Results of a new survey by Censuswide indicates that Artificial Intelligence applications are becoming significant drivers of process transformation in Finance & Accounting departments across the world. And investors are seeking to profit from of the growing interest in artificial intelligence.
As one of the leading providers of Continuous Accounting – a new approach that some companies use to manage and automate their accounting cycle – BlackLine, Inc. (NASDAQ:BL) emphasizes that automating the current accounting and financial reporting cycles is crucial. Such automation would let accounting and financial information be used to make tactical and strategic decisions on a continuous basis in real time – instead of the current system in which relevant data are available only after each reporting period closes.
The primary goals of the continuous accounting concept are automation of repetitive accounting processes, distribution of the workload across the entire accounting calendar to avoid workload spikes at the end of each period and development of a continuous improvement mindset throughout the accounting cycle. Those processes are used by manufacturing and logistics departments.
Censuswide gathered responses from 300 CFOs, accountants and finance directors of U.S. companies that generate at least $150 million in annual revenue. Among the surveyed companies, three-quarters indicated that Artificial Intelligence (AI) either already plays a significant role in their company (46%) or that their company is seriously investigating implementation for finance and accounting applications (30%).
When asked to indicate the specific area in which artificial intelligence will have the most significant impact, 56% of the survey respondents stated that the AI applications will allow them to fully automate accounts payable (AP) and accounts receivable (AR) functions. Plus, 49% indicated that they could automate reconciliations and 31% would see the greatest help automating period-end closing routines.
However, possibly the most interesting answer was that nearly a quarter (24%) of the respondents believe that AI applications will be able to manage a portion of strategic decision making in financial and accounting matters
Therese Tucker, the founder and CEO of BlackLine, said, “The responses underscore the growing power and use of AI tools and the implications for the finance organization.”
Tucker added that a “finance department of the future will be a very different place,” once artificial intelligence is fully integrated into the current processes.
BlackLine, Inc. provides financial accounting closing solutions to help its customers to address various aspects of their financial closing process, including account reconciliations, variance analysis of account balances and journal entry capabilities, as well as a range of data matching capabilities. Additionally, the company offers a range of key performance indicators that let clients compare metrics across their own operating entities, set goals and gauge their performance over time.