3E Accounting Revolutionizes Professional Services Industry with Robotics Accounting

3E Accounting is the first SME accounting firm in Singapore and the region to adopt robotics technology and revolutionize the Accounting and Professional Services Industry as the pioneer robotics accounting firm and robotics accountant.

Marking his first foray into the digital space in 2012, Founder Lawrence Chai set up IT Solution, a technology company under 3E Accounting Group, which provides a comprehensive range of IT solutions and digital marketing to complement the professional services offered to its clients. The introduction of the innovative Double Robotics technology in 2016 took the firm one step closer towards reinventing itself as the first robotics accounting firm and robotics accountant, planting the seeds for the current development of automated robotics for financial reporting, tax and bookkeeping services.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a game-changer for businesses. It has validated 3E Accounting’s digital transformation efforts in an unprecedented environment, where there was previously little difference between firms who went by the conventional or digital routes. The investment in technology that has enabled 3E Accounting to achieve business-wide benefits such as flexible work arrangements has proven its value to the company. It allows 3E Accounting to transcend geographical barriers in its overseas expansion and is the foundation and cornerstone for business continuity planning and uninterrupted business operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, the new intelligent automation technology, which has increased employee productivity, enhanced innovation and surpassed the competition, allowed 3E Accounting to remain ahead of major competitors in the Accounting and Professional Services Industry.

3E Accounting’s Digital Master Plan

3E Accounting’s Digital Master Plan

In response to the launch of the Accountancy Industry Digital Plan on 22 August 2019, which was the sectoral enabler for the Professional Services Industry Transformation Map (ITM), 3E Accounting Founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Lawrence Chai formed the firm’s Digital Research and Development (R&D) team to spearhead development in new technological growth areas like Robotics Process Automation (RPA), Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

The R&D team’s prerogative was to formulate the Digital Master Plan to map out the digital transformation of the business in response to the Government’s call to champion Smart Nation Initiatives.

The Digital Master Plan identified key challenges, primarily how robots and automation will replace accounting jobs, mapped out future industry trends and charted a roadmap for action. It sets out 3E Accounting’s ambition to become the first global SME robotics accounting firm and robotics accountant.

Going Fully Digital

Within 15 months of its formation, the R&D team has completed the Digital Transformation of the business. 3E Accounting is fully equipped to digitally process company incorporation, accounting, tax, human resource and secretarial services for its clients. A company incorporation process that would typically require two days to complete in terms of due diligence and paperwork has been significantly shortened to within 1 hour as a result of technology adoption.

With the support of automated robots, 3E Accounting’s employees are able to redirect their time and effort from basic routine work to better focus on creating higher value for clients. Furthermore, with digitization, 3E Accounting can go 100% digital and paperless through the deployment of cloud and automation solutions, resulting in a 50% increase in firm productivity. The implementation of digital tools and robotics technology has generated significant time and manpower savings, allowing 3E Accounting to support a much bigger client base and providing 4x advantage over industry peers.

3E Accounting’s Innovative Technologies

3E Accounting’s Innovative Technologies

At 3E Accounting, innovation is in our DNA. We continue to invest more time and effort to refine and improve the technologies used. We are transforming through technology. 3E Accounting invests in Digital Projects & Technologies to support Accountancy Industry Digital Plan and SME Start Digital and SME Go Digital.

3E Accounting Revolutionises Customer Experience With 3D Technology3E Accounting Revolutionises Customer Experience With New 3D Hologram Technology – 3E Accounting is proud to announce that we have introduced 3D Hologram Technology in our operations, a move that benchmarks us against the best in the industry that always stays ahead of technology trends.

The deployment of hologram technology does more than creating life-like images – it revolutionises the customer service experience with futuristic technology. From the perspective of operational efficiency, 3E Accounting’s 3D Hologram Fan is space-saving and cost-effective. For one, it does not need a screen or TV to project the image; for another, the setup does not require any cables and wires.

Customised Automation SoftwareWe re-engineered traditional processes by customising software such as Automation Software to meet our specific and unique needs and improve the productivity of each department. It handles all department job scheduling automatically, with all jobs being automatically generated by the system. Automation Software also enables management analysis of client industries, location and number of new clients while ensuring that the information is secured. Additionally, Automation Software is customisable to meet our clients’ special needs. For instance, the client can request either forwarding the letter daily, weekly, monthly or opt for self-collect options.

  • Finance: It connects all departments in a single system where all the billing is automated (issue invoice and reminders).
  • Tax, accounting and secretarial department : It is our secretarial software which generates resolution and agreement, and automatically reminds clients on all deadlines related to accounting, tax and secretarial. This saves our admin staff the time-consuming task of manually preparing hundreds to thousands of emails every week.
  • HOD and HR: It constantly monitors staffs’ job progress and generate analyses of staff productivity in terms of total number of jobs completed
  • Immigration: It tracks and prompts users when a passport or work pass is expiring. It allows the immigration department to track work pass expiry and provide the client with updates and follow-up actions promptly.

3E Accounting offers a healthy learning environment with high IT security for our staff as much as  customer data and privacy is our top priority.

Data SecurityThis includes installing Firewall and Anti-virus software to enhance overall IT security. “Automated spam filter” automatically filters out spam mails and reduces the possibility of 3E Accounting staff receiving phishing emails. Additionally, our staff are able to learn easily anytime and from anywhere as they can receive comprehensive skills and IT training via video training and/or online training.

Know Your Customer (KYC) Automation Softwar3E Accounting also uses the Know Your Customer (KYC) software which is 100% in compliance with ACRA and ISCA guidelines. It is a cost-effective customer screening software to ensure that the clients are in full compliance with KYC regulatory requirements, risk assessment, record keeping, screening and on-going due diligence obligations. In addition, it has unique capabilities to constantly scan and monitor globally for adverse news of clients and conduct client risk assessment on an ongoing basis, similar to an automated client vetting and blacklist system.

Besides conducting a yearly/ triennially routine check automatically, it alerts the user of any blacklisted clients and potential risk/ issues involved. This is very helpful in making secretarial work more secure and reduces business risk significantly.

3E Accounting Mobile AppAs the largest home-grown international accounting network with a global presence in more than 80 countries, 3E Accounting understands that mobility and instant access is key to business success. 3E Accounting Mobile App is specially designed to be an informative and easy-to-use app for people all around the world.

It includes a variety of powerful and advanced functions such as Appointment System, Location Searching, Latest 3E Accounting News, and most importantly, a page dedicated to share all Ongoing 3E Accounting Promotions.

Digital Business Name Card

Name card QR code –  this is an example of how 3E Accounting innovatively uses technology to simplify the process for contacts. All you need to do is simply scan the QR code and your mobile device will be able to retrieve 3E Accounting’s contact details.

Digitalisation has enabled 3E Accounting to put our Employees First. By investing in VPN and TMS (Time Management System), 3E Accounting is able to commit and implement the Tripartite Standards on Flexible Working Arrangements (FWAs). VPN allows employees to work from home, just like working in the office (flexi-place), whereas TMS facilitates the implementation of staggered working hours (flexi-time).

Centralised Time Management SystemTMS automatically tracks employees’ daily attendance of at least 8 hours regardless of when they start to report between 8am to 10am. Time-off application is hence made easier via TMS.

As TMS is connected to the Payroll system, 3E Accounting employees do not need to fill in time-sheets, a common complaint by many in the industry. Employees just have to clock-in (tap in) and clock-out (tap out). Besides card tapping, 3E Accounting’s TMS system also supports Fingerprint function.

“You can forget to bring your card. Just don’t forget to bring your hand.”

Building the Future with Robotics

Building the Future with Robotics

By adapting to the emerging robotics technology, 3E Accounting has completed the development of the Robotics Process Automation (RPA) Robot and Financial Report Robot in 2020. To maintain its market position as a leading robotics accounting firm in Industry 4.0, we aspire to create the Tax and Bookkeeping Robots by 2022 and complete Artificial Intelligence (AI) implementations in all business processes by 2025.

The customized RPA Robot is able to perform AI tasks including collecting and analyzing data, feeding data to other application and controlling of desktop applications like Excel and Chrome Browser to view Document Identification Number (DIN) for Form C-S/ C and to check for any outstanding tax returns of its clients on the IRAS website automatically. Using robotically retrieved excel data of the Tax Reference Number, the automation process has been programmed to select the correct Year of Assessment and solve the Captcha without any manual human inputs. This process helps to retrieve the clients’ DIN and tabulate them in an excel file automatically. The RPA Robot will increase 3E Accounting’s productivity and efficiency levels as it dramatically reduces the time required to perform these repetitive tasks.

3E Accounting has engineered a Financial Report Robot requiring minimal human inputs, to produce financial reports that are in accordance with the Singapore Financial Reporting Standards (SFRS) presentation and disclosure within 30 seconds. This powerful technology solution will improve the firm’s productivity by 90% in the long run due to the significant increase in time savings on each financial statements by reducing an average time spent of 5 to 8 hours to just 30 seconds. Furthermore, the Financial Report Robot addresses common challenges in the accountancy sector, including voluminous and tedious data entry work, and notably reducing mistakes of human error. This robotics technology was developed by the Digital R&D team through AI technology, programmed machine learning and integrating of natural language processing in a financial statement generator software to pick up data in different formats. With human inputs comprising only a trial balance and Profit and Loss Statement, the software will automatically analyze, learn and verify the data before translating it into financial reporting statements. With this quantum leap, the role of accountants will be transformed to focus on more value creation activities such as financial advisory work, analyzing the financial data to discover ways for clients to improve their businesses financially today and plan strategically for the future.

3E Accounting deploys Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology in its operating system to identify emails of spam nature, such as phishing emails or those that contain malware or ransomware. Such emails are filtered and redirected to 3E Accounting’s centralised spam system without reaching the employee’s personal email inbox. To further safeguard individual employees from any suspicious emails, 3E Accounting developed the Fraud Detection Robot that utilises AI technology to conduct precise and smart filtering to sieve out up to 99% of emails of phishing, fraud and spam natures on a daily basis. The Digital R&D team conducts dummy tests daily by feeding the robot with spam emails created in-house to ensure that its effectiveness is not compromised. Over the past 12 months, the robot has achieved an impressive track record with not even a single spam email reaching the end-user (employee). This safeguards company software from infiltration and protects the data and information of the company from being exfiltrated by criminals with malicious intentions.

Not only does the Fraud Detection Robot help 3E Accounting manage fraud risks internally, it plays an important function to help clients. The in-system integration with 3E Accounting’s Financial Report Robot provides 3E Accounting with the ability to flag out accounts with high fraud risk, such as bank accounts with large amounts of cash. The deployment of robotic technology ensures that 3E Accounting will pay special attention to the general ledgers and supporting documents of the flagged accounts to scan for unusual transactions. Should there be entries that raise suspicion, key account managers will engage clients and investigate potential fraudulent origins.

Currently in development stages, the Tax Robot will be programmed with machine learning technology to perform AI tasks including automation of the preparation of Tax Computation and Form C-S/ C in accordance with Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) rules of taxation using uploaded inputs of Financial Statements and Fixed Assets Registers. This Tax Robot technology will generate significant improvements in time savings on each Tax Computation and Form preparation, ultimately increasing the firm’s productivity and efficiency gains by 90% in the long run.

The Bookkeeping Robot which will be launched in partnership with local autonomous institution of higher learning (IHL) Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) is currently in the development stage. The automation application is conceptualized to utilize the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology and Machine Learning technology to convert scanned purchase and sale invoice documents that comes in various formats to editable and searchable financial accounts and data, and automatically transcribe them into financial journal entries that are in accordance with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) presentation and disclosure – all without the need for human intervention. Leveraging on powerful automation and artificial intelligence technology, the bookkeeping robot empowers accountants to prepare financial journal entries more efficiently. 3E Accounting is able to improve operational efficiencies while reducing the likelihood of human errors from hardcopy documentation and voluminous and repetitive data entry work.

Engineering Offsite Data Centre for Business Resilience

As 3E Accounting marks 10 years of serving clients beyond excellence, the firm is in the process of building its very own offsite data centre for business resilience. 3E Accounting Secure Data Centre is located at Primz Bizhub B1 Light Industrial Zone in Woodlands. The main objective of the data centre is to centralize shared IT operations and equipment for the purposes of storing, processing, and disseminating data and applications, with the aim of generating greater productivity gains through technology and enable the provision of ever-more timely technology support to its clients.

Virtual 3E

3E Accounting Secure Data Centre will house a digital twin of its most critical and sensitive digital assets to ensure business continuity of its daily operations and safeguard against future business disruption. This is especially critical as the firm works with advanced technologies like AI and machine learning, which requires large memory and processing power to operate. Virtual 3E is housed in a physical data centre facility equipped with high-end servers for business resilience, business-critical applications and enterprise data information with redundancy and backups.

Massive Investment in Technology

With a strong belief that technology will transform the business landscape, 3E Accounting has invested over $2.0 million in researching and developing automation robotics and IT infrastructure. Despite not tapping on venture capitalist funding, 3E Accounting has made a giant leap into technology development.

As the firm marks the start of its double eleven growth trajectory in 2021 and beyond, the firm is exploring its capitalization options and does not preclude considering Pre-Series A funding via private equity markets to exponentially expand its client base and product offerings in advanced robotics, new markets business advisory, Virtual Chief Financial Officer (VCFO), as well as technology research and development.
“COVID-19 is a game-changer for businesses. It has validated 3E Accounting’s digital transformation efforts, and gives greater impetus to our ambition to become a robotics accounting firm and a robotics accountant. To strengthen business resilience, I am investing in my very own offsite data centre. The 3E Accounting Secure Data Centre will house a digital twin of our most critical and sensitive digital assets to ensure business continuity of our daily operations and safeguard against future business disruption.”
Lawrence Chai
Founder & Chief Technology Officer
3E Accounting Group