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Will Automation Take My Job as an Accountant?

17th Jan 2024
Brought to you by
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Receipt Bot is a robotic data entry assistant for accountants and bookkeepers. Leveraging the...
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Will Automation Take Your Accounting Job? This article explores the opportunities and threats posed by the new generation of automation technologies.

Will automation take away my job as an accountant?

Introduction

The rise of Generative AI applications like ChatGPT or Bard and task automation tools such as UiPath or Power Automate is transforming every facet of modern work life. In the accounting industry, automation tools are becoming an integral part of the daily tasks of accountants, offering new capabilities that were unimaginable just a few years ago. However, it prompts a crucial consideration: Will accountants' jobs be fully automated, and their jobs be replaced? How will this evolution reshape accountants' role in the business environment and economies of the future?

Is automation a threat or an opportunity for accountants?

The concern that "automation will replace accountants' jobs" is somewhat disconnected from the actual impact of AI-based technologies. Maybe there is an element of hype and heightened expectations based on the view of some commentators as part of a usual hype cycle of emerging technologies.

With over a decade of experience in testing, analysing, and building the latest automation technologies for accountants, we believe that while automation can automate many routine tasks, the human touch remains essential in accounting. Instead of taking over accountants' or bookkeepers' roles, emerging technologies are helping automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks, such as data collection, reminders, data entry, error identification, and basic-level financial analysis. It frees up valuable time for accountants, enabling them to focus on high-value activities that require critical thinking, problem-solving, and strategic analysis.

Remember the days of tedious data entry, frantic typing and data wrangling spreadsheets? Those days are being swept aside by the winds of automation, transforming data entry from a monotonous grind into a tech-savvy skill.

Often, pre-accounting involves working through a large pile of papers, sifting, sorting and recording those in Excel or accounting software one by one. It can take days, if not weeks, and is not the most professionally uplifting task during the busy season. Here's where automation steps in as a game-changer: it streamlines these time-consuming processes, freeing up precious time for tasks that demand human insight and expertise.

Imagine if the same pile, a mix of all sorts: invoices, receipts, letters, emails, and bank statements, gets neatly organised into digital accounting records with the correct classification of documents and posted in your accounting software or Excel, complete with basic pre-accounting. It might sound like a sci-fi future, but it's happening with tools like Receipt Bot. So, the next time you reach for your keyboard to enter piles of accounting records manually, remember the exciting possibilities that automation presents.

What are leading researchers saying?

While some may fear the rise of AI and automation in the accounting industry, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects accounting and auditor jobs to grow by 4% from 2022 to 2032, more than the average for all other occupations.

According to the Forrester report, 59% of financial leaders believe financial technology and automation are essential for finance professionals. This data substantiates the belief that automation will reshape, not replace, accounting jobs.

How do we leverage emerging digital technologies?

As accountants, preparing for the future involves embracing technological advancements while honing critical skills. Understanding and leveraging AI-driven tools does not require you to learn programming languages for database query writing or predictive analytics. You can leverage applications with embedded AI, no-code platforms or robotic process automation (RPA) tools. Applications like Power BI for data visualisation, Power Apps for process automation, Microsoft Copilot for report writing and communication and Receipt Bot for data entry automation enable you to improve your services and deliver a better client experience.

Conclusion

Automation is not the nemesis of accounting jobs. It's an opportunity to break free from mundane tasks and embrace a more strategic, fulfilling role. By embracing lifelong learning and adopting new technologies, you can ensure your place at the forefront of this exciting new era in the accounting profession. So, shun the doomsday commentators, pick your preferred tools, and prepare to write the next chapter of your accounting journey!

To find out more about how we can help your practice or business visit the Receipt Bot Website.