What has happened to voice technology in accounting and business?

Many years ago, speech recognition was hailed as the next big application to make a difference in the accounting world, and this seems to have surfaced at various times over the years.

Speech recognition does exist – Dragon Dictate being perhaps one of the better-known products, and some versions of Microsoft Office e.g. Word for Office 365, have a Dictate button available in the top right of the ribbon bar.

However, correct me if I am wrong, but as far as I am aware, very few people seem to use this functionality. I did test it in putting together this blog post and I have to say that I was pretty impressed with the accuracy and speed. However, this was done without looking at any of the reference materials as to how to correct errors or delete words or phrases, so I was often reaching for the keyboard and mouse.

We have probably all become familiar in recent years with the likes of Alexa, Google Assistant and other devices in the home, as well as Siri on apple devices. Voice technology also features, and works well, in many vehicles. I particularly like the Tesla command “eject passenger seat” - which does not do as it says - it simply turns the passenger heated seat on full!  However, there are only so many things you can do in a car; in a business environment the depth and breadth of the commands required are practically limitless.

Alexa for business is a dedicated chargeable service which starts to add voice capability to emails, calendars, meetings and some other software products.

Many will have seen videos of “the future” along the lines of someone jumping into a car after a meeting and instructing the accounting software – “send an invoice for £10,000 to Fred Bloggs” and it is done.

So what does “the future” hold?

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