5 Helpful AI Tools for Small Business Accounting and Budgeting

Paige Smith

One of the most impactful things you can do as a business owner is optimize your finances. The more organized and streamlined your books and backend systems are, the easier it is to maintain healthy cash flow and make strategic budgeting decisions. 

That’s where AI tools can come in handy. 

How to use AI for your business finances

AI excels at automation, pattern recognition, and data analysis—which means it pairs well with accounting and budgeting systems. AI-backed financial tools can automate tedious bookkeeping tasks, reduce manual entry and errors, analyze huge swaths of financial information, and make predictions and suggestions based on your business’s internal data. 

Not only does AI-powered accounting and budgeting software save you time—it also sets you up for success when it comes to financial planning and goal-setting. 

AI-powered finance tools can:

  • Automate payroll
  • Automatically track and categorize expenses
  • Provide budgeting suggestions based on your spending and revenue
  • Forecast cash flow and revenue by analyzing your internal data, historical industry data, and economic factors
  • Automatically process and pay invoices 
  • Automatically file and pay business taxes
  • Alert you to spending limits or potential issues
  • Create custom profit and loss statements and other financial reports
  • Process and resolve tax notices
  • Provide real-time insights 

Explore eight practical business applications for AI

5 great AI tools for small business accounting and budgeting 

Some of the tools below have built-in AI automations and features, while others are AI-specific platforms. Keep reading to learn more about these five great options: 

For comprehensive payroll and tax support

1. Gusto 

Gusto is an all-in-one payroll and HR platform that lets you pay your team and manage everyone in one place. Gusto runs payroll automatically, performs automatic tax calculations, automatically files your payroll taxes, identifies tax credits you’re eligible for, and makes it easy to onboard and pay remote/international employees and contractors. If you opt for the advanced plan, you’ll also get accounting and expense tracking integrations. 

Gusto also has a handful of exciting AI developments in the works, including its custom AI report generator and an AI feature that reviews and resolves tax notices. 

Cost: The Plus plan is $60 a month, plus $9 a month per person. 

Gusto is a good option if: You want to simplify payroll and tax filing, while also taking advantage of HR support builtins. 

For advanced bookkeeping and data-driven insights 

2. Docyt

Docyt is an AI-powered bookkeeping platform that delivers real-time updates and insights into your business’s financial health. Docyt offers four different features, all of which use both precision AI and generative AI: expense management, revenue reconciliation and accounting, month-end closing, and real-time financial reporting. 

The platform’s AI functionality automates accounting, generates reports with industry-specific KPIs and metrics, automatically matches and reconciles transactions with your bank statements, and reviews receipts to pull out the most important details and insights. 

Docyt caters to a range of companies across industries, including accounting firms and CPAs, hospitality businesses, retail and e-commerce companies, restaurants, dental offices, franchises, and high-growth startups. 

Cost: The Impact plan starts at $299 a month; the Advanced plan starts at $499 a month. 

Docyt is a good option if: You want an AI-powered accounting tool that streamlines bookkeeping and analyzes your internal data. 

For wide-ranging support across accounts receivable and payable  

3. Xero 

Xero is a cloud-based business accounting software known for its accessibility and versatility. You can use Xero to do countless accounting and financial tasks, including paying bills, accepting payments, running payroll with Gusto, automating accounting and expense reconciliation, sending invoice reminders, creating purchase orders, and generating custom reports.  

Xero also has a conversational generative AI assistant—called Just Ask Xero (JAX)—currently in the works. With JAX, you’ll be able to ask Xero to complete a number of tasks, like building an invoice or paying a bill, directly from your app or email. 

Cost: The Growing plan is usually $42 a month. 

Xero is a good option if: You want an accounting solution that does it all—and integrates with payroll and HR tools like Gusto. 

For faster invoice processing 

4. Vic.ai

Vic.ai is an AI-driven invoice processing platform that promises to speed up your accounts payable processes by 80%. With Vic.ai, all you have to do is upload the invoices you receive (no matter the format). 

From there, the AI tool will analyze each invoice, pull out all the relevant data, automatically classify the information, and send it to the appropriate approver so it’s ready to pay—without relying on a template. Vic.ai also has an analytics tool that can review current financial workflows, identify bottlenecks in accounts payable, and share real-time insights. 

Cost: Reach out for pricing

Vic.ai is a good option if: You haven’t automated accounts payable yet and need help with streamlining invoices. 

For automated expense management and procurement support

5. Ramp

Ramp is an AI-powered finance software with solutions for small businesses, mid-size operations, enterprises, and startups. The platform’s small business expense management software uses AI to automatically check and categorize every expense, automate monthly closings, and give you real-time spend reporting so you always know where you’re at with cash flow and budgeting. 

Ramp also has a Bill Pay feature that automates your accounts payable workflow, as well as a vendor management solution, procurement solution, and corporate cards. 

Cost: The basic plan is free; the Plus plan is $12 a month per user

Ramp is a good option if: You want AI automation for your expenses, along with the option to streamline your procure-to-pay workflow and manage vendors more easily. 

What to look for in an AI finance tool

AI bookkeeping and budgeting solutions can make backend business work so much easier. When you’re reviewing your options, make sure you look for tools with:

  • Multiple capabilities: That includes payroll automation, bookkeeping, expense tracking, invoice processing, bill pay, and financial reports. 
  • Integrations: The best tools will integrate with your existing tech stack so you can keep all your intersecting business data in one place. 
  • Human support: AI-assisted live chats are great at giving you answers fast, but they have their limits. If you want expert support and additional reassurance with your accounting and budgeting, look for providers that have helpful customer service agents or CPAs on hand. 

Once you pick a tool you trust, follow these six steps to get the most out of your AI

Paige Smith Paige is a content marketing writer specializing in business, finance, and tech. She regularly writes for a number of B2B industry leaders, including fintech companies and small business lenders. See more of her work here:
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