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Harnessing the Power of Artificial Intelligence in Cash Management

artificial intelligence

In today’s uncertain economy, cash management plays a pivotal role in maintaining stability.

Deficiencies in how a business forecasts its cash, reconciles payments, and manages risk could result in difficulty funding day-to-day operations, higher borrowing costs, and an inability to grow.

Poor cash management can even put a business in jeopardy of failure.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a powerful tool that can help businesses optimize their cash management practices, streamline processes, make data-driven decisions, and mitigate risk.

This article will explore how AI can be used to cash management processes. 

What is artificial intelligence?

AI uses computer systems to perform tasks that previously required human intelligence. 

Many consumers are familiar with AI systems designed for tasks such as voice assistance and image recognition.  But businesses are deploying AI and related technologies such as machine learning and natural language processing to understand, learn, and perform cognitive tasks that humans can do. 

For instance, more businesses are using AI to automatically resolve exceptions and route documents for review.  Importantly, AI algorithms enable computers to learn from and make predictions or decisions based on vast amounts of data, without being explicitly programmed.  This approach accelerates return on investment and enables the technology to deliver better results over time.

From driverless cars to telemedicine, AI is revolutionizing business applications across many industries, including healthcare, transportation, manufacturing, and entertainment. 

Cash managers are also embracing AI.

How can AI be used in cash management?

AI can be used in various ways to enhance the cash management lifecycle.

  • Cash forecasting.  AI can analyze customer payment behavior, historical cash flow data, market trends, and other data to forecast cash flows.  Accurately predicting cash flows can enable a business to make better informed financial decisions and optimize its liquidity.
  • Payment processing.  Natural language processing and other AI technologies can understand and process payment instructions to automate routine invoicing and payment tasks.
  • Reconciliation.  AI-powered systems can compare and match transactions across bank statements, invoices, and receipts to automate the process of reconciling financial records.   
  • Cash optimization.  AI can consider historical cash management data such as seasonality, customer behavior, and payment cycles to identify patterns and optimize cash utilization.
  • Cash allocation.  AI can analyze interest rates, risk profiles, liquidity requirements, and other factors to optimize the allocation of cash across different accounts and investments. 
  • Fraud detection.  AI algorithms can analyze transaction information to identify patterns, anomalies, and suspicious activity that may indicate fraud, allowing for fast intervention. 
  • Liquidity management.  AI-powered systems can analyze historical data and market conditions to identify potential liquidity shortages and recommend strategies.  AI systems also can offer tailored recommendations for cash flow and working capital management.

These are some of the ways that AI can automate and optimize the cash management lifecycle.

Benefits of using AI for cash management

Businesses of all sizes can achieve significant benefits by using AI for cash management.

  • Lower overhead.  Eliminating manual, repetitive tasks such as matching payments to open invoices reduces labor costs and frees staff to focus on more strategic activities.
  • Improved accuracy.  AI-powered systems improve the accuracy of cash management operations by processing and reconciling large volumes of financial data.
  • Better cash flow management.  By analyzing historical financial data, AI enables businesses to make better informed financial decisions and more effectively their cash flow. 
  • Streamlined reconciliation.  Few cash management tasks are as time-consuming and error prone as manually reconciling bank statements and other financial records.  AI-powered systems automate this process by matching transactions across multiple sources.
  • Enhanced reporting.  AI systems can monitor transactions in real-time, providing businesses with up-to-date insights into their cash positions and financial performance.  AI-powered systems also can use this data to provide recommendations for liquidity management.   
  • Reduced risk of fraud.  AI-based payment processing systems identify potential instances of fraud or unauthorized activities by detecting odd patterns and anomalies in transactions.

None of this is to suggest that human expertise won’t be needed for cash management.

But AI technologies can lead to more effective and efficient cash management practices.

Elevate your cash management practices with AI

Cash management means more to businesses in turbulent times like these.  AI-based systems – technology that analyzes vast amounts of financial data and automates day-to-day decision-making – enables cash management departments to streamline processes, gain deeper insights into their cash management positions and financial performance, make better informed decisions, and mitigate risk.  AI can help businesses of all sizes navigate the complexities of today’s economic landscape.

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