Google’s Restructuring Illustrates AI’s Effect on Finance

Google’s Restructuring Illustrates AI’s Effect on Finance

Organizations’ growth calculus is being reshaped by digital innovation in the context of a shifting business landscape.

And with the announcement on Wednesday, April 17, that Google CFO Ruth Porat is reorganizing the finance team as the company looks to reallocate resources toward artificial intelligence (AI), chief financial officers of both large and small businesses are concerned about the implications of adopting a more technologically advanced approach.

The reason for this is that CFOs in the modern era are frequently at the forefront of the digital transformation, serving as important decision-makers when it comes to making investments in technologies that benefit their company and its stakeholders.

Ultimately, a company’s financial decisions often influence, if not directly determine, its future course of action. For this reason, it is crucial now more than ever to manage cash flow, working capital, compliance, cybersecurity, and fraud. Enterprises operating in these domains that rely on legacy functions may become mired in manual labor and exposed to competitors that are more flexible and agile.

CFOs may promote operational excellence, maximize resource allocation, and provide unmatched value to important stakeholders by utilizing cutting-edge technologies like AI. This is especially true when digital investments are made in conjunction with long-term corporate growth goals.

AI’s Revolutionary Effect on the Finance Sector

“As a CFO, being on top of current technology is really important structurally for so many areas of the business,” Anna Brunelle, CFO at May Mobility, told PYMNTS this past February.

Furthermore, as PYMNTS has long reported, the development of advanced instruments and digital technologies has completely changed the way that finance is conducted. Modern CFOs may now more easily optimize their current procedures, obtain deeper insights from cross-departmental information centers, and make more efficient and timely data-driven choices by merging automation, data analytics, and artificial intelligence.

“Turning to automation transformed our finance department,” LiquidX CFO Abhishek Khandelwal told PYMNTS. “Things that used to take hours, for example analysts spending around 80% of their time pulling data and not analyzing it, are much more streamlined. It has totally transformed jobs, freeing up valuable time for more strategic exercises.”

In light of future developments in AI, Khandelwal predicted that “reporting through an Excel spreadsheet, a PDF document, or even a dashboard is going to be outdated.” Real-time data will be accessible to the public via a Gen AI interface. They can type in any query they have and receive a prompt response. It is impossible to give excellent talent dull work to accomplish in today’s atmosphere if you want to keep them on staff.

Implementing digital solutions can lead to a step function rise in workflow output, even though traditional finance team tasks like cash management, internal and external reporting, talent development, risks and controls, and scenario planning won’t be going away anytime soon.

“Technology-driven growth, especially artificial intelligence, especially automation, these are things that as a finance department that we can really leverage,” PayByPhone Chief Financial Officer Nick Hamill told PYMNTS.

“It’s a lot easier to get up and running quickly now with things that give you a much better view of your business… and those tools have enabled finance to even accelerate the value that they can bring to the whole company,” said Scott Casey, CFO at Robin AI, in response to PYMNTS.

CFOs’ Position in the Digital Transformation

“It’s still building out for scale, but instead of scaling with headcount, which we’ve traditionally been doing as a finance organization, it’s scaling with technology and leaning into automation,” said Amy Wang, CFO at Procurify, to PYMNTS when discussing how to use innovation for enterprise growth.

Finance executives should keep in mind, though, that automated tools like artificial intelligence (AI) are only as good as how they are applied, and a badly thought-out solution may wind up being worse than going the traditional route. Ultimately, automating an inefficient process leads to an increase in inefficiencies rather than a reduction in them.

“The finance function has been dealing with AI for some time. I don’t want to say we’re the tip of the spear on this, but tools such as expense management tools in the accounting function [have long been built on AI],” Jim Sparks, CFO at Kalderos, told PYMNTS . “In a perfect world, I think artificial intelligence won’t replace humans, but it will make humans more effective by unlocking insights and making projections more accurate.”

The use of AI in the financial office must ultimately be evaluated and deployed as necessary, just like any other investment. CFOs would be stupid to follow the latest trends blindly, motivated only by hype rather than a clear business objective.