August 08, 2023

Less Number Crunching, More Strategy: How AI Is Revolutionizing Finance

Sage Intacct

Blog > Less Number Crunching, More Strategy: How AI Is Revolutionizing Finance

Sage Intacct

According to AIPCA & CIMA, today’s accounting and finance teams spend most of their time on manual processes.

Think of these professionals’ time as a pyramid. Weighing down the bottom is transaction processing at 50%. The piece above is reporting at 20-25%. Controls take another 20-25%. And the tiny tip of the pyramid is strategy—less than 7% of a CFO’s time.

CFOs are multi-faceted individuals with responsibilities beyond controlling an organization’s purse strings. They’re expected to be finance leaders, operational leaders, and strategic thinkers who steer their organizations through ever-changing market conditions.

So why are many CFOs devoting so little time to strategy? And why do manual processes support the base of the time pyramid?

Legacy Software Slows Things Down

Many organizations use different software for sales, payroll, expenses, and other functions. These may be outdated solutions that don’t ‘talk’ to each other, so collecting data requires human intervention and workarounds like time-consuming, error-prone spreadsheets.

Legacy accounting software also lacks automation, so critical processes like accounts payable (AP), accounts receivable (AR), data entry, bank reconciliations, and reporting must be done manually.

However, artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to flip the time pyramid on its head—transforming the finance office and putting strategy at the forefront of CFOs’ jobs.

Artificial Intelligence Defined

AI is a set of advanced analysis and logic-based techniques to interpret events, support and automate decisions, and take action.

AI expands what automated systems can do, enabling them to imitate human thought and handle high degrees of complexity. And AI is trainable—the more examples you give it, the smarter it gets.

AI’s value is its ability to enhance human work and free time for people to focus on strategic, higher-value initiatives.

Financial Management With Embedded AI

By leaving legacy accounting software behind and embracing the right cloud-native financial management solution, finance professionals and CFOs can let AI do the heavy lifting—and let their strategic skills shine.

Several financial management solutions include some automation and AI, but Sage Intacct—the first and only financial application preferred by the AICPA—features embedded AI.

Sage Intacct’s continuous accounting eliminates the financial close by capturing transactions in real-time while automating reconciliations and adjustments.

With Sage Intacct, organizations that bill for time create a continuous flow of time entries by using an AI assistant to reconstruct activity for timesheets—leading to more accurate entries for billing, estimating, and financial visibility.

And that just scratches the surface of how Sage Intacct and AI are radically transforming accounting and finance.

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