June 11, 2024

Using AI to Prepare for an Earnings Call

By Tod Edgecomb, Partner, Advisory Services

Using AI to Prepare for an Earnings Call Intelligent Automation

Preparing for a company earnings conference call can be extremely challenging and time-consuming for CEOs, CFOs, and other key executive officers of public companies. Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools can be highly beneficial for these executives in preparing for earnings calls in several ways. However, a word of caution: it is imperative to recognize that these technologies complement but do not supplant the indispensable roles of independent auditors and Certified Public Accountants (CPAs).

AI can analyze financial reports, identify key trends, metrics, and figures that should be highlighted, and assist in drafting talking points that address these key aspects. Preparing key talking points for an earnings call is critical for a CEO and CFO. It involves converting complex financial data into clear, concise, and impactful messages that shareholders, analysts, and the media can easily understand. AI can assist in drafting the initial script or prepared remarks for the earnings call, ensuring that all critical data is covered in an organized and coherent manner.

AI can assist with reviewing the company’s latest financial statements to extract the most relevant data, such as revenue growth, profitability, expenses, capital expenditures, and cash flow. This will help key executives discuss operational improvements, efficiency gains, or successful implementations of new systems or processes and explain how recent strategic initiatives align with the company’s long-term goals and how they are expected to impact future performance. It can also offer insights into the management team’s perspectives on the company’s performance and future, including commentary on the industry landscape, competitive dynamics, or regulatory changes. Companies may explore taking all of their financial information and feeding it into the AI model. Once there, the executives can ask these tools English-like questions to get at the core of the data quickly without running multiple reports.

On an earnings call, the executives may discuss the company’s competitive position within the industry, including market share gains or comparisons with industry growth rates, and address any known concerns or questions raised by investors or analysts in the past, providing updates or clarification. AI can provide a detailed analysis of competitors’ earnings calls and financial reports, giving insights into market trends and competitive positioning that the executives can discuss. Generative AI can analyze market sentiment from news articles, analyst reports, and social media. This can help executives understand investor concerns and areas of interest, which can be addressed proactively in the earnings call.

Using generative AI before the call, executives can engage in simulated Q&A sessions in which the AI generates potential questions from analysts and investors, allowing the CEO, CFO, and other key executives to practice their responses. AI can also review the prepared remarks to ensure all regulatory requirements are met, and no sensitive information is inadvertently disclosed.

However, it is critical to remember that AI does not negate the need for the discernment, seasoned expertise, and independent verification provided by auditors and CPAs. These professionals play a crucial role in ensuring the accuracy, reliability, and transparency of financial reporting. Their work serves as a foundational element of trust for investors, regulators, and the broader financial community.

In addition, when employing AI for handling sensitive financial matters, due caution must be exercised concerning security and confidentiality issues. Before adopting any AI tool for processing proprietary data, a company must obtain clearance from their IT team, ensuring that the tool meets all established standards for managing confidential information.

It’s important to note that while AI can significantly enhance the preparation process, the expertise, experience, and judgment of the key executives and their teams are irreplaceable. AI should be used as a tool to augment their capabilities, not replace them.

Marcum’s FAAS group, along with Marcum Technology, can assist companies in utilizing AI tools to their maximum potential and address the specific needs outlined in this article.