How AI in ERP will create the finance team of the future
Having the right enterprise resource planning (ERP) technology has heavy influence on a finance team’s ability to focus on the strategic instead of the tactical aspects of a firm. Accounting and financial activities are critical to determine business growth. Unfortunately, as digital innovations are progressing in most departments, finance doesn’t have the first priority with new changes. With the move to the cloud, ERP systems found new ways to embed artificial intelligence (AI) for better productivity. This partnership opens the doors for better financial set up as well. Bill Wardwell shared an article on Accounting Today on how AI integrated ERP systems will benefit finance teams greatly in the coming years.
Automate manual tasks
“Machine learning-driven automation results in cost reduction, increased staff productivity and overall operational efficiency gains. Because they’re spending less time re-keying information or pushing paper around the organization, team members will have more time to spend collaborating with one another, solving problems they were previously too busy for, and further optimizing the finance function.”
Deliver richer, more actionable insights
“Machine learning makes it possible to analyze massive amounts of clean data and detect patterns and other relationships to make predictions — even from potentially disparate sources — with incredible speed and accuracy. Machine learning embedded in the ERP system can examine historical data from multiple internal finance functions and external sources such as bank accounts to help an organization more accurately predict cash flow.”
Improve the experience for end users and external business partners
Natural language processing, which powers digital assistants like Siri and Alexa, is another technology that can make ERP system interactions more human and intuitive. Natural language processing can help users more easily search and interact with massive amounts of data that may be stored across applications or other silos, with a simple voice-based search. This technology could also be applied to analyze conversations between trading partners and work in conjunction with AI to suggest the next steps after a conversation has concluded.
While we are at a rich time in technologial advancement, AI and machine learning is still in their early stages when it comes to impacting financial and business management tools, including ERP. Wardwell concludes that it is no question that there is no question these technologies will ultimately transform work for the masses the same way they have transformed our consumer lives.