Central Europe CFO Survey 2019
Artificial intelligence (AI), despite its recent popularity, seems to be a new and challenging topic for the companies in the survey.
- Key facts
- The finance function is not ready for AI
- CFOs see accounting as a key area for AI solutions
- Workers in the finance function might be displaced by AI in the future
- 64% of CFOs admit that the finance function in their organisation is only slightly or not at all prepared for the implementation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions.
- Accounting is the key area within the finance function where AI implementation is most likely, selected by 30% of respondents.
- 80% of CFOs say they make little or no use of AI in managerial processes.
Carrying out routine tasks is the most popular use of AI, occurring in 30% of companies.
- Increased speed (48%), effectiveness (40%) and cost reduction (46%) are seen as the main benefits of robotics and AI solutions.
- 32% of CFOs believe that technology will displace people working in the finance function in 10 years.
The finance function is not ready for AI, but CFOs see benefits of robotics
64% of CFOs admit that the finance function in their organisation is only a little or not at all prepared for the implementation of AI solutions. Only 8% feel very well or well prepared. Regardless of industry, at least 50% of CFOs admit to a lack of preparation for implementing AI changes. The most prepared sector is Business & Professional Services, where 19% of CFOs feel well prepared. The least ready are the Public Sector, with no CFOs feeling well prepared, and Manufacturing with just 2% of CFOs doing so.
CFOs see accounting as a key area for AI solutions
For CFOs, accounting is the ripest area within the finance function for AI implementation (30%). This view is especially popular among respondents from the Financial Services sector, where 37% selected it as a key area. Two sectors choosing other prime areas for AI implementation are the Public Sector (with 50% indicating Treasury) and Consumer Business (where 39% chose financial planning and analysis).
Workers in the finance function might be displaced by AI in the future
Around a third of CFOs find it hard to assess the effects of cognitive technologies on future employment in the finance function. A third believes it won’t have a significant impact in three years from now. However, in five years, they assume that AI/cognitive technologies and workers are likely to augment each other’s abilities, while in 10 years’ time workers will be displaced by technology.