Microsoft Launches Copilot for Finance

Microsoft has unveiled another edition of its Copilot AI tool specifically developed for Finance, aimed at transforming the daily operations of finance teams by automating workflows and providing insightful analytics.

In a blog post,  it announced a public preview for Microsoft 365 business subscribers.  The new Copilot for Finance generative AI assistant will incorporate financial data from sources such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 and SAP, alongside the Microsoft Graph.

The tool promises to streamline financial tasks directly within familiar applications like Excel and Outlook.

Users can interact with Copilot for Finance in multiple ways. It both suggests actions in the flow of work, and enables users to ask questions by typing a prompt in natural language.

Among the highlighted features of Copilot for Finance are AI-powered workflow automation, recommendations, and guided actions, all integrated seamlessly into the daily workflow of finance professionals.

In developing CoPilot for Finance, Microsoft embedded the tool in its own Treasury team focused on accounts receivable as well as a team in financial planning and analysis - who need to reconcile data as a part of their workflow before conducting further analysis. 

“Financial analysts today spend, on average, one to two hours reconciling data per week. With Copilot for Finance, that is down to 10 minutes. Functionality like data reconciliation will be a huge time saver for an organization as complex as Microsoft,” said Sarper Baysal, Microsoft Commercial Revenue Planning Lead.

Audits of a company’s financial statements are critical to ensuring accuracy and mitigating risk. Traditionally, accounts receivable managers were required to pull account data manually from ERP records, reconcile it in Excel, and look for inaccuracies manually. 

With Copilot for Finance, these critical steps are done with a single prompt, allowing AR managers to act on inconsistencies and any delinquencies found with Copilot suggested copy and relevant invoices.

“The accounts receivable reconciliation capabilities help us to eliminate the time it takes to compare data across sources, saving an average 20 minutes per account. Based on pilot usage, this translates to an average of 22% cost savings in average handling time,” said Gladys Jin, Senior Director Microsoft Finance Global Treasury and Financial Services

The public preview of Copilot for Business is available at this link or view a web-based demo.