Citizens Survey Finds Mid-Size Companies, Private Equity Firms are Embracing Artificial Intelligence

99% of respondents agree that AI will become an essential tool for business operations

PROVIDENCE, R.I.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#CBCI–Mid-size companies and private equity firms are embracing artificial intelligence by implementing the technology to assess data, automate processes and streamline financial operations, according to a new survey from Citizens released today.

Seventy-six percent of mid-size company Chief Financial Officers report that they are already using AI and applying it in various ways. Private equity firms are even further ahead of the curve, with nearly 100% of PE decision-makers reporting AI use. Notably, leaders in both groups acknowledge the transformative potential of AI technology with 99% of survey respondents saying that AI will become an essential tool for business operations.

“Mid-size companies and private equity firms are increasingly turning to AI technology to automate processes and improve efficiency within their financial operations,” said Beth Johnson, Vice Chair and Chief Experience Officer at Citizens. “As AI transforms mid-size companies, Citizens is being very thoughtful about how we implement these new tools and guide clients through an evolving technology landscape.”

The Citizens survey of 127 CFOs at mid-size businesses ($50 million to $1 billion annual revenue) and 77 financial leaders at PE firms (fund size less than $1.5 billion) was conducted in September 2023 and focused on how companies and private equity firms are thinking about AI technology and implementing AI within their financial operations. Key findings include:

  • PE firms are realizing the benefits of AI and increasing their investments in the technology. Eighty-one percent of financial decision-makers at PE firms say using AI has made business easier. By comparison, only 45% of CFOs at mid-size companies say the same. Additionally, 85% of PE decision-makers expect to increase their level of AI investment over the next five years, compared to just 58% of CFOs at mid-size companies.
  • CFOs are driving AI adoption at mid-size companies. CFOs typically lead the way when deciding if a mid-size company will use AI. The survey found that CFOs lead 87% of AI implementations for financial processes. Chief Information Officers come in a distant second, leading 41% of such efforts.
  • Mid-size companies are using AI for cash flow forecasting and financial analysis. Of the 76% CFOs that report already using AI, more than half are applying the technology to cash flow forecasting and financial analysis. However, use cases vary by industry and span a wide array of applications from risk assessment to customer support and fraud detection. For example, while slightly fewer than half of all mid-size companies rely on AI for payment automation, 75% of health care companies use it for that purpose.
  • Mid-size companies and PE firms using AI have concerns about potential risks. Concern about AI risk factors varies notably from industry to industry but, overall, legal compliance is the top concern for mid-size companies, followed closely by magnification of errors and privacy violations. Private equity firms are most focused on privacy violations, followed by legal compliance.

To see more results from Citizens’ survey on AI trends in financial operations or learn more about the survey methodology, please click here.

Citizens is a trusted strategic and financial adviser, consistently delivering clear and objective advice. The Citizens approach puts clients first by offering great ideas combined with thorough market knowledge and excellent execution, to help our clients enhance their business and reach their potential. For more information, please visit the Citizens website.

About Citizens Financial Group, Inc.

Citizens Financial Group, Inc. is one of the nation’s oldest and largest financial institutions, with $225.3 billion in assets as of September 30, 2023. Headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, Citizens offers a broad range of retail and commercial banking products and services to individuals, small businesses, middle-market companies, large corporations and institutions. Citizens helps its customers reach their potential by listening to them and by understanding their needs in order to offer tailored advice, ideas and solutions. In Consumer Banking, Citizens provides an integrated experience that includes mobile and online banking, a full-service customer contact center and the convenience of approximately 3,300 ATMs and approximately 1,100 branches in 14 states and the District of Columbia. Consumer Banking products and services include a full range of banking, lending, savings, wealth management and small business offerings. In Commercial Banking, Citizens offers a broad complement of financial products and solutions, including lending and leasing, deposit and treasury management services, foreign exchange, interest rate and commodity risk management solutions, as well as loan syndication, corporate finance, merger and acquisition, and debt and equity capital markets capabilities. More information is available at or visit us on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.


Frank Quaratiello


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