How Puzzle built the first Autonomous Accounting solution

Sasha Orloff

Autonomous accounting is here.

Puzzle is pioneering the concept and category of Autonomous Accounting, now made possible by three factors:

  1. Technology
  2. Timing
  3. Market Shift

Technology: Puzzle rebuilt the accounting core from the ground up

Puzzle is two systems in one: a double-entry, event-driven, immutable general ledger and a streaming, API-based financial data platform. This combination creates a unique solution that has not existed before: an autonomous, AI-enabled bookkeeper (with traits of an accountant and financial analyst) - which has not been possible until today.

🦉 What exactly is autonomous accounting? A single system that automatically generates real-time financial statements with accompanying financial metrics, insights, variance analyses, and reconciliations, whenever prompted.

But the benefits continue…

  • Autonomous accounting operates with consistent efficiency and without complaints while monitoring every transaction, cleaning up categorizations and vendor names, and preparing reconciliations for review.
  • Autonomous accounting can start to recognize and implement accounting policies, and what is out of policy.
  • Autonomous accounting is a system that learns and gets better every day. In Puzzle’s case, the user is always in full control, deciding how much autonomy to use: fully, partially, or none.
  • Autonomous accounting will allow founders or business leaders with no accounting or finance knowledge the ability to ask the what and understand the why.

Autonomous accounting is like having your own 24/7 bookkeeping assistant that is constantly learning and improving with every interaction. But just like autonomous driving, you still have to tell the car where to go, and the system still has to follow the generally accepted rules of the road to get you to where you want to go.

Timing: Software, APIs, automation, and GPT4

At Puzzle, we always knew autonomous accounting was not an “if” statement but a “when” statement. Turns out, the when is possible now.

When ChatGPT first launched in November 2022, it was not quite tuned for understanding accounting and financial transactions. But as version 3 turned to 3.5, and then 4, the AI improved significantly as a powerful tool to improve an accounting workflow.

Each of these technologies alone is impressive but together will revolutionize finance organizations as we know them.  While a bit jargony, we combined newly available data from API-enabled financial software with our multi-basis data model and fed event-driven journal entries to our immutable general ledger, with built-in collaboration, automation, and controls, all in a modern UX.  What you get is a powerful alternative to the accounting software built decades ago.  By layering a controllable version of AI into our workflows, we are able to achieve the first milestone - autonomous bookkeeping, insights, and variance analysis - in a single solution.

The market shift: Accounting as a strategic partner in business building

The role of accounting departments has evolved beyond just reporting. Today, they must be strategic partners, using financial data to provide insights, influence important decisions, and drive business improvements. But legacy accounting software often falls short, unable to provide the timely and actionable insights demanded by clients and business functions.

Accountants continue to play a crucial role in building trust and confidence in financial decisions by designing financial statements, developing policies and controls, interpreting and communicating results, and serving as strategic partners to executive teams and boards.

Puzzle allows founders to solve the dilemma of choosing an expensive bookkeeping solution or nothing on day one. The result - most choose nothing. Instead, puzzle gives them a compliant, scalable foundation for taxes, fundraising, and real-time financial insights with a network of on-demand bookkeepers and tax experts when ready.
Puzzle allows accountants to do more with less. By adding AI to existing workflows, autonomous accounting provides more focus on valuable advisory services while creating a delightful client experience focused on improving the business.

We are just getting started!

Autonomous accounting represents a paradigm shift in how we approach accounting and financial management. It emphasizes efficiency and effectiveness without sacrificing the expertise and experience of human professionals. Rather than relegating humans to the sidelines, autonomous accounting elevates the work of accounting, bookkeeping, and finance fields - empowers them to work at the forefront to drive better outcomes and higher-quality results.

Autonomous accounting is about rethinking, reframing, efficiency, and enhancement - not replacing. This is why Puzzle continues to invest more resources into workflow automation, exception handling, and time savings, as AI alone is no panacea. Our goal is to make autonomous accounting enable better decisions for all users, with higher confidence, in less time.

We're excited about the future and would love to hear your feedback and make Puzzle even better for you!

Puzzle rebuilt the accounting core from the ground up

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Sasha Orloff
Cofounder & CEO @ Puzzle

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