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A professional service executive's how-to guide for adopting Ai

Updated: Apr 9

In this guide I’ll help you understand the changes in Ai that are impacting the professional services field and how to leverage them.

It’s the same process I use with clients when planning how to adopt a new technology.

If you’re in a senior leadership role in a professional services company and the following apply then this guide is for you.

  • Excited about how Ai can help improve your bottom line

  • Not sure where to start

  • Concerned about the liability of giving Ai products access to your confidential information

Here's what we are going to cover

How Ai can benefit your firm?

Generative Ai is not just a technological advancement; it's a strategic asset for professional service firms (even smaller ones)

By adopting Ai, your firm can streamline operations, enhance client engagement, foster innovation, make informed decisions, and increase competitiveness. 

Ai can automate a wide range of routine tasks

You can automate tasks from document preparation and data entry to scheduling meetings and answering common client inquiries. This automation means you and your team can dedicate more time to strategic work, deepening client relationships, and expanding your services. 

Ai enables your firm to tailor communications and services to each client's specific needs and preferences.

Personalization is key in today’s service industry. Whether it's drafting personalized emails, generating custom reports, or offering tailored advice, AI can help you make every client feel like your only client. 

Ai can analyze trends and data, suggesting areas where your firm can offer something new or different.

This could mean developing novel legal or financial products, enhancing your marketing strategy with AI-generated content, or simply finding more efficient ways to deliver your services. Generative AI acts as a catalyst for creativity, encouraging you and your team to think outside the box and stay ahead of the curve.

Ai can help your firm can make more informed decisions based on comprehensive data analysis

One of the most powerful aspects of Ai is its ability to process and analyze vast amounts of data quickly and accurately, whether it's identifying potential growth areas, assessing risks, or determining the best strategies for client engagement. 

Ai can help your firm enhance it's competitve edge by operating more efficiently, offering innovative services, and providing exceptional client experiences.

Generative AI levels the playing field, allowing smaller firms to offer services and efficiencies typically associated with larger companies. 

How to build an Ai implementation roadmap

You can unlock the transformative power of AI without overwhelming your team or compromising your operations by

  • starting small

  • fostering a culture of innovation

  • ensuring data security

  • promoting human-AI collaboration

  • continually adjusting your strategy

Begin by identifying low-risk, high-impact areas where AI can make an immediate difference.

This could be automating routine administrative tasks, like scheduling and email management, or generating templates for common client communications. Starting small allows you to gauge the effectiveness and adjust your strategy as you learn.

Create an environment where everyone feels involved and invested in the process to significantly smooth the transition.

Implementing generative AI is not just a technological upgrade but a cultural shift. 

  • Encourage your team to be open to change and innovation. 

  • Provide training and resources to help them understand how AI tools work and the benefits they bring. 

Implement strong data protection measures and ensure that any Ai tools you use comply with industry standards and regulations. 

As you integrate Ai into your operations, maintaining the confidentiality and security of your data and your clients' data is paramount. 

  • Clear communication with your clients about how you're using AI to protect their information can also help build trust.

Establish teams where AI and humans collaborate, leveraging the strengths of both.

The goal of integrating AI is to augment human capabilities, not replace them. For instance, AI can handle data analysis and routine tasks, while your team focuses on strategic decision-making and building client relationships. 

Be prepared to adjust your approach based on feedback and performance metrics to ensure that AI continues to meet your firm's evolving needs.

As you implement AI, set up mechanisms to monitor its performance and impact on your operations. Establish KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to measure success.  

  • Time saved on administrative tasks

  • Improvements in client engagement

  • New opportunities identified by Ai

Plan for the scalability of your AI implementations, ensuring that the tools and processes you adopt can adapt

As your firm grows and evolves, your AI strategy should too be able to adapt to

  • increased workloads

  • new types of tasks

  • expanding data sets

How to address concerns and risks head on

While integrating generative AI into your firm comes with its set of concerns and risks, these challenges can be managed with careful planning, strategic implementation, and ongoing vigilance.

Implementing AI could expose sensitive client data to security breaches.

Solution: Prioritize data security from the outset.

  • Choose AI tools and platforms that adhere to stringent data protection standards and ensure they are compliant with relevant regulations.

  •  Implement robust data encryption, access controls, and regular security audits.

Educating your team on best practices for data security is also essential to safeguard client information effectively.

Ai models can inherit biases from their training data, potentially leading to skewed or inaccurate outcomes.

Solution: Incorporate checks by human experts to validate AI-generated outputs, especially in critical tasks that require nuance and judgment.

Over reliance on Ai could make your firm vulnerable to system failures or disruptions.

Solution: Develop a contingency plan that includes manual processes or alternative tools to ensure business continuity in case of technological failures.

  • Regularly back up your data and AI configurations to recover quickly from any loss or corruption.

  • Train your team to be adaptable and capable of operating without AI support temporarily.

The use of Ai raises ethical questions and legal implications, especially regarding decision-making processes and client confidentiality.

Solution: Establish clear ethical guidelines for AI use in your firm, ensuring they align with your professional standards and legal obligations.

  • Consult with legal experts to understand the implications of AI in your services and incorporate safeguards to prevent any ethical or legal breaches.

Integrating Ai may meet resistance from employees or lead to disruptions in existing workflows.

Solution: Address change management proactively by involving your team in the AI integration process from the beginning.

  • Offer training and support to help them adapt to new tools and workflows.

  • Communicate the benefits of AI, such as reducing mundane tasks and enhancing service delivery, to foster a positive attitude toward change.

A real story from an industry leader

Shahin Mohammadkhani is a 20 year veteran in the tech industry. After 6 years at Sony pictures and 2 years at United talent agency bridging the gap between entertainment and technology he struck out on his own and has been delivering custom Ai solutions in the corporate and government sector for the past few years.

He’s had some big wins building custom LLMs (large language models) in secure environments where private information is paramount.

  • Legal - automating the analysis and organization of case law and legal precedents

  • Real Estate - comprehensive market analysis, predictive pricing, and personalized property recommendations

  • Contracting - simplifying contract creation, negotiation, and management

I had a chance to meet with him to discuss Ai across multiple industries and he gave some hard won advice applicable to any professional service firm wanting to take on an internal Ai project which they manage 100%.

  • Start small and plan for growth

  • Run the projects with both team members and Ai working in parallel to produce the same results

  • Keep dialing in your Ai

  • Learn how Ai can augment your teams output

His advice supports a lot of the stories you’ll read about. A huge upside potential if you manage the risks correctly.

Ai in the legal industry

Relativity aiR is built to solve specific legal challenges. From finding the most relevant documents to building your case narrative, aiR will lighten your workload every time.

  • Relativity aiR for Review - Find what matters, faster than ever.

  • Relativity aiR for Privilege - Prevent clawbacks, protect your clients.

  • Relativity aiR for Case Strategy - Build your story with efficiency.

Ai in the wealth management industry

Powder is a strong newcommer to the wealth management industry graduating from the YC Combinator YCW24 cohort and founded in Jan 2023. An Ai sales copilot that helps drive a collaborative and efficient proposal process with your prospective clients by doing the following

  • Automate laborious data gathering - Leverage our GenAI automatic statement parsing and direct data feeds.

  • Demonstrate value - Produce clear analysis of allocation, risk, implementation plan, financial plan and more.

  • Accelerate conversion - Integrate with downstream systems and generate paperwork to facilitate client onboarding.

  • Garner insights - Utilize AI to learn more about your prospects and deliver tailored recommendations.

Catchlight is an organic growth platform for wealth management. Incubated in Fidelity Labs, Catchlight AI is dedicated to helping advisors be more efficient in their outreach, personalize their approach, and be increasingly effective in converting leads to new clients.

Through rich data intelligence and proprietary AI powered insights for sales and marketing, Catchlight can help pinpoint an advisor's best opportunities. Catchlight helps advisors quickly identify which leads to pitch and suggests ways to engage them.

  • Increase efficiency - Build data-rich lead profiles in seconds saving valuable time and delivering more data than a simple web search.

  • Supercharge effectiveness - Lead profiles include intelligent insights that helps advisors deliver a more tailored pitch to their leads.

  • Improve outcomes - Prioritized leads and leveraging personalized pitches can help advisors increase close rates.  

Compliance reviews, simplified. Create more compliant marketing content faster with AI. Saifr was born in 2020 in Fidelity Labs, the in-house software incubator at Fidelity Investments.

The founders started with deep knowledge about content creation and compliance, then leveraged unparalleled amounts of rich training data to create proprietary AI models.

SaifrReview - Supercharge compliant content creation with an AI-powered collaborative workflow solution

  • Streamline teamwork - Centralize content workflow and review in one place. Enable faster feedback between teams with real-time collaboration

  • Increase productivity - Create cleaner drafts faster for review and approval. Bring more compliant content to market quicker

  • Mitigate risk - Leverage AI as an extra layer of expert review to reduce legal and brand risk exposure. Ensure your content is more compliant with evolving regulations

SaifrScan - Speed up compliant content creation with Al add-ins

  • Integrate tools - Embed Saifr into software you already use

  • Boost efficiency - Save rounds of reviews with AI flagging common, recurring compliance errors. Develop content that more accurately targets your market

  • Upskill staff - Leverage AI as your “compliance coach” to de-risk language. Reinforce evolving compliance standards

Ai in the accounting industry

Accountable Ai for invoice processing  and bill pay. Optimize Accounts Payable, achieve lasting ROI, and make enlightened decisions with the most advanced AI platform for accounting and finance.

  • Autonomous invoice processing - If your team is "semi-automated" today, take the next step to full-blown autonomy with an AI-first platform and improve invoice processing productivity by 355%.

  • Autonomous PO matching - Boost accuracy and speed using PO Matching. Analyze all document types, instantly identify discrepancies across multi-line invoices and POs, and streamline approvals.

  • Autonomous approval flows - Route your invoice to the right person, every time. Use to autonomously process and approve your invoices - with no human touch required.

  • Payments - Turn your AP department into a profit center. Save time, surface early payment discounts, and reduce the risk of fraud with Payments.

  • AI Data Insights and predictions - Make enlightened decisions and improve forecasting using real-time analytics on invoice processing data, team performance and business trends.

Accelerate your Audit and Finance teams’ productivity. Drive company growth and resilience with DataSnipper's Intelligent Automation Platform in Excel.

Audit and Finance teams waste valuable time by manually performing repetitive tasks, while executing financial procedures; decreasing overall turnaround time.

Sharing, reviewing, and validating underlying financial evidence is complex and chaotic. Time and overall quality of work are lost in this process.

Increasing requirements and reporting needs; the pressure on teams drives ”error blindness", avoiding documentation standards, decreasing quality of work.

  • External Audit - Add value for your clients by automating for efficiency.

  • Internal Audit - Efficiently evaluate the effectiveness of your controls.

  • Tax - Scale your Tax procedures by automatically extracting data.

  • Financial Control - Automate and standardize document processing.

  • Government Audit - Conduct high-quality audits with full transparency.

  • Advisory - Seamlessly identify and extract key data.

Ai in the real estate industry

  • AI lease abstraction - Contract Intelligence can identify hundreds of unique data points in any document, ranging from covenants to amounts to critical dates and terms and conditions. Easily extracting data out of the most complicated due diligence documents such as real estate leases, loan and credit agreements, purchase agreements, appraisals, rent rolls, and other documents can greatly speed up the transaction process.

  • Easy integration - Integrates with leading data room and document storage providers such as Intralinks, Merill, BMC,, and Dropbox so that information can be easily stored, accessed, and shared.

  • Audit trails - Transparency in the process is critical to maintaining integrity, and with links back to original documents, you can ensure that the interpretation is accurate and consistent with the original intent.

  • Prophia for office - Empowers office property owners with a specialized suite of data management tools and AI-driven insights designed to optimize leasing efficiency, reduce operational costs, and elevate tenant satisfaction, driving the success of your office assets.

  • Prophia for retail - Offers retail property owners a comprehensive data management solution tailored to the intricate world of retail leases, enabling you to boost revenue, enhance tenant relationships, and stay ahead of market trends with confidence.

  • Prophia for industrial - Takes into account the unique complexities of industrial properties. Our platform ensures that you gain full control over lease data, allowing you to maximize space utilization, improve operational efficiency, and drive profitability across your industrial portfolio.

  • Prophia for medical office - Provides medical office property owners with specialized lease data management, supporting compliance, financial accuracy, and strategic decision-making in this specialized field, so you can focus on delivering high-quality healthcare services.

  • Prophia for life sciences - Tailors its services to the distinctive demands of life sciences properties. We offer data management and intelligence solutions that empower owners to unlock the full potential of their assets in this dynamic and innovative industry.

Explore how your professional services business can utilize Ai

This guide is designed to make generative AI clear and accessible for you and your professional service firm. It focuses on practical steps you can take and highlights the direct benefits and applications of this technology specifically for your business.

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