Making Sense of the “New Era” of AI in Procurement

Employees gathered around a computer to make sense of AI in procurement

By this point, you’ve heard all about artificial intelligence. In more ways than one, it’s inescapable. Not only is it supposedly going to usher in a “new era” in procurement and beyond, but coverage and discussion of it is everywhere. A few times over the course of our lives, we will be around for something that fundamentally changes the way that people work, and frankly, live. It’s happened most recently with social media, with the Internet before that, and we predict that artificial intelligence will have a similar impact. We’ve contributed to the dialogue regarding a new era of AI ourselves on a couple of occasions, once discussing AI in procurement as a whole, and once more talking about what AI can and can’t do. Since those articles, some additional statistics and reporting about AI have come to fruition, and the results are rather interesting, though not particularly surprising. As we all know, this phenomenon is not limited to procurement, sourcing, or finance. But enough time has now passed that we can see how leaders in procurement are reacting to it. And that affects all of us directly.

Adoption of AI By Procurement Leadership

To say that procurement leadership plans to invest in AI is an understatement. According to a 2024 report by Amazon Business, 98% of respondents said that they were “planning investments in analytics and insights tools, automation, and AI for their procurement operations in the next few years”. 80% said within two years, and 45% said within one year. Additionally, almost half of respondents stated that they were already using AI-driven optimization of purchasing decisions (47%).

When we dive deeper into Amazon Business’s report, we learn that virtually all respondents showed interest in learning about the use of AI in procurement, and they wanted specific insight into:

  • Quicker or deeper data analysis
  • Time savings
  • Different systems to connect more seamlessly

KPMG also released a report specifically about navigating through this new era of AI in 2024. Their finding and insights are eye-opening as well. Among them:

  • 10% of companies’ IT budgets are allocated towards AI
  • 100% of companies said their boards had taken strategic action regarding AI
  • 64% of companies expect auditors to have a role in evaluating use of AI in financial reporting
  • 72% of companies are piloting or outright using AI in financial reporting. KPMG forecasts that it will raise to 99% in three years
  • Among many other insights, including use of generative AI and traditional AI. If interested, please check out these reports for yourself!

“The New Era of AI” By Industry

But perhaps most interesting is the breakdown by industry of companies adopting AI for financial reporting:

  • TMT (technology, media, telecom): 41%
  • Energy, natural resource and chemicals: 35%
  • Healthcare and life sciences: 32%
  • Industrial manufacturing: 31%
  • Financial services: 31%
  • Consumer and retail: 26%
Graph showing industry adoption of AI for financial reporting in 2024

As you can see, even for the largest corporate industries, only about a third of them tops are taking advantage of AI for financial reporting. The only one significantly above that is the tech industry, and well… it checks out that they would be higher!

You may also see that your industry is not listed here. It’s possible that the technology is new enough that data just hasn’t been gathered yet for your industry. For example, at the time of this article’s writing, it’s difficult to find data out there about adoption of AI in higher education procurement. That’s just another reason why making the jump now can bring you ahead of the curve, and of your competition.

What Does It All Mean?

When looking at these kinds of statistics, it’s very possible that you may have reservations about the new era of AI. Things are moving quickly, and perhaps your leadership isn’t reacting quickly enough. Maybe you even have a contrarian take on AI… that the hype will die down and not be as revolutionary as it seems the whole world is predicting. There’s a great quote from Bill Gates that may be topical:

We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten.

Bill Gates

AI is already making substantiative change in our culture. We firmly believe the time is now to take advantage of it, as a tool to make financial reporting easier.

Card Integrity has been using related technologies to provide data-driven decision-making since 2008, and has only improved and expanded on our in-house software tool. At the same time, we believe in service in addition to software, not “as a software”. Every client is assigned their own forensic principal—that’s a real person from Card Integrity who is responsible for communicating our reports and data with you.

If you’d like to learn more about our services and offerings, reach out to us to schedule a demo below. It doesn’t hurt to meet and learn!

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