Automation » The trends for CFOs to watch in 2024

The trends for CFOs to watch in 2024

In 2024 finance leaders will need to consider the effect of artificial intelligence, the challenges of talent retention and the opportunities provided by a new sustainability landscape.

It is important for all finance leaders to be forward-facing. In that spirit, I would like to use my last column of 2023 to look ahead and think about the issues that we will be grappling with next year.

There are three interacting trends which I believe finance leaders will need to watch:

  • The continued adoption of artificial intelligence
  • Talent acquisition and retention
  • The integration of Environmental, Social and Governance metrics into the work of the finance team

Let’s take each of these in more detail.

Artificial intelligence

AI-enhanced finance tools are being adopted at an exceedingly rapid rate. A KPMG survey of US C-suite leaders conducted in June found that 59% of them were already using some form of AI in their tax or finance functions, and we can expect this to increase in 2024.

The technology can automate routine tasks and help identify risks and trends that could otherwise have been missed. 40% of the C-suite leaders surveyed by KPMG plan to invest $10 million or more for their tax departments in the next 12 months.

This is likely to create a dynamic where AI-equipped finance teams have a very significant competitive advantage over those who are left behind. Our own research has found that historically, finance leaders of technology adoption outperform the laggards.

I am personally struck by the speed at which this tech is being adopted and integrated into existing workflows. So far, this process has been relatively seamless. The most positive outcome would be for this seamless integration to continue, meaning we can potentially harness the productivity-enhancing power of AI quickly and relatively painlessly.

The downside risks to watch out for concern data security and integrity. We are yet to see the first AI-powered crisis, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t on the way. Finance professionals need to upskill themselves so they can take advantage of the opportunities heading down the track, as well as properly understand and manage the risks.


We all know there have been significant challenges in talent acquisition and retention in recent years, due to a historically tight labour market. While that is showing some signs of starting to loosen, finance leaders still need to be paying very close attention to what they can do to hold on to the team members they have, as well as attract the best new people.

In my view, upskilling and reskilling are vital part of meeting these challenges. It is also the point where your talent strategy intersects with your technology strategy.

AICPA & CIMA have encountered instances where finance and IT team members were taking part in the same training courses, to prepare the finance team for the next stage of the digital revolution. This is exactly the type of innovation which could give your team a competitive edge, so it is worth investing in.


There are two strands to watch when it comes to ESG in 2024. Firstly, there is likely to be more reporting. IFRS S1 and S2 become effective on the January 1, 2024. If they are adopted in your jurisdiction, you need to prepare for the sustainability report to be due at the same time as the financial report, which could put extra pressure on the team at year end.

The time to evaluate your organisation’s governance structure and sustainability strategy is now, so you can identify gaps in time to address them.

On a deeper level, we are starting to see ESG as a performance issue rather than just a reporting one. Up to 90% of a modern company’s value rests in intangible assets. Environmental and social capital forms a vital part of the value creation process, and as such it needs to be integrated into the formulation and execution of organisational strategy.

We have conducted extensive research into how the high performing businesses of the future could achieve this. Strong financial and non-financial analysis is essential to sound business decision making and delivering value to stakeholders. It is an area where finance professionals can help develop a significant competitive advantage, so I urge you to explore it.

Overall I have an optimistic view of where these trends could take the management accounting profession. As always, we need to adapt ourselves and upskill to meet the challenges of our time, but the opportunities are there for us to guide the organisations we serve into an exciting new era.


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