6 min read

AI Unchained: A Wild Ride Into the Future


"The discussions were enlightening, showcasing best practices and cutting-edge technology driving change in our industry. It's incredible to witness the transformative power of AI in streamlining processes.📈🔍” — Lisa Griffith


While advancements like ChatGPT often steal the AI spotlight, Botkeeper's inaugural "AI Unchained" conference showcased a whirlwind of groundbreaking updates that will revolutionize the world of accounting. From September 21-23, we embarked on an exhilarating journey through the realm of AI innovations, venturing far beyond what typically grabs headlines. We didn't just attend; we immersed ourselves in the transformative power of AI, transcending the ordinary generative technologies that dominate mainstream media.

But calling this conference merely "successful" doesn't do it justice. The demand was so overwhelming that our room block sold out, and attendees couldn't stop raving about their experience. It was a technology exploration extravaganza, featuring in-depth discussions on how AI is reshaping accounting firms globally. But that's not all; we rolled up our sleeves with hands-on workshops designed to supercharge your processes and harness the true potential of cutting-edge tech.

And if you thought it couldn't get any better, we packed the conference with Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits, unparalleled networking opportunities, a side-splitting comedy show, and a heavenly raspberry cheesecake. It's safe to say: you missed out big time. You can at least live vicariously through our AI Unchained Resources page to see a little of what you missed.


 Enrico Palmerino, CEO Botkeeper


The Vibe



We have had more than our share of mundane conferences- and that's why we set the tone with a new take on networking opportunities in captivating settings. Whether it was the relaxed "Wine Down" at the end of day 1 or the cocktail reception and 1950s-themed dinner show hosted by CPA and comedian John Garrett that closed day 2, we ensured the energy was crackling. We even threw in some surprise rap performances from the legendary accountant Scott Scarano, a.k.a. "OKR" – because why not? 

And It was awesome- just sayin. 

Throughout the conference, we kept the energy soaring with music, delectable food, refreshing drinks, and a whole lot of fun, perfectly timed to complement our mind-blowing sessions across all three days. Botkeeper knows how to turn that thing up, and we went all-out to deliver a supercharged experience that had attendees scrambling for more.


John Garrett, Corporate Culture Catalyst


The Content

“Botkeeper #AIUnchained and amazing mix of tech, talent, and truly innovative talks... thank you to all who are making change happen in the accounting profession!” — Gaynor Hardy (Meilke)



Speed dating — but with awesome consultants

Our conference kicked off with a bang, offering one-on-one consultations with consultants from the entire accounting landscape. They delved into everything from M&A and growth strategies (from Whitman Transititon Advisors Partner David Wolfskehll) to organic revenue growth strategies (Gale Crosley, of Crosley & Company) and the latest in data and software technology (Donny Shimamoto of IntrapriseTechKnowlogies LLC) — and MUCH more. It was a golden opportunity for firm leaders to chart a course toward transformation by exploring new ideas and products while getting answers to their burning questions about the future of the profession.

Client Accounting and Advisory Services (CAAS), also known as Client Advisory Services (CAS), took the spotlight in multiple sessions and workshops helmed by profession thought leaders like Dixie McCurley, Amy Vetter, and our own Deneen Dias. They and others shared their insights on leveraging technology to empower your CAS practice, scaling it, and staying ahead of advisory trends. For those who understand automation and tech are the keys to CAAS growth, AI Unchained was an invaluable source of knowledge.

Practice management was another hot topic, with sessions from dynamic speakers like W. Michael Hsu and Bill Sheridan designed to help firm leaders grasp innovation, cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset, and evolve their firms effectively. And because we care about the "whole person," we even offered a session from Lauren Baptiste to help you shift into a winning frame of mind (and you missed her live, on-stage coaching session, which was fantabulous).

Our workshops provided hands-on experiences, allowing you to put our speakers' teachings into action. Whether you were building CAS practices, crafting robust SWOT analyses and business plans, or exploring the incredible features of the Botkeeper platform, AI Unchained workshops delivered an immersive learning experience.


The big announcements


But hold onto your hats, because the conference was packed with seismic moments. Keynote speaker Ben Royce, an AI expert and Business Development Leader at Google, offered a roadmap to the future where data, AI, and business converge. It was a glimpse into the thrilling world of AI technology, both as we know it today and what it's about to become. But that wasn't the end of Google's influence on AI Unchained.


Ben Royce, Business Development Manager,
Google Cloud AI Services


Enrico dropped another bombshell as Google National Director of Cloud Startup Growth Tara Seppa joined him for another incredible announcement: We're collaborating with Google on groundbreaking technology that will become an integral part of the Botkeeper platform. Introducing "Financial Insights" – the tool that unravels the "why" behind the numbers, helping you narrate the financial stories of your clients like never before, while surfacing the most relevant KPIs and metrics for you to curate for them. Financial Insights is the solution that instantly elevates your CAS game to pro-status. You’ll wonder how you got along without it!  Financial Insights will be available Q1 2024.


Tara Seppa - National Director,
Google Cloud Startup Growth, U.S. - Google


And there were more game-changers! Jirav CEO Martin Zych joined Botkeeper CEO Enrico Palmerino on stage to unveil our epic partnership: Jirav is teaming up with Botkeeper to deliver the ultimate advisory tools for financial reporting and analysis. Jirav's dynamic, all-in-one solution will seamlessly integrate with the Botkeeper platform starting in Q1 of 2024, putting financial insights at your fingertips.

Martin Zych, CEO - Jirav



The REALLY Big Announcement

Enrico wasn’t done yet, he still had the biggest announcement of the day: Brace yourselves for "Botkeeper Infinite" – our tech-only solution that redefines the game. It puts technology at the forefront of everything Botkeeper does, granting firms unparalleled autonomy to realize their visions with precision and efficiency. Botkeeper Infinite allows small- and medium-sized firms to scale on their own terms, reserving outsourced services for when they're ready to expand further. Now, firms of any size can tailor their approach to clients, offering tech-only solutions or combining tech with a dedicated team. Coming in Q1 of 2024, Botkeeper Infinite will be the killer solution that finally sets firms of all sizes free to succeed in CAS and transform their practices into the powerhouses that will define the coming decades of accounting.

Inifinite gif(1530 x 1020 px)


Exciting New Updates Coming to the Botkeeper Platform 

And that's not all we have up our sleeves. Enrico unveiled a lineup of thrilling updates coming to the Botkeeper platform (release dates and features subject to change), including:

💻 Activity Hub

The previous commenting features in Botkeeper left communications decentralized and challenging to track. Our solution to this problem was to create a centralized space within the Botkeeper platform for all comments, feedback, and interactions. Easy access, all in one place. By standardizing communications, firms will experience seamless interactions with their clients, ensuring that their priorities, those of their clients, and those assigned to Botkeeper are always on the same page. The result? An improved client experience and more effective collaboration. Activity Hub will streamline communications, providing an intuitive, simple way for firms to keep abreast of developments. Coming in Q4 2023.

⚡ Zapier Integration

Botkeeper users have been asking for a way to seamlessly integrate Botkeeper into their workflows and all the tools they use today. So we’ve integrated Zapier, allowing our users to make Botkeeper work in the way that makes the most sense for them and their firms. Zapier allows you to trigger actions based on custom events and much more. This ushers in a new level of customization, freedom, and flexibility that will create unimaginable efficiencies across a firm’s processes. Launching in Q4 2023.

🤖 JE Automation

Splitting out loan data or payroll categories is tedious and time-consuming. Our innovative (and highly effective) solution? Automate amortization schedules and loans in real-time, syncing directly with the general ledger. The result will be errors reduced and huge amounts of time saved. Future functionality includes managing variable interest loans. JE Automation will take firms from a manual mess to automated success! Mid-2024.

🏦 Auto Bank Reconciliations

Grueling and eye-watering hours spent at the end of the month correcting errors in transactions have long been the bane of accountants’ existence. So we’ve created Auto Bank Reconciliations, allowing you to quickly review variances between extracted statement details and general ledger (GL) activity for seamless reconciliations. The system even automates the reconciliation when no issues are found. With the time firms will recover, they can deliver incremental value for their clients and focus on the things that drive them forward. Arriving in Q1 2024.

📒 Bot Review

Our users have told us that the month-end review process is painful — tedious and error-prone. Manually searching through the general ledger to find discrepancies is fraught with risk and is time-consuming. But Botkeeper has leveraged technology to automate the process, and set accountants free from the drudgery of month-end close. Bot Review flags the variances and exceptions you need to review. Firms will enjoy immense time-savings, pinpoint accuracy, and happier clients who will find far fewer issues with their financial reports. Easily review and fix any exceptions detected in your client's financials in real-time, leaving you with pristine books. Coming in Q4 2023.

At Botkeeper, we envision a future where AI and accountants unite forces. We're on a mission to automate the inefficiencies and stress that plague accountants, seamlessly integrating Botkeeper into your practice's applications and workflows. That's the essence of Botkeeper Infinite, and it's arriving in Q1 2024.

Stay tuned for next week's blog, where we'll delve deeper into Botkeeper Infinite, unveiling why it's a true game-changer in the accounting world. In the coming blogs, we'll unveil more gems from the phenomenal sessions at AI Unchained.

Regret missing AI Unchained? You’ll get another shot! Reserve your spot for September next year and reap the incredible benefits of attending AI Unchained in person! Until then, join our waitlist to be among the first to experience Botkeeper Infinite!


Join the waitlist. Get ready to unleash the future of accounting with Botkeeper!