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AI can help you create financial models and forecasts quickly and simply, allowing you to make rapid adjustments, to use natural language to create complicated reports and to identify trends, risks and opportunities. It can also reduce risk by helping you spot data anomalies and potential errors.

Machine learning (ML) offers many advantages, especially in automating data processing. It can significantly reduce the time needed to prepare raw data for financial modelling. AI-powered tools will process and clean datasets in a fraction of the time it would take you to do the same tasks. Excelís Power Query for example, can identify and fix errors, outliers, missing values, duplicates, and inconsistencies in your data.

AI's predictive capabilities are also a game-changer in this area. It can handle the complexity and volume of large financial data sets and extract relevant and meaningful insights. Algorithms will analyse your data to identify complex patterns and relationships that can be overlooked by traditional modelling methods. This can make your models more robust and flexible, so that they can capture nonlinear and dynamic relationships between financial variables and adapt to changing market conditions and customer behaviours. In Excel the Analyze Data feature can be used to ask questions, create charts, or find trends and patterns within data.

AI can also extract insights from diverse data sources, including unstructured social media sentiment, to help you understand market trends and dynamics. Again Excel - every accountantís favourite tool - can now extract data from multiple sources including images, PDFs and web pages. You might use Insert Data from Picture for example, to convert an image of a table into an editable spreadsheet.

Scenario analysis can be automated with AI, allowing for rapid adjustments to key variables in financial models, to evaluate potential outcomes under different conditions. Excel has features like Forecast Sheet and Analysis ToolPak that can help you to create predictive models.

Real-time adjustments can ensure your financial projections are relevant and responsive to rapidly changing economic conditions.

AI models can also help with potential operational or credit risks by identifying patterns and anomalies in financial and operational data. This supports proactive risk management and helps mitigate potential issues before they arise.

Of course the world of AI and its reach is changing rapidly, so new innovations are being seen all the time. Specific tools now exist to help make the most of AIís capabilities when it comes to financial modelling and more will be made available within Excel and other programmes shortly. Stay up-to-date in order to make the most of the opportunities it is opening up for finance professionals!

Learn more about AI, and gain 4-hours of CPD, with our course AI For Accountants!

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