CIMA study reveals that SA finance professionals welcome AI and automation

According to a new survey by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), finance professionals are quite open to the recent rise of artificial intelligence, automation and robots. Badi Promesse (pictured), recently appointed CIMA Regional Director Africa, said:

"There is precedent to support the idea that new technologies will make lives easier. Ever since the invention of the printing press major disruptions can be seen to have a short-term shock but deliver long-term benefit. The challenge for businesses, as always, is to use change to their advantage… Organisations need to examine their business models and turn innovations such as AI and automation into an opportunity not a threat."

The result of some 1,628 CIMA members polled was that 82% support the idea of more automation if it saves time and money or helps with indecision in their organisations. Some 33% of surveyed members believe that the increased automation will lead to a loss of jobs. 17% answered that a reliance on automation or technology has led to their organisation taking the wrong decision in the past five years. Interestingly, a third of surveyed participants believe that there will be a better work-life balance as computers will take over jobs while humans continue to reap the profit.