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Unlocking the Power of AI in FP&A

by Hugh Cumming
Chief Technology Officer, Vena
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At Vena, we believe that finance departments of all sizes should play a more strategic role in their organizations. We see a future where this transformation is made possible by using two cutting-edge technologies: machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI). These innovations are changing how FP&A professionals work and raising the expectations of their business partners, who increasingly demand real-time insights.

Finance teams face a delicate balancing act of executing activities like financial close, forecasting, and reporting quickly, all while ensuring the accuracy of the numbers and other data these activities rely on. But with AI and ML, this becomes easier as their data handling capabilities reduce the burden of repetitive administrative tasks, which frees up valuable time for finance teams and enables them to focus on generating strategic insights.

Microsoft Dynamis ERP systems, including Business Central, have the potential to transform finance teams into strategic drivers of the business. With the capabilities of a flexible Complete Planning platform that empowers end-users to streamline FP&A and customize its capabilities to match their specific business needs, regardless of their growth stage or planning maturity, organizations maintain a holistic view of their business performance.

Machine learning and AI are invaluable tools for FP&A professionals, offering the capability to automate repetitive tasks and extract valuable insights from data and data structures. Machine learning uses algorithms known as models to learn from data patterns over time. This technology is especially beneficial for financial forecasting, investment research, and risk management, as it can analyze vast datasets, identify trends, and detect patterns that would typically require human intelligence, such as language comprehension, speech recognition, image and video analysis, as well as decision-making and problem-solving.

FP&A professionals can especially benefit from AI and ML to streamline operations and gain insights from their data faster. For instance, machine learning can leverage historical financial data to predict future trends, like expected revenue growth or customer churn.

AI-powered tools are equally valuable for analyzing cash flows and customer demand to determine optimal hiring times for new sales employees and uncovering opportunities for cost savings when revenue models fall short of expectations.

Many teams are already benefiting from the potential applications of AI and ML in financial planning and analysis across various areas of their financial operations, including:

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About Hugh Cumming

As Chief Technology Officer, Hugh is responsible for powering scale and industry-leading growth at Vena. For more than 20 years, Hugh has enjoyed career success as a proven product and technology leader, building and scaling some of the world’s most successful fintech platforms. He has led agile product engineering, UX and Cloud teams globally at companies such as Finastra, SecureKey Technologies and ADP Canada. Most recently, he served as Chief Information Officer and Head of Technology at Manulife Canada where he led the company's digital transformation efforts and created two of the highest-rated applications for banking and digital insurance claims in the Canadian market. Prior to Manulife, Hugh led the platform teams at Finastra launching an industry-first, cloud-based API developer platform for bank and fintech collaboration.

Vena is purpose-built to help finance teams maximize the value of their existing Microsoft investment. Vena uses Excel as its core interface, embeds the capabilities of Power BI and integrates with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and soon PowerPoint and Teams to help finance professionals surface data and insights to the rest of the organization faster.

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Submitted by busermo molpey on Mon, 01/22/2024 - 03:52 Permalink

Through the assumption of these mundane administrative duties, these technologies free up significant time for finance teams, allowing them to focus on formulating strategic insights.

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