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CFOs voice concerns over digital acceleration & AI in finance
Tue, 9th Jan 2024

A new OnePoll survey facilitated by Aurum Solutions, specialists in next-generation reconciliation software, has exposed significant concerns among Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) and senior finance professionals over the rapid pace of digital acceleration, the impact of AI on roles within the sector and the changing political backdrop within the UK.

The study found that 80% of financial executives expressed apprehension about the swift implementation of digital strategies, with 42% declaring themselves "very concerned". This reveals a burning requirement within finance departments to address these misgivings and build robust strategies to effectively traverse the evolving digital terrain.

Survey results showcased a diversity of viewpoints regarding digital acceleration. While 34% consider it an opportunity to be cautiously embraced, 25% underlined its immediate importance in securing a competitive edge. In contrast, 13% believe they've reached a saturation point in reaping benefits, indicating a need for customised approaches to address individual needs within different finance departments.

Moreover, the survey highlighted substantial unease about the potential effect of AI on job roles, with 63% of respondents conveying a level of worry. This encompasses 28% "very worried" and 35% "fairly worried". Despite a relatively high level of understanding about AI within financial services (84%), 14% reported a lack of confidence in their comprehension, emphasising a need for increased education and awareness initiatives tailored for finance professionals.

A sizeable 60% of finance professionals across the UK expressed apprehension over their organisations' financial outlook compared to the previous year. This sentiment was most prevalent in the East Midlands (67%) and considerably less so in London (18%), indicating a lower level of financial concern in the capital.

Investigating political support within the UK's financial landscape, the survey found divergent attitudes among finance leaders toward the political parties best suited to support and invest in Britain's fintech future. The Liberal Democrats emerged as frontrunners (32%), closely followed by the Conservatives (29%) and the Labour Party trailing at 23%.

The survey findings underscore a shift in perception, indicating the Liberal Democrats are the favourites to nurture fintech support in 2024 and beyond. These differing opinions emphasise the need for a unified governmental approach in guiding the future of fintech within the UK.

Tiago Veiga, CEO of Aurum Solutions, said, "These comprehensive insights from the survey highlight the intricate landscape of concerns, perspectives, and expectations surrounding digital acceleration, AI integration and political support for fintech among CFOs and senior finance teams."

"Understanding these sentiments is pivotal for financial departments and policymakers to navigate challenges and capitalise on opportunities in the rapidly evolving technological landscape."

The OnePoll survey was commissioned by Aurum Solutions and conducted between 28th November and 6th December 2023. It involved a sample size of 100 UK adults who work in finance, 80 from varying finance manager roles and 20 from roles such as CFO, group head of finance, finance controller and finance director.