The latest Thomson Reuters 2024 Generative AI in Professional Services report is out!

Firms See No Impact on Fees in the Latest AI Survey

The Thomson Reuters 2024 Generative AI in Professional Services: Perceptions, Usage, and Impact on the Future of Work report looks at how professionals perceive the use of GenAI in their workplace and to what level they are using it.

Key takeaways from the report

  • Professional services have responded well to GenAI's potential, exploring use cases and testing tools since ChatGPT's debut.
  • Many professionals are still considering GenAI, with adoption likely increasing as they gain more education and form clearer opinions.
  • GenAI is seen as a tool to augment, not replace, professional work, enhancing service quality and automating repetitive tasks.
  • Given GenAI's transformative potential, proactive planning is crucial to avoid falling behind.

Key findings from the report

Positive feelings with some hesitancy - A sizeable portion of respondents (44%) said they were hopeful or excited about GenAI’s introduction into their industry, while more than one-third of respondents (35%) said they were hesitant, and 18% said they were concerned or fearful. Of the portion that said they were hesitant, 20% said they felt that way due to accuracy concerns, 18% said they were sceptical that GenAI could deliver promised results, and 16% were concerned about over-reliance.
The majority see use cases - A large majority (81%) said GenAI can be applied to their work, while fewer (54%) said they believe GenAI should be applied to their work. These figures are slightly higher than the responses to a similar question asked of legal and tax professionals in a previous survey done in Spring 2023. Most of the rest of the respondents remained on the fence.
Most are not using, but considering - Almost one-quarter of respondents said they were already using GenAI (12%) or had active plans to use it (11%), with usage higher among all legal professionals and corporate risk and fraud professionals than for tax and accounting or government respondents. Almost one-third (32%) of all respondents said they were still considering whether to use GenAI at work, while 45% said they had no plans to use it at this time.
Impacting some business models - Among respondents from law firms and tax firms that have begun adopting GenAI, 58% of legal professionals said they do not believe GenAI will impact the rates they charge clients, although 39% said it will lead to an increase in alternative fee arrangements. Among tax professionals whose firms have adopted GenAI, there is a split between those who believe GenAI will increase their rates (40%) as think their rates will stay the same (42%).
Corporates want firm use - More than half of respondents from corporate legal (58%) and corporate tax (56%) departments, as well as nearly half of court systems (44%) and government legal departments (40%), said the outside firms they work with should be using GenAI.
Training is not a priority - Respondents from corporate risk departments (38%) and corporate legal departments (25%) reported the highest proportion of GenAI training for staff, while less than 20% of law firm and tax firm respondents said they had received GenAI training.
Inaccuracy, privacy worries persist - More than half of respondents identified such worries as inaccurate responses (70%), data security (68%), privacy and confidentiality of data (62%), complying with laws and regulations (60%), and ethical and responsible usage (57%) as primary concerns for GenAI.

Survey Participants

The survey was conducted online with 1,128 respondents in January and February 2024. Participants were in the United States (48%), the United Kingdom (19%), Canada (16%), Australia (14%), and New Zealand (4%). The participants were also screened to ensure they were familiar with GenAI technology.

Participants included those within corporations' legal, tax, and risk departments, outside law firms and tax and accounting firms, and government legal departments and courts. Most respondents were partners, managers, directors, general counsel or assistant general counsel, attorneys, or judges.

About Thomson Reuters

Thomson Reuters is a leading provider of news and information to professionals. Its worldwide network of journalists and specialist editors keeps customers up to speed on global developments, with a particular focus on legal, regulatory and tax changes.

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