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UK CFOs concerned over digital acceleration, survey finds
Wed, 10th Jan 2024

A recently conducted OnePoll survey commissioned by next-generation reconciliation software specialists, Aurum Solutions, has unveiled significant concerns among Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) and senior finance professionals in the UK regarding digital acceleration and its potential implications. The study's findings produced noteworthy insight into perceptions about the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on job roles, as well as the changing political landscape's impact on fintech in the UK.

Results of the survey revealed that an overwhelming 80% of CFOs and senior finance professionals expressed varying levels of unease about the swift pace of digital acceleration. Among these, a significant 42% stated they were "very concerned." These findings evince a pressing need for finance departments to address anxieties and develop comprehensive strategies to navigate the rapidly evolving digital landscape effectively.

Concerns surrounding the potential impact of AI on job roles within finance departments are also noteworthy, with 63% of respondents registering worry, including 28% being "very worried" and 35% being "fairly worried." However, despite relatively high levels of understanding, about AI in financial services (84%), 14% lacked confidence in their comprehension, highlighting a need for enhanced education and awareness initiatives tailored specifically for finance professionals.

Among the survey participants, perspectives on digital acceleration varied widely. While 34% viewed it as an opportunity but preached caution, 25% emphasised the immediate importance for maintaining a competitive edge. On the contrary, 13% believed they had reached a saturation point, signalling the need for tailored approaches to address varying requirements within finance departments.

Financial outlook also posed a considerable worry for many organisations. In fact, 60% of finance professionals expressed concern about their company's financial outlook compared to the same time last year. This level of apprehension was highest in the East Midlands at 67%, compared to a markedly lower level of worry in London at 18%.

The survey also explored political backing for fintech within the UK financial landscape, unearthing a divergence in opinions among finance leaders. The Liberal Democrats emerged as frontrunners, with 32% backing, closely followed by Conservatives at 29% and the Labour Party trailing at 23%. This shift in perception underscores the need for a unified governmental approach to steer the future of fintech in the UK's financial landscape.

Tiago Veiga, CEO of Aurum Solutions, commented on the survey's comprehensive insights: "Understanding these sentiments is pivotal for financial departments and policymakers to navigate challenges and capitalise on opportunities in the rapidly evolving technological landscape." His comments reveal the importance of these findings in informing effective strategies in the ever-changing finance sector.