Discover more from Kitchen Table Automations
001 - And So It Begins…
Welcome to the Kitchen
Hey Friends, thanks so much for joining me in this initial edition of my newsletter - Kitchen Table Automations!
I wanted to create this newsletter for tax, accounting and financial planning professionals because I think it’s easy to get lost in all of the news coming out about technology and not know what’s relevant. AND it can be especially intimidating to start your journey on a new technology.
We’re going to focus here on Microsoft 365 applications that make sense to us, how to use Power Automate to make our lives easier and incorporating ChatGPT and Bing AI into our practices where we can, with the understanding that this is only the beginning. And we’re going to do it (hopefully) in a way that makes folks feel empowered, not left behind. 😊
Who am I? I’m a CPA that has always enjoyed tinkering in Excel with an eye towards making things easier. I’m not super tech-y - if I made a macro, it was because I used the ‘Record Macro’ feature. I started this journey into automation and AI only five months ago and have learned a ton since then. So, if you feel too far behind, you’re not! I’ve done a lot of the tinkering so you don’t have to.
Let’s dive in, shall we?
Where to Begin
For the first newsletter, I wanted to show you how I put together this newsletter using ChatGPT and the editorial-critique-powers of my 14-year-old son.
I don’t expect you to use this information to create a newsletter of your own - that’s a big endeavor. BUT, there are a lot of other applications in your practice. Here’s a list of things it can do for you:
Create booklets and handouts for clients - as much as we’d like to think a spreadsheet is as clear as day or if they just read our engagement letters, they’d know everything they need to know, sometimes simple pictures and text tell a better story. …which is not my gift - give me a spreadsheet any day.
Provide advice on what to think about when starting any particular endeavor - ChatGPT is fantastic at eliminating analysis paralysis by giving you not only the big picture ideas but also diving into the nitty gritty.
Suggest colors, fonts and logos that fit your messaging brand - if I was in charge of the logo and brand colors for this, it would be whatever default Microsoft Office gave me and the logo would have, frankly, stumped me. As it is, we sort of created the logo by hand and good intention.
The Prompt to Start the Collaboration
I like to think of the work ChatGPT and I do as collaborative. Except I’m the boss and it’s the assistant.
So, in my initial prompt, I laid out the scene in my typical fashion - “I am, You Are, I need”, except in this case I gave it what I needed and then asked it to give me advice from experts. I like to also give it permission to ask me clarifying questions so it has the context that it needs.
Just to warn you - the language used here wasn’t direct enough - ChatGPT didn’t ask clarifying questions, it just let me know what it thought I needed to know.
If you want it to ask you clarifying question, don’t be vague about it. “I want you to ask me clarifying questions” is nice and direct. If you want it to give you advice AND ask clarifying questions? “I want you to give me the top 10 things I need to know and ask me clarifying questions.”
Ideas for your practice
Creating a “Welcome to the Firm” one pager for new staff or clients
Getting ideas on how to make your firm’s onboarding experience better
Writing the copy for your firm’s policies
Creating emails for clients to “keep them in the loop”
Advice on Big Topics
ChatGPT might not know everything, but it sure knows a heck of a lot. Look at some of the great information it gave me on starting a newsletter:
First of all, can we acknowledge how supportive it is?! Thanks ChatGPT for the positive feedback! (I was getting concerned that it was going to ask to borrow the car later - it was being a little TOO positive)
But, that’s not the end of the road - this isn’t a static internet search. I’ve gotten the best results from digging into any of the line items.
For example, I wanted to make sure that this newsletter was going to meet the needs of its audience. So, I asked ChatGPT to help me with some perspective-taking work.
Now I have a roadmap!
Ideas for your practice
If you’ve been holding off on any big initiatives because you don’t know where to start, feel free to kick off a conversation with ChatGPT to get a big picture view.
Perspective-setting exercises around your niche client - what do *they* care about most (you’ll still want to do client surveys. And if you don’t know how to get started with that, see the bullet point above).
Branding Colors, Fonts and Logos
I actually didn’t know ChatGPT could do this, but I decided to ask it for branding colors based on what it knew about my newsletter.
And this is what it gave me…
Of course, I was skeptical because HOW would ChatGPT know which colors go together, it doesn’t have eyes. But, here’s what the palette looks like:
I mean, not bad for something without eyes.
Of course I had to ask it about fonts then. It gave me a whole range of options:
I don’t know if these are good fonts or not. I know that designers have *very strong* feelings about fonts. But, I didn’t have to come up with fonts on my own and even if they’re only sort of good, they’re still better than nothing (to start out).
And finally, we were having a heck of a time finding a pre-made logo that worked. So, we asked ChatGPT what it thought a good logo would look like.
Once again - the logo didn’t end up looking this way, but it gave us a start.
Ideas for your practice
If you’re new to opening a practice, fiddle around with ChatGPT for colors and fonts. Even better, partner ChatGPT with a program like Microsoft Designer or Canva to help you make that logo.
Did ChatGPT write this article for me?
Nah, I don’t let ChatGPT do my writing for the important things. But it sure is a helpful editor. 😁 But this newsletter would have been overwhelming if I had had to come up with everything from scratch. ChatGPT was a huge help and I hope it can be a huge help for you too.
Thanks for joining me! Let me know your thoughts and if you have any questions. If you enjoyed this newsletter, please subscribe.