Mark Carney, the chief of Bank of England stated that almost 15 million of the existing jobs in Britain could be automatized in a period of time, this includes a lot of professions including accounting in its entirety.
In response to the statement by Mr. Carney, John Williams, the head of ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) cited:
“When it comes to automation having a big impact on automating the profession of accounting, Mr Carney stands correct. However, I cannot agree with the belief that the ‘rise of robots’ indicates towards the end of accounting. If artificial intelligence really indicated towards the end of accountants, it would also indicate the end of central bankers!
“The robotic process automation is basically referring to a software that is written in order to perform process that are repetitive, as well as interacting with several applications, all of this is done under the control of a human manager. It is only natural step in the evolution of how finance changes, but it is neither good when it comes to creating relationships, nor it has the ability to replace the systems or the staff.
“As of the now, the profession of accounting is facing a very different opportunity: the digitalization is giving the usual finance function to move up the chain of value, this ranges from the score keeper to the caretaker, to the communicator, and to the business partner. The tasks that involve transactions are being outsourced to someone else, all the while saving money, ultimately causing opportunities to come up for the professional accountants, allowing them to become business partners.
“As far as change is concerned, it seems like that accountants are standing on the front line, and it’s safe to say that the profession of accounting happens to have a vital role to play in order to make sure that all the technological changes are properly, and efficiently embraced in order to run the businesses in Britain properly. The situation isn’t anything new, if you take a look back to 25 years, Carney may have predicted the end of accountants with the advent of softwares like SAP or and Oracle, but at this point, it’s quite clear that accountancy is the profession that managed to survive and thrive.
“There is no denying that there will be some issues embracing this transition, mainly because whenever it comes to changing profession, a lot of dynamics come into place, and even ends up creating career divide
“However, the research done by ACCA clearly tells that the next generation of accountants are already aware and prepared. According to the recent research done by ACCA, in which there were a total of 18,000 finance professions that were under the age of 36 believe that the technology will be there to replace the entry level roles in this accountancy profession, and the majority of people actually welcome this change. They also said that technology will also allow them to focus on higher activities with more value.
“Technology doesn’t pose a threat to the accountants, as a matter of fact, it is an opportunity. The next generation of accountants will be highly trained in both digital and ethical skills, and they will need these skills in order to handle the automated entry level, as they are busy focusing on creating wider, more strategic values for the businesses in Britain.