AI is revolutionizing the finance industry, and CFOs are embracing its potential to improve efficiency and drive innovation. One such example is Dan Durn, CFO and EVP of finance, technology services, and operations at Adobe. Durn recently conducted a hackathon within his team to tap into their creativity and generate ideas for operating efficiency improvements. Through a crowdsourcing approach, they received 100 ideas, narrowed them down to 15, and ultimately selected five projects to move forward with.
Among the projects being tested by Adobe’s finance team are Story Bridge and DX Data Driven Narrative Automation. Story Bridge utilizes AI and generative AI to analyze performance data and identify the root causes of variances or deviations, generating summaries to aid decision-making. DX Data Driven Narrative Automation, on the other hand, aims to automate early readouts of quarterly business reviews and financial reports using generative AI, enabling deeper insights through drill-down queries.
These tools are still being tested and are not yet part of Adobe’s workflow. However, the adoption of generative AI by finance chiefs is on the rise. According to a Q3 survey by Grant Thornton LLP, 43% of CFOs reported that their organizations are currently using generative AI, up from 30% in the previous quarter. Additionally, 45% of CFOs are exploring potential use cases for generative AI.
Erik Brynjolfsson, director of the Stanford Digital Economy Lab, supports the hackathon model as a means of unleashing employee creativity and fostering buy-in for AI initiatives. By dedicating time and training resources to empower employees to use AI tools in their daily work, companies can tap into their team’s potential and drive innovation.
The CFO role is not immune to change either. Cactus, Inc. (NYSE: WHD) recently appointed Alan Keifer as interim CFO, while Stephen Tadlock, the previous CFO, was promoted to CEO of the Spoolable Technologies segment. Likewise, Viavi Solutions Inc. (Nasdaq: VIAV) welcomed Ilan Daskal as EVP and CFO, bringing experience from his previous role as EVP and CFO at Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc.
In a separate survey conducted by Pew Research Center, it was found that 55% of U.S. adults took on leadership roles while growing up. Encouragement to assume these roles played a significant factor, with 81% of those who received encouragement saying they took on leadership roles at least sometimes.
Lastly, Fortune’s Quarterly Investment Guide for Q4 2023 focuses on real estate, offering insights on the best opportunities for both buyers and investors. With experts weighing in on how long rates will stay high, potential market trends and strategies are explored.
As the finance industry continues to embrace AI and explore innovative solutions, CFOs are finding value in initiatives like hackathons to drive operational efficiency and unleash creativity within their teams.