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Boardroom leadership needed to manage AI risks and drive trust

Headshot of Lloyd Powell, ACCA Cymru Wales.

 

Chief executive officers (CEOs) and chief financial officers (CFOs) need to build trust in artificial intelligence (AI) by taking steps in their organisations to manage the associated risks.

 

As AI plays a greater role in the accounting and financial reporting of businesses, CFOs and financial controllers will have to be confident about the adequacy of oversight and controls of AI systems.

 

In the first in a series of insights, AI monitor: trust, ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) urges finance professionals to ensure that AI governance and AI risk management is in place, beginning with:

 

 

AI presents many opportunities to businesses such as providing more insights from a wider array of information sources, driving greater efficiency and better customer experiences. But it also poses a challenge to trust in accounting and finance reporting with new dynamics being introduced to the traditional trust mechanisms that underpin corporate accounting.

 

Alistair Brisbourne, head of technology research, ACCA, said: “Introducing AI is both about trust in the systems and trust in the people that we work with, and how we bring those two elements together.

 

“CEOs and CFOs need to focus on making the changes needed to harness the many potential opportunities but also retain trust. This includes upskilling to deal with the technology and introducing new knowledge into their organisations. They also need to focus on the governance, the oversight and culture required to allow different teams to work together effectively. It’s about bringing change management and governance together.”

 

AI monitor: trust highlights some of the risks of AI in accounting systems, such as:

 

Lloyd Powell, head of ACCA Cymru/Wales, said: “In the AI era, the role of finance professionals is to focus on the outcomes driven by technology. Value lies in understanding how these outputs inform decisions and actions that drive business outcomes.

 

“As we recognised at a recent roundtable held in Cardiff, AI will change the finance function and there will be new roles as a result, but accountants will remain central to the success of Welsh businesses and organisations.”

 

In 2024 future issues of the AI monitor will explore talent, risk and controls, the relevance of effective data strategy, and sustainability applications.

 

Read Enabling trust in an AI-enhanced world

 

Visit ACCA’s website for more information.

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