The Robots Are Coming For Phil In Accounting

For years, we have witnessed challenges faced by workers engaged in manual labor. The first wave of automation hit agriculture, manufacturing, construction, mining and maintenance industries. The self-driving car and bot taking your pizza order cost companies far less than human workers. But the new elephant in the room is what has transpired in businesses of all shapes and sizes during the COVID pandemic. With workforces across the globe impacted and intimidated by the coronavirus, workers rightfully stayed home in droves, leaving businesses to turn to other options.

Will accountants be gone in the future?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for accountants and auditors are projected to grow by 4% between 2019 and 2029, which is on par with the projected average for all occupations.

If the assets of society, as Autor puts it, are so bountiful at some point in the future, shouldn’t there be a way to share in those assets while our robot and cobot friends do most of the work? I’ll be honest, that describes me, most days at least; and I’m guessing it describes David Autor too. But many, many, many people have jobs they do not love, and which keep them from what they do love. Economists are pretty good at measuring utility; but they’re not very good yet at measuring things like love.


Nursing homes were a hot zone for Covid transmission, so Rosenman wanted to minimize face-to-face contact. We saw this vividly when the U.S. offshored manufacturing jobs, and we’re seeing it now in other sectors. So, considering the difficulty of making predictions about “the future of work,” the M.I.T. task force started with one thing they were pretty sure about. So, he did some temping, he did construction, he worked at McDonald’s. Then he went back to school again, and got a Ph.D. — in public policy. So, not the typical path for a labor economist at M.I.T. And that real-world experience is reflected in David Autor’s work. But this digging did lead us to something that may be truly transformative.

  • And she now works as a second-grade teacher — a job she says she sought out, in part, because it seemed harder to automate.
  • RPA is used in finance to automate governance, reconcile accounts or process invoices.
  • Sixteen editions later, he and coauthor Alexander Chernev discuss how big data, social media, and purpose-driven branding are moving the field forward.
  • Covid-19 hasled some companies to turn to automationto deal with growing demand, closed offices, or budget constraints.
  • After all, Solow’s productivity paradox was ultimately resolved in subsequent decades, as investments in digital technologies paid off, transforming the world in the process.

A new study co-authored by Wharton’s Lynn Wu shows how automation is increasing the demand for workers, even though it’s driving down the need for managers. He said that companies often rely on them to juice short-term profits, rather than embarking on more expensive tech upgrades that might take years to pay for themselves. Robotic process automation technology also requires that the CTO or The Robots Are Coming For Phil In Accounting CIO take more of a leadership role and assume accountability for the business outcomes and the risks of deploying RPA tools. When software robots do replace people in the enterprise, C-level executives need to be responsible for ensuring that business outcomes are achieved and new governance policies are met. RPA bots sometimes need to access sensitive information to complete their tasks.

Sr Controller, Govt Contracts, CPA firm

We still needs to cut costs, but we also can’t afford to lose the output from our employees. We send the jobs off to another country, where we can employ more people for a lower wage. We don’t have to pay for benefits, or even put these new employees in a safe working environment. While balancing the spreadsheet is, of course, one of Phil’s job duties, it can’t be the only one. The Bot may point out any inaccuracies in the sheet, but Phil is still the one to resolve them. Phil still has to create and explain the financial report to his bosses.