New research indicates big changes in our relationship with money

February 25, 2021 | 3 minute read
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Previously published on LinkedIn

By Juergen Lindner, SVP, Global Marketing Head SaaS, Oracle

Crises drive change. It’s been over a year since the pandemic upended our lives, and how individuals and businesses have adapted is stunning.

But the long-term implications of our changes in behavior in response to this crisis depend upon whether these changes are circumstantial or truly reflect a sustained change in attitude.

This week, Oracle released the results of a worldwide survey about our changing attitude toward something central to our lives: our relationship with money.

The report is eye-opening and should serve as a wake-up call for all of us.

One fascinating finding is that people now trust machines, powered by artificial intelligence (AI), to manage finances more than they trust humans—both in their personal and professional lives.

Here are a few of the stats that I find particularly interesting:

Most people (85%) think robots will replace finance professionals in the future. Nearly half (46%) believe it will happen in the next five years.

Focusing machines on automation of transactional, repetitive tasks is key as it can eliminate human error and drive increases in productivity. The survey found that 85% of business leaders would seek help from robots for core finance tasks such as approvals (43%), budgeting and forecasting (39%), and reporting (48%), while consumers think robots can free up more time (33%), reduce unnecessary spending (31%), and increase on-time payments (25%).

More than 65% of people trust robots over humans to manage finances. Almost 80% of business leaders would trust robots more than finance teams, and 70% of consumers would trust a robot to manage their finances.

Business leaders said that they trust robots over humans for such critical tasks as detecting fraud (34%), creating invoices (25%), and conducting cost/benefit analysis (23%).

At Oracle, we are partnering with an ever-increasing set of corporations to help them realize the benefits of AI capabilities natively embedded into core business processes with our Fusion Cloud ERP. These capabilities take advantage of massive sets of data to detect patterns and anomalies, allowing finance teams to make better and faster decisions and focus on business analysis and guidance over data crunching—ultimately resulting in more rewarding work.

More than 60% of consumers said they would trust machines more than personal finance advisors. Quite staggering, considering managing personal finances is not just transactional, but very personal and tied to financial well-being and our strategic goals. Endorsing and accepting AI in many areas of our personal lives, such as online product recommendations or route recommendations based on personal driving patterns, has built consumers’ trust fabric with machines to have the capacity to account for the many variables, risks, and opportunities that affect our finances.

Almost 90% of business leaders say organizations that don’t rethink financial processes will face risks. During the pandemic, 60% of consumers surveyed said they changed how they buy goods and services. That’s a huge shift, and companies need to rethink finance-related tasks to enable different business models. If they don’t act decisively in leveraging AI, survey respondents believe that organizations risk falling behind competitors (44%), having more stressed workers (36%), and producing inaccurate reports (36%).

As companies rethink finance processes, many are accelerating their digitization efforts to meet rapidly changing customer, employee, and supplier expectations. Choosing the business innovation platform will be a critical strategic decision. Indeed, companies with inflexible, complex, and disparate systems will fall further and further behind competitors that are nimbler, more innovative, and decisively invested in cloud-based innovation.

There’s much more in this report, and I encourage you to read through the full Money & Machines report here.

Over the next few years, the augmentation of finance individuals with AI will increasingly alter job functions. They will be able to move beyond mundane and repetitive tasks into more rewarding and fulfilling careers. We are excited about the changes that technology can bring about—and this survey shows that people are quite ready to accept AI in such a critical area of their lives.

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