Where CFOs Benefit Most From AI

A new study points to several “leading lights” on AI finance usage.

Corporate financial officers, especially those new to the artificial intelligence experience, may be wondering where their AI budget is best spent.

Now, a new survey reveals some clues on what corporate finance areas benefit the most from an AI injection.

The study from Birmingham, Mich.-based OneStream, a corporate performance management services company, says AI is aiding finance departments in a wide array of areas.

“With the backdrop of a looming shortage of accounting and finance talent in the labor market, as well as volatile global economic conditions, our survey results highlight the increasing interest in the use of AI to increase productivity and forecasting accuracy in accounting and finance teams and the value this can bring to organizations,” says Tiffany Ma, senior product marketing manager for OneStream AI Services. “As financial leaders continue to learn more about AI and explore ways to leverage it to increase efficiency and reduce costs, we expect AI to become a key competitive advantage for businesses looking to succeed in the new year, both in business outcomes and securing top finance talent.”

Surveying over 800 senior finance leaders across the globe, OneStream identified the following finance areas where AI is demonstrating the most bank from its buck, especially in “increasing efficiency and improving accuracy in business processes.”

— Data correction (69% of senior finance executives).
— Data cleansing (60%).
— Data mapping (59%) and anomaly detection (53%).

Additional “Hot Button” Areas

OneStream also pointed to additional areas of AI implementation success in the company finance realm.

For instance, AI is showing a “positive impact on forecasting and decision-making among businesses,” the report notes. 60% of financial decision-makers believe AI technologies “provide more actionable insights and significantly improve the speed of forecasting,” OneStream reports.

Also, senior financial executives say AI tools have aided in automating key financial processes. “Seventy-three percent say they are better able to predict and manage risk through the use of AI, and one-third of respondents say the benefits of AI have resulted in cost savings,” the report states.

Like with any new technologies, there are speed bumps along the way for financial decision-makers using AI.

About 33% of businesses experienced challenges with employee training and data privacy regulations and procedures. “Additionally, 28 percent of businesses cite challenges with data breaches and cybersecurity, and integrating AI with existing processes, which is likely the cause of hesitation around AI adoption,” OneStream noted.

Just below half of all executive surveyed say they’re beefing up their company’s data security while another about the same number are “implemented or are considering implementing” new software applications.

Still, company executives told OneStream that AI should become a cornerstone technology for their enterprises going forward.

“Over the next five years, financial decision-makers believe AI technologies (55%) and generative AI (66%) will become core components of financial processes,” OneStream notes. “While financial leaders still have much to figure out about AI, particularly with privacy and regulatory issues because of the sensitive nature of financial data, the future outlook of AI for finance professionals looks promising.”

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