AI in finance: start fast with out-of-the-box applications

Dec 02, 2020
  • finance
  • Microsoft
  • artificial intelligence & RPA

Has your finance organization embraced artificial intelligence (AI)? If not, you’re not alone. Most finance teams adopt a wait-and-see attitude, afraid that they lack the skills – and time – needed to support a transition to AI. Still, kicking off your AI journey is relatively easy: your SAP or Microsoft platform comes with a rapidly growing set of AI features, right out of the box! Check out our 4 plug-and-play examples.

“The finance organization used to be in the front row when companies started automating business processes. Because finance drives the pulse of every organization, it was traditionally the first module implemented in an ERP package,” says Gert Grobben, partner at delaware. “Unfortunately, finance now tends to lag behind when it comes to the deployment of new technologies like AI, even though the benefits are crystal clear. AI brings big efficiency gains to virtually every finance function, freeing up time for tasks that add real value to the business.”

No need to recruit a data science team

“The threshold for deploying AI in finance doesn’t have to be high,” continues Sebastiaan De Roeck, SAP Finance manager. “CFOs don’t need a data science team to get started. They can easily enrich their existing SAP and Microsoft systems with AI and machine learning by adding pre-built AI applications. Twice a year, SAP and Microsoft launch new applications that provide strategic machine-learning capabilities. Tailored to a very specific business problem, they are easy to use without any data science expertise.”

you don’t need a data science team to get started. Simply enrich your existing SAP or Microsoft system with pre-built AI applications
Sebastiaan De Roeck, SAP Finance manager at delaware

4 apps that help you manage cash and liquidity

Need a couple of examples? The following apps help you manage or forecast liquidity and cash flow. As CFOs explained in our blog series on the impact of COVID-19 on the CFO office,  liquidity forecasting functionalities are more useful than ever in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.


SAP Liquidity Forecast app (part of Treasury Management)

  • What? Based on transaction data and historical actual cash flows, this app helps you predict the aggregated cash flows – from customers and vendors – and the closing balance trend for the following 90 days.  
  • Benefits? Ensure sufficient liquidity to cover payment obligations. 

SAP Cash Application

  • What? This app uses criteria from historic company data to match invoices with incoming payments  to clear the payments. 
  • Benefits? Boost invoice processing efficiency, reduce days sales outstanding, cut costs and enhance the quality of work related to accounts receivable. 

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Payment Prediction

  • What? Using machine learning, this app predicts when a sales invoice  will be paid, which customers will pay on time or late and what invoices they will pay. 
  • Benefits? Improve cash flow forecasting. 


Microsoft Dynamics Cash Forecasting

  • What? The app calculates and analyzes upcoming cash flow and currency requirements so that you can estimate your future cash needs. 
  • Benefits? Reduce the risk of insolvency and move faster on investment opportunities.

Affordable license + short implementation = kick-off

Is an app all you need to embark upon your AI journey? “Your IT system does have to meet certain technical requirements, of course,” says Sebastiaan. “If it does, all it takes is an app license and a short implementation. These apps are virtually plug and play. In just a few days, they are live – and ready for the finance team to start experimenting with.” 

“Of course, the apps have to be trained using your company’s historical data before they can fully automate routine tasks. So, high-quality data is important. But users will quickly see the first impacts of added intelligence. A couple of  months later, they’ll be able to fully enjoy all the benefits of the app,” Gert asserts.

From implementing a ready-to-go AI-powered app to a finance roadmap

If you need help infusing intelligence into your ERP system, delaware can help. “We keep our finger on the pulse of new AI-based apps and have experience implementing them in collaboration with customers,” says Sebastiaan. “Thanks to our expertise, we’re perfectly equipped to get CFO teams on the road to AI.”

“CFOs that want to step up their investment in AI can also call in our help to explore their needs and capabilities. We will then guide them in choosing the applications that best meet their goals or build a customized solution together with our team of data scientists. Last but not least, delaware’s finance experts offer a digital finance transformation roadmap helping CFOs to assess their digital maturity and pinpoint the priorities. Consisting of three waves, it helps finance departments raise the efficiency, effectiveness and added value of their operations – in order to make them strategic business partners.

“But, once again, every finance team can start with AI today. It’s not rocket science; you don’t need in-house data science skills and the investment is low. Simply ride the wave that your ERP providers create, and you’ll soon harvest the fruit,” Gert concludes.

Every finance team can start with AI today. Simply ride the wave that your ERP providers create. The investment is low, and you’ll soon harvest the fruit.
Gert Grobben, partner at delaware

Your step one towards AI in finance? Get in touch with the delaware finance team to discuss how we can help.