Jeff Epstein, an operating partner at Bessemer Venture Partners, advisor to Vareto, and the former Chief Financial Officer at Oracle, sat down with Andy Tung, Chief Strategy Officer at Gusto, and Rohit Divate, Head of Corporate Finance and Strategy at Gusto, to discuss the role of strategic finance in business growth.
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The power of AI in Finance
Rohit highlighted the potential of AI in finance and how AI technology can be the key to unlocking superpowers for finance and operators. Rohit is currently exploring how AI can be used to improve efficiency and scale the company. He aims to improve his team's productivity by 25% in the next two quarters through better processes, data infrastructure, and leveraging AI.
The impact of AI on operations
Andy also touched on the operational effectiveness of AI. He believes AI can drive efficiencies in knowledge work and improve companies' operations, especially in a remote work environment. In fact, Gusto is exploring how AI can be used to help its customers, with the goal of becoming a trusted, delightful, and opinionated advisor for small to medium-sized businesses.
The benefits of tax credits
Andy highlighted the potential of tax credits for businesses. He explained that businesses conducting innovative research could qualify for R&D tax credits, which could help them hire extra engineers, designers, and product folks. Gusto has a product that helps businesses find these tax credits, potentially saving them significant amounts of money.
The future of AI in Finance
Both Andy and Rohit believe that AI will significantly change how finance works. They envision a future where AI can automatically compare budget versus actuals, summarize earnings transcripts, and even advise on hiring decisions based on tax implications and cash flow situations.
Key Takeaways for Finance Leaders
Embrace AI. has the potential to revolutionize finance by automating routine tasks and providing valuable insights. Finance leaders should explore how AI can be integrated into their operations.
Focus on efficiency. Scaling a company and improving efficiency should be top priorities for finance leaders. This can be achieved through better process management, data infrastructure, and the use of AI.
Leverage tax credits. Tax credits can significantly boost a company's cash flow. Finance leaders should explore potential tax credits, particularly those related to innovation and research.
Prioritize customer needs. Understanding and meeting customer needs is crucial for business growth. Finance leaders should work closely with strategy leaders to ensure that their company's offerings align with customer needs.
Consider acquisitions and partnerships. Acquisitions and partnerships can help companies expand their offerings and reach new markets. Finance leaders should consider these strategies as part of their growth plans.