Finance Will Be Increasingly Autonomous, Thanks to Gen AI

Emagia, CFOs, AI, artificial intelligence

In times of economic change, organizations tend to count on their CFO for actionable insights. 

In turn, those CFOs tend to rely on the digital investments they’ve made for real-time access to information around their organizations’ operations and key performance indicators. 

Finance operations executives who were able to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic emerged from that challenging period with a renewed appreciation for the importance of organizational agility and balance sheet fundamentals. 

Now, with the rise of generative artificial intelligence (AI), the finance department may be adding another powerful tool to its belt. 

“I think all of us are seeing generative AI explode in various different forms and bring out very creative ways to perform tasks and activities while improving efficiencies,” Veena Gundavelli, the founder and CEO at Emagia, told PYMNTS. 

Some of the most promising applications of AI, Gundavelli added, can be found within finance operations and accounting workflows. 

“Whether it is an accounts receivable report, accounts payable report, treasury report, cash flow forecasting, or something else, there is a time lag between having a report from a financial system and being able to take action,” Gundavelli said. “That time lag is typically spent in analysis, and many finance executives are slowed down in their decision making because they have to spend time on analysis.” 

With the right training, generative AI is increasingly able to surface relevant information for finance leaders, saving them valuable time. 

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With AI possibly becoming an integral part of finance processes, those equipped with this tool will have the power to analyze data and take action quickly. 

“You can give AI any finance document like a remittance, invoice, bank statement or a lockbox image, and it understands and reads the data and produces the data,” Gundavelli said. “With GiaGPT, you can take your spreadsheet and simply ask the questions you want analyzed using natural language. AI tools drastically reduce the time executives need to make a decision.” 

PYMNTS has long been tracking how CFOs have a front row seat to how technology can help manage their operational work flows and drive better decisioning grounded in robust real-time data. 

“Why can’t autonomous finance exist?” asked Gundavelli. “We see generative AI as the tip of the iceberg, because the possibilities are endless.” 

“You can have autonomous payment systems, autonomous cash application systems, autonomous deductions management, autonomous credit management, autonomous fraud prevention. There are so many different possibilities lining up in front of us. We see the whole finance back office going through a drastic paradigm shift,” she added. 

After all, the ability to garner key insights in real-time with the literal press of a button is crucial to informed decision-making and workflow adaptability. 

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Generative AI’s Generational Divide 

According to data from PYMNTS Intelligence, 70% of consumers believe that AI can already replace at least some of their professional skill sets. Young consumers, those earning over $100,000, and those working in an office environment are most aware of this skill overlap.

“Increasingly, we see a generation change happening where the new generation finance executives are used to automation systems and using Apple Siri, Google Assistant and Alexa in their personal lives,” Gundavelli said. “They’re looking for similar efficiencies and experience on their enterprise systems, compared to traditional finance leaders who are typically used to spending time on Excel spreadsheets and going through the numbers.”

“Some people who are traditionally used to Excel spreadsheets and want to spend time crunching numbers are more skeptical about AI,” she added. “But we see a mindset difference, and are focused on giving the right tools to those modern and younger finance executives who are fast-paced in decision making and want to become strategic growth leaders within their organization.”

And it is becoming increasingly apparent that foundational generative AI has the potential to free up huge swaths of human work hours. 

That’s why Gundavelli launched GiaGPT from Emagia, a generative AI solution designed for the finance department.