Accounting and Auditing may in the next few years be disrupted by emerging innovations such as robot process automation (Bots) and mechanical robotics (Daniela Rus, “The Robots are Coming,” Foreign Affairs, July/August 2015)
The use of computers for business operations has come to stay. In fact, computers have already become ever-present in our world of business today, and in the near future mechanical robotics will as well be seen sitting in the chairs, in our offices.
The debate about whether or not machines will replace accountants in the near future is the result of the sudden increase in demand for various business software solutions like Sage Evolution Premium and SAP Business One for business operations the world over.
Accounting Software experts argue that the profession stands on the cusp of technological development however conservative accountants disagree and argue that programs like VIP Premier Payroll & other sophisticated tax systems work quite well, but have no ability to make deep decisions especially when confronted with unstructured data.
Valid arguments they are! Maybe in the near future, we will see fewer accountants of one type and more of the other. ‘If history tells us anything, there were speculations of job losses when spreadsheets and computers were introduced into the accounting process, but instead we saw significant growth of jobs in the accounting departments. It is certain that how we perform the work and the skillsets will change, but this will create new opportunities.
The future of accounting hinges on outputs and not inputs. Business owners will invest in any legitimate resources that can enhance the bottom-line results even if it’s just simple software.
Over the past 10 years, a lot of businesses have shifted from manual accounting processes to automated operations. For instance, the advent of Sage one accounting, VIP Payroll and SAP Business One, is saving companies more money while doing more work. No need to hire more accountants. But as with any transition, there will be a distribution of adoption, so some people will scream saying that their jobs are at risk, but more likely is that they got blindsided and failed to invest new skills.
“To be on the safer side means rising to the change and embracing the transition with a smile – invest in tech skills and stay open for the opportunities that come along with this evolution”
I believe that development in technology has only brought even greater opportunities to accountants. Despite the smart business operations performed by a computer, a company will also need a brain which can devise strategies required to bolster its financial growth.
The onus, therefore, lies on accountants to be agile, versatile and open to changes. They will need to fasten their belts and fly even higher.
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