The Accounting profession: winds of change

(Last Updated On: 18/12/2018)

Robotic process automation (RPA) is affecting all sorts and types of industries, and the accounting profession is by no means an exception. RPA can help companies from multiple industries execute various business processes quickly and accurately. This can be achieved at reduced costs with less need for human intervention. Now more than ever before, there is fear that automatic work will replace the human workforce. Reports and statistics predict that by 2030, in the US, around a third of the total workforce stands to be automatic. Just like any other industry, technology is sure to make its mark in several fields, such as accounting. Whether it is streamlining tasks, filing taxes or automatic repetitive duties, artificial intelligence accounting is no longer simply an elaborate aspiration of science fiction—it’s on the horizon and is trickling slowly into the profession’s everyday life.

With the current tech that is already available, it is becoming easier and easier to provide accounting services. Though it is unlikely that the accounting industry is going to disappear due to automation, the profession is changing rapidly, and statistics suggest that up to 93% of accountants might not be needed for the bookkeeping function.

RPA can help support accounting services by streamlining operations, saving time and money, increasing efficiency, gathering and processing data and learning how to organize different types of information through machine learning. For example, because of advancements in administrative capabilities, accounts payable and accounts receivable are becoming infiltrated by RPA.

There’s no telling how soon these changes will affect the accounting jobs, or even how big the changes will be. The consulting firm McKinsey & Company suggests that “currently demonstrated technologies could automate 45 percent of the activities people are paid to perform and that about 30 percent out of 60 percent of all professions consider that more of their constituent activities are automated.”

In addition, accountants will need to oversee any technological adaptations in their field and, now more than ever, finance and accounting professionals must know how to adapt to the changing demands of their role through constant training, refreshing their skill sets, and continuous education.

In conclusion, accountants, auditors and others working in the finance sector should focus on the value they bring to the table: like being able to advise their clients based on previous experience, which software-based robots are not able to do it. It is vital that accounting professionals should understand how new technologies such as Robotic Process Automation can impact their profession.


Savvas Kasapis, Manager, savvas.kasapis@eurofast.eu
Christi Georghiades , Supervisor, christi.georghiades@eurofast.eu


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