C-suite and finance and accounting (F&A) leaders around the world believe the modern business has to embrace new technologies like AI to streamline their financial operations, though many admit they may lack the requisite talent to execute on it, according to a survey commissioned by digital finance transformation leader BlackLine, Inc.

An overwhelming majority of respondents said that cloud computing (80%), generative AI (78%), and new kinds of AI (76%) are essential for improving business resiliency in the face of future disruption. However, the current shortage of skills in F&A could be exacerbated by a lack of skills in these new technologies, putting further strain on the skills gap. A third of those surveyed (34%) identified the ability to use new technology or software as a key skill needed to help their company remain agile in the face of disruptive events, yet more than a quarter (28%) said not having the right skills on their F&A team today or the ability to develop them would be a problem for the adoption of AI and other new technologies.

The survey, conducted recently by independent research agency Censuswide, asked 1,339 C-suite and F&A professionals around the world (US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Australia, and Singapore) about their views on emerging technologies and their potential impact on F&A and businesses more broadly.

Commenting on this, BlackLine co-CEO, Therese Tucker, said: “Financial automation technology is now a necessity for F&A departments, and businesses are excited and optimistic about how technology like AI can further streamline processes and augment existing systems. While there is understandable apprehension in the adoption of emerging technologies, therein also lies a valuable opportunity for F&A leaders to enable the upskilling of their teams through automation.”

“Business leaders must continue to proactively embrace available technologies to reduce time spent on manual tasks, cut down on errors in financial data, and provide visibility that will help them make faster, smarter, and more informed decisions.”

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