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5 Ways to Robot-Proof Your Public Accounting Job

public accounting

Please enjoy this sponsored content from Beech Valley Solutions. You can read more their partnership with Accountingfly here.

It’s inevitable. They’re coming for us, but more importantly, they’re coming for you. Your job. Your livelihood. That cute associate for whom you dream about throwing your life away, yes, they’re coming for him or her too. And there’s not a whole lot you can do about it, right?

Wrong. You actually can #BeatTheBots, and all it takes is relying on the same exact skills that got you this far in the first place.

Nothing prepares a white collar professional for protecting his or her job from those hungry robots better than the skills required to climb the corporate ladder.

And with that, here are 5 ways you can leverage your professional skills to ensure your longevity within the public accounting profession:

Don’t think twice. Go straight to HR.

Everyone in public accounting has seen it. The employee who gets away with everything. How do they do it? Easy. There’s nothing more invincible than a corporate employee who has an “in” with HR.

So if you’ve played your cards right, and I’m assuming you have, you’ve got the ultimate partner-in-crime when trying to undermine someone’s career — Human Resources.

As soon as one of those bots so much as looks at you wrong, let alone threatens to take your job, you may not be strong enough to take it out on your own. But through the combined forces of you, your favorite HR Director, and in-house legal, that miserable bot won’t even remember to ask for severance.

Evaluate it based on billable hours.

We’ve all heard stories about how efficient all these robots are. They can tie out an entire set of public company financials in the time it takes an intern to realize, wow, these auditors don’t care about me nearly as much as those recruiters at the career fair did.

Efficiency is a great thing… or is it?

Well, it’s not when you’re being measured based on billable hour goals. So let’s agree to treat these robots fairly, and evaluate their performance using the same metrics as that of the human professionals: utilization.

I can hear the conversation in my head now….

So… your goal was to hit 2,100 billable hours this year, but I have on your T&E summary that you only billed 2.4 minutes. I realize that in those 2.4 minutes, you completed multiple public company audit engagements that in the past took dedicated teams of 12 individuals working around the clock for 6 months, but your overall utilization is very troubling.

As a result, I think we can both agree it’s in everyone’s best interest if we go our separate ways.

Just spill coffee on it.

What’s the quickest way to a new laptop at a firm? The classic aw shucks, I just knocked my Counter Culture pour-over with three creams and a Splenda onto my slightly outdated laptop move.

It’s a go-to for any public accounting industry vet. And unless you’re currently reading this on a laptop that doesn’t have a solid state drive, touch screen, and Bluetooth transmitter, you’ve most certainly executed this move multiple times in your career (most likely whenever you’re fresh off of a promotion cycle).

Robots are machines too, and all it takes is one “accidental” spill to put them out of service. And the most common workplace culprit of laptop liquid damage is coffee.

I know… it seems pretty obvious once you think about it.

Don’t schedule it on any engagements.

It’s the ultimate kiss-of-death in public accounting: long-term periods of being unassigned. And if you’re manager-level or above at a firm with influence over scheduling, consider your career prospects secure.

You see, just don’t schedule the robot on any engagements. Higher-ups around the office will start thinking these robots are even lazier than the millennials! And once again, things will take care of themselves.

Convince it to apply for an overseas secondment.

Seriously, do it. That robot can’t take your job once it’s been shipped halfway around the world to Amsterdam. Dump your problem off on some unsuspecting foreigner by having the bot take an overseas secondment.

Not sure how to go about it? Persuade it to apply for the opportunity by throwing out some phrases like once in a lifetime or bike to work or legalization.

Out of sight, out of mind.

Disclaimer: This post was written by a robot.

The writing for this article was entirely outsourced to a robot that was built by a third-party.

It wants to let you know that freelancing is an alternative career option allowing you to optimize your lifestyle and compensation, while also continuing to progress your career in accounting.

Check out Beech Valley’s blog for more information or for job postings as they come available.

And lastly, if you’re curious what kind of hourly rate you can charge as a freelancer, check out this freelancer compensation calculator.