Gravita is setting out to create a ‘new era of accountants’. Fuelled by an ingrained pioneer mindset, the top 30, full service accounting firm combines best-in-class technology with its experts’ specialised skillset to help clients achieve their business goals. When Silverfin Assistant was first launched in the UK in 2023, Gravita – quite literally – jumped on the opportunity to try it out. In a heartbeat, they were smitten. And now they’re embedding it into their ways of working.

“We were keen to be early adopters of Silverfin Assistant; now we’re also strong advocates.”

Russell Frayne, Director of Transformation at Gravita

Venturing into AI waters responsibly

With tech at its core, it’s only natural that Gravita encourages its people to experiment with new technologies such as AI. But there are a few non-negotiable rules to follow, of course.

“As we work with sensitive client data and confidential information, it’s vital to know where and how that data is being used and stored by the AI system”, Russell explains. “To mitigate data security risks, the safest and most sensible way to initially embrace AI is adopting in-platform tools built in the core accounting software that you’re already using.”

Silverfin Assistant sits right at the heart of the Silverfin platform, so that’s reassuring”, says Russell. “The software had already gone through due diligence and procurement processes when we adopted it into the business. So, we already knew our data would be safe.”

Value from the first run

When Gravita tried out Silverfin Assistant for the first time in the accounts preparation stage, the advanced AI tool immediately showed its value.

“Instead of reviewing the data manually, we ran it through Silverfin Assistant. The tool ran around 100 checks and spotted three or four opportunities that were ‘nice to know’, but also four errors that were spot-on. It would have taken an accountant, say, 30 minutes or more to dive into the file and find those anomalies.” explains Russell.

An extra pair of (eagle) eyes

“Trying to find inconsistencies in nominal accounts, VAT rates, posting dates and so on takes ages and they can be easily missed”, Russel continues.

Human error is always lurking behind the corner. We all have a bad day sometimes, are up against tight deadlines juggling multiple client files – in any case, using Silverfin Assistant is like having a friend looking over your shoulder, saying: ‘Have you reviewed this? Don’t miss that. That looks a bit strange, don’t you think?’ That’s an immediate win for your data quality.”

“This holds true in terms of localisations as well”, Russell adds. “Like many accountancy firms, we regularly work with offshore partners, which comes with difficulties in aligning approaches – both company and UK-market specific. With Silverfin Assistant flagging anomalies in offshore work, it bridges the knowledge gap, increasing data quality and facilitating the collaboration.”

“Another knowledge gap the Silverfin Assistant helps to bridge is that of junior accountants who still have a lot to learn”, says Russell. “There are clear and detailed explanations on the checks performed by the tool, highlighting why they were made and why they matter. These invaluable insights supercharge the progress of junior-level staff and their performance simultaneously.”

Three reasons why Gravita is a big fan of Silverfin Assistant

Russell primarily raves about how the tool enables accounting firms to leverage:

  • the consistency of a standardised approach
  • the consistency of high-quality output
  • a lower risk of incorrect data and human error

“It’s a big win to have an AI companion built into Silverfin, our compliance tool, that ticks all these boxes.”

Russell Frayne, Director of Transformation at Gravita

More time for client interactions

According to Russell, an accountant’s role can change for the better by leveraging AI. “I believe the accountant of the future will move away from a once-a-quarter-or-year responsibility of preparing compliance deliverables and become more of a trusted business advisor delivering value based on more accurate and timely data”, he says.

“Most accountants would already want to have more interactions with their clients and jump into that advisory space, but they’re struggling to do that because of a lack of time and insufficient access to timely and quality data.”

“Having an AI tool like Silverfin Assistant – helping you with otherwise time-consuming manual processes and checks – is already a great starting point”, Russell explains. “It sits right where we as accountants work day to day – not in a separate tool. I’m convinced it holds even more potential to tap into and will continue to develop at pace.”

“Silverfin Assistant sits right where we as accountants work day to day – not in a separate tool. I’m convinced it holds even more potential to tap into and will continue to develop at pace.”

Russell Frayne, Director of Transformation at Gravita

Real-world insights shaping Silverfin Assistant

Gravita is excited to make Silverfin Assistant a key component of its working papers and account production processes. So much so that Russell and his team will be working closely with the Silverfin product and development teams to help get the most value out of the tool.

Russell: “From user experience to the relevance of the information that is being surfaced – we want to feedback as much as we can for further development. If Silverfin Assistant is easily accessible in an accountant’s day-to-day activities, and it delivers real value, then I see no reason why accountants wouldn’t adopt it.”

Russell is already encouraging Gravita to take Silverfin Assistant to the next level with large language models and some of the other capabilities the firm has been experimenting with. There’s no better testament to his belief in the tool’s potential. Working on it!

This case study also features in our whitepaper ‘Beyond the hype: the real benefits of AI for your accountancy firm’. Why not download the pdf here

About Silverfin Assistant

Silverfin is cloud software for ambitious accounting firms with live client files, connected workpapers and AI you can trust. Last year we launched Silverfin Assistant in the UK that uses AI to continuously analyse client files to find unusual balances, missing transactions and outliers. Flagging these and suggesting fixes, saves hours of manual checking, improves accuracy and improves client service

Why not try Silverfin and Silverfin Assistant for yourself with our free 14-day trial? Sign-up here