AI to ‘transform’ finance and accounting – business leaders

Artificial intelligence (AI) will transform the finance and accounting profession, but that doesn't necessarily mean job losses, according to bluQube

A third of business leaders believe that artificial intelligence (AI) will “transform” finance and accounting, according to newly published research.

Cloud-based accounting software provider bluQube surveyed business leaders to gauge their opinion on the technology, which has been described as both an incredible opportunity but also a considerable threat to the future of society.

Respondents think AI will streamline or eradicate repetitive and laborious tasks, and allow them to think more strategically as a result of the extra time AI frees up. Importantly, where trust is concerned, almost two-thirds of those interviewed (63%) say they would trust AI in finance and accounting; trust, and ensuring AI does not perpetuate negative stereotypes, is among the most pressing challenges posed by the technology.

The findings provide a glimpse inside the minds of senior business leaders, at a time when AI is all over the news. Despite being an indisputably hot topic right now, business leaders do not always jump on board with new technology as quickly as the masses. Take blockchain, for example; more than a fifth of business leaders surveyed last year thought that it was “all hype and no substance”, according to separate research.

AI ‘creates potential’ for new job roles

Simon Kearsley, CEO of bluQube, says: “Discourse surrounding AI over the past year has largely focused on the technology’s potential to transform job roles as we know it. Within the accounting and finance profession, our research suggests that business leaders’ opinions may be influenced by their current perception of AI’s capabilities.

“For example, those that believe AI in its current form is a standalone technology with the ability to work in place of human intelligence also tend to believe that it will de-skill or replace finance professionals. However, among the 29% of businesses that have already utilised AI within finance, 67% have recognised its value for data filtering and analysis, such as audit analytics and expense reports.

“Whilst this will undoubtedly change the day-to-day role of the finance professional due to AI’s capacity to minimise repetitive tasks and enhance efficiencies, it is positive to see that a greater number of respondents (28%) recognise the potential this creates for new types of roles.

“As AI continues to adapt and becomes a larger part of the accounting profession over the coming years, it is important to remember that the changing nature of work doesn’t equate to the elimination of the human workforce. Instead, it can facilitate a more varied career that empowers accountants to provide better financial insights and add more value to the organisations they serve.”

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