AI is now a household term. We no longer have to look up the acronym and ponder our thoughts for what it does and how it is impacting our world. Whether or not we are conscious of every time AI intercepts our daily lives, what is noticeable is how organizations are leaning on, or at the very least curious about, AI to augment and/or improve business functions and productivity.

In the corporate finance and accounting fields, AI is already actively present in automating transactional type of functions. Unlike some professions where AI is heading towards replacing human talent altogether, the professionals serving the corporate finance and accounting fields need not worry — their in-demand skills will remain and evolve to coexist with AI. The proactive CFOs know this fact and are using this time to lead and differentiate their organizations through developing an informed AI strategy, along with the human capital having an analytical mindset and business acumen to derive insights from data.

While traditional finance and accounting transactional-related tasks are either fully automated or will be in the future (i.e. accounts payable, receivable and payroll), AI is creating the need for new tasks to be mastered. AI in essence relies on the mastering of asking questions, or prompt engineering. Having the insight and deep knowledge developed to ask those questions will keep corporate finance and accounting professionals in the demand pool, and will be relied upon as a resource to utilize and validate AI. It is these corporate finance and accounting professionals who will be regarded as business partners — creating change and action, supported by insights derived from real-time data. 

CFOs empowering their teams with generative AI are also getting closer to answering the ‘why’ in real business scenarios. Getting to the ‘why’ for a variance in revenue is made possible with generative AI — like the correlation between an ineffective HR interviewing process to attract and retain resources serving in revenue-producing roles and that variance — this insight gives the CFO and business partners the information needed to be agents of change.

The CFO who is used to technology disruption begins where it all started — in technology. Through conversations with technology teams, CFOs can be better informed when looking at data-driven areas that could benefit from AI. And, as with other technology advancements, prototyping is key, as well as being prepared for challenges like dealing with legacy systems.

For the CFO, improved outcomes and increased revenue is about mastering AI data insights and having the human capital to connect the ‘why’ and utilize enhanced productivity to reinvest back into the business. So while AI itself isn’t going to replace corporate finance and accounting roles, those mastering AI are securing their roles for the future.

Also read: The Top 11 Hiring Trends in SMBE Finance and Accounting