Summary of Emerging Technology Trends for Finance Leaders 2024

Every year top consulting, research, and advisory firms develop thought leadership around emerging technology trends to help senior leaders keep up-to-date on what the future may hold for technology. Although these articles are very insightful, FEI finance and technology executives find that each article may contain unique themes that don’t always align with each other or pertain to finance organizations. To isolate the top emerging trends critical to finance and accounting departments, members of FEI’s Committee on Finance and Information Technology (“CFIT”) Emerging Technologies Subcommittee completed a review of several such surveys to find the leading common elements. CFIT is made up of senior level finance executives who are strategic leaders at the intersection of finance and technology. A comprehensive list of surveys reviewed is located at the end of this article. 

Based on the outcome of the survey review, CFIT found four emerging technology trends to be the most pervasive and relevant to accounting and finance professionals. These trends are: 

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) 
  • Cybersecurity 
  • Quantum Computing 
  • Sustainable Technologies 

Although AI has come in first place for the fourth year in a row, there were noteworthy changes from previous years. Quantum Computing and Sustainable Technologies are new contenders for reasons that will be discussed more below. Cloud, Datasphere, and Automation made the list in 2023 but no longer seem to be top of mind as emerging technologies in the articles reviewed. CFIT noted that Cloud has moved past the ‘emerging’ criteria and is now part of most companies’ technology stack while Automation and Datasphere seemed to have been grouped into underlying themes around AI. This is an important note as people may label older technology and concepts as ‘AI’ to generate buzz when in reality they are ideas that may have been around for a while. Leaders should be clear on definitions and desired results as they research and implement technologies.  


AI has been around for quite some time but has more recently become a powerful tool in the financial industry. It is the ability of a computer or a robot to do tasks that are usually done by humans because they require human intelligence and discernment. AI has become even more critical in finance as it can help to process vast amounts of data and provide insights that would otherwise be impossible to obtain.  

As mentioned, AI is starting to become a catch-all phrase for technology and, therefore, four key sub-topics were identified with definitions.  

Gen AI Democratization: An excerpt from the Liberty Advisors article states, “No longer confined to the realms of specialized experts, AI is becoming accessible to a broader audience. This democratization empowers businesses and individuals to leverage the potential of AI in innovative ways, driving efficiency, creativity, and problem-solving across industries.”  

AI Trust and Risks: Gartner discusses how the concept of AI trust, risk, and security management (AI TRiSM) supports AI model governance, trustworthiness, fairness, reliability, robustness, transparency, and data protection. 

AI Agents: Accenture focused on the evolution of AI from assisting in task and function to becoming agents capable of acting on their own and making decisions. 

Applied AI: AI will soon be integrated into many different software platforms. McKinsey highlighted that models trained in machine learning can be used to solve classification, prediction, and control problems to automate activities, add or augment capabilities and offerings, and make better decisions.  

Like last year, the number of companies that are implementing AI is rapidly increasing as suggested in many of the articles. Companies are developing and adopting more applications for AI, but organizational, technical, ethical, and regulatory issues must be resolved before businesses can realize the technology’s full potential.  


While many may consider Cybersecurity as more of an ongoing business imperative than an emerging technology, AI has created a need to examine this theme more dynamically than companies have considered in the past. As technology advances, so does the need for robust cybersecurity measures. The surveys emphasize the importance of protecting data and systems against cyber threats, which are critical concerns for all organizations. 

Cyber Resilience: This concept, highlighted by Forbes, "encapsulates measures that can be taken to recover and ensure continuity when defenses are breached or due to circumstances beyond our control. This might mean having remote working procedures in place to ensure businesses can function when staff can’t get to central locations.”  

Continuous Threat Exposure Management: Gartner outlined CTEM as a pragmatic and systemic approach to continuously adjust cybersecurity optimization priorities and use technology to address vulnerabilities and exposures.  

Cyber as Competitive Advantage: KPMG highlighted the point that “rather than just being regarded as a resilience necessity, cyber is being recognized as a key commercial opportunity.”  

As other technology moves at a faster pace, companies will need to keep cybersecurity top of mind, or they will inevitably expose their companies to unwanted risks.  

Quantum Computing  

Identified as a significant emerging trend, quantum computing has the potential to revolutionize computing by performing complex calculations at unprecedented speeds. 

Forbes stated, “Quantum computers are capable of carrying out vast numbers of calculations simultaneously by harnessing weird and wonderful elements of quantum physics, such as quantum entanglement and superposition. This enables them to operate using quantum bits (qubits) that can exist in multiple states simultaneously, rather than a state of either 1 or 0, like traditional computer bits.” 

Forbes also noted that quantum computing does not speed up every job where we use computers. Benefits arise as it is applied across various compute-heavy fields, including drug discovery, genome sequencing, cryptography, meteorology, material science, optimization of complex systems such as traffic flow through large cities, and even the search for extraterrestrial life. While practical applications for finance departments in quantum computing are still hypothetical, increased data sets and collection might see use cases emerge in the next 5 years.  

Sustainable Technologies  

With a growing focus on sustainability, technologies that support environmental and social governance are becoming increasingly important. The review of surveys noted two different ways that sustainable technologies will impact companies in the coming years. 

Digital solutions that support ESG initiatives: Sustainable technology is a framework of digital solutions used to enable environmental, social and governance (ESG) outcomes that support long-term ecological balance and human rights.  

Sustainable and renewable energy solutions: Sustainable technology includes improving the environmental impact of current technologies such as carbon capture, renewable energy. electric cars, bikes, and public transport. The circular economy was mentioned as durability, recyclability and reusability become a focus for companies. 


These technologies are not just trends but are becoming integral parts of strategic planning and operational efficiency in various sectors. 

This summary encapsulates the overarching themes and provides a strategic overview of the emerging tech trends as seen across various vendors. It is a starting point for a deeper exploration into each theme and how they can be operationalized within your organization. 

The surveys reviewed were from the following companies: Accenture, Deloitte, Forbes, Gartner, The Hackett Group, IEEE: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, KPMG, Liberty Advisors Group, McKinsey & Company, and PwC.