AI for finance: what’s it all about? Maybe the idea has lost some allure for you. After all, AI’s been a buzzword for such a long time that it can be hard to tell whether it really offers any benefits. Or perhaps you have some misgivings: How does AI really work? Is it reliable? In what ways will it affect the way your business operates?
Whatever your feelings about AI, we’re here to answer your questions and to discuss some of the advantages behind artificial intelligence (AI) in finance — particularly in terms of productivity. Because, while it may be a buzzword and some of its mechanics can be difficult to understand, AI’s impact on the world of finance is nothing short of revolutionary.
Major players in finance are all too aware of this. In fact, according to Intelligence Insider’s AI in Banking report, 80% of banks are familiar with the benefits of AI, and 75% of banks with over $100 billion in assets are implementing AI strategies. If large financial institutions are paying attention, introducing AI-powered software into your tool stack should be a given, not a question.
Where productivity and AI for finance intersect
If you work in financial planning and analysis (FP&A), you know that productivity matters. How you or your team members spend your time can be the difference between your business capitalising on opportunities or letting them slip through your fingers.
At Tahola, our clients often first come to us when they’re spending hours on manual, time-consuming tasks that are introducing errors and obstructing their efforts to be productive.
They’re often missing access to real-time data that is simple, streamlined and, most importantly of all, accurate — data that they can use to make immediate decisions and fuel the success of their business. They want to move on to the most significant task at hand, without becoming bogged down in processes that, quite literally, could be done by a machine. They’re looking for alternatives that can help them both tactically and strategically.
What our years in the industry have taught us, in other words, is that financial planning automation is critical in ensuring our clients’ teams stay focused and productive.
How AI integrates with financial planning automation
So, how does AI-powered software work in practice? If you were to integrate a financial planning solution into your business, like EPM solution Jedox for example, where would AI fit?
Forecasting and predictive analytics
When your FD asks your team to provide forecasts and predictive analysis data, it’s important that this information is as accurate as possible. It could be used to invest in existing products and services, expand to new locations, to change direction and explore new developments and trends, or to give your business the competitive advantage it needs to stand out from the rest.
Through Jedox AIssisted Planning, Jedox uses machine learning (ML) algorithms to analyse historical data and make predictions about future outcomes. Integrated versioning also means that a number of forecasts can be created and compared. This allows businesses to plan more effectively and make better-informed decisions, while avoiding any unexpected surprises.
Intelligent data preparation
Data preparation encompasses various tasks ranging from data sourcing to organising and modelling. When done manually, it can be a laborious process that may lead to inconsistencies and errors, especially when using Excel or when different departments have their own siloed ways of operating.
To address this, Jedox’s AI-powered data preparation engine recognizes data patterns and suggests optimal data models, which streamlines the data preparation process, saves time, and enhances data accuracy. By automating and centralising these processes, Jedox also provides an additional layer of governance, ensuring consistency and standardisation.
You know the anomalies are there. Or at least, you fear they are — especially if you run some aspects of your FP&A processes manually. These anomalies could be innocent errors that lie lost in your business, particularly if it’s a multi-country, multi-service, multi-distribution enterprise, or they could point to more malicious activities, such as fraud.
Jedox’s AI algorithms can detect anomalies in large data sets and flag potential issues instantly. This helps you to identify and address problems at the outset, before they become more serious. Once again, absolving your team from doing this sort of work manually could save them hours, maybe even days’ worth of time.
Jedox also uses ML to analyse user behaviour and provide personalised recommendations. It can suggest specific reports or data sources based on your team’s previous activities, for example, which can help them to find the information they need quickly and easily.
In financial systems and processes, AI technologies like Jedox help businesses to plan for the future effectively, automate routine tasks, make more informed decisions, improve accuracy and drive your team’s productivity, too.
While they might seem a little daunting if you’re not familiar with how they work, the benefits are manifold and will be borne out in your company’s future success.
If you’d like to find out more about how AI can improve your team’s productivity and help your finance business reach its goals, contact Tahola today. Our experts are on hand to make this journey simple and seamless for you.