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Automation Threatens to Put Accountants Out of Work

Automation Threatens to Put Accountants Out of Work
From Recruiter - January 19, 2017

According to research conducted by Oxford University and Deloitte, two of the ten jobs most at risk of being totally automated in thenext two decades are financial accounts manager and bookkeeper.

In light of this unsettling news, graduate jobs forum WikiJob issued a survey asking graduates interested in accounting careers how they felt about the threat. Arethey concerned? Is this issue making them consider alternative career paths where automation is a less significant threat?

Machines Make Accountants Nervous

WikiJob found that three in four graduates (74 percent) looking to pursue a career in accounting are concerned that automation could make their role redundant within two decades. More than 50 percent of surveyed graduates said they believe bookkeeping is the area of accounting mostat risk of being replaced in the medium or long term by machines.

This survey demonstrates the nervousness that many graduates are feeling when they look at possible careers in accountancy [in the longer term], says James Rice, head of digital marketing at WikiJob. It probably is true to say that areas like bookkeeping and tax will struggle to attract higher-caliber graduates as time goes on because the job security will look increasingly precarious. The profession is in good health currently, but it must do all it can to persuade new recruits that their roles are ones that cant easily be automated in the future. Otherwise, accounting could find itself facing a recruitment crisis in years to come.

In a surprising turn of events, fewer than half of the graduates surveyed by WikiJob said accounting was a good career choice. (Remember, WikiJob specifically surveyed graduates who indicated they were interesting in accounting careers.) Almost 40 percent said that they were unsure about the prospects for an accounting career, and two-thirds of respondents were considering careers in alternative industries.



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