Finance leaders expect AI to perform many of the finance and reporting tasks in the near future, said EY recently.
According to the survey of more than 1,000 CFOs and financial controllers across 26 countries, 53%of respondents think it’s likely that more than half of the finance and reporting tasks currently performed by people will be executed by artificial intelligence (AI) over the next three years.
- 54% think it is likely that blockchain-based systems will underpin finance.
- More than two thirds (68%) of responding finance leaders say that governance, controls and ethical frameworks still need to be developed and refined for AI.
- Without those frameworks, finance leaders (63%) are concerned about the risk implications of using AI in finance and reporting, from security threats to regulatory risk.
- But many respondents do not have complete trust in the output of these systems, with 47% saying that the quality of the finance data produced by AI cannot be trusted in the same way as data from traditional finance systems.
“The challenge for finance leaders now is to map out how finance and reporting are to be delivered in this new reality,” said Tim Gordon, EY Global Financial Accounting Advisory Services Leader. “Building trust into smart technologies can unleash a tech-powered future for finance functions, where digitally savvy people work seamlessly with smart machines to provide the forward-looking insights that stakeholders require.”
Putting finance at the heart of sustainable long-term value reporting
As investors and other stakeholders are looking to organisations to adopt a longer-term perspective and focus on long-term value creation, the survey shows that the majority of responding CFOs and financial controllers (72%) are embracing this shift.
- More than two thirds (69%) of respondents say that CFOs and senior finance leaders are increasingly seen by key stakeholders as the stewards of long-term value in their organisation.
- Two thirds (66%) of finance leaders also say that demand for forward-looking financial analyses and forecasts has increased over the last 12-months.
- Respondents to the survey report that stakeholders are also looking for new insights on nonfinancial factors of corporate reporting, such as environmental, social and governance (ESG) data (55%).
- This increasing focus on high-quality nonfinancial information is reinforced by 65% of respondents, who believe there is significant value for their organisation that is not measured or communicated using traditional financial KPIs, such as brand value and human capital.