Trends in using AI with financial management

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A new survey of mid-size companies and private equity (PE) firms set out to discover how the use of artificial intelligence (AI) – computer systems that are capable of completing human-like tasks such as assessing, reasoning, learning and problem-solving – impacts organizations’ financial operations and where they’re going next with the technology.

AI is defined as the intelligence of machines and software that can mimic human problem-solving, recognition and decision-making. Generative AI is defined as AI technology that uses human prompts to synthesize new images, text and other content by drawing from vast data sets and machine-learning models.

Across industries, data and data-driven decisions have become intertwined with how people do business. Of the chief financial officers (CFOs) surveyed at mid-size companies that are already using AI or are open to it, about three-quarters say their organizations use AI that automates processes, assesses data and applies predictive algorithms for financial operations and payments.

At PE firms, the finance leaders surveyed aren’t just considering using AI; they have widely adopted it. They report AI use at nearly 100%. They’ve implemented it to assist with fraud detection, payment automation, risk assessment and management, financial analysis and other finance-related operations.

PE firms are ahead of the curve in using AI for financial operations. Almost all — 97% — of the PE financial leaders surveyed say they’re using AI, compared to 76% of mid-size company CFOs.

Focused on operational efficiency, PE firms have been relatively early adopters of AI and have started to see the benefits of implementing it. The survey found that 81% of financial decision-makers at PE firms say using AI made business easier. By comparison, only 45% of CFOs at mid-size companies say the same.

Chart indicating how PE firms are embracing AI quicker than mid-size companies

While AI is a priority for both groups, more finance leaders at PE firms say they’ll increase their investment in AI. This may be because PE firms are reaping several benefits. They’re using AI to automate manual processes, synthesize data to help with fraud detection and assist with other financial operations. These efficiencies can reduce costs and make people more effective in their roles. In turn, the success PE firms are experiencing likely makes their financial leaders confident about AI and drives them to explore even more uses.

Chart indicating how PE firms are investing more in AI

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