Introducing Microsoft Copilot for Finance – the newest Copilot in Microsoft 365 designed to transform modern finance

By Charles Lamanna, CVP, Business Applications and Platforms

Today we’re announcing the public preview of Microsoft Copilot for Finance, the newest role-based extension of Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365 designed to revolutionize how finance teams approach their daily work. Copilot for Finance joins Copilot for Sales and Copilot for Service, now generally availableto provide AI-powered, role-based workflow automation, recommendations, and guided actions in the flow of work.

Finance departments are critical partners in strategic decisions impacting the direction of a company. Eighty percent of finance leaders and teams face challenges to take on more strategic work outside the operational portions of their roles1. However, 62 percent of finance professionals say they are stuck in the drudgery of data entry and review cycles 2. Copilot for Finance can help free up time for finance to play more of a strategic role in delivering counsel and insights to the business by streamlining financial tasks, automating workflows, and providing insights in the flow of work.

«Copilot for Finance enables finance teams in Switzerland and across the globe to focus even more on strategic consulting and analysis with the help of AI,» says Roger Altorfer, Head of Customer Success at Microsoft Switzerland. «This important milestone for the financial sector represents a significant advancement in our vision to make business processes not just more efficient, but also more valuable with AI.»

Like Copilot for Sales and Copilot for Service, Copilot for Finance includes Copilot for Microsoft 365. This supercharges Excel, Outlook, and other widely-used productivity apps with workflow and data-specific insights for the finance professional. Copilot for Finance draws on essential context from your existing financial data sources, including traditional Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 and SAP, and the Microsoft Graph.

In public preview today, Copilot for Finance introduces several key features to enhance financial operations:

  • Helps financial analysts Quickly conduct a variance analysis in Excel using natural language prompts to review data sets for anomalies, risks, and unmatched values. This type of analysis helps finance provide strategic insights to business leaders about where it is meeting, exceeding, or falling short of planned financial outcomes and why.
  • Simplifies the reconciliation process in Excel with automated data structure comparisons and guided troubleshooting to help move from insight to action, which helps ensure the reliability and accuracy of financial records.
  • Provides a complete summary of relevant customer account details in Outlooksuch as balance statements and invoices, to expedite the collections process.
  • Enables customers to turn raw data in Excel into presentation-ready visuals and reports ready to be shared across Outlook and Teams.

Customers transforming business operations with Microsoft Copilot

The role-based extensions of Copilot help business users across roles tackle a common problem: getting from insights to impact – with the relevant data and workflows specific to their roles. The most recent Work Trend Index survey revealed that people are drowning in data. Roughly a quarter of their day is spent searching for information, and only 50% of the information they consume each day is deemed necessary for their job.

Copilot helps break down information and application silos while actively deriving insights, recommendations and guidance from a variety of data sources—all in acquainted with Microsoft’s responsible AI principles. With Microsoft Copilot Studiobusinesses can further customize Copilot for business processes inside of Copilot for Microsoft 365 and its role-based extensions.

Copilot for Sales is already helping sellers at more than 30,000 organizations. Companies including dentsu, Lumen Technologies, Northern Trust, Schneider Electric, Visa and hundreds more are empowering their employees with Copilot across their sales, service and finance departments.

Here is what a few of the companies had to say:

  • “Artificial intelligence is transforming the way businesses operate and thrive. At dentsu, we are constantly searching for ways to bring the power of generative AI to all our employees with a framework defined on ethical and responsible AI principles. Building on the existing use cases we’ve defined to empower our workforce with Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Copilot for Sales, we are excited to participate in the preview of Microsoft Copilot for Finance. We see potential for Copilot for Finance to accelerate the impact of our finance professionals by optimizing routine processes, and we anticipate efficiency gains will free up finance capacity to focus on performance across our organization.” – Carolyn Isaacs, Global Director Finance Services, dentsu
  • “Northern Trust’s digital workplace transformation is rooted in empowering our employees with technology that enhances and optimizes the services that they provide our clients. Deploying Microsoft Copilot for Service is a milestone in this transformation journey and we are excited for the potential of this AI-powered solution to help modernize our client relations organization, streamline processes for our employees, and elevate our client experience.” – Shaelyn Otikor SVP, Head of Global Digital Workplace Strategy, Asset Servicing, Northern Trust
  • “Building on our 30-year history of embracing AI, Visa is on a journey to roll out generative AI across our entire company to empower our employees and develop new solutions to serve and protect our cardholders, merchants and the broader ecosystem. We’ve seen our employees embrace the broad rollout of Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365, and we’re excited to continue to bring employees new ways to take advantage of the technology, transforming the ways in which we work and how we serve our clients. ” – Don Hobson, Chief Information Officer, Visa

At Microsoft, we are also an AI-powered organization, leveraging Copilot for Sales and Copilot for Service to improve seller and agent workflows and transform customer experiences:

  • Microsoft Copilot for Sales, empowers sellers to close deals faster with AI-assisted insights and recommendations. Our study of Microsoft sellers who used Copilot for Sales at least weekly found it made them more productive, saving an average of 90 minutes per week – and 67% reported it allowed them to spend more time with customers.
    • “We have seen first hand that an AI-powered sales organization is a more successful sales organization. Not only has Copilot for Sales helped our global sales team simplify tasks and save time, but it has also strengthened our customer relationships with AI-supported insights and recommendations that are personalized and tailored to each customer.” – Judson Althoff, Microsoft EVP and Chief Commercial Officer
  • Microsoft Copilot for Service is modernizing the contact center with AI to enhance service experiences and boost agent productivity. In a recent studywe evaluated how Copilot helped Microsoft’s own Customer Service and Support (CSS) team, one of the largest customer service organizations in the world, and observed a 12% reduction in time spent resolving a case.
    • “Generative AI has been a game-changer for our own contact center at Microsoft. Agents spend less time searching for information, allowing them to focus more time on helping customers solve complex challenges. Moreover, newer agents experience significant benefits, feeling more confident and capable in their roles. This has led to reduced onboarding times and increased job satisfaction.” – Mala Anand, Microsoft CVP Customer Experience & Success
  • Microsoft Copilot for Finance streamlines financial processes and surfaces insights for better-informed decision making. Microsoft’s world-class finance organization has long prioritized adoption of AI and automation tools to modernize operations, reduce financial risk and support the company’s priorities with strategic insights. The team has helped inform the Copilot for Finance product capabilities and roadmap.
    • “Our finance organization is just like any other – looking for technology to help us do our work in a more efficient and impactful way – and we’re excited to track our journey as customer zero of Microsoft Copilot for Finance” – Cory Hrncirik, Modern Finance Lead, Microsoft

Companies of all sizes are moving beyond AI experimentation and embracing Microsoft Copilot to strategically empower those closest to their customer interactions and critical operations to create new business value. To get started with the new Copilot for Finance, visit: https://aka.ms/CopilotforFinancePreview