Getting Started with ChatGPT and Generative AI: A Checklist

ChatGPT is a game-changing technology for accounting and tax professionals. If you haven’t already tried it, you’re missing out on potentially significant efficiencies for your firm. Like any technology, it has some pitfalls you need to be aware of. But that shouldn’t stop you from at least seeing what all the fuss is about.

Here’s a 12-item checklist to get you started learning about ChatGPT.

1. Start by breaking your luddite habits: Instead of making phone calls to customer service reps, use chatbots when available.
2. If you are a digital immigrant, listen to and get the help of your digital native employees. Find out what they know about generative AI; get their ideas on how it could be integrated into your firm.
3. Inventory your current tech stack to see what AI you’re already paying for. You might be surprised that generative AI and other AIs are already at home in your firm. Are you using the AI features? Get an employee started learning this aspect of the software or call your vendor rep and schedule a training class.
4. Sign up for a ChatGPT account (there is a free version) at and play around with it. Don’t enter any client information or confidential firm information, and know that the answer can be wrong at times until you learn how to word prompts, or input, effectively.
5. Attend an accounting conference and spend time in the exhibit hall talking with the AI vendors.
6. Take a course on ChatGPT. And be advised: one course is not enough. New features are coming out monthly, if not weekly. A few CPE providers, including us (see below), have started to cover this topic.
7. Talk with your attorney to understand the risks for the firm.
8. Connect with your professional insurance vendor to see what advice they have.
9. Taking ethics issues into consideration, decide on the boundaries of usage for you and your firm.
10. Really read the terms and conditions of all software products you use with generative AI features. Really. Especially about copyright and privacy. And read them again if you haven’t in the last month. New terms and conditions go into effect January 31, 2024 with OpenAI’s announcement of its copyright shield.
11. Work with your IT head to determine an AI strategy for the firm. Understand and communicate the boundaries of this thing that are right for your firm.
12. Make a list of AI opportunities and get started on at least one of them.

Just about all of the accounting leaders I talk with say the same thing: there will be accountants who embrace AI and get ahead, and there will be accountants who don’t and fall behind. It’s just another learning curve, and we’re very good at learning in this profession.

Check out our courses on ChatGPT, offered as a deep discount bundle or separately: