Improved data management, faster, more accurate business forecasting cited as top areas where financial leaders report benefits from AI
BIRMINGHAM, Mich.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–OneStream, a leader in corporate performance management (CPM) solutions for advancing financial close, consolidation, reporting, planning and forecasting, announced the results of its global “AI-Driven Finance“ survey, revealing the majority (80%) of financial decision-makers believe AI will increase productivity in the office of finance. As a result, the majority of finance leaders expect AI to become a core component of their finance and accounting processes and workforce augmentation plans over the next five years. OneStream’s semi-annual survey provides key insights into the current use, plans to implement and overall perspective on AI as a tool for the office of finance, as financial decision-makers navigate the use of this rapidly evolving technology in light of current uncertain market conditions.
The study, conducted in conjunction with Hanover Research, targeted finance leaders in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific, with a focus on exploring perceptions around the transformational impact and existing and planned use of AI, machine learning and generative AI on finance processes and finance talent.
“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,” said Tiffany Ma, Sr. 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.”
Of the financial leaders exploring ways AI can increase efficiency and improve accuracy in business processes, most are commonly using AI to streamline and improve data management, specifically data correction (69%), cleansing (60%) and mapping (59%) as well as anomaly detection (53%). Other notable areas where finance is utilizing AI include:
AI Driving Faster and More Actionable Insights
AI is showing a positive impact on forecasting and decision-making among businesses, with 60 percent of financial decision-makers believing AI technologies provide more actionable insights and significantly improve speed of forecasting. Additionally, over half also believe AI has streamlined decision-making (59%) and improved accuracy of forecasting (58%).
Most financial decision-makers also report that AI technologies have helped automate 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.
When asked about the impact of AI on the speed of financial planning, 43 percent of respondents say AI-powered forecasts are expected to be updated in real-time and 31 percent say they are expected to be updated daily.
Training and Privacy are Key Challenges to AI Adoption
Though the outlook on AI is generally positive, financial leaders still have concerns and face challenges when implementing AI technologies. Almost one-third of businesses experienced challenges with employee training (32%) and data privacy regulations and procedures (31%). 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.
To address challenges, 43 percent of those surveyed are improving data security while another 43 percent implemented or are considering implementing new software applications. Until recently, companies have struggled to apply AI toolsets to their finance processes. But now, companies like OneStream are delivering packaged AI solutions to address specific functional use cases and enabling customers to achieve high levels of success and positive business outcomes.
AI Expected to Create New Jobs and Increase Labor Productivity
While 46 percent of respondents see AI as a threat to current job roles in accounting and finance, 72 percent think AI will create opportunities for new jobs in the industry. Eighty percent of respondents also believe AI will enable finance departments to increase productivity and efficiency, improving the speed of employee outputs, data insights and output quality (48%).
With labor shortages causing many organizations to be understaffed, the introduction of AI can help solve talent shortage issues by helping to increase productivity, enhance decision-making and elevate the skill sets of accounting and finance teams. Over one-third of respondents say AI gives employees more time to focus on innovative tasks like creating new products (36%) and saves money that would have been spent on compliance and regulatory reporting (37%). Thirty-seven percent of employers also find AI is increasing employee satisfaction and retention. When it comes to AI upskilling, more than half of businesses provide internal AI training sessions (58%) or are in the process of developing a training program (57%).
The Future of AI in Finance is Bright
Over the next five years, financial decision-makers believe AI technologies (55%) and generative AI (66%) will become core components of financial processes. One-third believe their teams will start using AI technologies (37%) and generative AI (29%) somewhat more often. 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.
About the Survey
The commissioned study, conducted by Hanover Research in August and September of 2023, sourced insights from a total of 800 financial decision-makers in North America (US, Canada, or Mexico), Europe (UK, France, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark) and APAC (Australia, New Zealand, Singapore). All individuals are over the age of 18, employed full-time and hold a management position (C-level executive (CFO), VP, Director, Controller) in finance at a company with $100M + in revenue.
To access more detailed findings of the research, please visit https://www.onestream.com/resources/global-napl-cn-tl-ai-survey-infographic/.
About OneStream Software
OneStream provides an intelligent finance platform built to enable confident decision-making and maximize business impact. OneStream unleashes organizational value by unifying data management, financial close and consolidation, planning, reporting, analytics and machine learning. We empower finance and operations teams with AI-enabled insights to make faster and more intelligent decisions every single day. All in a single, modern CPM platform designed to continually evolve and scale with your organization.
OneStream is an independent software company backed by private equity investors KKR, Tidemark, Partners Fund Capital and Alkeon Capital Management. With over 1,300 customers, more than 230 implementation partners and roughly 1,300 employees our primary mission is to deliver 100% customer success. To learn more visit www.onestream.com.