With the advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation in recent years, many aspiring number crunchers have begun to ask a logical question: “How is the job market for accountants?” The quick answer: The accounting job market is good! However, technology is changing the profession, impacting the work accountants perform and the skills they’re expected to need in the future. What is the accounting job market like? Demand for accountants remains high according to October’s jobs report numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Employers added 16,200 jobs in accounting and bookkeeping in October of 2019. Growth in the profession is not expected to slow down any time soon. The BLS projects employment of accountants and auditors to grow by 6% from 2018 to 2028. The average growth rate for all occupations is five percent. That’s not to say that every accountant has excellent job prospects. Thanks to a shift in accounting technology, most of the traditional work an accountant performs is becoming more automated. As a result, the role of an accountant is changing from one heavy in data entry and number crunching, to that of an advisor. The shift requires new skills that fall into two broad categories: Business intelligence and data analytics skills to help accountants collaborate with artificial intelligence, machine learning, and automation “Soft” skills, such as emotional intelligence and communication skills, that equip them to provide consulting and advisory services to stakeholders Accounting Job Market Rumors Technology advances have historically eliminated some jobs while creating others. Rumors have been heard that with the rise of AI, accounting positions will be at extreme risk. Gartner has predicted that AI will eliminate 1.8 million jobs, but actually create 2.3 million. The jobs most at risk for being taken over by AI are ones that involve highly routine work and require a lot of manual data entry. In its report, Bots, Algorithms, and the Future of the Finance Function, McKinsey & Company forecasted the accounting tasks that are likely to be automated in the future. Those that are highly or fully automatable include: General accounting operations Cash disbursement Revenue management Financial Read More »
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