How intelligent insights and AI are changing finance

April 25, 2022 | 3 minute read
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By Sujit Jha, Practice Director, Oracle EPM, Inspirage

Today’s finance teams understand the importance of future-proofing their systems. That’s why the best finance teams are leveraging artificial intelligence (AI)—specifically robotic process automation (RPA) and machine learning—to manage and automate their corporate financial processes. These types of AI can apply human-like intelligence to machine-performed tasks, such as decision-making and visual interpretation. RPA, for example, is a scripted, software-driven process for streamlining common repetitive tasks. This technology, considered the simplest form of AI, creates valuable process efficiencies for finance.

Gain efficiencies with intelligent process automation

As part of its Intelligent Performance Management (IPM) initiative, Oracle has made significant investments embedding AI and RPA into Oracle Cloud EPM. Oracle’s version of RPA is called “intelligent process automation” (IPA), which reflects the fact that it’s not a separate set of tools—it’s embedded into EPM processes, so finance users can benefit from the technology in the context of their everyday activities. For example, IPA can:

  • Reconcile balance sheets: IPA can perform most zero-balance reconciliations automatically, giving finance staff more time to reconcile key items that have a greater impact on the month-end financials.
  • Automate consolidations: IPA runs consolidations automatically in the background, so staff can focus on other work.
  • Generate narrative: You can set conditions to automatically insert text into your reports, helping you complete narrative reports faster.
  • Orchestrate the close: IPA can monitor processes and send alerts of tasks that need attention. It helps you orchestrate the complete financial close, from subledger to reporting.
  • Detect anomalies to identify fraud: Stopping financial fraud can be difficult due to the sheer volume of events and false alarms. Payment processors have turned to IPA to systematically analyze these activities, identifying and alerting system users of potentially fraudulent behavior.

Chart a smarter course with intelligent insights

Oracle Cloud EPM also comes with IPM Insights, a set of built-in capabilities that helps unlock new possibilities for finance teams. IPM Insights is not a traditional machine learning platform for developers, nor is it a business intelligence tool that depends on existing data to generate reports. Instead, it uses machine learning to continually monitor your plans, forecasts, actuals and variances. Rather than spending hours trying to analyze data and spot trends, IPM Insights sends predictive insights straight to you, so you can take action quickly. It improves the quality of insights, with features such as:

  • Forecast variance and bias insight: IPM Insights can uncover hidden biases in forecasts submitted by planners, by measuring the variance between two historical scenarios.
  • Prediction insight: It identifies significant deviation in forecasts by measuring the variance between future scenarios.
  • Anomaly insight: It helps detect unusual patterns that may deviate from expected results.
  • Machine learning flexibility: Users can use a machine learning model from any data science platform by importing the model into Oracle Cloud EPM and accessing its predictions and signals there. (Oracle calls this BYOML - “Bring your own machine learning.”)

Drive better decisions

Additional capabilities in Oracle Cloud EPM can help you:

  • Connect enterprise plans: Oracle Cloud EPM provides an integrated planning platform to connect plans from finance, operations, supply chain, human resources, IT, sales, and marketing. All lines of business can use the shared data to create better insights, and the machine learning-driven forecasts help support better decision-making.
  • Influence strategy: Finance teams harness the power of Oracle Cloud EPM to inform short- and long-term decision-making, such as whether to adopt a conservative or aggressive forecast strategy.

Oracle Cloud EPM helps you significantly improve your finance operations—from budget, profit and costing, and long-range planning to line-of-business planning and management reporting. In short, it complements your finance team's abilities to perform their roles more efficiently. 

Inspirage is an experienced Oracle partner that has successfully guided many EPM and ERP implementations, supply chain transformations, and numerous other ambitious projects for customers across a diverse range of industries. Contact our team to learn more about how we can help your finance organization harness the power of AI and machine learning in the cloud.

Learn more about AI and machine learning in Oracle Cloud EPM.

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