Had we ever heard someone say five years ago about using AI and ML in hard-core, paper-resistant departments of the organisation? But this is not surprising in today’s world, as AI and ML are becoming essential for corporate sustainability due to their enormous benefits. AI and ML can revolutionize finance by automating tasks, improving decision-making, and reducing costs. It can improve data analytics for accounting, auditing and financial processes. The most common use of AI in accounting is to take care of repetitive tasks with utmost accuracy. The tasks include as listed below:
1. Expense reports
2. Payables accounting
3. Sales accounting
4. Inputting and matching data
5. Creating and sending out invoices
6. Approvals for payments, invoices, etc.
7. Payroll process and accounting
8. Payment accounting
Benefits from AI and ML in finance can be summarised as follows:
Data Analytics: AL is built on algorithms, which improve over time as more data is fed into them.
Invisible accounting: AL and ML can automate tasks as mentioned above, thereby freeing up time for finance professionals to engage in more strategic roles.
Round-the-clock work: A process driven by AI does not require manual intervention, which allows the work to be performed 24/7.
Increased accuracy: with no manual intervention and using AI, which is built on algorithms, it can process data with minimal errors.
Efficiency: With accuracy and improved data analytics, it can process large volumes of data, thereby building efficiency in the system.
Savings: With automated processes and time effectiveness, it helps save in terms of time, quality, and cost.
Fraud detection and prevention: AI and ML can be used to identify patterns and anomalies in financial data that could indicate fraudulent activity, enabling early detection and prevention.
Mitigates risk: helps in predicting potential risks and enabling organisations to take more proactive action than a reactive one. For example, in a financial institution that deals with credit cards, loans, investments, etc. AL and ML can help them assess the risk associated with them and make informed decisions to manage their risks and minimise their losses.
Active Insight: Finance personnel can get real-time visibility into their finances.
Predictive analytics: AI and ML can analyse large amounts of historical data to make predictions about future trends and behaviours, helping organizations make better-informed decisions.
AI has made finance functions immeasurably easier, enabling people to think critically, gain a full picture of a company’s finances, and work across verticals to achieve results.
As OG Healthcare Financial Controller, I am delighted to share with you how we have leveraged the power of AI technology to automate our payable accounting process. With our predefined AI model, we have successfully extracted key invoice data to automate the vendor invoice accounting process. This model has been optimized to recognize common invoice elements, including invoice number, invoice date, customer details, invoice amount, tax details, and more. As a result, this process has become seamless and efficient, and we have saved about 10-12 man-hours per month while achieving 100% accuracy.
Moreover, we have connected the AI model to a RPA product to automatically extract the trained details from vendor invoices, send approval mails, and create accounting entries in Tally without any manual intervention. We have also extended the automation activities to manage the client invoicing and remittance processes, while saving almost 15 hours a month.
We have also used automation to get our daily INR bank balance from Tally, convert it to USD using an API key, and send an email to our key internal stakeholders, enabling them to take strategic decisions involving foreign currency exposure.
By leveraging AI technology in our finance department, we have automated almost 50-60% of our manual tasks, which has significantly reduced our workload while improving accuracy and virtually eliminating process time. As a result, we have transformed the department, enabling us to work more efficiently, accurately, and effectively while providing new opportunities to our accountants to improve customer service and drive business growth.
I believe that the application of AI and ML can solve the pain points of inefficiency and low added value processes in the finance field, allowing professionals to take on more strategic roles and bring greater value to the company.
In summary, we are optimistic about the future of AI and ML in the finance industry, and we look forward to exploring new ways to leverage these technologies to drive innovation and growth within OG Healthcare