Artificial intelligence (AI) is expected to bring significant transformation to companies’ accounting and finance functions, new research suggests. The area expected to benefit most is payroll, as predicted by 47% of CFOs in a Robert Half Finance & Accounting survey. More than 4 in 10 respondents (45%) believe budget and analysis will be affected as well.
Increased reliance on technology has had a positive impact on accounting and finance employees, according to 78% of senior financial managers polled for Robert Half’s Jobs and AI Anxiety report. Its influence is also expected to generate a substantial gain in the number of jobs worldwide: According to the World Economic Forum, intelligent technologies could create a net 58 million new positions by 2022.
CFOs were also asked, “What reasons do you think these functions will be most impacted by AI in the next three years?” Their responses:*
|Eliminates human error||57%|
|Increases employee efficiency and output||50%|
|Reduces burden on finance and accounting professionals so they can focus on higher value work||49%|
|Improves the bottom line||43%|
*Multiple responses were permitted.
View an infographic about how accounting and finance will benefit from AI in the next five years.
“AI presents a tremendous opportunity for companies to improve functions by reducing error and boosting efficiency,” said Steve Saah, executive director of Robert Half Finance & Accounting. “Implementing technology to address routine tasks also frees up employees’ time to take on strategic work that adds value to the business.”
Saah added, “Automation can create more opportunities for employees to engage in creative, collaborative, relationship-driven work, which is why we believe in technology as a job creator. As certain positions disappear, more new jobs are expected to surface, as has been the case with all waves of technology advancement over time.”