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Maximizing ROI on AI-led Automation Initiatives in Finance

Find out the answer to the above question in this interview with:

Bimal Shah
CFO Corium & Strategic Advisor

Moderated by:
Emily
Digital Transformation Consultant at Hyperbots

Don’t want to watch a video? Read the interview transcript below.

Emily (Host) : Welcome to the latest installment of our interview series, where we delve into the intersection of finance and technology. Today, we are privileged to host Bimal Shah, an esteemed finance professional with extensive experience in the pharmaceutical industry, including serving as a CFO. Our focus for this session is on understanding the return on investment (ROI) of AI-led automation initiatives in finance. Let’s dive in!

Emily (Host): Hello everyone, and welcome! I’m Emily, a digital transformation consultant at Hyperbots, and I’m thrilled to have Bimal joining us today. Bimal, before we jump into the details, could you please share a bit about your background?

Bimal Shah (Guest): Certainly, Emily. Thank you for having me. I’ve spent over a decade in senior financial roles within the life sciences industry, ranging from privately held firms to publicly traded companies. My expertise lies in navigating the complexities of finance in the pharmaceutical sector.

Emily: Thank you, Bimal, for that introduction. Let’s structure our discussion today into three key areas: understanding ROI methods, AI adoption in finance, and challenges and recommendations. Starting with ROI methods, Bimal, as a seasoned CFO, what frameworks have you employed to evaluate ROI?

Bimal: ROI, or return on investment, is paramount in financial decision-making. It can be measured through metrics such as internal rate of return, payback period, or simply as a ratio of returns to investment. Assessing ROI involves considering factors like technology costs, implementation expenses, and potential cost savings or efficiency gains.

Emily: Fascinating insights, Bimal. Moving on to AI adoption in finance, which processes do you see as ripe for AI integration?

Bimal: Invoice processing, accounts payable, and accounts receivable management are prime candidates for AI adoption. These areas involve repetitive tasks that can benefit from automation, leading to cost savings and improved accuracy.

Emily: That’s insightful. And how would you prioritize AI adoption within the finance function?

Bimal: I would start with areas like accounts payable and receivable, where the tasks are relatively straightforward but labor-intensive. Demonstrating the benefits of AI in these areas can pave the way for adoption in more complex functions like financial planning and analysis.

Emily: Excellent advice, Bimal. Now, let’s delve into the nitty-gritty of calculating ROI. Could you elaborate on the quantitative and qualitative gains of AI-led automation?

Bimal: Quantitative gains include cost savings from reduced headcount and improved payment processing efficiency. On the qualitative side, benefits such as enhanced decision-making and employee satisfaction are harder to measure but equally valuable.

Emily: That’s a comprehensive overview. Bimal, how would you recommend measuring ROI for automation initiatives, considering both direct and indirect costs?

Bimal: Direct costs, such as technology investments and labor expenses, are relatively straightforward to quantify. However, capturing indirect costs and intangible benefits requires a more holistic approach. It’s essential to focus on measurable metrics while acknowledging qualitative gains.

Emily: Thank you for clarifying that, Bimal. As we near the end of our discussion, how would you suggest CFOs and controllers approach ROI measurement and publication for automation initiatives?

Bimal: I advocate for a balanced approach, emphasizing quantifiable benefits while acknowledging qualitative gains. Attempting to overly quantify intangible benefits may dilute the credibility of ROI calculations. Transparency and clarity are key when communicating the value of automation initiatives.

Emily: Wise counsel, Bimal. Finally, in terms of risk assessment, how do you recommend quantifying potential risks associated with AI implementation?

Bimal: While risks such as damaged relationships or employee concerns are challenging to quantify, they must be acknowledged and managed. Mitigating risks requires proactive communication, stakeholder engagement, and a focus on seamless implementation.

Emily: Thank you, Bimal, for your invaluable insights into maximizing ROI on AI-led automation initiatives in finance. It’s been a pleasure discussing these critical topics with you.

Bimal: Likewise, Emily. Thank you for hosting me, and I look forward to future conversations on the evolving landscape of finance and technology.

And there you have it, folks! A deep dive into the ROI of AI-led automation initiatives in finance, featuring insights from Bimal Shah, a seasoned CFO. Stay tuned for more enriching discussions on the intersection of finance and technology.



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