Meet Luca: Your Accounting assistant

Crunch Tech
4 min readSep 18, 2023

At Crunch, we’re determined to provide exceptional support to all our Clients, with our seamless ‘software and service’ pairing being our primary USP. Over the past 9 months we introduced a game-changing tool named Luca, our ChatBot, to enhance the support experience for our Free Clients. In this article, we’ll dive into how Luca works and the approach we’ve taken to rollout this feature safely and effectively.

Our trusty ChatBot, Luca (named after ‘Luca Pacioli’ who’s commonly known as “the Father of Accounting and Bookkeeping”), is here to provide precise and accessible support within our software. While our Free Clients already had access to our help centre and community forum, we wanted to take their support experience to the next level.

After exploring various options, we decided to harness the power of Google’s natural language model, Dialogflow, coupled with a tool called Kommunicate which provides a Client & Agent UI. Dialogflow allows us to trigger custom code based on the ‘intent’ it detects behind a Client’s message which enables us to go beyond a simple question and predetermined-answer interaction.

Dialogflow can also actively scan our established Help Center to populate its knowledge engine with relevant Q&A’s, saving us duplication and editorial effort as our software evolves.

Knowledge You Can Trust

Luca’s knowledge base is locked down to content verified by Crunch, ensuring that Clients receive accurate and reliable information. Financial services companies have a strict code of ethics around delivering what could be perceived as financial advice. As such, open AI platforms like ChatGPT were ruled out (after a bit of fun on our staging server!)

From Free to Paid: Sharing the Benefits

We initially launched Luca for our Free Clients, a move that might seem unconventional. However, it made perfect sense for us. Free software has fewer features to master, and Free Clients typically have less complex business affairs. By starting here, we could fine-tune Luca’s abilities before introducing it to our paying customers to put him through his paces.

Training the Bot with Free Clients

Our Free Clients played a crucial role in training Luca. We monitored the questions asked and continually improved the bot’s responses. If Luca couldn’t provide a relevant answer, we added it to the knowledge base to ensure it would have the answer for the second Client that asked the same question.

Live Chat for Paying Clients

From this month, all paying-subscription Clients are entitled to the new feature of ‘Live Chat’ with their Client Success Manager (CSM) through the ChatBot interface.

When a Live Chat request is detected, Luca checks the Client’s subscription type, the internal team assignment (to ensure the CSM is Beta prepped), and it’s within our team working hours. It then alerts the CSM to take over the conversation via our our internal messaging platform, akin to Slack. Meanwhile, security questions are asked for ID verification, before the CSM can ‘Take over from Luca’.

Once the Live Chat interaction concludes, the transcript is posted to our CRM system (Salesforce) and stored against the Client’s record for future reference.

We also have similar CSM alerts setup to draw attention to Clients that choose to discuss upgrades or cancellations with Luca.

Looking Ahead: the ‘Bionic Bookkeeper’

We’re not stopping here. Our commitment to client support means we’ll continue evolving Luca. We’re exploring how chat could offer an alternative to the traditional user journeys within the software, when combined with AI and our new Native App. Our goal is to provide Clients with the sense of having a personal assistant, making their experience feel more natural and efficient.

We’re excited about the possibilities that lie ahead as we continue to innovate and improve this Client support frontier. Stay tuned for more updates!

Written by Jamie Hollis — Head of Engineering at Crunch

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