The finance industry notoriously handles vast amounts of data. Processing the sheer volume of market trends, historical performance, customer behaviour and account data can be time-consuming and prone to human error. This blog discusses how finance professionals can leverage artificial intelligence (AI) to increase efficiency and data reliability.
Is AI safe for finance professionals to use?
As with any new tool, it’s vitally important for organisations to do their due diligence. Industry expert, Nicholas Boucher, shared a bit of enlightenment around businesses’ use of ChatGPT:
“You have two choices. You can either embrace AI, like Excel 30 years ago, and be more productive or you can deny AI and be left on the side.
“To future-proof your business, you must:
- Learn how to use AI
- Learn when to use AI
- Learn when not to use AI
- Remember the limitations of AI”
ChatGPT and other AI platforms are only as safe as the person using them. When in doubt, stick to privacy laws and guidelines, double-check all information and with any content, run it through an originality checker to ensure you’ve not plagiarised another author.
How can AI help increase finance department productivity?
AI is all about increasing productivity – giving your team time to focus on more important tasks, such as growing your business. For finance professionals, AI can significantly reduce repetitive tasks, streamline processes and provide data-driven insights. Here are a few ways your business can increase productivity using artificial intelligence:
- Brainstorming – When you’re stuck for ideas, AI can help get your creative juices flowing.
- Correcting, summarising, simplifying and translating texts –
- Correcting text – Ensure everything you send out to clients, customers and partners is correct the first time without rounds of edits and approvals.
- Summarising text – Have a hefty document to read and don’t have the time to read it? AI can take all the information from a link, Word document or PDF and summarise into a quicker, easier-to-digest format.
- Text simplification – Finance often means reading dense material. When you need to share information about products, procedures or regulations, AI can simplify the material, making it more approachable to those with different levels of finance knowledge.
- Translating text – It can minimise miscommunication when working with varying languages. Make sure you understand what you’re reading – no matter the language.
- Research – Often time consuming and difficult given the vast amount of available information on the internet, AI can provide you with bulleted points on almost any topic. It’s essential that before you use any AI-generated research that you double-check your sources.
Education and training
Finance and accounting are busy departments. Finding the time to attend courses to learn about new tools can be challenging. Using artificial intelligence, your team would have instant access to tutorials for most of the available programs and platforms you use for day-to-day activities, including:
- Microsoft Office products – Excel, Word and PowerPoint
A significant part of a finance professional’s repertoire is analysing vast amounts of data. It’s a time-intensive job and often involves multiple checks to ensure the validity of data and results.
It’s important to note that while AI can provide valuable insights, human expertise and judgement remain crucial. Finance professionals play a vital role in interpreting AI-generated results, validating findings.
AI tools can help analyse and provide:
- Break even analyses
- Hourly rates
- Scenario comparisons
- Price and demand fluctuations
- Business case ROI
Facilitating procedure production
When you’re time-poor the last thing you want to be doing is the strategic thinking required to write new policies and procedures. As a heavily regulated industry, finance professionals have to ensure compliance while making sure clients have exceptional experiences.
If new procedures are part of your business plan, AI can provide you with:
- Closing checklists
- Finance guidelines
- Internal controls
- SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures)
- Step-by-step guides
- Dunning procedures and letters
AI can provide you with a basic framework – doing the majority of the initial work for you. You can take that and amend it to meet your business’s needs and requirements.
Automated email and content production
Let’s be honest – the number of emails we receive every day is only getting higher. According to Finances Online, office workers receive, on average, more than 100 emails a day.
With that many emails, it’s easy to become inbox blind. If you’re struggling for the perfect wording for an email, using prompts from AI can be beneficial. In addition, this cutting-edge technology can:
- Draft emails about budget guidance or requesting input
- Improve communication with clients
- Help you prepare for a meeting
- Draft an executive summary
- Automatically take minutes for your meetings
Achieve optimal productivity with Cloudstaff
At Cloudstaff, we understand how beneficial emerging technology can be for enhancing business production, efficiency and productivity. Our team is trained in the latest technology, helping your finance department get up to speed faster while delivering exceptional results.