Copilot for finance: Boost Your Finances with Microsoft’s Powerful AI Chatbot

Microsoft has unveiled a new artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot that can handle various financial tasks for people working in the finance sector. The chatbot, called Copilot for Finance, is currently in public preview and will be available for purchase soon.

It is part of Microsoft’s broader vision to empower every department in a company with a Copilot, an AI assistant that can generate natural-sounding text or other content based on human input. Microsoft already offers Copilots for general-purpose industrial use in Office applications, as well as for sales and customer-service workers.

Implementation and Benefits of Copilot for Finance

The new chatbot for finance can perform functions such as running a variance analysis, reconciling data in Excel, and speeding up the collections process in Outlook. It can also access information stored in SAP and Microsoft Dynamics 365. Microsoft plans to add more features to Copilot for finance later this year, according to Charles Lamanna, a Microsoft corporate vice president.

Lamanna said that the Japanese advertising agency Dentsu is one of the early adopters of Copilot for finance. He also said that Microsoft’s finance department contributed to the development of the chatbot and experienced some benefits from using it.

Cory Hrncirik, modern finance lead in Microsoft’s office of the chief financial officer, said that comparing data from different systems is a common and time-consuming task for finance teams. He said that with Copilot for finance, the reconciliation process takes only 10 or 20 minutes per week, instead of one or two hours.

The goal of Copilot for Finance is to help finance professionals save time on tedious tasks and focus on more engaging and valuable work that can help the company grow. However, Hrncirik said that Microsoft’s finance employees are not obliged to use the chatbot.

Advancing Financial Efficiency with Copilot for Finance

Lamanna said that one of the main advantages of Copilot for finance is that it can help companies close their books faster, which is a key objective for chief financial officers (CFOs).

Copilot for Finance is the latest example of how business software providers are leveraging generative AI to enhance their products and services. The trend started after OpenAI, a startup backed by Microsoft, launched ChatGPT, an AI chatbot that can produce realistic text or other content with minimal human input, in 2022.

Microsoft hopes that Copilot for Finance will appeal to finance professionals who want to streamline their workflows and improve their productivity with the help of AI. The chatbot is expected to compete with other AI solutions for finance, such as IBM Watson and Google Cloud.

Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President of Business Applications & Platforms, Charles Lamanna, has highlighted the significant shift in AI assistant development with the introduction of Copilot for Finance. Unlike its predecessor, Copilot for Finance is tailored specifically to meet the needs of finance professionals.

Excel-Integrated Specialized Assistance: Enhancing Financial Workflows

This specialized assistant is designed to seamlessly integrate with Excel, allowing users to analyze variances, automate collections workflows, and assist with audits without ever leaving the application. While currently limited to finance, Lamanna hinted at the possibility of dedicated assistants for other roles in the future.

This marks a new era in AI assistant technology, where they truly understand and cater to the unique requirements of different job functions.

Microsoft’s strategic push into role-based AI is aimed at outperforming competitors. Copilot for Finance could be a game-changer for finance professionals across organizations, boosting efficiency and potentially cutting down financial operation expenses. Lamanna emphasized the importance of providing customers with seamless access to their business data within their daily apps. Today’s focus is on bridging the gap between Microsoft 365 and a company’s current data sources.