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Sage Debuts Bot To Kill The Spreadsheet

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Manual data entry into spreadsheets is an outdated process for small business accounting and financial management, yet remains commonplace. SME accounting firm Sage looks to reduce the use of spreadsheets, but on Tuesday (July 26), the firm took its battle against the legacy tool a step further.

The company announced a partnership with bot platform provider Gupshup, a move that sees the firms collaborating on a bot that, in their words, will be a “spreadsheet-killing” solution for SME accounting.

Their bot, named Pegg, will automatically manage SME expenses and invoices, track payments and conduct other accounting tasks. According to reports, Pegg operates with commands issued via chat. Its capabilities enable the processing of natural language, the firms explained, allowing small business owners to communicate with Pegg and issue commands in more ways than one.

The solution operates over Facebook Messenger and another messaging portal, Slack. Reports earlier this month revealed that Sage was in the process of developing such a tool.

“The future of the workplace is conversational, and chatbots are now being integrated into key workflows and business processes to improve productivity,” said Gupshup CEO Beerud Sheth in a statement.

In a separate statement, Sage pointed to the ongoing use of spreadsheets and other outdated technologies.

“Over 65 percent of small businesses continue to largely rely on spreadsheets and manual recordkeeping practices that are not only inaccurate and time-consuming but also incredibly tedious and costly to maintain,” Sage Global Director of Mobile Product Management Kriti Sharma stated. “Gupshup’s industry-leading cross-channel bot platform has given us the ability to overcome the complexities of today’s accounting software and offer a fun, intuitive and accessible experience to entrepreneurs and small business owners.”

Pegg was revealed Tuesday at the 2016 Sage Summit event, held in Chicago this week.

Sage isn’t the only SME-serving company to roll out a chatbot solution for financial management. Last month, Tradeshift debuted its own artificial intelligence chatbot, Tradeshift Go, to help businesses manage spend via virtual assistant.

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