How to Use AI in a Finance Role: Maximising Potential While Acknowledging Limits

By Linda RoperJune 23, 2023

Navigating the intersection of finance and technology can be a complex endeavour. The dynamic role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is particularly intriguing as it continues to influence the landscape, fundamentally altering how we approach financial management. Whether you're a seasoned finance professional or a newcomer intrigued by the potential of AI, this exploration into the role, benefits, and limitations of AI in finance is designed for you.

We'll break down the buzz around AI, delve into practical examples of its application in finance, and weigh its benefits against its limits. Let's embark on this journey towards understanding and embracing the future of finance - a future intertwined with the power of Artificial Intelligence.

Vector image showing graphs and data with the words AITable of Contents

What is AI in Finance?

To kick things off, we first must define the role AI can play in the finance world. Artificial Intelligence (AI) represents the cutting edge of technology, shaping numerous industries by eliminating human error and copying human behaviour and intelligence through the automated and semi-automated analysis of complex data. Now that’s quite a lot to get your head around, right? But to keep things simple, you can think of AI as automating mundane tasks within a business, saving companies precious time, money and resources.

In the world of finance in particular, AI is now revolutionising how companies manage their financial operations, offering powerful tools for streamlining operations, making predictions, and identifying patterns that are invisible to the human eye. Which of course will help give finance teams a competitive edge.

Examples of How to Use AI in a Finance Role

Now let’s talk about the unique ways AI can be used within a financial institution.

AI is a versatile tool that can be adapted to a wide range of tasks within the financial realm.

Here are some key examples;

Risk Assessment: Through machine learning algorithms, AI can analyse significant amounts of complex and critical data to predict the potential risk associated with a particular investment or client. This means that established financial institutions can make more informed decisions. And inevitably avoid potential financial pitfalls! Since knowledge is power, using AI to enhance risk assessment is an extremely powerful tool within the financial world. And it’s going to be very appealing to your clients.

Fraud Detection: AI-powered systems can also help to monitor transactions in real time and flag up unusual patterns of behaviour that may signify fraudulent activities. This quick response time can potentially save institutions from significant financial losses. Hence AI is an invaluable part of any business these days, especially as cybercrime becomes more sophisticated as time goes on.

Algorithmic Trading: AI is capable of making high-frequency trades based on pre-set criteria. It can process huge volumes of financial data and make rapid decisions that are beyond human capabilities. As we mentioned with risk assessment, AI can understand and analyse data incredibly well, which means it can be used to make better data-driven financial decisions.

Chatbots and Virtual Assistants: AI chatbots can virtually assist with customer inquiries, helping to reduce the workload of customer service teams. Similarly, AI-based virtual assistants can help financial analysts by performing tasks such as data retrieval or report generation. And both integrations will optimise customer service overall. So it’s really a win, win.

Predictive Analytics: With the ability to analyse historical data, AI can also be used to provide actionable insights about market trends, assisting in forecasting and planning. Crunching numbers can be a time-consuming task and with automation, this can help free up time from finance teams which can be better spent elsewhere, such as developing customer relationships and nurturing leads.

Person analysing finance data on tablet with the help of AIHow AI Can Help in Your Finance Job

Think of AI like a super-helper in your finance job. There are a bunch of ways it can make your work better and easier. Let's look at some of the top ones.

First up, AI is really quick. It can go through a lot of data way faster than any person can. This means you can get your work done more quickly, freeing up time for other important tasks.

Secondly, AI is super accurate. When humans do calculations or work with data, we sometimes make mistakes. These mistakes can be hard to spot and fix. AI, on the other hand, gets it right every time. It won't make errors in calculations or data work, which means your work is more accurate overall.

Lastly, AI can help your company save money. How? By doing the routine tasks that usually take up a lot of your time. When AI handles these tasks, you and your team can focus on bigger and more complex jobs. Over time, this can help your company save quite a bit of money.

So, in a nutshell, AI can help you work faster, make fewer mistakes, and save your company money. That's a pretty good deal, isn't it?

Limitations of Using AI in a Finance Role

While AI can be a big help in your finance job, it's not perfect. There are a few things it can't do or doesn't do well. Let's take a look at these.

Firstly, AI relies heavily on data - both the amount and quality of it. If it gets bad data or not enough data, it won't work as well. This can lead to mistakes or less-than-great results.

Secondly, while AI is great at tasks with set rules and data it can sort through, it's not so good when it comes to creative thinking. It can't come up with out-of-the-box ideas or understand things like gut feelings. AI also doesn't understand emotions, which sometimes play a big role in decision-making.

Thirdly, using AI in finance can sometimes be tricky because of regulations and compliance. There are strict rules around how and when you can use AI in finance. These rules can make it tough to get AI up and running in your finance job.

Lastly, there's an issue with AI that some people call the "black box" problem. This is when AI makes a decision, but it's not clear why or how it made that decision. In finance, it's really important to understand the reasoning behind decisions, so this can be a big problem.

So, while AI can be a fantastic tool in finance, it's important to know that it's not a magic solution. It has its limitations, and it's vital to understand these to use AI effectively.

Human finger and artificial finger touchingOutlook into the Future

The future of AI in finance looks promising, with potential for growth and innovation. As technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see more sophisticated AI tools that will further enhance decision-making and efficiency in the finance sector.

However, as we navigate this exciting future, it's crucial to remember that AI is a tool, not a replacement for human decision-making. It can provide us with insights and efficiencies, but it still requires human oversight, ethical considerations, and creative input. As we integrate AI into finance roles, we must find a balance between automation and human intuition, taking advantage of the benefits while being mindful of the limitations.