Innovative technologies such as blockchain, AI, natural language processing, and the cloud, and their convergence with algorithmic-driven data analytics, will radically alter the way industries function, and how business is conducted, writes Tony Klimas, a principal and leader of the Global Finance Practice at Ernst & Young. To harness this transformation, he argues, CFOs must resist a “wait-and-see” attitude, and take steps to move data to the cloud, use software that automates and standardises the account reconciliation process, and give serious thought to blockchain solutions. He offers the insurance industry as an example, where dozens of companies are experimenting with distributed ledgers shared with third-party entities, such as car repair garages. Following a car accident, a series of smart contracts would trigger among the participants, instantly putting the insurance claim process in motion.

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