CFOs Believe Payroll, Budget and Analysis Functions Will Benefit Most From AI.
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%
Reduces costs 56%
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.
"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."
Robert Half Finance & Accounting offers the following tips for managers to ease worker anxiety around new technology:
Provide training. Take advantage of new technology by upskilling staff. Investing in professional development increases the department's strength and the firm's success.
Deploy change management. As companies adopt emerging technologies, managers need to communicate to staff what's being done and what it means for their jobs. Keep morale up by conveying key benefits of digital transformation.
Offer stretch assignments. Remind workers of their value and leadership potential by engaging their talents in projects that encourage them to learn and build new skills.
To learn more about AI and other transformative technologies, their impact on the workplace and how to adapt, visit the Robert Half blog.
About the Research
The online surveys were developed by Robert Half Finance & Accounting and conducted by independent research firms. The CFO survey includes responses from more than 1,100 CFOs at companies in the United States with 20 or more employees. The survey developed for the Jobs and AI Anxiety report includes responses from 250 accounting and finance managers in the United States.
About Robert Half Finance & Accounting
Founded in 1948, Robert Half Finance & Accounting, a division of Robert Half, is the world's first and largest specialized financial recruitment service. The company has more than 300 locations worldwide. For more information, visit roberthalf.com/finance