12 Sep 2018

IRIS brings AI to the digital journey

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IRIS Accountancy Solutions, the UK’s leading accountancy software provider is today launching IRIS AI, a family of AI based products and services for every size of accountancy practice. The first product in this offering is the Ai Auditor™ developed by MindBridge® Analytics Inc. The powerful artificial intelligence tool enables accountants to address skills shortages and deliver new risk and fraud assurance services. 

MindBridge Ai Auditor increases the effectiveness of financial audits by reducing labour intensity and maximising audit assurance by leveraging AI to augment the capabilities of auditors. Using a hybrid of machine learning and AI techniques, combined with conventional tests, the Ai Auditor uncovers errors and anomalous patterns of activities across the full financial dataset and associates a risk score to each transaction. This results in greater insights and higher assurance that the financial records are free of material error, thereby lowering the overall risk exposure.

AI is generating much interest among accounting and finance professionals as there is an appetite to reduce repetitive, time-consuming and redundant tasks and create practice capacity for more lucrative added-value consultancy for clients. 

According to the ICAEW, “…accountants are well placed to work effectively with data analytics, as they combine high levels of numeracy with strong business awareness. These trends will accelerate with AI.”* 

Sion Lewis, CEO of IRIS Accountancy Solutions comments, “Accountancy practices are looking to evolve beyond compliance services. We believe firms can transform their practice by unlocking client and practice data to deliver advisory-based services, and generate more business opportunities to empower accountants to thrive in the digital accountancy economy. Our new partnership with MindBridge Analytics in bringing the Ai Auditor to the UK market is a big stride in this direction.”

“With the explosive growth of big data, and with an ever more connected, globalised world, the way we approach auditing must change, and it must change significantly,” says Eli Fathi, CEO of MindBridge Ai. “The roles and processes of auditing, and the people working in that area will remain the same, but the way we conduct audits will change to address these new realities. Together, MindBridge Ai and IRIS can accelerate this transformation.”

MindBridge Ai analyses all the transactions rather than taking a sample. Using a hybrid of artificial intelligence, machine learning, statistical models and rule-based tests, 100% of transactions can be analysed delivering far greater assurance. This approach has been proven to be at least ten times more effective than current approaches. It provides operational efficiency by automating the loading of financial data and calculating a ‘risk score’ for each transaction which in turn allows the auditor to prioritise items requiring further investigation. Findings and audit trail details can be exported to an Excel file format and shared with clients, increasing transparency and complying with audit standards.

Further product information can be found at: www.iris.co.uk.  

* ICAEW: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Accountancy

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The Data Support Agency acts as an outsourced Data Support Officer to provide guidance, tools, templates and support, housed in a secure IRIS portal.
Anecdotal evidence from the IRIS GDPR Conference held earlier this year, found many accountancy professionals view data protection as peripheral to their core role and lack the in-house skills to remain compliant, placing them at legal risk. The lack of resources means there is little time to review existing procedures and establish new complicated process.
Opinion solicited from IRIS customers in May 2018 found nearly half (49.17%) of respondents manage their own IT infrastructure, which highlights the diversity of responsibilities partners and owners need to manage.
Sion Lewis, CEO of IRIS Accountancy Solutions says, “There are a continual number of business issues industry professionals need to manage; from changes in legislation, to succession planning and considering the best way to restructure a practice to evolve beyond compliance services. Amid these challenges, managing data protection is easily pushed down priority list; we want to help remove this burden by offering a service to manage ongoing compliance.  
“In the same way as businesses outsource HR, bookkeeping or IT support, the partnership with The Data Support Agency enables accountancy professionals to easily access legal data compliance requirements. We are delighted to work with such talented experts and hope this alleviates another crucial issue to help accountants thrive in the digital economy.”
Nicola Hartland, CEO and Co-Founder of The Data Support Agency says, “We appreciate that few accountancy practices have the time, expertise or resource to dedicate to this legislation and it can be hard to know where to start. Our experience in this area, combined with IRIS’ 40-year heritage in the industry enables accountancy professionals to access a service designed and dedicated for their needs.”
IRIS GDPR Advisor provides a guided process to attain compliance that acknowledges all practices are unique and will travel their compliance journey at different speeds. It maintains a comprehensive audit trail to demonstrate activities in the case of an investigation and provides an option to investigate compliance implications before new services are developed and delivered.
The forefront of IRIS GDPR Advisor is a portal which houses:
A readiness dashboard displaying the current status and actions required to attain and/or maintain compliance
A resource library fully maintained by The Data Support Agency which includes tools, document templates, processes, planning, support and FAQ’s
Secure storage: an audit trail and central hub for all GDPR & Data Protection compliance documents
In addition, customers can access a dedicated customer support helpdesk staffed by certified GDPR specialists, whether communicating by phone, email, or online chat. 
Sion Lewis concludes, “GDPR compliance is just the start of the journey and should not be viewed as a one-off activity. Protecting personal data is central to every client relationship and needs to be frequently monitored. By continuing training and process checks, practices not only ensure they are compliant but also build client loyalty and trust.”
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IRIS Accountancy Solutions
With over 21,000 customers and 75 of the top 100 UK accountancy practices using IRIS products and services, IRIS Accountancy Solutions exists to simplify the lives of accountants by making them more effective and more productive. Through its heritage of deep domain knowledge, breadth of product functionality and innovative use of technology, IRIS delivers best-in-class accountancy software solutions for use by every practice in the UK.
Approximately, 44% of all online submissions to HMRC and Companies House are made using IRIS software – the most efficient suite of integrated compliance, productivity and collaboration solutions for accountants to grow and evolve their practice.

IRIS Accountancy Solutions

About IRIS Accountancy Solutions

With over 21,000 customers and 83 of the top 100 UK accountancy practices using IRIS products and services, IRIS Accountancy Solutions exists to simplify the lives of accountants by making them more effective and more productive. Through its heritage of deep domain knowledge, breadth of product functionality and innovative use of technology, IRIS delivers best-in-class accountancy software solutions for use by every practice in the UK.

Accountants trust IRIS to help guide them and their clients through the once-in-a-generation, political, legislative, economic and social disruption in the UK accountancy industry, enabling them to transform their practice, represent their interests to the UK Government and legislative bodies and thrive in the new digital accountancy economy. 

Approximately, 44% of all online submissions to HMRC and Companies House are made using IRIS software – the most efficient suite of integrated compliance, productivity and collaboration solutions for accountants to grow and evolve their practice.

IRIS Software Group

IRIS Accountancy Solutions is a division of IRIS Software Group, the largest privately-owned software supplier in the UK and one of the most trusted business-critical software and services providers in the UK today. Through its solutions, the group serves more than 80,000 SMEs, corporates, and payroll bureau customers across a wide range of UK industry sectors. IRIS Software Group offers the greatest range of specialist accountancy, financial management, human resource management and payroll solutions - delivered as a choice of integrated on-premise software and cloud-based applications. These are managed under the leading IRIS, PTP, KashFlow, Keytime, Taxfiler, Cascade, PS Financials, Results Squared, ParentMail, Star and Earnie product brands. 

For more details visit iris.co.uk. or follow the brands on Twitter: @irisaccountants, @irispayroll, @kashflow, @keytime @CascadeHRMS, @PSFinancials, @ParentMail and @TaxfilerLtd.

About MindBridge™ Analytics Inc.

MindBridge Ai is a venture-backed FinTech company based in Ottawa, Canada. Through the application of machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies, the MindBridge platform detects anomalous patterns of activities, unintentional errors and intentional misstatements. Using the MindBridge Ai-Auditor, organisations across multiple industries can minimise financial loss, reduce corporate liability and enhance their professional judgment. 

Recognised by Accounting Today as the 2018 Top New Product, MindBridge Ai is used by accountancy firms across the globe, including UK-based, Kingston Smith. The organisation has also been named one of Canada’s Companies-to-Watch in the 2017 Deloitte Technology Fast 50™ Awards. For more information, visit www.mindbridge.ai.

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