Our sister community, Finance Alliance, recently held an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session inside their Slack community with Christian Martinez, Finance Manager at Kraft Heinz.

So, Christian answered members’ burning questions about how to successfully leverage AI tools in finance, and much more.

Below, you'll find some highlights from the session, where Christian shared valuable insights and tips with Finance Alliance's members. ⬇

How FP&A professionals can leverage AI tools

The main use cases for using these types of tools, such as ChatGPT and Google Bard, include:

  • Identifying risks, opportunities, and trends.
  • Facilitating collaboration between departments.
  • Developing automatic AOP models.
  • Natural language processing (NLP).

I’ve seen that Google Bard, ChatGPT, and other similar language models are very powerful tools for many processes, but in order to help automate financial forecasting, they require an additional tool.

For example, Google Bard + Python.

How can ChatGPT help perform real-time financial analysis?

I see ChatGPT helping in two main ways:

  1. Generating ideas on how to perform the analysis.
  2. Providing Python code to use on Google Colab to perform real-time financial analysis.

How can you ensure buy-in from management in finance transformation projects/initiatives?

It's really important to have that buy-in from management. In order to get it, you need to understand the ‘why are we doing this,’ and ‘why this matters.’ The answers will depend on the management and the project, but understanding those is key.

Another important thing you need to do is map your stakeholders/management people and understand how much interest and influence they have in your initiative.

Do you use third-party tools as the basis for building models or are spreadsheets still the best go-to option?

I prefer to use Python (with Google Colab) for this! But for the MVM (minimum viable model), I sometimes use Excel.

What third-party tools do you recommend for finance professionals and why?

I’m still in the process of exploring the potential of third-party tools. Right now, I’m using Tableau, Alteryx, Python, SQL, Microsoft Azure, and Power BI.

What are your top 5 methods to forecast data?

  1. Random forests
  2. Linear regression
  3. Clustering
  4. Monte Carlo simulation
  5. Time series

How can AI help predict financial patterns?

They can primarily help through decision-making algorithms, predictive analytics, and automation.

What do you think are the best ChatGPT plugins for FP&A?

I have many articles on plugins:

3 Great ChatGPT Plug ins for Finance with Guide + Business Case

Generate your own ChatGPT Plug in guide in 3 Simple Steps

10 Amazing Ways to Use ChatGPT Plugins for Stock Analysis: Part 1

How can I use AI for financial modeling?

There are many good use cases for financial modeling. Some of the main ones are the creation of models (LBO, DCF, etc), research about models, generation of shortcuts guides on your financial modeling software, formula builder, etc.

Do you recommend using ChatGPT API in Python or is inaccuracy still a huge issue?

On its own, the API is the same as using the model on the OpenAI website. If you add things on top, it can then be valuable.

On accuracy, there are two things I’d recommend:

  • Use this before your prompts: "Act as a purely factual AI that doesn’t hallucinate. If you don't know an answer or if it's out of your training data, just say it..."
  • Treat ChatGPT as the most junior member of your team. They can contribute and help a lot, but you need to check their work before submitting it to your stakeholders/customers. Use your knowledge and expertise to assess the veracity of what they produce.

What news sources do you use to stay on top of all the tools and developments in AI?

I mainly use Twitter and LinkedIn. I tend to follow a group of AI "general" influencers on Twitter, and then if I think it can be applied to finance and accounting, I post it on LinkedIn.

These are some of the accounts I follow:

About Christian Martinez

Christian Martinez is currently the Finance Manager at Kraft Heinz and has over six years of experience in financial planning and analysis (FP&A). He’s also the founder of The Financial Fox, a non-profit startup project which aims to democratize machine learning and data analysis.

Christian was named as one of the 30 under 30 in the Accounting and Finance industry in Australia in 2021. He also won the EMEA Data Democratizer Award in 2022 and was a finalist in the Young Leaders in Finance Awards in 2018.

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