WikiJob, a graduate job resource for the finance industry in the United Kingdom, has found that nearly three-fourths of those looking to enter the accounting field are concerned that robots will make their jobs obsolete.
Overall, 74% of WikiJob members surveyed said they are either “very concerned” or “concerned” about accounting roles being replaced by artificial intelligence and automation. These findings are in line with a recent study conducted by Deloitte and the University of Oxford that listed both financial accounts managers and bookkeepers among the 10 careers most threatened by advancing technology.
This led a staggering two-thirds of respondents saying that they would consider changing their plans and starting a career in a different industry. When asked if accounting is a good career choice, a similarly surprising 52% said that they are “unsure” — or gave an outright “no” response.
While they are generally confident that the entire sector won’t disappear, they believe bookkeeping and other specific responsibilities soon may be done by robots, leaving less work for the ever-growing number of professionals entering the field.
Exactly half of respondents predict that bookkeeping will be done by machines in the future. Financial tasks and taxation are the next two components of the job that are most likely to disappear in their eyes.
“This survey demonstrates the nervousness that many graduates are feeling when they look longer term at possible careers in accountancy,” James Rice, head of digital marketing at WikiJob, told Onrec. “The profession is in good health currently, but it must do all it can to persuade new recruits that their roles are ones that can’t easily be automated in the future. Otherwise accounting could find itself facing a recruitment crisis in years to come.”