Artificial intelligence is revolutionizing the work of finance specialists

Artificial intelligence is revolutionizing the work of finance specialists

Frequent regulatory changes and technological progress force finance specialists to constantly acquire new competences, further training and updating their knowledge. However, those who can adapt to rapid changes and support business development with their skills can count on greater career development opportunities.

As indicated by the participants of the discussion panel entitled “How to evolve with trends?”, which took place during the AICPA & CIMA Money Talks: Future of Finance 2.0 event, finance and accounting specialists are increasingly taking on strategic advisory roles in their organizations, and in the coming time one of the challenges will be for the growing importance of ESG and non-financial reporting regarding, among others, the impact of business activities on environmental and social issues.

The “Future of Finance 2.0” study by AICPA & CIMA (which together form the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants) shows that technologies – including, among others, cloud solutions, automation and advanced data analysis – have an increasing impact on the financial industry. They are used, among others, in order to accelerate accounting processes, detect irregularities in reporting or improve the work of finance specialists who can thus focus on more strategic tasks. The result is increased efficiency, fewer documentation errors and cost savings. In the coming years, artificial intelligence will also play an increasing role in the industry – cloud programs using AI are already automating routine processes, saving a lot of specialists' time.

– Virtually every aspect of financial work can be supported by artificial intelligence. I don't want to predict many years ahead, but it is safe to say that interaction with artificial intelligence will be an indispensable part of the work of virtually every financial specialist. For those who master it best, more and more interesting career paths will open up – says Kuba Neneman, head of, commercial data science manager at Shell.

Technological progress in finance means that specialists in this industry must constantly acquire new skills. However, in addition to solid digital competencies, interpersonal competencies are still necessary to enable efficient communication and cooperation within the entire organization.

– These basic skills include: financial knowledge, understanding of accounting standards, tax law – I would add, above all, technology. Another thing is soft skills, interpersonal skills – these are also the competences of the future, this is something that distinguishes us as people – emphasizes the Shell expert.

– More in-depth business knowledge will also be needed to enable collaboration with other finance departments and positions within the organization, which will also largely involve technology – adds Adam Thorne, VP Finance, CFO Orthopedics International at Smith+Nephew.

In addition to technology, a trend in recent years has been the increasing importance of finance and accounting specialists, who are increasingly taking on strategic advisory roles in their organizations, supporting them, among others: in risk management, better use of resources and building long-term value. The report “Future of Finance 2.0: The changing role and mandate of finance” by AICPA & CIMA shows that they increasingly act as expert analysts, communicators, decision-makers and business partners who develop their organizations internally and influence the implemented business models.

– The role of finance is becoming broader, which will require us to have the ability to solve multi-domain problems. These will no longer be problems only related to taxes or financing costs, these will be complex problems, often involving, for example, environmental issues, says Kuba Neneman.

– In the future, great emphasis will be placed on risk management. We will have to focus more on internal and external audits, emphasizes Michel Paca, head of Poland FAC for Region Switzerland at UBS.

– In finance, the emphasis is shifting from being a traditional accountant who provides hard data and financial reports, towards being more of a business partner, a person providing information and data to make better business decisions. And as this profession is changing, it is worth investing and developing all kinds of soft skills – in particular stakeholder management, negotiation and communication skills, because they help in providing quality business partnership – adds Aleksandra Stelmach-Gryszka, director at Global Business Services Consulting and Finance Transformation Consulting at PwC Poland.

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