Is an AI chatbot destined to become your organization’s next employee of the month?
Part one of this two-part series took a deep dive into the benefits and performance of AI-powered chatbots. These innovative tools can provide numerous benefits to any organization, including finance teams. This follow-up will provide helpful guidance on implementing these tools in your operations.
The Value of ChatGPT for Finance Teams
Powered by artificial intelligence, ChatGPT is a program designed to replicate human communication. With the assistance of an interactive chatbot, finance teams have access to an expert who’s available 24/7 and never takes a sick day.
AI chatbots can be used to help with many different duties, including:
- Performing basic financial analysis
- Preparing reports
- Improving accuracy
- Boosting efficiency
- Maintaining compliance
And since the software is programmed to learn from the latest industry journals and news reports, it automatically stays up-to-date on recent developments and best practices.
Implementing an AI Chatbot in Your Workplace
The benefits highlighted here can make an AI chatbot a welcome addition to any workplace. Still, it’s important to consider all the implications of such a rollout. Controllers and CFOs should consider several factors as they integrate this technology into their financial teams.
Set Clear Goals
While technology offers limitless potential, it’s important to set clear expectations for how your team uses ChatGPT. For instance, you might start by setting a goal to use an AI-powered chatbot to assist with cash flow projections for the next quarter.
Setting goals will define the parameters within which your team employs the program. It will also help you measure its effectiveness and make adjustments as necessary.
If all goes well, you can expand on these goals to include more tasks and further unburden your finance team.
Get Buy-In from Senior Leadership
Naturally, corporate leadership should be part of the broader conversation about the use of ChatGPT. Controllers and CFOs might highlight how an AI chatbot can improve efficiency, accuracy, and risk management by aiding in regulatory compliance.
Achieving buy-in from senior leaders will allow you to implement the system smoothly and may even lead to future innovations.
In the same way that you’ve set goals for the ChatGPT chatbot, you’ll also need to provide training to complete these goals.
Most finance teams are already accustomed to using a suite of software tools for handling corporate finances and creating reports. Now, they’ll need direction on how to leverage the chatbot to accomplish these same tasks.
To that end, you should lead by example and deploy the chatbot in your own business environment. Doing so will familiarize you with how the technology aligns with your company goals or those of your immediate team and help you learn to resolve the sorts of issues your team is likely to encounter.
Ensure Data Privacy
One of the biggest concerns surrounding the use of chatbots is data privacy.
Imagine hiring an employee who could memorize every piece of data you put in front of them. Naturally, you’d want to take special steps to limit that employee’s access to your most sensitive data.
On the one hand, ChatGPT demands access to your entire database to be most effective. On the other hand, you have a vested interest in making sure the chatbot doesn’t reveal sensitive data to the wrong user.
Administrators should therefore attach limits to user access to guarantee that the program doesn’t offer up sensitive data to unauthorized individuals or potential bad actors.
ChatGPT is only as useful as it is accurate. So long as you use the chatbot to provide insight into your workplace specifically, the responses you receive will reflect the data already in your system.
Unfortunately, ChatGPT has shown that it’s capable of fabricating sources and citations, which can create problems if you need to use it to create reports based on industry data or news sources.
While it’s likely that this issue will be addressed in the near future, finance teams should nonetheless be cautious about relying on the program too heavily when evaluating broader trends and industry news.
Financial teams often integrate with multiple other areas of a company, such as HR. This, too, can create challenges related to data security. Administrators must ensure that unauthorized users can’t access specific data related to employee files or allow users in other departments to access sensitive company information.
Fortunately, these issues are easily resolved through a slow rollout. Taking your time with the deployment will give your financial team a chance to acclimate to the new system before you implement changes companywide.
The Future of AI
Artificial intelligence is here to stay, and it’s revolutionizing business in many ways, both expected and unexpected. Controllers and CFOs have an important role in implementing such technologies in their workplaces and teaching their team members to use these programs for the company’s benefit.
Additional AI Resources
Neil Brown is Executive Director of the Controllers Council, author and a professional association manager. Neil is CEO of the Chief Executives Council, COO of the Operations Council, VP Partnerships for IT Executives Council, and Chief Marketing Officer of Modern Marketing Partners. Neil started his career as a Brand Manager, then promoted to CMO. Brown has provided marketing services to leading Fortune 500 and start-ups, along with board and volunteer roles with non-profits. Neil is a frequent speaker, author and contributor to Advertising Age, Marketing News, Adweek magazine and many others. He is author of two books including “Breakthrough Branding: Brand Naming Tips & Trade Secrets”, and “Tools of the Trade: Modern Marketing for Construction Brands”. Brown earned an MBA from Northern Illinois University, and a BS-Marketing Cum Laude from Southern Illinois University.