Guest blog from ION Industries
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 longer 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, automating manual or mundane tasks such as filtering and entering data. Machine Learning has taken AI to new heights, utilising advanced algorithms to find patterns in large volumes of data and automating the output processes.
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. 84% of organisations feel that AI will enable them to sustain a competitive advantage (Financial Force AI Ultimate Guide). 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 insight into how they need to adapt and change to succeed against 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
Spending weeks closing accounts is both frustrating and ineffective for finance teams and business leaders. This is often caused by manual consolidation or processing which takes time, skill and focus from finance teams, which leaves them unable to focus on the strategic aims of the business. 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 meaningful strategic decisions. AI can provide you data from various sources, consolidate, and merge it, not only speeding up your monthly process but also making it more accurate by reducing the ability for human error.
More than 80% of executives believe AI leads to a competitive advantage, and 79% believe it will increase their company’s productivity (Journal of Accountancy)
3. AUTOMATE EXPENSE MANAGEMENT APPROVALS
Reviewing and approving expenses to ensure compliance 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. Whilst in some organisations this process has been digitised, many are not yet realising the benefits that implementing AI can have in their ability to act quickly and accurately.
Through AI, receipts are checked, expenses are reviewed, and people are automatically informed of any updates to their claims. This means that the lengthy waits for approvals can be reduced, and time spent on more productive tasks within each business function.
TIME TO CONSIDER AI & CLOUD TECHNOLOGIES?
Artificial Intelligence is becoming easier to access in business and provides businesses with a scalable platform for growth. As AI becomes more accessible the more it becomes a ‘must-have’ for finance leaders. More than 80% of executives believe AI leads to a competitive advantage, and 79 percent believe it will increase their company’s productivity (Journal of Accountancy)
AI gives businesses the ability to transform their finance function and enable them to help drive strategic decision making across the organisation. If you are looking to transform your finance function and use AI to drive efficiency across the organisation, join us on 6th July for A Guide to Growing your Business on the Cloud or contact the Ion Industries team to discuss the best solution for your business – https://www.ionhq.co.uk/contact