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Minimising manual mistakes with Big Red PI

Human error can be costly for both accountants and their customers. Using a system that allows purchase invoices to be imported automatically by using artificial intelligence can go a long way towards eliminating expensive missteps.

It is tempting to assume that technology is always right, but accounting software is only as good as the information it is based on. When the task of transferring figures from a purchase invoice is done manually, there is always the possibility that numbers are entered incorrectly or decimal points placed in the wrong position.

In some cases this type of mistake will only make a difference of a few cents either way, but for larger invoices the error can run into hundreds or even thousands of euro. When individuals are faced with inputting figures from large numbers of invoices over a short period of time, the scope for error is even greater.

Many businesses processes have been improved in the digital age, but bookkeeping remains a largely manual process dependent on hours of laborious data entry. This is a huge drain on a business’s most valuable resource – time.

“Our purchase importer, Big Red PI, is a massive time saver for our customers by allowing them to pull data from purchase invoices automatically,” explains Paraic Nolan, Chief Technology Officer of Big Red Cloud. “For example, if a supplier sends in an invoice to one of our customers we can now look at that data, pull it from the invoice and import it into our system.”

The ability to extract the relevant data from every invoice that comes in as a PDF means no more manual inputting of purchase order details. If this process is repeated across hundreds of accountants processing invoices for thousands of SMEs, the potential cost and time savings are considerable.

This also allows accountants and business owners to spend more time on profitable work such as developing their business.

The Robert Half Finance and Accounting survey noted that the use of artificial intelligence can have a positive impact on individual job satisfaction and success. By automating routine tasks and enriching data analysis, employees are able to dedicate more time to strategic initiatives that can inspire insight into new areas of growth for the business. A real win-win outcome.

Marc O'Dwyer

After completing a Graduate program in Marketing, Marc’s impressive sales career began at Allied Irish Banks, Pitney Bowes and Panasonic where he received numerous Irish and European sales performance awards and consistently exceeded targets and expectations. In 1992, Marc’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to set up his own business, Irish International Sales (IIS). Initially, this company was a reseller for Take 5 Accounts and Payroll software. Within four years, IIS became the largest reseller of Take 5 in Ireland, acquiring four other Take 5 resellers. He also found time to set up two mobile phone shops under the Cellular World brand and a web design company offering website design services for small businesses. In 2001, he bought the majority share in a small Irish software business, Big Red Book. At that time, the company was losing money. The company became profitable within two months, and Marc then acquired a payroll company to compliment Big Red Books Accounting products. In 2003, IIS were appointed as Channel Partners with SAP for their new SME product, SAP Business One. Marc sold his Take 5 business and concentrated on developing this new market for SAP As a result, by 2007, IIS was recognised as the largest Channel Partner for SAP in EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa). In 2008, the IIS Sales Manager bought the Company from Marc in an MBO. He launched Big red cloud in June 2012, the online version of big red book, to date the company successfully converts 59% of trials into sales and the number of customers is growing rapidly. Marc continues to run both Big Red Book and Big Red Cloud which now support 75,000 businesses. He is a very keen sportsman, having played rugby for 20 years, represented Leinster at under 16 and under 20 levels, and league squash with Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club for 10 years. Marc has competed in 11 Marathons, including the London and Boston Marathons, and has completed several Triathlons and Half Ironman races. He has also completed six Ironman Races in Austria(x2), Frankfurt (Germany), Nice (France) , Mallorca (Spain) and Copenhagen (Denmark)

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