" “Let’s be honest, AI is gearing up to replace traditional bookkeeping altogether."

By Christopher Argent, Founder, GENCFO

Sponsored by Planful.

Lee Taylor



Lee Taylor has been blazing his own trail in finance from the very beginning:

“An A level tutor gave me the advice that kick-started my career - don’t go to university!”

Given where he’s ended up (Chief Financial Officer of global content subscription powerhouse OnlyFans) leaving school at seventeen to take the non-traditional route has more than paid off.

We sat down with him to hear more about his impressive career trajectory, from an apprenticeship, listed businesses, and the crucial role of finance transformation in OnlyFans’ success.

Reimagining the digital finance function

Somewhere between a love of business and law, Lee landed on the finance function as the embodiment of career fulfilment:

“I love that finance has an awareness of everything in a company. It’s present during all decisions, be it in manufacturing, operations, marketing - any and all facets of the business.”

It’s no surprise then that embracing digital disruption and fresh ways to tackle modern finance challenges comes naturally to Lee:

“I've always held a strong belief that the finance department should be a value-add to a company."

"Finance transformation gives us that ability: it frees us up to focus more on business partnering to add value, and less on transactional work.”

While some may welcome the tide of digital finance change, others might be feeling twitchy about automation overhauling key aspects of the finance professional role. But according to Lee, businesses must face up to reality and take ownership of the change:

“Let’s be honest, AI is gearing up to replace traditional bookkeeping altogether. Finance is making a massive change in a relatively short space of time to shift to a purely business partnering focus. My opinion is it’s the responsibility of companies to invest in their workforce and upskill them to work with new finance technology.”

Adding a human touch to AI in finance

At OnlyFans, digital transformation has taken the business to astronomical new heights. Allowing creators to directly monetise their content with fans, OnlyFans has paid out over $15 billion in creator earnings since it was founded in 2016.

Key to this success has been harnessing state-of-the-art technology to build a safe online community that protects creators and fans:

“Thanks to automation, we’re now a market leader in online safety when it comes to verifying creator IDs, the onboarding of creators, and content moderation.”

Striking the right balance between AI intervention and a human touch has been central to the inner workings of their content moderation approach:

“We use computer software to assess what content has a higher risk of being unsuitable, in order to prioritise what content gets moderated first. But it’s human beings who make the final decision: every single piece of content that’s uploaded onto OnlyFans has human eyes on it. We just use technology to prioritise that work.”

While AI’s limitations at understanding context and nuance is a big challenge in the digital age, it’s an area human beings are best equipped to add value in an increasingly AI world, according to Lee:

“There are just some decisions a computer can’t make for you, especially within the context of online safety. Humans have context, AI has efficiency. What’s been most transformative for us is to do both, and keep human control over the decision-making process.”

The makings of a digital finance leader

Being a part of a company embracing this level of human/robot synergy has inspired Lee’s own approach to finance transformation:

“OnlyFans opened me up to a whole new world within digital transformation. I’ve seen first-hand the incredible things we’ve been able to do for creators in the digital finance space - we’ve enabled them to monetise their content directly with fans rather than through a middleman or advertiser.”

Besides making a positive impact on digital creators, it’s the simple satisfaction of business improvement that gets him out of bed in the morning:

“I have a real passion for business improvement."

"I like being able to look back at the end of each year and see tangible progress that the business and I have made. For me it’s all about those marginal and continual gains.”

In fact, incremental gains and celebrating the small steps taken along the way is a philosophy Lee applies to his personal career journey. It’s also his advice for others looking to follow in his footsteps:

“Don’t rush! At seventeen years old when I was coming out of school I was adamant I wanted to be a finance director by age thirty. But in hindsight, I didn’t really understand what that meant. Ultimately that goal shifted to having an influential role in an interesting company. I’m proud to say I’ve achieved that.”

Power Profile

Who is your hero?

"I've been fortunate enough to work with many inspirational leaders, and absorb how they handle situations and decisions. I’ve also worked for people I would’ve considered to be bad leaders at the time! The important thing to remember is that even those experiences can be learning curves - observing other leaders helps you figure out what to do and what not to do. "

What music inspires you?

"For me, it’s got to be rock music. I’m a big fan and it’s always been present in my life growing up. If it’s loud enough it’s probably inspiring to me! "


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Christopher Argent, Founder, GENCFO

Chris is the founder and MD of GenerationCFO.com and creator of the Digital Finance Function Model and a contributor to many articles on our platform. Chris focuses on the shift toward digital transformation in accounting and finance, shows you what good looks like, then helps to get you there!

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