing simple, repetitive tasks, which means your labor force can focus on other, more strategic tasks. And some bots, like search engine spiders, are inherently “good.”
With bots can come some challenges, though. The popular anti-bot CAPTCHA program can prevent bots from doing their job, for instance. And when human users interact with bots, aggravation can take place when their needs could better be addressed by human interaction.
But even worse, the technology often falls into the wrong hands. Spambots are prevalent and they harvest email addresses from contact forms, and even worse, such bots can lead to viruses, DDoS attacks, and other security risks.
Read the fine print
Bots can be extraordinarily useful in today’s business landscape. Accountants and finance professionals should embrace this technology–but be smart about it. One of the inherent risks of bots is that they will scrape valuable information. When entering into a business agreement with bot technology, be sure to read the user agreement. Information about how the bot might use data is often buried in the licensing agreement.
Technology is ever changing, but there’s one name you can trust to keep your business on track. Learn more about Flexi today to see how Flexi can help your business succeed. Call 800-353-9492.