Following the UKs AI Safety Summit and the ongoing conversations about AI in the UK, OneStream Software published its AI-Driven Finance survey results exploring finance leader’s attitudes towards AI.   

Whilst concerns around AI safety and regulation are being discussed, the survey of 800 prominent finance leaders across the globe found that 80% believe AI will enable increased productivity and efficiency, freeing up time for them to focus their skills on more value-added activities. 

Data from the ACCA reveals that over 90% of employers are experiencing a financial skills shortage. AI and the adoption of technology will be crucial to plugging this gap, with 72% believing it would create opportunities for new jobs in accountancy and finance.  

Matt Rodgers, Executive Vice President, EMEA at OneStream, continues, “AI’s integration in finance isn’t just revolutionising processes; it’s inspiring the next generation of finance talent. “With less people entering the profession than before, widening the skills gap, this technological revolution isn’t just about the tools; it’s about cultivating an environment that encourages the next generation to contribute their creativity and expertise to the evolving world of finance. This includes generating faster and more accurate forecasts that deliver high business impact and playing a more strategic role in steering the business.” 

The UK is also facing a productivity crisis and finance leaders believe AI provides a solution. Three quarters of respondents believe AI will increase productivity by freeing up time allowing finance professionals to focus on strategic tasks rather than admin tasks which AI can now perform. 

To tackle this productivity crisis, AI helps speed up and enhance typical finance processes. The top three areas where AI has made a significant impact include: financial reporting (74%), financial planning (67%) and demand forecasting/sales planning (60%).  

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For those already using AI for FP&A, 70% say it helps them better predict and manage risk. This enhanced capability is essential in a constantly changing financial landscape marked by challenges such as the latest IMF forecasts and concerns about potential economic downturns. 

Looking to the future, over half of businesses believe generative AI could automate report writing and significantly enhance financial forecasting. As technology continues to evolve, over half of UK finance executives (58%) foresee AI becoming a core component of financial processes.  

Matt Rodgers, Executive Vice President, EMEA at OneStream, continues, “AI is becoming the heartbeat of financial operations, and the future of finance lies in our ability to embrace and leverage AI technologies.  “AI isn’t just important for technological advancement – it’s crucial for future planning too. As many countries face economic headwinds, socioeconomics issues and many other factors that affect businesses, AI is the crystal ball to finance professionals’ futures, helping them plan, prepare and weather any potential storm.”