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AI in Finance: Limitations to Interpreting Financial Statements

AI in Finance: Limitations to Interpreting Financial Statements

So, you want your finance team to adopt AI. In this series, we previously shared tips on getting started with AI, and honing skills for AI prompting in finance. But it is equally important to understand the limitations of AI in its ability to interpret financial statements.

AI tools like ChatGPT do have some notable limitations when it comes to interpreting financial statements, and it’s important to address how they interact with data such as financial PDFs.

Limitations of AI in Financial Statement Analysis

Lack of Direct Data Access

AI models like ChatGPT cannot directly access data from files, including PDFs. They rely entirely on text input provided by the user. This means they cannot automatically extract or analyze data from financial documents unless the data is manually inputted by the user.

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Contextual Understanding

AI may not fully grasp the contextual nuances of financial data. For instance, understanding the implications of certain financial figures within the broader economic or sector-specific perspective. AI can serve as a front-line filter to flag any potential issues, but the in-depth understanding requires human expertise.

Complex Calculations

While AI can assist with basic calculations if the necessary data is provided, complex financial analyses that require understanding of accounting principles or dynamic financial modeling are beyond its scope.

Data Privacy and Security

When using AI for financial analysis, the security of sensitive data must be considered. Since AI platforms typically require data to be input into them, transferring sensitive financial information poses a risk unless secure methods are used. Not to mention that the AI models are built upon open technology.

User Interaction with Financial PDFs

  • Manual Data Entry: Users must manually input data from financial PDFs into the AI tool. The AI does not directly parse or extract data from PDF files or any other document formats.
  • No Direct Uploads for Analysis: Tools like ChatGPT do not analyze documents directly uploaded by users. If you want to use AI to help analyze a financial statement, you would need to extract the data yourself and input it into the AI’s interface as text.

Best Practices for Using AI with Financial Statements

  • Data Preparation: Before consulting AI, prepare the data by extracting relevant financial information from statements manually.
  • Verification: Always verify AI-generated insights with financial experts to ensure accuracy and appropriateness.
  • Security Measures: Be cautious about how and where you input sensitive financial data, always ensuring that the platform used complies with data security standards.


Using AI like ChatGPT for financial statement analysis involves understanding these limitations and ensuring that any analysis is supplemented with expert review and appropriate data handling practices.


This article is part of a series authored by FYIsoft, Inc.

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