Citizens Survey Finds Mid-Size Companies, Private Equity Firms are Embracing Artificial Intelligence

Mid-size companies and private equity firms are embracing artificial intelligence by implementing the technology to assess data, automate processes and streamline financial operations, according to a newCitizens survey from .

Seventy-six percent of mid-size company CFOs reported that they are already using AI and applying it in various ways. Private equity firms are even further ahead of the curve, with nearly 100% of PE decision-makers reporting AI use. Notably, leaders in both groups acknowledged the transformative potential of AI technology, with 99% of survey respondents saying that AI will become an essential tool for business operations.

“Mid-size companies and private equity firms are increasingly turning to AI technology to automate processes and improve efficiency within their financial operations,” Beth Johnson, vice chair and chief experience officer at Citizens, said. “As AI transforms mid-size companies, Citizens is being very thoughtful about how we implement these new tools and guide clients through an evolving technology landscape.”

The Citizens survey of 127 CFOs at mid-size businesses ($50 million to $1 billion annual revenue) and 77 financial leaders at PE firms (fund size less than $1.5 billion) was conducted in September  and focused on how companies and private equity firms are thinking about AI technology and implementing AI within their financial operations. Key findings include:

  • PE firms are realizing the benefits of AI and increasing their investments in the technology.Eighty-one percent of financial decision-makers at PE firms said using AI has made business easier. By comparison, only 45% of CFOs at mid-size companies said the same. Additionally, 85% of PE decision-makers expect to increase their level of AI investment over the next five years, compared to 58% of CFOs at mid-size companies.
  • CFOs are driving AI adoption at mid-size companies. CFOs typically lead the way when deciding if a mid-size company will use AI. The survey found that CFOs lead 87% of AI implementations for financial processes. Chief information officers come in a distant second, leading 41% of such efforts.
  • Mid-size companies are using AI for cash flow forecasting and financial analysis. Of the 76% CFOs that reported already using AI, more than half are applying the technology to cash flow forecasting and financial analysis. However, use cases vary by industry and span a wide array of applications, from risk assessment to customer support and fraud detection. For example, while slightly fewer than half of all mid-size companies rely on AI for payment automation, 75% of healthcare companies use it for that purpose.
  • Mid-size companies and PE firms using AI have concerns about potential risks. Concern about AI risk factors varies notably from industry to industry, but, overall, legal compliance is the top concern for mid-size companies, followed closely by the magnification of errors and privacy violations. PE firms are most focused on privacy violations, followed by legal compliance.

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