Finance leaders around the globe are currently utilising machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to help analyse data and automate processes at every level - allowing more resources to be dedicated to strategic tasks.
Large and small business entities throughout the globe are seeing a profound increase in AI. It is no long the stuff of science-fiction - we are using apps and devices such as Alexa & Siri to aid us on a daily basis - use has also been seen as recent as identifying trends in the corona-virus pandemic. AI is not just fantasy, it is a mainstay of how we now live - and it is constantly being improved.
AI has taken the place of historically human-led tasks such as problem-solving, filtering data and general queries - it takes manual, mundane tasks and automates them. Machine Learning has taken AI to new heights, utilising advanced algorithms to find patterns in large volumes of data and automating the output processes - be it decision making, or actions.
Amazon Prime for example, looks at what you have watched, finished, browsed and bought, and suggests products, services and movies that are of similar, or complimentary design. Another example is how search-bars can identify what you are typing before you have typed it - even if you have never searched that particular thing before.
84% of organisations feel that AI will enable them to sustain a competitive advantage (Financial Force AI Ultimate Guide)
While many organisations do not have millions to spend on AI, small and mid-market businesses can still leverage the power of AI to survive and thrive in an increasing competitive landscape. With AI embedded in your front and back office systems, you can achieve actionable, real-time insights to help you react to market shifts faster, serve customers better, spot revenue opportunities sooner, and run leaner.
Here are 3 ways that AI is guiding finance leaders to perform more efficiently and effectively:
1. SPOT TRENDS AND INCREASE PROFITABILITY
Analysing and organising data can be both time exhaustive and repetitive. When people are left to analyse acute financial information there is always the risk of human error. Having the correct strategic information can allow organisations insights into how they need to adapt and change to succeed amount their competition in the future.
AI solutions can analyse and digest large volumes of data to spot trends in spending, purchasing and opportunities - allowing organisations to quickly adapt to increase margin on sales, reduce costs and more.
2. SCALE EFFECTIVELY BY REDUCING ACCOUNTING CLOSE TIMES
Long close times can suck the life out of many organisations. With disparate reports and data across functions requiring amalgamation and cohesion. This takes time and skill from Finance teams that could be better focused on more strategic aims. Not only this, but the longer businesses have to wait for close figures, the hard it becomes to adapt to unpredictable events.
The sooner you get the numbers, the more time your company has to create strategies. AI can provide you data from various sources, consolidate, and merge it. This would not only speed up this monthly process but would also be more accurate because of the involvement of machines.
More than 80 percent of executives believe AI leads to a competitive advantage, and 79 percent believe it will increase their company's productivity (Journal of Accountancy)
3. AUTOMATE EXPENSE MANAGEMENT APPROVALS
Reviewing and approving all the expenses to make sure that they are compliant with the company’s policies can be a time-consuming process. Each expense has to viewed, reviewed and approved by line managers and sometimes a 2nd or 3rd review process.
AI makes it much easier as machines can check receipts, review expenses, and warn people if there is any breach. This means that the lengthy waits for approvals can be reduced, and time spent on more productive tasks within each business function.
Artificial Intelligence is becoming easier to access in business - and allows for a scalable way of achieving business objectives. As AI becomes more accessible the more it becomes a ‘must-have’ in finance leaders. AI is one of the most efficient, and successful automate advanced processes and analyse trends - the data collated, and the scalable processes developed through AI can propel businesses forward.
Without AI, finance leaders can spend large amount of resources both collecting and managing financial data. With AI, finance leaders are enabled to redirect resource into influencing the strategic imperatives of the business - unleashing success.