With the rise of accounting automation, there is a growing concern that robots may take over human jobs one day. However, while rapid advances in technology may mean replacing some tasks previously performed by humans, it is unlikely to replace the need for human accounting altogether. Accounting automation may even create new opportunities for professional accountants.
While accounting automation can streamline many tasks and make them more efficient, it still cannot cover many aspects of accounting that require the expertise of a human accountant. For example, accounting automation cannot provide the same creative problem-solving and strategic thinking that humans can perform. In addition, while accounting automation can be trained using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to identify errors or irregularities in data, the final review will have to be approved by a trained human accountant.
Why the Need for Robots and Automation
The accounting profession has been one of the most resistant to change, but process automation is inevitable in most industries. Innovations in AI and robotics make it possible for machines to accomplish more and more accounting tasks, from data entry to tax preparation.
A recent study by Oxford Economics found that the global stock of robots can rise by as much as 20 million by 2030, with severe implications. But on the other hand, the World Economic Forum is already embracing human-centered artificial intelligence to keep up with the change. So this shift toward robotic automation is already underway, and it's only going to accelerate.
So what does this mean for accounting professionals? Are robots going to take their jobs?
Not necessarily. While it's true that automation will impact labor statistics, others will be created, however. And there will still be a need for human expertise in strategy, interpretation, and client relations — areas where AI still has a long way to go before perfecting.
What's more, the accounting profession continues to evolve in many aspects. As a result, there's an accelerated path toward new opportunities for those willing to embrace change. Moreover, those who can adapt and use new technologies will be in a solid position to succeed in the future.
Accounting will inevitably be automated, but there is still a need for human expertise in many areas. The profession is evolving, and those who can adapt will do well in the future.
Not All Jobs Will Be Lost to Automation
While there is no doubt that automation will impact the accounting profession, it is improbable that robots will affect all jobs. From young workers to chartered accountants, accounting designations will even expand in the future.
In addition to the expertise that human accounting brings, robots cannot provide the same level of customer service as humans. Many accounting tasks require a high degree of personal interaction, such as tax preparation or financial planning. This is something that accounting automation cannot replicate.
While it is still too early to tell the full extent of the impact accounting automation will have on jobs, robots may also spur the need for new jobs. The net effect of automation on employment in the accounting profession is likely to be positive, but there will be a period of adjustment as the profession evolves.
In the long run, accounting automation will make the profession more efficient and allow humans to focus on higher-level tasks. Those who can adapt to the changes will be in a solid position to succeed.
How the Accounting profession can benefit from automation
Accounting automation may even create new roles and opportunities for human accountants who can adapt and embrace this new technology.
For example, many use cases prove that the technology can free up chartered accountants from time-consuming tasks like data entry and allow them to focus on more strategic work. Additionally, accounting automation can improve accuracy and efficiency in preparing financial statements and the fields of financial accounting and quality control, leading to greater client satisfaction.
Accounting professionals need to be comfortable with technology and be trained to use new accounting software to better prepare for changes. Executive support is critical to get the organization to adapt well in the future and put the company in a strategic financial position. Additionally, it is essential to stay up-to-date on developments in accounting automation and how it can speed up financial transactions to be aware of the latest changes and how they might impact your job.
Accounting automation is inevitable, but there is still a need for human expertise in many areas such as financial reporting, cost accounting, and banking. Robots will not replace humans entirely, especially in the accounting industry. They will change them but not eliminate all roles (and even create new jobs). And those who can ride the change to their advantage will be the ones who can thrive in the years to come.
So don't be afraid of accounting automation. It's unlikely that you will be replaced (especially if you're a Certified Public Accountant). Your accounting degree is and will always remain relevant and valuable. The important thing is to equip yourself with the tech skills needed to survive in this evolving market, such as taking online courses or exploring new software with unlimited access. For instance, if you're looking for a reliable process automation platform, try Autymate's DIY tool designed for most companies to import, export, modify and delete all types of transactions, lists, and data, even with no coding background. Sign up for our free 30-day trial at https://www.autymate.com/products/amt-quickbooks-online.