Nearly two-thirds of large Irish companies using AI in financial reporting

Executives cite advantages such as predicting trends, effects and providing real-time insight into risks

Artificial intelligence accounts for 10% of average IT budgets across firms surveyed in the State. Photograph: Getty Images

Financial executives and board members in almost two-thirds of large Irish companies are either using or piloting artificial intelligence (AI) in financial reporting, according to a new survey carried out by KPMG.

“Our research confirms AI is already having a profound effect on how companies operate, including their systems, processes, controls and governance over financial reporting, and this is set to accelerate in the next few years,” said Niall Savage, head of audit markets at KPMG in Ireland.

AI will transform financial reporting and auditing, connecting data sources to enable teams to rapidly identify and respond to risk.”

The Irish figures come from an international study carried out by KPMG into companies in the Republic, UK, US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, and Spain. It focused on companies with annual revenues of between $250 million (€234 million) and over $1 billion in the retail, energy, chemicals, healthcare, industrial manufacturing, technology and financial services sectors.

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Irish financial reporting executives cited top advantages like predicting trends and impacts (68 per cent), enabling better data-enabled decisions (65 per cent), and providing real-time insights into risks and increased data accuracy (both 62 per cent).

AI now accounts for 10 per cent of the average IT budgets across companies surveyed in the State and more than half of Irish respondents plan to increase their investment in AI-related activities by over 25 per cent within the next year, the survey found.

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Both global and Irish boards of directors are increasingly taking steps to ensure that AI is responsibly used across their businesses, KPMG said.

The study found that most large companies globally want their auditors to prioritise using AI for data analysis and quality management, risk and anomaly identification and mitigation.

Keith Stafford, audit IT partner KPMG in Ireland, said: “Adopting AI presents challenges like data privacy or accuracy. However, its benefits, such as improved efficiency and decision-making, make it worthwhile.”

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan is Markets Correspondent of The Irish Times