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For Financial Reporting and Accounting, Is Using Generative AI Worth the Risk?

Generative artificial intelligence (AI) is reshaping the world of financial accounting, transforming how businesses approach digital strategy, gain insight and find solutions, but generative AI presents challenges on the path to opportunities. As organizations delve into this transformative technology, it’s important to consider all potential impacts and ensure that it’s used responsibly and effectively.

Let’s get into the generative AI opportunities — and risks — every organization should be considering.

Opportunity: Advanced Data Analytics

The cornerstone of generative AI’s value for financial accounting lies in its ability to process vast quantities of structured and unstructured data at unprecedented speeds. This empowers teams to create big-picture views from previously siloed systems and leverage advanced predictive analytics to anticipate market trends, better assess risk and make more informed decisions.

Risk: Algorithm Bias & Data Security

As with nearly any new technology, the adoption of generative AI presents new challenges for IT security and compliance. Data breaches, privacy regulations and the potential for biased algorithm results are some of the key concerns to consider when crafting generative AI governance policies. To minimize these risks, organizations should leverage established frameworks to help ensure adherence to industry standards and data protection laws.

Opportunity: Data-driven Digital Strategies

Digital strategy in financial accounting is undergoing a major shift with the integration of generative AI. Traditional approaches are being replaced by more dynamic, data-driven models that take manual burdens off teams and enable faster and more accurate decision-making. This shift toward a more data-centric digital strategy is empowering teams to focus their efforts in areas that add the most value, improve forecasting accuracy and enhance overall financial performance.

Risk: Operational Growing Pains and Dependency

Successful generative AI initiatives require a commitment to proper training and oversight. Any generative AI rollout should take care to equip teams with the skills to effectively leverage the technology, smooth transitions and address potential concerns, and remember — generative AI isn’t a “set it and forget it” kind of system. Ongoing oversight and education are crucial to keep pace as technology evolves and to prevent overreliance on generative AI that could leave you vulnerable to strategic business risks.

How Can Organizations Use Generative AI Responsibly? Establish Governance.

As generative AI takes center stage in financial accounting, organizations must start by establishing robust governance frameworks. Design your generative AI implementation strategically to include points of human intervention for proper oversight and accountability. Start with a few essential questions:

Generative AI Strategy:

Where can generative AI add value in our organization? How will we measure success?

Generative AI Governance:

What steps will we take to make sure generative AI is used responsibly? How will we establish accountability for its use or misuse?

The Human Factor:

How will we institute proper supervision of this technology? How can we ensure a real human is always involved in checking the accuracy of the algorithm’s results?

The Future of Financial Accounting Will Be Shaped by Generative AI

Generative AI’s integration into financial accounting is a transformative journey for those seeking to enhance digital strategy and optimize operational efficiency. Embracing generative AI with a clear understanding of its risks and benefits helps protect your organization and enhance your competitive edge.

Want more guidance on how to set your generative AI initiatives up for success? Check out our recent webinar on generative AI governance here.

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