Conscientious CFOs are asking where AI fits into the finance function, what the benefits are, and where to start.
Artificial Intelligence is quickly moving from the experimental to the operational. It is already being driven deep into the operating muscle of the enterprise – from predicting how competitors will react, to identifying which machines will need repair, and even forecasting our best customers five years from now.
The CFO is in a unique position to bring AI to the enterprise. He or she sits at a confluence of the most important data of the firm – operating costs from production, receivables from the customer, financial performance from the business units – that serve as the digital foundation of AI.
Many CFOs effectively serve as the Chief Compliance Officer, often taking personal responsibility for adherence to financial and regulatory requirements. The finance function includes a wide range of repetitive and routine tasks – functions that are ripe for disruption by AI. Finally, the strategic CFO is increasingly asked to support the enterprise in its growth plans and play a direct role in building revenues.
The expectations of shareholders, regulators and audit committees have been increasing, specifically in the areas of financial and nonfinancial reporting, transparency, and governance. All of these functions can benefit from AI.
EY is working with many of the world’s leading CFOs, helping them to design and integrate artificial intelligence deep into their domains. The following are use cases that we see gaining early traction in finance and related functions. All are within the authority of the finance function, and all use data that is typically within the span of control of the CFO.