72% of Executives Want AI Integration – Here’s How Treasury Teams Can Give It To Them

Written by Jason Mountford
June 28, 2023

The introduction of ChatGPT felt different. It was exciting, and executives immediately started wondering how they could leverage this technology.

At Trovata, we did just that by pairing our software with generative AI. According to one survey, we’re far from the only ones ready to strike while the iron’s hot – 72% of business leaders aim to bring AI into the workplace within the next 3 years.

While businesses want to get on board quickly, there’s also some hesitation. That makes sense – we’re in uncharted territory.

Maybe you’re convinced: you know AI could hugely benefit your treasury department, but your boss is being cautious. 

We’re here to help.

Below, we’ll tackle some of the biggest concerns executives have when it comes to AI. We’ll also discuss its benefits and what implementation actually looks like, helping you build a powerful case.

First, let’s discuss the elephant in the room:

Will AI Take My Job?

No, it won’t.

It’s hard to talk about AI in the workplace without bringing up sci-fi images of robots doing manual tasks around the office. Maybe they’re accompanied by a supercomputer that performs finance calculations faster than a caffeinated squirrel on roller skates.

Jokes aside, executives realize that, in the minds of employees, AI is pretty much synonymous with “job loss.” After all, AI can do tasks much more quickly, right? And you don’t have to pay it any kind of salary!

But the idea that generative AI will take people’s jobs is wrong, and it’s based on two false premises.

Execs Want to Reduce Employee Churn

The first is that executives are out to slash budgets by replacing staff with AI workers – they’re not. On the contrary, they’re just as concerned about job retention as employees are. 

Executives know that, without experienced workers, their company’s going to have a hard time achieving its goals (not to mention remaining solvent).  As per the survey, it turns out 26% of business leaders worried that bringing AI into the workplace would cause employees to pack up their things and head for the front door.

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AI Needs to Be Used By Knowledgable People

The second false assumption is that generative AI has the capacity to replace employees. It doesn’t. Actually, it needs them – generative AI is only really useful in the hands of people who know how to use it. It’s a tool, one that’ll make the mundane parts of the job a lot easier, a lot faster and a lot more streamlined. Time saved can be used for value-added activities – employees make the leap from data-wrangling to data analysis and application.

So, that’s our first and perhaps most important contention: AI is not going to take your job.

Before even introducing the idea of bringing generative AI into the workplace, recast it for your boss in this more accurate light. It’s not going to take away jobs, just change them.

Ultimately, this change will be a good thing as it fits with the larger-scale trend of the transforming treasury department, which is increasingly shifting from stagnant number-crunching to agile, proactive strategic planning.  

Your boss needs to make sure employees feel involved in the adoption process. Coupled with the explanation that AI won’t replace them, the feared hit to employee morale won’t occur. Actually, once they see how much easier things get and how much more interesting their jobs become, you can expect a morale boost.

Brand Reputation and Data Security

The next concern is brand reputation, something it makes sense to worry about with any big new tech adoption.

The most prominent concern is probably data security – this is especially the case when dealing with sensitive treasury information. From day one, Trovata has been committed to data security – after all, open banking is based on the premise that your data belongs to you and you alone.

With our new implementation of generative AI, it’s no different. To protect your data, Trovata works with a separate instance of GPT-4, a “closed loop” that is separate from the servers owned by Open AI (the developers of ChatGPT). Your company’s financial data is never actually leaving Trovata. 

AI Democratizes Knowledge

As we’ve already discussed, a tool like ChatGPT doesn’t aim to replace employees. It’s an expert in finance topics, yes, but you still need treasury workers to really understand and apply the knowledge. It’s the “expert in finance topics” part we want to focus on here.

That expert knowledge is highly leverageable in two ways: first, it educates employees on different techniques. Second, it provides a sense of how and when to apply them.

Let’s look at a specific example. Say business leaders decide to expand the business to a foreign country – you’re based in the US, and have only ever dealt in USD. You know you’re going to need to hedge currencies, so you ask ChatGPT to explain the various currency hedging techniques. We did exactly this in one of our trial runs, and it listed out a few options including forward contracts and currency options.

Let’s say that, after asking, you still don’t understand what the heck a forward contract is. You say “Could you simply explain forward contracts to me, in greater detail?” If there’s a specific aspect of forward contracts you want more information on, such as counterparty risk, you just ask.

To get more insight on forward contracts, you might ask in what situations forward contracts would be a better choice than currency options, and why.

Over time, as you put ChatGPT’s advice to the test, you gain a sense of when you should use forward contracts or when you should use another option like ETF funds.

You become more effective as a treasurer as you dig into finance information in a way that’s much more intuitive than simply running a Google search.

The Advantages of AI

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Trovata is all about transparency – using APIs, all data across bank accounts is displayed in a single location. Paired with machine learning, the software can identify trends, create cash flow forecasts, and help you manage your liquidity.

How does AI enhance this? 

Well, imagine, rather than navigating Trovata on your own and figuring out how to do all this, you simply ask our generative AI tool, Trovata AI, “Hey, could you show me my cash flow over the last two months?” And there it is, right in front of you.

Maybe you want to dig a little deeper, so you say, “Could you show me cyclical transactions over the past 90 days in a chart?” And you’ve got a chart.

Maybe you’ve been considering implementing generative AI into the treasury department, but figured the idea was a non-starter – it’s not really known for its math abilities, after all.

We thought the same thing at first, but the answer to this conundrum is to pair it with software that does do math. GPT-4 is not actually doing the math for you – Trovata and treasury employees are doing that. It’s simply making it easier to access and explain the context of the data Trovata has already gathered.

Essentially, generative AI provides you with an extra hand. Talking to GPT-4 is very similar to talking to a colleague on Slack – the only difference is you can’t hang out with them later, since they’re not a real person!

Ok, that’s not the only difference. If you ask your colleague on Slack to generate an IRS-compliant FBAR report for you, it might take them a day or two, especially if they have other tasks to complete. At the very least, it’s going to take them a few hours.

Not the case with GPT-4 in Trovata. Using your data, which is securely provided through banking APIs, the AI can generate an FBAR report for you just about instantly. We know this, because we gave it a try!

Bring up specific use cases, like when making a pitch to your boss. Think of a specific incident in treasury where generative AI could have helped. For instance, maybe there was an instance where something fraudulent was going on – AI is excellent at spotting anomalies.

Faster Implementation with AI

Sometimes, treasury software can be difficult to implement, and we don’t just mean that it can take months and tie up the vast majority of IT resources (something we’re proud to say is not the case with Trovata!) Instead, we mean that it can take time for employees to actually learn how to use the software and apply those data-rich, actionable insights. 

But how is this an AI-related concern?

Well, by implementing GPT-4 into Trovata, we’ve ensured there’s already an expert “on-board.” Our version of GPT understands how to use Trovata to forecast liquidity, analyze cash flow trends, and develop scenario plans. There’s much less of a learning curve, meaning your treasury team can get up and running as quickly as possible.

Start Implementing Generative AI Today

Generative AI is here to stay. But it’s not what people think it is – it’s not going to take jobs away, just make them even more productive.

At the end of the day, Trovata AI is all about time savings and flexibility. We’ve always been about data transparency. By allowing you to quickly understand and utilize your troves of data, the AI comes in to provide a one-two punch.

We’re proud to have brought this awesome new technology, available to all Trovata customers, and we hope you see how a tool like ChatGPT can make your financial management much more effective.

Want to see it in action? Book a demo today.

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