Accountants relish automation

Automation such as at this  dairy cold store should be seen as an opportunity say most accountants according to a survey
Automation such as at this dairy cold store should be seen as an opportunity say most accountants according to a survey
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Despite popular fears which range from job losses to doomsday scenarios, finance professionals in Lancashire and across the North West welcome the rise of artificial intelligence, automation and robots, according to the latest survey by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.

The results of the poll reveals that 75 per cent of CIMA management accountants in the North West support the idea of more automation if it saves time and money or helps with indecision in their organisations. This indicates that accountants regard the impact of new technologies as an opportunity rather than a threat.

When asked about the effect of such innovation on businesses, management accountants in the North West stated that the outcome would be more efficient companies as a result of better automation and data analysis (55 per cent), and a general up-skilling of the workforce due to the need for more advanced computer skills (42 per cent).

Nearly half (42 per cent) even feel that there will be a better work-life balance as computers will take over jobs while humans continue to reap the profit.

Only 29 per cent of surveyed CIMA members in the North West believe that the increased automation will lead to a loss of jobs and therefore to greater inequality. This is in stark contrast to the popular view that major job cuts will happen over the coming years as a result of automation and a rise in robotics.

Andrew Harding CEO of CIMA, said: “While it’s possible to imagine a nightmare scenario where advances in technology lead to mass redundancies, finance departments in the North West have a less alarmist view.

“Our members believe that artificial intelligence, robots and other technologies will alter, but not destroy, the jobs of accountants and other professionals.”