Perspectives

The Generative AI Movement

What role can it play CFOs and Finance Teams in Thailand?

Author: Dr. Metinee Jongsaliswang
Executive Director
Deloitte Consulting Thailand Leader

 

With the approval of Thailand's (Draft) National Artificial Intelligence (AI) Master Plan 2022-2027 by the Thai Cabinet on 26 July 2022, the country has been on a path to becoming a regional leader in AI. One of the most promising areas for AI in finance is generative AI. Generative AI is a type of AI that can create new data, such as text, images, and videos.

Businesses and consumers are experimenting with Generative AI and exploring its potential capabilities with excitement. For example, several public and private sector organisations have recently teamed up to develop a Thai-language generative AI-powered chatbot, known as OpenThaiGPT, which is expected to serve several sectors ranging from education to business.

This is good news for CFOs and finance teams of companies in Thailand, as generative AI has the potential to revolutionise the way they operate. For example, generative AI can be used to:

  • Generating financial reports: Generative AI can be used to automatically generate financial reports, such as income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements. This can save finance teams a significant amount of time and effort, and it can also help to ensure that reports are accurate and consistent.
  • Creating financial models: Generative AI can be used to create financial models, which are used to forecast future financial performance. This can help CFOs to make better decisions about investment and budgeting.
  • Analyzing financial data: Generative AI can be used to analyze financial data, such as sales data, customer data, and inventory data. This can help CFOs to identify trends and patterns, and to make better decisions about pricing, marketing, and inventory management.

In addition to these specific tasks, generative AI can also be used to improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of finance teams. For example, generative AI can be used to automate tasks such as data entry, email correspondence, and report distribution. This can free up finance team members to focus on more strategic tasks, such as developing new business models and managing risk.

There are already a number of local companies in Thailand that are leveraging generative AI to improve their finance operations. For example, a leading financial institute is using generative AI to automate the creation of financial reports. This has saved the bank a significant amount of time and effort, and it has also helped to improve the accuracy of the reports. Another example is a Thai consumer seafood producer, which is using generative AI to analyze financial data. This has helped the company to identify trends and patterns in its sales data, which has in turn led to improved decision-making about pricing and marketing.

While generative AI is a powerful technology that can be used for a variety of purposes, it also comes with some risks.

  • Data bias: Generative AI models are trained on data, and if the data is biased, the model will be biased as well. This could lead to inaccurate or misleading financial insights.
  • Hallucination: Generative AI models can sometimes produce output that is factually incorrect. This is known as "hallucination." This could lead to CFOs making bad decisions based on inaccurate information.
  • Compliance: Generative AI models can be used to automate tasks that are currently performed by humans. This could lead to compliance issues if the models are not properly designed and implemented.

In addition to the risks mentioned above, there is a growing concern that AI will completely replace human work. It is important to clear up this misconception. Making good decisions involves more than just looking at data. It requires thinking about many things, like what the organization wants, past performance, what stakeholders want, and possible risks. Technology can be helpful, but experienced leaders should still guide the decision-making process.

As the use of generative AI in Thailand continues to grow, CFOs and finance teams will need to be prepared to adopt this new technology. By doing so, they can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their operations, and they can make better decisions that will help their businesses to succeed.

Implementing AI in finance teams involves a step-by-step approach:

  • Step 1: Identify key pain points and opportunities for improvement
  • Step 2: Invest in AI tools that align with specific needs
  • Step 3: Provide comprehensive training to equip team members with the necessary skills

Companies can start a small pilot project to see how it works and to identify any potential challenges. It is also important for teams to be patient as they learn how to use it effectively since generative AI is still a relatively new technology. There will be times when things don't go as planned, but with time and effort, teams will enjoy the benefits of generative AI.

Generative AI is a powerful technology that can be used by CFOs and finance teams to improve a wide range of tasks. As the use of AI continues to grow in Thailand, businesses that are able to adopt this technology will be well-positioned to succeed.

Dr. Metinee leads the Consulting practice in Thailand. She has extensive experience in strategic consulting and banking coverage, having advised on a wide variety of transactions worldwide, including equity capital markets, debt capital markets and financial advisory activities in Thailand, as well as numerous fund-raising issues in Southeast Asia, China and Europe. The views expressed in this article are of her own.

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