Accountants think robots will transform their jobs beyond recognition

Do you think robots will change your job in the next five years. Accountants seem to think so. A new report by FreeAgent says 96 per cent of accountants agree with this claim.

Pretty much every accountant believes their work will be either partly, or completely automated by 2022. Just three per cent said they don’t think automation will change their work. 

Almost two thirds (62 per cent) of those accountants participating in the survey for the report also said they don’t believe they will be performing the same tasks they do today, in the next five years. 

But they are getting ready for the future, that’s for sure. More than four in ten (42 per cent) want to retrain to make sure they stay on role in the future, while a quarter (23 per cent) said they’re thinking about retraining. Another 20 per cent, on the other hand, said they don’t plan on going through any additional training. 

“Our survey results suggest we are seeing a continuing shift in the landscape of the accounting profession,” said Ed Molyneux, CEO and co-founder of FreeAgent. “Technology is driving new ways of working with clients, while forthcoming legislative changes such as Making Tax Digital and PSD2 will significantly accelerate the pace of automation.”

“However, this should not be cause for alarm. Rather, these changes represent a unique opportunity for accountancy practices to grow their higher-value, advisory propositions and stay at the forefront of the profession - and it’s really positive to see that the majority of accountants we surveyed are not only recognising this shift, but are already starting to consider how they will adapt to the changes.

“The age of automation is dawning and the accountancy profession currently faces a choice over how to proceed. I firmly believe that forward-thinking accountants who embrace and adapt to this change now will be the ones who benefit most in the future.”

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