Imagine an app that sorts your emails for you as they come in, filing them in the proper category: “meetings”, “proposals”, “urgent”, “invitations”, “personal”, and even “coupons you might actually be interested in”. As it watches you interact with your mail and your contacts, it only gets more accurate.
Now, on top of sorting your mail for you, it also sorts your contacts, adding new ones as you correspond with new people and quantifying their importance in order to prioritize your emails for you.
Finally, the app uses both your preferences and email history to mimic a potential reply, drafting responses to every single email you receive. All you have to do is go in, tweak anything you don’t like, and hit send. Over time, the app’s drafted responses require fewer and fewer changes, until 75% of them can simply be instantly approved. This allows you to focus completely on the most important parts of your job — the ones that require high-level decision making and present the most risk.
This is what artificial intelligence looks like, and it’s quickly becoming capable of having this impact on your finance and accounting processes.
What can artificial intelligence do for your financial processes?
Artificial intelligence has huge potential within the finance industry.
Software is developing the ability to adapt to new data and information and complete a large number of tasks without explicitly, step-by-step instructions.
Essentially, every time you input a new expense into your company’s financial reports, whether it’s a coffee or new hardware, AI-enabled financial software intelligently processes that information, automating data file loads, financial calculations, report creation, and more.
Often, the financial data that you use is spread out across many different sources and systems. Software that employs artificial intelligence is able to integrate data from multiple systems and perform reconciliations on your behalf.
Once these rules have been applied, the system is able to complete automated tasks such as data load, data integration, reconciliations, and data validation, allowing your employees to focus on high-risk, high-value tasks. At the same time, AI is capable of extracting, filing, and even analyzing massive sets of data that would take humans far too long to complete. Compliance skyrockets, and financial professionals have near instant access to reliable data every time they generate a report.
From greatly improved support for audits to reporting accuracy and exception monitoring, the benefits are huge. All of this adds up to financial reporting that is more accurate, consistent, and transparent, which is key for streamlining your finance and accounting processes.
Finally, software with AI is even developing the ability to forecast, assisting financial professionals with one of their most high-value tasks — prediction. Eventually, programs will be able to assist with predictive analysis, sometimes even on a quarterly or monthly basis. This is a game changer for companies looking to switch over to rolling forecasts, a change that has a huge return on investment.
How can OneStream’s AI streamline your finance & accounting now?
You’ll find that this increased efficiency and accuracy, and even some predictive analysis, can be completed by OneStream. The program uses AI to guide and automate data integration, reconciliation, and validation.
If you’re still dealing with straining, time-consuming data integrations filled with information that’s difficult to trace and unreliable, OneStream could end all of that. The program automates your financial processes using standard, well-defined, and repeatable processes. It allows you to directly integrate to any open source GL/ERP system and includes drill back and drill through technology. In fact, you can drill through data at any and all levels, not just the base data.
Jodi Di Giovanni, Finance Manager at Federal-Mogul, says of OneStream, “With our large user base and diversity of reporting locations, we now have complete visibility of the load processes as well as standard audit reports for data and metadata changes and improved controls.”
You can ensure the integrity and transparency of your data throughout all of these processes. With AI-powered pre and post data loading validation and confirmations as well as audit trails for your data and metadata from report to source, you know with confidence that your data is accurate at every step in the process. The program’s connections to source systems can be built in hours rather than weeks.
OneStream’s Origin dimension is designed to ensure that finance and accounting processes are transparent, auditable, and protected. Data is categorized and tracked, and data protection is automatic, preventing accidental data overrides.
What’s more, the system’s Transformation Rules and Guided Workflows allow for the automation of repetitive tasks, easy integration of data from various systems, and intelligent data validation and reconciliation. OneStream’s Transformation Rules assist users in mapping data from source systems to the program’s financial model. Every step of the workflow feeds processes and reports to your financial professionals, making the program very easy to use and allowing your employees to focus on more important duties.
According to Linda Hellebuyck, Corporate Controller at Henniges Automotive, “OneStream’s Guided Workflows give each business user a step-by-step process that ensures the quality of data and delivers the reporting and analysis at each step. We now have one system owned by the Office of Finance that delivers powerful management and ad hoc reporting for management and business users.”
Ultimately, what AI does for finance and accounting is huge. It boils down to three major bottom lines: it minimizes risk, increases value, and makes your company more cost-effective.
Virtually all major companies have started to integrate artificial intelligence technologies, from Google, Yelp, and Facebook to SalesForce and HubSpot. But even small companies have started to integrate AI technology, especially when it comes to financial planning and analysis.
In fact, the finance and accounting sectors are considered one of the early adopters of artificial intelligence technology, and AI is expected to completely disrupt the industry. By 2020, just 3 years from now, it’s predicted by Accenture that 80% of traditional financial services will be delivered by cross-functional teams that incorporate AI.
What this really means is that organizations that don’t incorporate AI capable software into their finance and accounting processes will lose out. In today’s highly competitive industry, staying ahead is keeping up, and organizations that adapt to new technologies are the ones that will survive.