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Finding the Usefulness of Artificial Intelligence Amid All of the Hype

AI in data lableing

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has entirely woven into business software’s fabric, including finance applications. It can be found in supporting security features such as fraud detection, eligibility screenings, and automatic invoice capture.

Still, some business leaders remain skeptical, as AI’s capabilities have crossed into the hype, with the idea that AI will replace manual back-office functions. However, the idea resembles more of a wish than a promise, as fully autonomous decision-making is quite far away. Despite improved accessibility to the software, adoption remains mixed. 

Unwillingness to implement AI

Some businesses are unable and, in some cases, unwilling to implement AI technology. They lack IT support and funding and are concerned with data privacy and security for sensitive information. Also, new software can sometimes discourage leaders who worry their teams need more time, resources, and capability to customize and adapt to an entirely different system.

The challenge comes down to striking the right balance with AI in business, as the reality is that AI cannot fully replace humans in the workforce. However, automated finance software, for instance, allows all employees, even non-customer-facing ones, to remain customer focused. 

AI is more about increasing efficiency and accuracy.

AI’s disruptive potential is more about increasing the efficiency, productivity, and accuracy of routine, mundane, and occasionally invisible tasks, and less about revolutionizing the workplace. However, aside from all the hype, finance teams can benefit from thinking about how AI can automate tasks.

For example, AI-enabled bank matching automatically confirms and connects corporate card purchases to invoice amounts, while object detection enables more manageable and more accurate receipt scanning. These are complicated, coordinated back-end processes which can be accomplished without risk to data security, heavy IT involvement, or customization.

That said, people are vital to the success of AI. Security, for instance, can benefit from a blended approach that includes human and machine interaction, and employees can address critical vulnerabilities which have been triggered through an automated process. And, in unified systems that combine a company’s finance apps under one vendor, like in Zoho’s Finance Plus suite, security software is automatically updated across the broader ecosystem. At the same time, employees maintain the ability to monitor all apps from within any individual one.

Smaller businesses also can benefit.

As AI learns over time, it can learn from limited data sets as effectively as from more significant volumes of data. This can benefit smaller companies and finance teams that don’t use the amount of data as more significant enterprises.

Smarter, more automated finance software can enable all employees to remain customer-focused, regardless of whether they engage with customers. Automated invoice processing and machine learning provide current and valuable data that helps the finance team to better serve customers as part of the broader, connected team. 

It’s up to business leaders and teams to slot AI services into business pieces needing help. Never mind the hype or the fear of robots replacing employees. Artificial intelligence and machine learning can provide productivity and efficiency benefits for teams, big and small.

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