The global AI in finance market size is projected to reach $64.03 billion by 2030. In the UK alone, the number of AI companies has increased by 688% over the last 10 years, and one in six companies in the UK are now implementing some form of AI into their business operations.
While these numbers are impressive, they also bring about fear and uncertainty for finance professionals who may feel that their jobs are at risk of being replaced by automation and AI technologies.
However, experts believe that rather than replacing human jobs, AI and automation will augment and enhance finance professionals' capabilities. In this article, we will discuss how you can ensure that AI and automation won't replace you in your finance job.
Understanding the role of AI and automation in finance
As a starting point, it's essential to understand the role of AI and automation in finance clearly.
AI is the simulation of human intelligence processes by computer systems and is commonly used to describe machine learning (ML). ML is the ability of a computer system to learn and improve from experience without being explicitly programmed.
On the other hand, automation refers to using technology to automate repetitive tasks or processes that humans typically do. This can include data entry, report generation, and even decision-making processes.
In finance, these technologies are being used for tasks such as data analysis, repetitive tasks, risk management, and customer service, with the benefits of increased efficiency, accuracy, and cost savings.
Critically, these tasks involve analyzing data and making decisions based on that analysis, an area where AI and automation excel. The customer service side of AI is primarily chatbots, which use NLP (Natural Language Processing) to understand and respond to customer inquiries and can run 24/7 without human intervention.
This means that AI is not solely focused on replacing human jobs; instead, it is being used to augment and enhance the skills and capabilities of finance professionals by taking over repetitive and time-consuming tasks.
Despite the name, even the most cutting-edge programs and recent developments in generative AI cannot mimic human qualities such as creativity, adaptability, and emotional intelligence. These are all skills that finance professionals need to succeed in their roles, meaning that AI and automation can’t completely replace them.
Rather than fearing automation, understand its complementary nature; AI and automation are tools for you and your finance team, not replacements.
Embrace the complementary nature of humans and technology
The first step in future-proofing your finance job is to understand that AI and automation are not a threat; they are complementary tools for you and your finance team.
To stay ahead in the industry, embracing these technologies and seeking opportunities to integrate them into your work processes is crucial. By doing so, you'll not only improve your efficiency and productivity, but you'll also position yourself as an invaluable asset to any organization.
A commonly repeated truism is “Your job won’t be taken by AI - It’ll be taken by a person using AI.” This phrase comes up a lot because it serves as a reminder that AI and automation are just tools, and it's up to skilled professionals like you to use them effectively.
Recognizing the symbiotic relationship between humans and AI and taking advantage of the technology's ability to enhance decision-making and productivity are crucial steps in ensuring that you remain valuable in the ever-evolving finance landscape.
Leveraging AI to assist in data analysis and forecasting can free up your time to focus on more strategic tasks and decision-making. This can lead to career advancement opportunities as you demonstrate the ability to handle more complex and high-level responsibilities.
Continuous learning and skill enhancement
Finance has always been a sector where ongoing learning and upskilling are necessary to stay ahead. With the integration of AI and automation, this has become even more crucial.
As these technologies continue to evolve and improve, keeping up with the latest developments and continuously enhancing your skills is essential. This can include understanding how to use different AI tools and applications and honing skills in areas that cannot be easily replicated by technology, such as critical thinking and problem-solving.
Developing specific skills such as data interpretation, data validation, and AI integration expertise can actually make you an invaluable asset in the finance industry. This means that instead of being replaced by AI, you'll be seen as a valuable asset to organizations increasingly looking to combine human and technological capabilities.
See AI industry experts discuss what will your future finance department will look like with the rise of AI, and how you can protect your job security.
Enhance financial decision-making with AI
Integrating AI into financial decision-making processes can also have significant benefits. With the ability to analyze vast amounts of data and make predictions based on that data, AI can provide valuable insights and recommendations for financial decisions.
However, it's crucial to remember that AI is only as effective as the data given. This means that human oversight and input are still necessary to ensure accurate and ethical decision-making. AI systems used in finance are also at risk of replicating human biases if these are present in the data provided to your systems, this is particularly relevant when AI is used to make lending decisions for example.
Finance professionals who can effectively use AI to enhance their decision-making process will have a clear advantage in the industry, as they can make more informed and strategic decisions.
One of the areas that will be most crucial going forward is ethical AI, which involves ensuring that AI is used responsibly and unbiasedly. As finance professionals, staying informed about ethical considerations surrounding AI and advocating for its responsible use within organizations will be essential.
Bias is a significant issue in AI, as the data used to train these systems can be inherently biased. By learning how to address and mitigate these biases actively, finance professionals can play a vital role in promoting the ethical and fair use of AI, making themselves valuable and ethical leaders in the industry.
Leverage AI for efficiency and productivity
One of the primary benefits of integrating AI and automation into finance is the potential for increased efficiency and productivity.
By delegating repetitive and time-consuming tasks to these technologies, professionals can free up their time to focus on more strategic and high-value tasks. This can lead to improved job satisfaction and a better work-life balance.
According to Forbes, 70% of financial firms use machine learning to predict cash flow events and adjust credit scores, a normally time-consuming and arduous task. This speeds up the process and minimizes human error, ultimately resulting in more accurate and reliable results.
Another excellent example is JP Morgan Chase's use of AI to automate fraud detection and risk management. Their new system can compliance check 12,000 agreements in just a few seconds, freeing the team of skilled lawyers and loan officers who used to spend 360,000 hours each year simply reviewing compliance agreements.
In the remit of accounts receivables, AI has been used to accurately predict the exact days and times payment reminders should be sent to maximize a business’ chance of receiving invoice payments on time. Businesses that have implemented this ‘Recommended chasing times’ technology are getting their invoices paid 3 or more days faster on average.
These examples highlight the potential for AI and automation to significantly improve efficiency and productivity in finance, allowing professionals to focus on higher-level tasks requiring human expertise.
The future of finance roles
The reality is that AI is already an integral part of the finance industry, and it will only continue to evolve and become more prevalent. This means that finance professionals must adapt to these changes and embrace the complementary nature of humans and technology.
While some tasks may become automated or delegated to AI systems, this does not mean human jobs will be replaced entirely. In fact, new roles are emerging in finance that require a combination of financial knowledge and technical skills, such as data scientists or AI integration specialists.
By embracing continuous learning and upskilling, finance professionals can position themselves for these new roles and remain invaluable assets to organizations in the ever-evolving finance landscape.
With a strategic mindset, ethical considerations, and efficient use of technology, finance professionals can confidently embrace the future and continue to thrive in their careers.
Embracing the future of finance
Integrating AI and automation into finance is not a threat but rather an opportunity for professionals to enhance their skills and roles. By staying informed about the latest developments, continuously learning and upskilling, and leveraging AI for efficiency and productivity, finance professionals can remain valuable in the rapidly changing finance landscape.
Adaptation and evolution are necessary for success in any industry, and the finance sector is no exception. By embracing the future of finance and working alongside AI, professionals can continue to make a significant impact and drive positive change in the industry
Chaser is already at the forefront of this change, automating aspects of credit control and implementing AI in the accounts receivables process to help businesses get paid on time. Features integrating AI include the Late payment predictor, Payer ratings, and Recommended chasing times.
Visit the Chaser blog to learn more about the intersection of finance and technology and how you can stay ahead of the curve in this ever-evolving industry. Or try Chaser for free to see how AI and automation are helping businesses like yours to reduce late payments with minimal time and effort.