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I tested ChatGPT – what impact for finance departments?

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Edouard Beauvois, AiVidens Co-Founder & CEO

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ChatGPT seems to be not the innovation of the moment but the innovation of the century! It’s simple, everyone is talking about it now, even in my private circles. As a reminder, ChatGPT is a language processing model developed by OpenAI. This model is trained on a large amount of data and can answer a variety (infinite?) of questions on different topics. It is important to note that the model is not yet commercialized and currently has no knowledge of events after 2021.

OpenAI has benefited from substantial investments. We are talking about several billion USD. Among OpenAI’s investors, both private and corporate, are Elon Musk, Reid Hoffman (co-founder of LinkedIn), AWS and Microsoft. There are many more. This underlines the importance of the project.

So I wanted to test ChatGPT on My goal? To understand what the tool is and to check if one day it could automate tasks in financial departments.

The interface is simple, it is a chat without any frills. The chat invites you to converse in any language, it will be French for me. I start with generic questions, mostly business. As the questions go on, I am more and more impressed by ChatGPT’s ability to understand the question asked, to answer it in a structured and constructed language, and to remember the context of the conversation in order to answer the following questions. In fact, I’m blown away by the tool’s ability to dialogue!

So I push a little and try to understand what would be the possible applications of ChatGPT in a specific business context. I ask the following question: “I would like to see examples of how ChatGPT could be used in a company’s finance department.” Here is the answer in summary of the possible options:

  • Automation of financial data entry such as invoices, bank statements and financial reports.
  • Automatic generation of financial reports: ChatGPT can be used to automatically generate reports such as financial statements, balance sheets and income statements from raw data. It can also be used to create interactive dashboards for executives to track the company’s financial performance.
  • Compliance automation: ChatGPT can be used to automate transaction monitoring to detect suspicious or illegal activity, or to verify that transactions meet company regulations and compliance policies.

Now I’m hooked! The tool not only understands the business of finance but could automate some of it, it’s just awesome!

All I have to do now is try. I prepare a relatively simple dataset with a few invoices and payments and ask Chat GPT to solve a calculation for me. Calculate an average payment term. If I manage to make it understand the data and present it in a table, after many tries, ChatGPT should present the right formula.

To my amazement though, Chat GPT tells me that it is sorry and that it can’t do this simple calculation. It recommends that I use a spreadsheet program or an accounts receivable management tool to analyze the data and make the appropriate calculations. Most importantly, it recommends that I consult an expert in accounts receivable management to get a more complete analysis.

So there still seems to be a huge gap between an artificial intelligence’s ability to converse and its ability to calculate and interpret data!

In addition, I would like to quote Garry Kasparov, a chess player who in 1997 was beaten by Big Blue, the computer developed by IBM. A few years ago, I attended a conference he was giving and he pointed out that the difference between humans and artificial intelligence is that while the latter is capable of answering questions on the basis of the information it has at its disposal, today only humans are capable of asking questions.

Indeed, this is where it is important to note that ChatGPT is primarily a natural language processing model. It can be used for tasks that require human language understanding and generation. Tasks that require precise mathematical calculations must be performed by specific tools and supported by an expert, a human, who will be the most likely to ask the right questions.

In conclusion, I invite you to test the tool as I did. It is incredible and its possibilities of use are numerous and extremely varied. It’s up to you to make your own opinion and especially to imagine the use cases for your business.

In any case, we are currently thinking about whether or not to use Chat GPT, its added value and its limitations, which will certainly be the subject of interesting discussions within the team!

Edouard Beauvois, Co-Founder & CEO of AiVidens, is an entrepreneur specialized in Finance and Marketing. Follow him on Linkedin.