CFO Pretty Makukule is utilising generative AI to improve finance


SANParks Pretty Makukule is learning how to use generative AI, like ChatGPT, more effectively in automating and improving finance processes, including her skills as a CFO.

Organisations are constantly changing because of new technologies coming into the market, forcing leaders to adapt to new realities. SANParks CFO Pretty Makukule is a big advocate for leveraging new technologies, especially generative AI tools (like ChatGPT) and specifically in finance.

“These tools have the potential to revolutionise the various aspects of financial operations – from optimising processes and improving decision-making, to enhancing stakeholder engagement and risk management,” she says.

“They offer a scalable solution to handle large volumes of data and enquiries efficiently while maintaining a personalised touch, which is crucial in the finance environment,” she explains.

Pretty attended CFO South Africa’s ChatGPT Workshop for Finance Executives, hosted by global ChatGPT and finance guru Maarten de Borst on 16 April, to learn how she could utilise generative AI even more. “My biggest takeaway from the course was recognising the extensive capabilities of generative AI beyond just text generation,” she says. “Learning how these tools can aid in automating repetitive tasks, augment analytical processes and even foster innovation through idea generation was incredibly enlightening.”

She adds that, as a CFO, understanding these capabilities equips her with new perspectives on how to use AI to drive strategic initiatives and streamline financial workflows.

Because of this, Pretty plans to integrate generative AI more extensively into her work, “without a doubt”. One specific area where she sees immense potential is in automating financial analysis and reporting processes.

“By leveraging ChatGPT-powered tools, we can expedite data analysis, generate insights and produce actionable reports in a fraction of the time it would take when doing it manually.”

She explains that this not only enhances the efficiency of financial operations, but also empowers her to make data-driven decisions with greater agility and accuracy.

Pretty also intends to use it to improve some of her skills as a CFO. “Writing is typically considered a weakness for many in the accounting profession. Utilising generative AI can also help enhance my writing skills, ensuring that the communication of complex financial information is clear, concise and engaging,” she says.

However, she is mindful of the ethical considerations of deploying generative AI in finance. “As a steward of financial resources, it’s crucial to ensure these technologies are used responsibly and ethically. This entails safeguarding data privacy, mitigating biases and maintaining transparency in AI-driven decision-making processes.”

She concludes that, by adhering to ethical principles and leveraging AI responsibly, CFOs can harness its transformative potential to drive sustainable growth and value creation in finance.

Related articles