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AI to benefit payroll most: CFOs

June 18, 2019

Artificial intelligence is expected to bring significant transformation to companies’ accounting and finance functions, suggests research released today by Robert Half Finance & Accounting. The survey found 47% of CFOs predict the area expected to benefit most is payroll; 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?” Multiple responses were permitted. 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%

“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.”

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 US 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 US.


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