Numra’s Innovative AI Accounting Approach

Numra’s Innovative AI Accounting Approach

In an exclusive interview, we delve into the journey of Numra with its founders, David Kearney and Conor Digan, to understand how they are poised to transform finance operations with their innovative AI finance assistant, Mary. We explore their vision, the challenges they faced in securing €1.5 million in funding, and how their combined expertise in accounting, fintech, data science, and machine learning has shaped the development of Mary. Join us as we uncover the story behind Numra’s rapid rise and their ambitious plans to revolutionize the finance industry.

Q&A for Happy Future AI

1. Tell us about Numra’s mission and the problem you’re aiming to solve with AI in the finance space. 

Our mission at Numra is to unlock the full potential of finance teams.

Modern CFOs and their teams are expected to be strategic partners, but they’re often bogged down by manual, repetitive tasks. Despite evolving expectations, transactional work persists—recording invoices, reconciling revenue transactions, and cleaning and consolidating data. These low-value tasks divert attention from strategic activities like business partnering and decision support. This cycle leads to wasted time, costly errors, stressed team members, and frustrated stakeholders.

Numra frees finance teams from these low value tasks, enabling them to focus on more value add work such as business partnering and strategic decision support.

2. What inspired you to develop an AI finance assistant? Did you identify specific pain points or inefficiencies in how people currently manage their money?

Having spent close to a decade working in the finance departments of large enterprises, I became acutely aware of the inefficiencies and the sheer volume of manual work finance teams are drowning in. This experience inspired me to develop an AI finance assistant.

Finance teams are often bogged down with tasks that everyone agrees should be automated—entering invoice data into ERPs, manually cleansing and consolidating large data sets, and reconciling sales transactions. These repetitive tasks not only consume valuable time but also divert attention from higher-value activities like strategic planning and decision-making. I saw firsthand how these inefficiencies lead to frustrated team members and suboptimal business outcomes.

Our AI assistant, Mary, was born out of this need to address these specific pain points and streamline financial operations. By automating these mundane tasks, we aim to free up finance teams to focus on what truly matters—driving the business forward.

3. How does your AI assistant ‘Mary’ work under the hood in terms of the underlying models and algorithms? What capabilities does she have?

We are not disclosing this information.

4. David, with your background as a Chartered Accountant, what unique insights have you brought to Mary’s development in terms of building in accounting best practices and principles? 

With my background as a Chartered Accountant, I’ve brought unique insights to Mary’s development, particularly in incorporating accounting best practices and principles.

My domain expertise and deep understanding of the underlying processes within the finance department have been crucial. I know where the biggest pain points are and how everything in the finance function is interconnected. This knowledge has allowed us to design Mary to not only automate tasks but also to ensure they are executed with precision and adherence to accounting standards. By embedding best practices into Mary’s functionality, we’ve created a tool that finance teams can trust to handle their work accurately and efficiently.

5. What differentiates Mary from other AI finance assistants or apps on the market? Why should consumers choose your solution?

What sets Mary apart from other AI finance assistants or apps on the market is her specialization and versatility. Mary is built specifically for finance teams and is trained on industry best practices. Unlike generic AI solutions, Mary understands the unique challenges and needs of the finance function.

One of her standout features is her ability to move data seamlessly between different systems within the finance department, such as ERPs, CRMs, and bank accounts. This interoperability ensures that data is always accurate and up-to-date across platforms. Additionally, teams can interact with Mary via our platform, communicating with her just like they would with a real team member. This makes her not only a powerful tool for automation but also an intuitive and integrated part of the finance team.

6. How do you ensure Mary provides accurate, compliant, and trustworthy financial guidance? What safeguards and testing processes do you have in place?

Mary does not provide financial guidance. She handles routine work like extracting data from invoices, sending collections emails and consolidating data sets.

7. What’s your vision for the future of AI in personal finance? How do you see tools like Mary evolving and becoming smarter over time?

Our vision for the future of AI in personal finance is to reach a point where the finance function operates with fully touchless processes. As AI technology continues to evolve, tools like Mary will become increasingly smarter, more intuitive, and more capable of handling complex tasks without human intervention.

We envision a future where finance teams are no longer bogged down by manual, repetitive tasks. Instead, they will evolve to focus purely on strategic functions, using AI to provide deep insights and support critical decision-making. With advancements in AI, tools like Mary will continually learn and adapt, offering even greater efficiency, accuracy, and value. This transformation will not only enhance productivity but also redefine the role of finance professionals, allowing them to become true strategic partners within their organizations. 

8. Are there any concerns or potential downsides to relying on AI assistants for money management? How do you address issues like privacy, security, and explaining Mary’s reasoning to users?

Mary is not a money management tool. She handles routine work like extracting data from invoices, sending collections emails and consolidating data sets.

9. Who is your target user for Mary in these early days? Do you plan to expand beyond the Irish market?

In these early days, our target users for Mary are companies with 50 to 500 employees and annual revenues ranging from $20 million to $200 million. We are already operating in the USA and UK, and we see significant opportunities to expand our presence in these markets.

While our initial focus has been on these regions, we do plan to expand beyond them. Our goal is to bring Mary’s capabilities to finance teams worldwide, helping more organizations streamline their operations and unlock their full potential.

10. As an early-stage startup, what are your biggest priorities and challenges over the next 12-18 months as you bring Mary to market and scale the business?

We are focused on continuously enhancing Mary’s capabilities to ensure she meets the evolving needs of finance teams. This includes refining her existing features and developing new functionalities to make her even more efficient and intuitive.

Simultaneously, scaling our sales function is crucial. We aim to build a robust sales team to reach more potential customers and expand our market presence. Balancing these priorities while maintaining our commitment to quality and customer satisfaction is our biggest challenge, but we are excited about the opportunities ahead. 

11. For consumers or businesses interested in trying out Mary, what’s the best way for them to get started and learn more? Any special offers or promotions tied to your launch?

For businesses interested in trying out Mary, the best way to get started is to book a call via our website. During the call, we can provide a detailed overview of Mary’s capabilities and how she can benefit your finance team.

We also have some special offers running for early customers, which we’d love to tell you about during the call. These promotions are designed to help you experience the full value of Mary’s AI-powered assistance from the outset. We look forward to connecting with you and helping your finance team unlock its full potential.

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