HomeIndustriesMicrosoft’s “Copilot for Finance” goals to revolutionize spreadsheets with AI

Microsoft’s “Copilot for Finance” goals to revolutionize spreadsheets with AI

Microsoft caused a stir on the earth of artificial intelligence today with the announcement of the general public preview for Microsoft Co-pilot for financean AI-powered assistant designed specifically for financial professionals.

The recent AI assistant is designed to assist finance teams work more efficiently by automating tedious data tasks and helping teams seek for the proper information in a growing pool of monetary data.

“Believe it or not, the most well-liked ERP system is Excel,” said Emily He, corporate vice chairman of business applications marketing at Microsoft, in an interview with VentureBeat. “The reason we’re developing Copilot for Finance is because we receive so many requests from customers who need to use Excel to finish their ERP tasks. You need to find a way to drag data to make any identification discrepancies much easier.”

“Microsoft is exclusive because we own Excel and might leverage the Excel calculation engine but additionally the ERP data to make it easier and more efficient for financial professionals,” she added

Based on Microsoft's existing Copilot technology released last yr, Copilot for Finance can pull data from financial systems and supply suggestions in Microsoft 365 apps akin to Excel and Outlook. It focuses on three most important financial scenarios – audits, collections and variance evaluation.

Specialized in financial functions

Charles Lamanna, corporate vice chairman of business applications & platforms at Microsoft, said Copilot for Finance represents a shift in the way in which AI assistants are built.

“Before, copilots didn’t really understand certain jobs and roles,” Lamanna explained. “With Copilot for Sales, Service and Finance, Copilot begins to really understand your job.”

This specialization distinguishes Copilot for Finance from Microsoft's general Copilot assistant released last yr. While the unique Copilot offers comprehensive productivity recommendations, Copilot for Finance is tailored specifically to the needs of monetary professionals and designed to work directly in Excel.

For example, it might pull data from financial systems to investigate discrepancies, automate debt collection workflows, and assist with audits without the user having to go away the Excel application. While Lamanna is restricted to certain scenarios for now, she hinted that dedicated assistants for other roles could also be added later.

Connects systems in day by day workflows

Microsoft's move into role-based AI represents a strategic move to achieve ground on the competition. Copilot for Finance has the potential to assist finance professionals in organizations of all sizes speed up impact and potentially even reduce financial operating costs.

“Customers want access to all of their business data within the apps they use each day,” Lamanna said. “That’s really what we’re talking about today: How can we enable interoperability between Microsoft 365 and a company’s existing data sources?”

Privacy and security are still a problem

While AI-driven systems like Copilot promise great efficiency gains, additionally they pose potential risks when it comes to data protection, security and compliance. Microsoft said it has taken steps to handle these concerns, akin to: B. using data access permissions and never training models directly using customer data.

Still, the stakes are high for Microsoft as Copilot for Finance becomes generally available later this yr. Several members of the Copilot for Finance launch team suggested that general availability would occur in the summertime, but warned that the schedule could change depending on feedback from the general public preview.

With over 100,000 firms already using Copilot, the rapid adoption of this recent financial assistant could usher in the subsequent era of AI within the enterprise. However, the tech giant must be certain that data governance measures are completely secure while expanding Copilot's capabilities to keep up its competitive edge.


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