Microsoft Unveils Copilot Chatbot for Finance Professionals

Microsoft Launches AI Copilot for Finance, Aiming to Boost Efficiency in Excel and Outlook Tasks

By Athena Xu

2/29, 11:11 EST
Microsoft Corporation

Key Takeaway

  • Microsoft launches Copilot AI for finance in Excel and Outlook, aiming to boost efficiency with tasks like data reconciliation.
  • The tool integrates with SAP and Dynamics 365, promising future enhancements and significant time savings for finance teams.
  • Early adoption by firms like Dentsu indicates potential for widespread use in accelerating financial processes.

Microsoft Introduces Copilot Chatbot for Finance

Microsoft made headlines on Thursday with the announcement of its latest innovation, the Copilot chatbot designed specifically for finance professionals. The tech giant is set to release the tool in public preview, with pricing details to follow. This move aligns with a broader trend in the industry, where companies like HubSpot and Salesforce are integrating generative artificial intelligence into their products to enhance efficiency for clients.

"We want every one of the departments to be enabled and enriched with a Copilot," stated Charles Lamanna, a Microsoft corporate vice president, emphasizing the tool's potential to streamline tasks across various business functions. Microsoft already offers Copilots for general industrial use in Office applications, as well as tailored versions for sales and customer service teams.

The finance-focused Copilot will initially focus on tasks such as conducting a variance analysis, reconciling data in Excel, and expediting the collections process in Outlook. Leveraging information from SAP and Microsoft Dynamics 365, the software is expected to evolve with additional features throughout the year. Dentsu, a Japanese advertising agency, is among the early adopters of the finance Copilot.

Cory Hrncirik, modern finance lead in Microsoft's office of the chief financial officer, highlighted the significant time savings the Copilot can offer finance teams. By automating data reconciliation processes that typically consume hours each week, the tool aims to free up employees for more strategic and value-added work. While the adoption of the Copilot is optional for Microsoft's finance staff, widespread use could potentially accelerate the financial closing process for companies.

The introduction of the Copilot for finance underscores Microsoft's commitment to leveraging AI to empower professionals in the financial sector. As the tool gains traction and demonstrates tangible benefits, it presents a compelling value proposition for CFOs seeking to enhance operational efficiency and drive business outcomes.

Management Quotes

  • Charles Lamanna, Microsoft Corporate Vice President:

    "We want every one of the departments to be enabled and enriched with a Copilot."

  • Cory Hrncirik, Modern Finance Lead in Microsoft's Office of the Chief Financial Officer:

    "Comparing data taken from different systems is something every finance team on the planet does a lot of... A couple of thousand people on a financial planning and analysis team each spend one or two hours doing reconciliation each week, and with the new Copilot, that takes more like 10 or 20 minutes per week."