Let’s all pause for a moment and take a break from the relentless claims that robots and artificial intelligence (AI) will be the demise of accounting professions. They won’t. That’s not to say they won’t dramatically change the ways in which accounting professionals work or the skills that will be valued in the future, because they will.
Pages of history, both recent and long ago, unveil countless examples of invention and innovation threatening to wipe out entire professions. Quoting novelist Pearl Buck, “If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday.”
Yet, throughout history, technology innovations have always created more jobs than they have destroyed. The lesson here is that while AI and machine learning are likely to replace many aspects of the accounting profession, there is room for greater career opportunities. They just may look different. For example, machines can’t replace the emotional intelligence (EQ) needed to drive automation. Humans need to be involved in key decision making that robo-advisors or AI won’t be able to accomplish.
Randstad Professionals is experiencing its own set of challenges as automation creates a learning curve for us as recruiters. We are constantly adapting to the latest human resource technology to comprehend the data it provides and to bring the best accounting talent to our clients. We are also ensuring our internal accounting team is up to speed with the proper learning and development training to accomplish workloads more efficiently with technology. However, despite the wave of digital transformation, we still hold a sense of integrity in the overall fundamentals of accounting.
More Disruption on the Horizon
By now, just about everyone has likely experienced the changes brought on by automation, cloud computing and big data. It’s time to turn our attention to the transformations that AI and machine learning will have on the profession. Why is this advancement so disruptive?
About Jodi Chavez
Jodi Chavez is President of Randstad Professionals. With more than 17 years in the staffing industry, Jodi oversees the field organization and provides direction for Randstad’s finance and accounting, human resources, sales and marketing, and legal staffing capabilities. Throughout her career, Jodi's entrepreneurial drive and strong business acumen have led to increased revenues, gross profit growth and improved ROI. Along with a proven track record of building high performing teams, she brings a wealth of knowledge in strategic planning and execution, mergers and acquisitions, brand strategy, social media and multi-generational leadership.