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Microsoft adds new role-focused AI tools with Copilot for Finance

by Jason Gumpert
Analyze Variance Summary (Source: Microsoft)

Microsoft has introduced a public preview of Copilot for Finance, a new role-based AI toolset for finance teams. It joins Copilot for Sales and Copilot for Service as an AI assistant that works with an organization’s existing enterprise applications and data sources like an ERP or financial system to provide guidance from within Outlook, Teams, and Excel, and other Microsoft 365 productivity apps.

Key features of Copilot for Finance include variance analysis in Excel using natural language prompts, simplified reconciliation, the ability to provide relevant customer account details in Outlook, and reports and visualizations based on raw data. The tool will support three scenarios in its preview, according to the company.

  • Streamlining audits – users can use prompts to gather and reconcile data. AR managers can prompt the system to find and reconcile account data to identify and act on inconsistencies and delinquencies.
  • Collections – automation of communications and development of payment plans. It can also suggest priority accounts and summarize conversations and record them back to ERP.
  • Financial reporting – detecting variances and reporting errors. Microsoft estimates variance analysis reporting can be completed 30% faster with the copilot by using natural language instructions to prompt the tool to detect outliers and highlight the variances requiring investigation. It can generate financial commentary, Power Points, and emails for an analyst to use in their work and reporting.
Data reconciliation summary (Source: Microsoft)

Copilot for Finance will integrate with Dynamics 365 Finance and SAP, and customers can connect it with most other systems using Copilot Studio, according to Microsoft. As with the sales and service copilots, users who get Copilot for Finance also get Copilot for Microsoft 365, according to the company.

The team building Copilot for Finance has used Microsoft’s own Finance organization as an early user group, according to CVP Emily He. That team trialed the data reconciliation capabilities and reported that the AI-based tools reduced analysts’ reconciliation work from 1-2 hours to 10 minutes.

The new solution follows the recent GA launch of Copilot for Sales and Copilot for Service on February 1.

The product line has undergone some other branding changes in the last year and a half. Microsoft introduced Copilot for Service in November 2023 and rebranded “Sales Copilot” as Copilot for Sales at that time. Sales Copilot had been introduced in July 2023 as a rebrand of Viva Sales, which had been announced in June 2022.

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About Jason Gumpert

As the editor of, Jason oversees all editorial content on the site and at our events, as well as providing site management and strategy. He can be reached at

Prior to co-founding, Jason was a Principal Software Consultant at Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC), where he implemented solutions, trained customers, managed software development, and spent some time in the pre-sales engineering organization. He has also held consulting positions at CSC Consulting and Monitor Group.

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