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How will AI shape finance in 2024? 6 CFOs and industry experts share their predictions

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Good morning.

Everybody loves an end of year prediction—and nowhere are there more predictions than when it comes to AI. So let's dive right in to what experts predict we'll see in the coming year.

Michael Schrage, research fellow, MIT Sloan School Initiative on the Digital Economy

“By this time next year, we’ll see Retrieval Augmentation Generation (RAG) capabilities transforming financial dashboards into ‘recommendation engines’ offering real-time insights, predictions and advice on how planners, budgeters and forecasters can improve their numbers."

"I anticipate innovative CFOs, clever FP&A teams, and ambitious data science folks rolling out these ‘data dialogues with dashboards’ throughout 2024. Prepare to be impressed.”

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Katie Rooney, global CFO and COO of Alight Solutions, a cloud-based human capital technology provider

“We can expect AI to play an even more crucial role in shaping the future of work and enhancing the overall employee experience in the coming year. For organizations, developing strategies to define the right priorities and assemble the right teams for effective transformation will be critical. It will be a balance between creating a flexible AI development process that ensures solutions are innovative as well as trustworthy and responsible."

"I also anticipate our seeing an increase in formalized AI governance frameworks and policies to help promote and monitor the responsible use of AI as it continues to disrupt the business landscape and as data becomes the lifeblood of effective decision-making. CFOs and finance leaders will need to take proactive roles in enterprise data and analytics governance."

"It is important that they refine their strategies, understand key data and analytics concepts, and ensure that finance teams are not at the mercy of IT but are empowered to fulfill their data and analytics strategies. Having a robust ethical foundation will become imperative to guiding the development and deployment of AI systems."

Terrance Wampler, group general manager for the office of the CFO at Workday, a cloud-based software provider for financial and human capital management and enterprise resource planning (and a CFO Daily sponsor)

“Talent will become the top critical issue for CFOs to address in 2024, driven by the rise of AI, compelling finance leaders to rethink their talent strategies. Our industry is facing a talent crisis, with fewer students pursuing degrees in the field while seasoned professionals are simultaneously retiring.”

“Thanks largely to AI and automation, finance roles are evolving, requiring organizations to retrain and shift their workforce from transaction operators to strategic advisors. CFOs must envision the transformation of basic operations as if things like transactional processes, reporting, and reconciliation were highly intelligent and predominantly automated by AI and ML. Understanding how their talent will interact with these systems should signal the required future skill sets and chart a new north star for their talent strategy.”

Shannon Nash, CFO at Wing, the on-demand drone delivery company, an Alphabet subsidiary

“As a CFO and as a member of the audit committee of a public company board, I can view the role through both lenses. I think CFOs have looked at AI from an internal standpoint of, how is AI helping me become more efficient? How can we be faster with our tools using AI? What I predict for 2024 is that CFOs will take a more company-wide holistic look at AI, especially generative AI. Along with internally thinking about AI, how are you using it in your go-to-market strategy? How are you using AI to gain a competitive advantage?”

“I think the audit committees of boards will want to do an inventory of how AI is used throughout the company internally and externally. How are we governing AI's use, from the software engineers using it to my legal department using it? The CFO is going to be critical from a management standpoint, in helping give the board that kind of visibility.”

Dan DeGolier, founder of Ascent CFO Solutions, a fractional CFO firm

“AI will continue to evolve and become more user-friendly for CFOs and business users. It will be the responsibility of the CFO to stay on top of the best-of-breed technologies and how AI can make us and our companies more efficient. AI that is trained on proprietary and confidential data will be made available in software tools in a way that's ‘walled off’ and separated, allowing CFOs to make better decisions without the loss of confidentiality of company data. As data privacy concerns are addressed, AI tools will provide many opportunities, financial planning and analysis function where multiple complex scenarios can be run much more efficiently.”

Michael Tannenbaum, CFO-COO at Brex, a fintech that offers business credit cards and a spending platform

“2024 is going to be the year when a lot of the AI hype either delivers or disappoints. People will start to see the promise of AI really impacting their business operations. And, AI is the perfect solution for a macroenvironment, where people are looking to cut costs, but at the same time, make their employees more productive.”

The next CFO Daily will land in your inboxes on Jan. 2. Thank you for your readership in 2023. Wishing you a great holiday season. See you in 2024!

Sheryl Estrada
sheryl.estrada@fortune.com

This story was originally featured on Fortune.com