Even the most risk-averse CFOs (and they’re generally a risk-averse bunch) will have a hard time ignoring AI’s transformative potential in the finance and accounting space. Between the regulatory labyrinth and the growing list of ethical considerations, AI-enabled finance presents a slew of opportunities.
Whilst AI isn’t quite ready to provide flawless financial reports autonomously, and it’s probably not trustworthy enough to craft legal documents, the appetite for investment is growing, and its cost-saving potential is already being explored by CFOs everywhere.
Should generative AI fall at number one on the CFO priority list? Is it too soon to say? Is finance the business function that stands to gain the most from integrated AI? Whether you’re in the C-suite or not, it’s worth familiarising yourself with the risks and rewards associated with the world’s most talked-about technology.
You’ll find monotony in abundance across a wide range of finance roles, and it’s an enduring challenge that AI is more than capable of rising to. This doesn’t mean that it’s a replacement for a human, but rather, a companion that enhances the working (and problem-solving) experience.
AI isn’t new to finance – it’s been a staple of the space since the 1980s with the advent of ‘knowledge systems.’ Flash forward to today, and we have fully integrated, real-time autonomous pattern recognition software to combat fraud, big data consolidation tools, automated bookkeeping and a host of other goodies, all perfectly placed to optimise a finance function.
Considering the number of platforms, tools and opportunities out there, how can decision-makers know which ones to watch out for?
People tend to start at the automation phase before branching out into more complex tools like AI and machine learning, but even then, the tech is only as good as the plans you’ve laid out for it.
It’s worth asking yourself:
Do I have a roadmap in place for its integration?
Are my team equipped with the right skillsets?
Can I ensure that the AI we use is ethical?
What are the compliance risks associated with the introduction of new tech?
There’s a lot to watch out for when it comes to mitigating risk. Data privacy is shaping up to be one of the most complex risks out there, and CFOs will need to navigate the pitfalls with intention and due diligence if they hope to manage AI systems effectively.
What do some of those pitfalls look like in action? One of the most damaging (and common) comes in the form of breaches. For example, say your business was leveraging AI to deliver personalised financial advice to customers, a data breach could compromise the most sensitive customer information, including financial records and personal identification data.
Bias is another major barrier to widespread AI adoption. Imagine you were using AI to automate lending decisions – if the AI has been trained on bias algorithms, it could discriminate against certain demographics.
For CFOs and financial functions everywhere, this is a critical compliance issue. Tech adoption (of this kind) is inherently linked to the health and sustainability of a business, and financial functions will play a key part in ensuring its seamless integration.
As tech continues to break down silos and enable greater cross-functional collaboration, the nature of finance and accounting roles is changing shape. Responsibilities are evolving, and the most desirable skill sets look noticeably different from what they did a few years ago.
Whether you’re seeking a new role or hoping to hire the top finance and accounting talent, the team at Broadgate has you covered. Our dedication to diversity-led recruitment enables us to match incredible people with supportive, inclusive, growth-enabled environments. Connect with us today if want to find out more about Broadgate’s industry-leading recruitment service, our global talent network, and our community platforms – we’re here to help.