AI For Personal Finance: How To Automatically Track Receipts And Manage Expenses
Remember when having lots of money meant having lots of cash in your wallet?
In recent years there has been a dramatic shift away from using actual dollar bills and coins, to more frequent use of credit cards and debit cards, which are seen as more convenient.
Some people also prefer using a credit card because of ‘cash back options’ or ‘rewards’, as well as the opportunity it gives to build a positive credit history.
Now, in the midst of the global pandemic, many businesses either outright don’t accept cash, or promote that they prefer ‘cashless purchases.’
For those who don’t follow strict expense management, this could lead to serious financial problems. Bank accounts, for example, need to be monitored on a daily basis. Payments on credit cards must be made on time, or else there could be an impact on a person’s credit score.
Faced with the myriad of demands at home and on the job, many people have turned to powerful personal financial software/ services for assistance. AI based financial technology is there to help.
AI provides the capacity and speed to drive varied financial technologies. Machine learning, a subset of AI, provides the computer algorithms that continuously learn through data acquisition. These evolving algorithms produce models/decisions without explicit programming.
On call 24/7, an AI powered financial virtual assistant
These financial assistants enable users to manage income, savings, expenditures, investments, etc. Even better – the applications gradually learn about financial goals, debt, income streams, college funds, spending patterns, and more. This software can also provide feedback in real time about the implications of any variance from financial decisions and recommend better ways to spend money.
Some banks and financial institutions also provide a free financial assistant mobile app linked to a persons’ bank account. It gives summaries of everyday banking activity and sends alerts when an anomaly is detected. (Something doesn’t look right.)
But beware – the FBI has a warning concerning mobile banking apps, saying it anticipates hackers will find ways to ‘exploit’ the situation as people are spending more time at home this year during the COVID-19 crisis.
Forget the shoebox full of receipts, stay organized with artificial intelligence
Financial advisors say this all the time… keep a record of every single expense.
The reasons are quite obvious; it’s vital to know how your pay cheque is being spent, and receipts will be needed at income tax time.
AI technologies are being used for expense tracking software that can vastly save time, monitor spending habits, and cut down on costly mistakes.
There are many apps on the market which allow people to create an expense report in just easy two steps:
- Scan a receipt with your mobile device
- Send the photo via email
AI then generates the report automatically.
The benefit for the average person is that you don’t need to be a whiz at Microsoft Excel to customize expense reports…. or set aside time everyday to manually type in numbers.
Vacations are often a time when spending goes out of control on things, including hotels, transportation, meals, entertainment, and souvenir shopping. Some apps (virtual assistants) have a separate category for trips to keep all the details in one place.
There is a fee for just about anything these days, so yes, there are ‘in-app purchases’ and monthly plans. However, there are options that allow a certain number of free scans each month. Al for personal finance could be a win-win solution.
Staying on target – the self-employed
People who ‘work for themselves’ have to track expenses constantly and the process is more complex – but less cumbersome with an AI expense system.
At some point during the fiscal year, there will be a meeting with an accountant who will thoroughly examine all revenues and expenditures. Missing a single receipt could lead to a nightmare situation — the dreaded tax audit. Most people also don’t know that the more money you make, the higher the chance you could be audited.
All office purchases, everything from pens to a new office chair, need to be recorded. Other expenses would also need to be tracked that would be itemized on invoices.
There is another bonus to using artificial intelligence; the ability to record mileage manually into a sharp looking report, or even give an app the ability to track mileage itself using GPS. The GPS option would be ideal for someone on the road a lot, including a sales professional.
The company side of things, with an AI twist
Maybe this sounds a little familiar; at the end of a long workday filling out an expense report in the office, photocopying receipts, taping the photocopy to the expense report, and pushing all of it under a manager’s door.
Thankfully, things are a lot easier now for both the employee and the employer at businesses that saw implementing AI as the right course of action.
AI based expense management apps enable an employer to process, pay, and audit expenses incurred by employees. The software may be customized to ensure compliance, control, and productivity.
All the staff member needs to do is take a picture of the receipt, the AI software automatically compiles the expense report, and then submits the report quickly.
And there is a bonus – next day reimbursement straight back into their account.
Certainly, an all-round positive result.
So, with sound financial advice and artificial intelligence in finance, people have more time to walk the dog… or just sleep.