AI reduces cost, human error in finance: Survey

Payroll cited as function most impacted by tech advances
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 06/20/2019
automation
Artificial intelligence (AI) is expected to bring significant transformation to companies' accounting and finance functions — particularly payroll, according a survey. Shutterstock/SFIO CRACHO

Artificial intelligence (AI) is expected to bring significant transformation to companies' accounting and finance functions — particularly payroll, according to 52 per cent of CFOs across Canada.

Accounting and accounts payable would be the next area most affected, said 38 per cent of the more than 300 CFOs surveyed by Robert Half Finance & Accounting.

When asked why these functions will be most impacted by AI in the next three years, CFOs cited:

• reduced costs (55 per cent)

• reduced human error (53 per cent)

• reduced burden on financing and accounting professionals so they can focus on higher value work (42 per cent)

• improved bottom line (42 per cent)

• increased employee efficiency and output (41 per cent)

"Emerging technology should be seen as a valuable business and career resource by organizations and professionals alike," said David King, senior district president of Robert Half Finance and Accounting.

"Not only can it help minimize errors and boost efficiencies, it can also have a positive impact on individual job satisfaction and success. By automating routine tasks and enriching data analysis, employees are able to dedicate more time to strategic initiatives that can inspire insight into new areas of growth for the business."

Robert Half offered the following tips for managers to ease worker anxiety around new technology: 

Provide training: Take advantage of new technology by upskilling staff.

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.

“By keeping staff updated on company-wide IT adoption plans and providing the education and support to confidently navigate these changes, managers lay the foundation for a more creative, collaborative and capable workforce," said King.

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