You’ve probably seen this making the rounds on Reddit, Twitter, and whichever other dark corner of the internet you hang out in to commiserate with your fellow capital markets servants. It’s from FinanceBuzz’s 13 Jobs That Will Be Gone Within 20 Years:
Like most article that claim accountants will be replaced by machines in 5-25 years, this one seems to conflate “accountant” with, well, anyone performing accounting and bookkeeping tasks. Yes, technology has rendered the paper payroll check obsolete in all but the most antiquated of businesses. No, it hasn’t eliminated payroll clerks completely.
In 2017, research firm Gartner said in a report that by 2020, AI would eliminate 1.8 million jobs but also generate 2.3 million. We can see this effect in the accounting profession in particular; in the 2021 AICPA Trends report, 42.7% of new hires at accounting firms are non-accounting grads. Firms are pouring big money into technology, specifically analytics and automation (and can I just say: FINALLY). All that to say, technology hasn’t killed the profession, if anything it’s helping to grow it. That’s a problem of its own that we’re seeing in talent shortages but that’s a discussion for another day.
And the spreadsheet? The autonomous, self-driving Excel spreadsheet (??) What version of Excel is this person using? Office 2045?
Anyway, according to this you will be out of a job in 20 years which I’m sure is a relief to those of you reading this Sunday night asking how much longer you can stand living this way. Just a few more years!
“Rise of the Robots” – It’s Time for Accountants to Be Afraid (2016)