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Will AI replace the CFO?

Will AI replace the CFO?

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Jonathan Wood, the General Manager, Middle East & Africa for Infor discusses the age of artificial intelligence and its impact on the role of CFO.

Jonathan Wood, General Manager, Middle East & Africa at Infor

AI continues to be a hot topic within organizations, and while AI holds great potential for revolutionizing the role of the CFO, it doesn’t necessarily mean your organization’s finances will soon be overseen by a robot.

In fact, as the CFO’s role has continued to evolve over the years to more closely align with organizational needs, the CFO has become an even more valuable advisor to the CEO and the entire enterprise. Al will take some pain out of day-to-day operations and tasks that are overseen by CFOs, but human insight still rules the day when it comes to financial decisions.

How we define AI
Al can be viewed differently by organizations and even by roles. Maybe the best way to way to think about AI is that it is constantly evolving and is one point on a technology continuum. These are the AI forms that we predict will have the most influence on CFOs.

  • Robotic process automation, which uses business logic and structured inputs to automate business processes and repetitive tasks.
  • Intelligent assistants, like Alexa or Siri, which are programmed with machine learning, voice recognition, and natural language processing to learn from voice commands, and get better at predicting and meeting users’ needs.
  • Chatbots, which are conversational agents similar to intelligent assistants but not tied to a particular device.
  • Machine learning, which is a technique where algorithms are given data and asked to process it without predetermined rules.
  • Predictive analytics, which can leverage machine learning to make predictions about future trends and likelihoods.

Why it’s important for the CFO to embrace AI
Let’s lay out the biggest benefits of AI to CFOs.

  • Helps them work smarter
  • Provides insights into patterns found in large data sets too complex for easy analysis by the human brain
  • Augments capabilities by aggregating large quantities of data and providing high-level analysis to boost competitive advantage
  • Automates manual and repetitive processes, such as invoices, expense reports, and monthly and quarterly closes
  • Requires human decision making only when necessary
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