The key to reducing errors with AI

March 1, 2024

Reposted from a Journal of Accountancy article - By Jeannine K. Brown 

To err is human. To seek help is superhuman.

Gartner recently asked controllers about how often they or their peers make financial errors, as well as their thoughts on causes. Though survey respondents weren't asked about the significance of the errors cited, 59% acknowledged "several errors per month."

With ever-increasing demands on accountants' expertise – 73% said their workload has increased over the past three years because of new regulations – everyone involved in the finance function could benefit from rapidly developing technology solutions.

But what's key to successful implementation of new tech? According to Gartner, companies should prioritize the concept of "technology acceptance." Gartner research found that companies that achieve technology acceptance saw a 75% reduction in financial errors. Those that don't achieve technology acceptance saw a 61% increase in errors.

"It stood out that when users displayed acceptance of the technology they were using in accounting, they used it much more effectively, realized capacity improvements, and made significantly fewer errors," Mallory Barg Bulman, senior director, research, in the Gartner Finance practice, said in the news release. "It's better to have less technology with a workforce that accepts it than to have the cutting edge of technology and resistant employees."

Gartner defined "technology acceptance" as implementation that meets all of four criteria for users: easy to use, easy to learn, easy to customize to users' needs, and has all the information users need in one view.

While another recent Gartner survey found that 90% of CFOs and senior finance leaders are projecting higher artificial intelligence (AI) budgets in 2024, the controller survey suggests that such spending might not be worth it without thoughtful planning.

Seventy-three percent of controllers said the technology currently available to them is falling short in at least one area of technology acceptance.

To remedy that and empower technology to reduce inevitable human error, Gartner suggests that companies:

  • Incorporate structured staff feedback into vendor testing and prioritizing technology enhancements.
  • Replace old behaviors with new ones and lean on tenured staff to guide the way.
  • Provide transparency into errors and the resolution of errors.

"The accounting functions that are managing to build technology acceptance don't necessarily have different technology: building acceptance is more to do with putting in place practices that allow staff to perceive technology as easy to use and helpful," Bulman said. "Given the potential of technology acceptance to reduce error rates in accounting, controllers should make sure they understand the levels of acceptance in their functions and improve it where necessary."

— To comment on this article or to suggest an idea for another article, contact Bryan Strickland at

← View All News