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Accountancy firm Simpkins Edwards pioneers voice-activated Google Assistant

September 13, 2019 | News

Local businesses are in with a chance of winning £1,000 of Quickbooks accounting software and training for a year with Bovey Tracey and Devon-based chartered accountancy Simpkins Edwards, simply by giving its new voice activated Google Assistant Chatbot a go.

The firm, which is the first accountancy practice in Devon to use the cutting-edge voice activated internet search solution, aims to help individuals and businesses seeking instant information on tax, accounting, business advice, probate and estate administration.

Using Google Assistant, individuals and businesses can verbally ask for detail about Simpkins Edwards’ services on the move, in the office or at home, simply by asking questions of its Google Assistant Chatbot, powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI).

With over 1 billion devices already enabled, including Android phones, tablets, watches, cars and TV, as well as iPhones using the Google Assistant app – Simpkins Edwards is future-proofing its business. Research shows that by 2022, 48% of all internet searches in the UK will be conducted by voice.

Through Simpkins Edwards’ Chatbot, which can be launched by saying ‘OK Google, talk to Simpkins Edwards’, users can get instant answers without the need to sift through dozens of webpages. The solution even enables individuals to schedule a call back should they need a more detailed response or specific advice.

Mary Jane Campbell, Managing Partner at Simpkins Edwards,which has been shortlisted in the finals of the British Accountancy Awards in the Mid-Tier Innovation of the Year category, commented: “As a forward-thinking accountancy practice, we recognise that busy individuals and businesses need to get answers swiftly to enable them to make important decisions. Through our Google Assistant Chatbot, we aim to make that process quick, simple and easy, day or night.”

Mary Jane added: “We’re keen to make maximum use of developing technology to ensure that our clients and prospective customers benefit from cutting-edge functionality and time-saving facilities. That’s why we’re offering £1,000 worth of accounting software and training free to one lucky customer that comes to us via the Simpkins Edwards’ Google Assistant Chatbot this summer.”

Steve Tomkinson, Director for Plymouth Science Park-based Disruption Works, which specialises in developing smart application and created the Simpkins Edwards Chatbot, commented: “Typically, this technology is used by consumers to talk to their device to check the weather, set reminders or play music, but increasingly it’s being used in the search for more complex queries.

“Simpkins Edwards has recognised the opportunity that this technology presents and the speed at which individuals are adopting voice as a primary method of search, particularly among Millennials.”

Steve added: “It’s great to work with such a forward-thinking business. Using AI, the Chatbot constantly learns, enabling it to precisely meet the needs of users and learn new skills, providing a richer experience to clients and prospective customers using voice search. In our view, this is a game changer for businesses and for customer service. This is the technology of the future, here today.”

Simpkins Edwards is building a database of AI Chatbot responses to common questions encompassing its range of services, which include tax advice, probate, accounting and audit services, corporate finance, business advice and support, litigation support, financial management and payroll.

Simpkins Edwards will find out if it is the Mid-Tier Innovation of the Year category winner at the British Accountancy Awards in September. The firm has been shortlisted for its new monthly subscription service, “Plan With Confidence”, which integrates the firm’s service lines and provides clients with a one-stop shop for accounting and tax services, alongside certainty over costs.

“Plan With Confidence” enables clients to choose the level of bookkeeping, accountancy and tax compliance that best suits their needs. Providing monthly management information, the new service enables Simpkins Edwards to act proactively on behalf of clients in real-time, allowing businesses to benefit from enhanced client care, advice and speed of action.