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Future of Finance

6 foolproof ways to build AI into your finance processes

If you’re not already harnessing the power of artificial intelligence (AI) – whether that’s because you’re wary of it or because you don’t see a use for it – we’re about to change your mind.

Don’t worry, AI isn’t coming for your job. In fact, you should be using it to enhance the work you’re doing. If you start seeing AI as an enabler of human abilities, rather than replacing them, you’ll see how much it has to offer (and how much time it could save your team). 

The potential impact of AI on finance teams is vast. It’s already helping finance leaders to create reports, identify patterns and automate basic tasks. And slowly but surely, we’re witnessing its ability to help teams with scenario planning and analysis, explain variances, and generate actionable insights for business partners to help them future-proof the company.

Want to know how you can incorporate the best of AI into your financial processes? You’ve come to the right place.

“Generative AI is becoming increasingly important. The more time you can free up from doing the mundane, the more time you’ll have to answer the big questions.” - Ian Irwin, CEO at NoBlue2 at Pleo’s CFO Breakfast 2024

How can AI help finance teams day-to-day?

Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A)

Anyone who works in FP&A is focused on planning, forecasting and budgeting to support the company’s financial health. The beauty of AI is that it can help finance teams manage and analyse data, as well as automate repetitive, manual tasks, freeing up time for them to uncover more strategic insights.

AI can also help with reporting, gathering key data from your ERP system and pulling out the relevant reports. Ultimately, finance teams have vast amounts of data to process and spin into gold, which usually results in questions in order for them to make the most informed decisions. AI can help to answer these questions.

Best tool for the job: FP&A Genius by Datarails is an AI-powered platform that accesses financial data from across your company, privately and securely. It can cleverly analyse your budget and forecast and answer any questions you have without you having to comb through endless spreadsheets, as well as helping you model and build comprehensive budgets to optimise your business.

Decision making

Armed with data, finance teams are well placed to help CEOs steer the business towards success. We spoke about how these days, CFOs have a combined responsibility for crisis management, technology and strategy, and finance teams are being increasingly trusted to make these impactful decisions.

AI can help finance professionals to make deep connections between different data points, enabling them to identify patterns and trends that would be otherwise inaccessible. AI can uncover statistics and facts that human analysts might not be able to, either because they’re lacking the time or the eye for detail. All of this information empowers finance teams to make more data-centric decisions which can help to improve financial outcomes. 

Best tool for the job: Planful Predict uses AI-Driven insight to help finance teams make smarter decisions. The platform prides itself on complimenting human judgement with AI designed to uncover valuable opportunities. So CEOs and CFOs can leave the time-consuming number-crunching and reporting to AI, and rise above manual work to focus on being more agile.

“Leaders want accuracy, transparency and speed of data to enable decision making.” - Xander Cullum, Director at Williams Stanley

Investor relations 

AI is a goldmine for finance teams dealing with investor relations (IR). In fact, 85% of IR professionals are already using AI in some way. 

One of the benefits is that it can answer complicated questions an investor might have in just a few minutes, as well as summarise key information, market events and earnings summaries. Thanks to quicker and easier processes, finance teams can focus on building stronger relationships with investors and stakeholders. 

If you’re not fully comfortable trusting AI to produce correct answers yet, Christoph Greitemann, Head of Investor Relations at Deutsche Telekom has some advice. He recommends finance teams think of AI as a junior colleague; give it important tasks but make sure you review them for accuracy before finalising and sharing them.

Best tool for the job: Here, you can use ChatGPT to gather and analyse market intelligence and competitor information when you’re involved in strategic planning and decision making. It’s also incredibly effective for summarising meeting notes and providing advice on existing content for you to share with stakeholders. ChatGPT just got an upgrade to its memory function which makes it feel more human, so there’s never been a better time to experiment with it.

Contracts and agreements

Drawing up contracts quickly and accurately is arguably the backbone of successful business relationships. They’re essential for providing a legal framework in case the parties fall out – which can happen. But repeatedly drafting vendor agreements and Master Service Agreements (MSA) can be incredibly time-consuming, not to mention dull, for any finance team. And a disjointed contract process can really slow your company down. 

This is where AI comes in. You can use smart tools to save precious time amending contract templates and instead input the relevant information to be automatically drafted. AI is trained to automatically find, extract and raise key data points and deviations within a contract, so you don’t have to. With AI-generated contracts, you might be able to save yourself the expensive lawyer fees as well. This is because the time required to review contracts is significantly reduced when AI is involved in preparing them.

Best tool for the job: Juro’s AI Assistant helps you draft, summarise and review contracts up to ten times faster than with human-led processes. You can set guardrails for drafting, revise and refine clauses, and instantly share with other teams – all on one platform. This kind of contract AI empowers finance teams to finalise contracts faster so they can prioritise higher-value tasks.


It’s no surprise that finance teams spend a lot of time on accounts payable. That’s because there are a number of steps involved, from invoice capture and validation to approval and payment. If you’re processing these manually, it can take up to 20 minutes per invoice – a huge waste of time for finance professionals with a lot on their plate. 

With AI-powered invoicing, you can get a real-time view of your financial status and automate the process of making sure your suppliers get paid on time. AI can help to scan invoices at lightning speed and easily extract important information such as invoice date, PO number, invoice number and total due. Plus, AI can trigger approvals automatically, so you don’t need to worry about setting payment reminders. 

Best tool for the job: Pleo Invoices harnesses AI to help you save time and avoid costly errors by automating your accounts payable. With a dedicated invoices inbox and mobile uploads, invoices come straight to Pleo where our OCR technology automatically populates data for you. That’s hours saved.

Managing and mitigating risk

Risk management is a crucial task for every modern finance team. Identifying potential dangers and building robust plans helps businesses to stay resilient in the face of unexpected events. 

Of course, some risks (like natural disasters) can’t always be predicted. But risks at a more granular level (like cyber security attacks or a lack of funding) are easier to see coming. And AI can make finance teams more effective when it comes to spotting potential obstacles and keeping your business on the straight and narrow.

AI can be used to help businesses predict the likelihood of something occurring based on the context it has, as well as the effects this situation might have. Lots of businesses use AI to improve risk forecasting by analysing big data and identifying anomalous patterns, which can result in faster essential processes, like issuing loans or investing. ‘Horizon scanning’ is where AI can detect future risks based on pending legislation, proposed rules, even speeches made by regulators. So finance teams can use this capability to reduce uncertainty for the rest of the business.  

Best tool for the job: AuditBoard helps finance teams to elevate their audit, risk, IT security, and ESG programs. The business believes that the more risks you’re able to surface, the better you’ll be able to manage them and improve business outcomes. If you want to reduce your reporting time by 50%, enhance your compliance and boost decision-making, AuditBoard could be a worthy investment.

When asked what the most effective measure was for reducing risk within the last 12 months, ‘automation/new technology’ was the second most popular answer. - Thomas Reuters

Ultimately, embedding AI in your finance processes will not only save you time, but empower finance teams and CFOs to become business partners to the leadership team. Only by freeing up more time can you play a bigger part in steering the company’s direction and achieving the best possible results. So if you’re not already leveraging AI in your team, now’s the time to start.

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