Thought leaders have been warning about the same threat of automation in the accounting profession for a while now. Though we don’t have a behemoth like Amazon in the profession to push along the change, I’ll bet someday we’ll see one. There’s just too much about the work we do that is routine for it not to be automated.
The safest job, by the way, is Human Resources Manager. That makes sense because the jobs that deal mostly with people will be the hardest to replace with automation or artificial intelligence.
Kevin O'Leary (of Shark Tank fame) said as much
in an interview backstage at the AICPA Engage conference this month:
Half of the work the CPA does is to deal with people, to have relationships with people, and to decide how to work with their desires, their direction, and their vision for their business. That is never going to be replaced by a machine.
This is why accounting firms that are growing are adding and focusing on growing consulting services.
Millennial business owners cite their top accounting frustrations as forecasting, managing cash flow and reporting, signaling a need for strategic input that extends beyond basic reports and technical terminology. In fact, 52% of millennial business owners say they want strategic insight and guidance, 31% currently retain CFO/consulting services from accounting firms and 42% want complex financial concepts translated into terminology and reporting they can understand.
Audit and tax are not growing. Fees for basic bookkeeping services are being pushed down by automation. But demand for outsourced advisory services is growing by double digits as Millennials take over management roles and become our clients.
Millennials understand the value of outsourced advisory services. They can work effectively with a remote team.
So let’s give them what they want!
Now, as always, here are the best links I clicked on this past week: