Are robots posed to take accounting jobs? No, not exactly. But kind of.
Science fiction would have you believe that the human race is on track to be replaced by robots in the near future, but while advances in technology are increasing artificial intelligence (AI) and automation, the likelihood of robotic replacement is slim.
There are plenty of instances where a human touch is preferred. Not everything can be outsourced to machines. A study cited by Business.com found that 68 percent of clients surveyed prefer having access to a human financial advisor rather than a simple technology solution.
That’s a relief for accountants, but it’s important to note that this is also dependent on the task being performed. As a common example, many of us use software that is widely available (and sometimes free) to file our taxes over visiting a tax consultant, so your mileage may vary when it comes to what you’re willing to leave to the machines.
It is true that much of the manual work traditionally completed by accountants can now be automated. This means that accounting firms can save money by employing fewer people, increase accuracy by eliminating opportunities for manual error, and shift their focus to providing strategic and advisory services, which is in increasingly high demand.
But as for technical accountants who work in niche industries or delve deep into regulations and compliance? Robots aren’t likely to replace them.
Relevancy is key
Being irrelevant in your field is the kiss of death. If the threat of AI and automation is looming, focus on expanding your skillset and breadth of knowledge. By embracing technology, you can provide advisory services to clients to help them choose the software that’s right for them. If you’re not neck-deep in a spreadsheet hunting for the one equation that is causing your error, then you have lots of time back on the clock to truly refine your skills and become a subject matter expert in your field. This provides value to your clients and gives you a competitive edge.
AI is getting smarter–not just automating anymore, but learning and drawing conclusions. Your best bet is to embrace it for the tool it is. Let it do its job while you focus on yours.
Implementing cloud-based accounting software is your first step to embracing AI, automation, and the robots of the future.Learn more about partnering with Flexi today. Call 800-353-9492.