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Microsoft launches AI-powered Copilot for Finance

4 martie 2024

Users can interact with Copilot for Finance in multiple ways. It both suggests actions in the flow of work, and enables users to ask questions by typing a prompt in natural language.

Microsoft Copilot for Finance, is the newest Copilot offering designed for business functions that extends Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365 and revolutionizes how finance teams approach their daily work. Copilot for Finance joins Copilot for Sales and Copilot for Service, now generally available, to provide AI-powered, role-based workflow automation, recommendations and guided actions in the flow of work.

Finance departments are critical partners in strategic decisions impacting the direction of a company. Eighty percent of finance leaders and teams face challenges to take on more strategic work outside the operational portions of their roles[1]. However, 62% of finance professionals say they are stuck in the drudgery of data entry and review cycles [2]. Copilot for Finance can help free up time for finance to play more of a strategic role in delivering counsel and insights to the business by streamlining financial tasks, automating workflows and providing insights in the flow of work.

Copilot for Finance includes Copilot for Microsoft 365, which means it supercharges Excel, Outlook and other widely used productivity apps with workflow and data-specific insights for the finance professional. Copilot for Finance draws on essential context from your existing financial data sources, including traditional Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 and SAP, and the Microsoft Graph.

Users can interact with Copilot for Finance in multiple ways. It both suggests actions in the flow of work, and enables users to ask questions by typing a prompt in natural language. For example, a user can prompt Copilot to “help me understand forecast to actuals variance data.” In moments, Copilot for Finance will generate insights and pull data directly from across the ERP and financial systems, suggesting actions to take and providing a head start by generating contextualized text and attaching relevant files. Like other copilot experiences, users can easily check source data to ensure transparency before using Copilot to take any actions.  

“Finance organizations need to be utilizing generative AI to help blend structured and unstructured datasets. Copilot for Finance is a solution that aggressively targets this challenge. Microsoft continues to push the boundary of business applications by providing AI-driven solutions for common business problems. Copilot for Finance is another powerful example of this effort. Copilot for Finance has potential to help finance professionals at organizations of all sizes accelerate impact and possibly even reduce financial operation costs.”—Kevin Permenter, IDC research director, financial applications.

In public preview today, Copilot for Finance introduces several key features to enhance financial operations:

Helps financial analysts quickly conduct a variance analysis in Excel using natural language prompts to review data sets for anomalies, risks and unmatched values. This type of analysis helps finance provide strategic insights to business leaders about where it is meeting, exceeding or falling short of planned financial outcomes and why.

Simplifies the reconciliation process in Excel with automated data structure comparisons and guided troubleshooting to help move from insight to action, which helps ensure the reliability and accuracy of financial records.

Provides a complete summary of relevant customer account details in Outlook, such as balance statements and invoices, to expedite the collections process.

Enables customers to turn raw data in Excel into presentation-ready visuals and reports ready to be shared across Outlook and Teams.

“Financial analysts today spend, on average, one to two hours reconciling data per week. With Copilot for Finance, that is down to 10 minutes. Functionality like data reconciliation will be a huge time saver for an organization as complex as Microsoft.”—Sarper Baysal, Microsoft Commercial Revenue Planning Lead

“The accounts receivable reconciliation capabilities help us to eliminate the time it takes to compare data across sources, saving an average 20 minutes per account. Based on pilot usage, this translates to an average of 22% cost savings in average handling time.”—Gladys Jin, Senior Director Microsoft Finance Global Treasury and Financial Services.

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[1]
 Future of Finance Trends | Microsoft Dynamics 365

[2] Metric of the Month: Time Allocation in Finance | CFO

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Anders Olofsson – former Head of Payments Finastra

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So many people are coming here to Bucharest, people that I see and interact on linkedin and now I get the change to meet them in person. It was like being to the Football World Cup but this was the World Cup on linkedin in payments and open banking.”

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In 23 septembrie 2019, BNR a anuntat infiintarea unui Fintech Innovation Hub pentru a sustine inovatia in domeniul serviciilor financiare si de plata. In acest sens, care credeti ca ar trebui sa fie urmatorul pas al bancii centrale?