Technology & Innovation

The tech-finance fusion: How to master AI

Finance is undergoing a quiet revolution. Driven by a wave of tech innovation, financial expertise and tech skills increasingly overlap.

As highlighted in the report Secrets of Successful CFOs today’s financial leaders are at the forefront of corporate strategy, using AI-driven analytics and teamwork across different departments.

The report shows that the entanglement of tech and finance is more than a trend—it’s a fundamental shift.

As a tech-savvy financial professional, this has created opportunities to redefine your role and boost your finance team’s decision-making and efficiency skills if you’re willing to adapt and innovate.

Here’s what we’ll cover

Why AI in finance is important

The challenges in adopting AI

Johnny’s Selected Seeds and Sage Ai

Future opportunities presented by AI

Final thoughts

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Why AI in finance is important

A revolution in revenue growth and workflows

79% of CFOs surveyed believe AI will revolutionize workflows and boost revenue.

AI’s impact on the financial landscape offers many benefits if you aim to maintain a competitive edge.

Integrating AI into the heart of your financial operations enhances analytics and forecasting ability. This results in more accurate predictions and intelligent, data-driven decision-making.

This shift optimizes financial performance as it manages the flow of data and gives you insights faster. It also propels revenue generation as AI identifies and helps you capitalize on new opportunities.

The adoption of AI in finance goes beyond the bottom line to affect the human aspect of the business

According to the report, 77% of CFOs have observed that integrating AI has improved job satisfaction within their teams.

This improvement happens because AI is great at automating routine and time-consuming tasks. This allows finance professionals to focus on more strategic and fulfilling work.

The report also highlights that CFOs who effectively merge technology into their finance operations report a 20% higher satisfaction level in their roles.

So, what’s happening?

AI can help increase productivity, create a more engaged and motivated finance team, fundamentally transform workplace dynamics, and enhance overall team morale.

AI becomes a great partner, doing the fiddly time-consuming calculations and admin that would otherwise take up hours of work. Meaning your teams can concentrate on other more business-critical things.

Embracing AI in finance isn’t simply about keeping up with the tech. It’s about setting a new standard for efficiency, innovation, and workplace satisfaction.

Impact on regulatory compliance

AI can help with regulatory compliance, a concern for any business.

It can do this by eliminating human mistakes and non-compliance risks by automating and refining compliance processes through its ability to input, collate, and assess data accurately and quickly.

For instance, Sage Ai technology in Sage Intacct uses outlier detection to monitor real-time transactions, identifying anomalies that could indicate fraudulent activities or breaches of regulatory standards.

This feature shows how AI-driven tools can help you maintain compliance with evolving regulations by automatically adjusting your compliance systems and processes to be more efficient.

Such proactive measures cut financial risks and ensure more accurate and timely reporting, protecting your reputation and legal standing.

The challenges in adopting AI

Working with your tech suppliers

The journey toward adopting AI in your financial operations won’t be without hurdles.

One of the primary challenges you might worry about is the significant cost needed to implement AI technologies.

These costs can include the direct expenses of buying new software and hardware and the indirect costs of integrating these systems with your existing tech stack.

Happily, you might find that your current software providers (like Sage) already incorporate AI capabilities into their existing platforms or are in the process of building them in.

Using cloud-based software and data storage also has the added advantage of being able to be accessed anywhere and updated remotely, rather than siloed in physical offices.

This proactive integration by your providers can significantly reduce  the financial burden and  complexity of adopting new tech since it’s already built into the software you’re using.  

This can ease the transition burden, and you’ll be able to use AI’s full power without requiring extensive independent investment.

Upskill your team

The report highlights that over 80% of finance leaders anticipate dedicating more time to tech innovation, which includes using new systems and upskilling their teams.

Using AI well demands a high level of digital literacy and technical skills from your teams.

Upskilling represents a substantial challenge. This is highlighted by the 61% of CFOs who plan to deepen their knowledge of new tech systems.

Adequate staff training needs both time and resources. Your team wants to be comfortable using new tech so they can use AI tools to their full potential.

Ethical considerations

With AI becoming more widely used in finance, part of the role of a successful CFO is also one of assessment.

Addressing AI’s ethical implications before you lock it in, is imperative.

One primary concern is the potential for bias in AI algorithms. This can lead to unfair practices or discriminatory outcomes, particularly in credit scoring, customer service, and hiring processes.

Ensuring AI systems operate transparently maintains trust and integrity within financial services but also within your role.

To do this, you and your partners must implement strict guidelines and regular audits to verify that AI tools are used responsibly.

An ethical AI-usage culture involves:

  • training all stakeholders on the potential risks and moral considerations
  • promoting a broader understanding and cautious approach to AI deployment.

Read more: 3 pillars of successful CFOs: Strategic leadership, technological integration, and work-life harmony

Johnny’s Selected Seeds and Sage Ai

Johnny’s Selected Seeds, a stalwart in the agricultural industry since 1973, adopted Sage Intacct AI-driven accounts payable automation, transforming its financial management practices.

Manual, labor-intensive invoice processing used to be slow, and the integration of AI has shifted the business towards automated excellence, significantly enhancing operational efficiency and accuracy.

With Sage Ai, the business halved the time needed for invoice processing, allowing quicker approvals and payments. Johnny’s Selected Seeds could transition towards electronic transactions to improve operations.

This shift improved financial accuracy and oversight and allowed the finance team to divert their focus from mundane tasks to strategic initiatives, laying a platform for a culture of innovation.

This transformation at Johnny’s Selected Seeds shows how AI in finance improves workflows and plays a crucial role in strategic business growth when combined with the right software.

Future opportunities presented by AI

AI can rapidly analyze vast volumes of data and identify trends that might not be apparent through traditional methods.

Predictive analytics stands out as a significant opportunity

Using historical data, AI can help you accurately forecast future financial conditions and market dynamics.

This foresight supports proactive decision-making. Allowing you to mitigate risks before they manifest and promptly capitalize on emerging opportunities before everyone else.

Such strategic advantages are crucial for maintaining a competitive edge in today’s fast-paced business environment. Indeed, 78% of CFOs acknowledge that implementing AI in finance is essential for staying competitive.

Looking ahead, the advent of generative AI tools, such as Sage Copilot, offers even more possibilities

These advanced AI solutions are designed to work alongside financial professionals, augmenting their capabilities, and allowing them to engage in higher-level strategic thinking and analysis.

Sage Copilot, for instance, will provide interactive, intelligent assistance that will:

  • help you manage your business finances more efficiently,
  • make data-driven decisions quickly,
  • and navigate the complexities of modern financial environments with ease.

Final thoughts

View AI not as a tech upgrade but as a crucial part of your strategic vision.

This proactive approach will boost your financial operations, support your business objectives, and position you as a forward-thinking leader.

Equip yourself with the knowledge to lead within the tech-finance fusion and boost your strategic capabilities for a competitive edge.

Download the Secrets of Successful CFOs and start transforming your approach to finance today.