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OneStream, a leader in corporate performance management (CPM) solutions, recently commissioned a report through Hanover Research to survey finance leaders across North America on responses to economic challenges and budget priorities for the upcoming year.

The findings revealed that ongoing global disruption continues to impact financial planning. In fact, 85% of financial leaders are reforecasting in preparation for an impending recession and nearly half (47%) identified economic disruption as the largest threat to business in 2023.

The looming recession will make hiring plans conservative in 2023, especially in accounting and finance departments. Finance leaders will need to invest in more automation and digital technology to increase productivity with the current talent shortage. Most leaders (57%) are planning to invest more in cloud-based planning and reporting solutions in 2023, while almost half (48%) will invest more in predictive analytics. Sixty-one percent already use cloud-based planning and reporting solutions, and 37% utilize predictive analytics.

Meanwhile, only 37% of companies will invest more in machine learning (ML). With AutoML technology poised to reduce the barriers to adoption of machine learning, and although cost is still an obstacle, almost half (48%) of all financial decision-makers say their organizations plan to investigate AutoML solutions. In fact, one-quarter (28%) have already adopted AutoML solutions.

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When asked about the top use cases for artificial intelligence (AI) and ML technology, 48% see financial reporting as the top opportunity. Finance leaders see sales and revenue forecasting (41%), demand planning (39%), and sales and marketing optimization (39%) as additional opportunities for these technologies.

However, for businesses facing technical and security issues, almost half (49%) say there’s a lack of trust in new technology solutions, which is deterring new investments.

The study, conducted in September 2022, sourced insights from 657 finance decision-makers (management to C-suite) in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Respondents are employed by companies across numerous industries and varying revenues, with 34% employed by companies with more than $1 billion in annual revenue.

Read the full report from OneStream.

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