For years now, accounting professionals have been told that technology will put us out of work. That AI will replace our jobs. And that blockchain will eliminate compliance services like audit
. Bots, software applications that run automated tasks, seem to be a hot discussion point at the moment in the accounting profession.
While bots have had some impact on the profession to date, I also see a lot of hype surrounding them, to the point where it even bothers me when I see them being advertised by some software companies. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that when I have researched things a bit deeper, these so-called bots are nothing more than outsourced labour to the developing world in some instances.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I do think that bots are coming in a much bigger way as the technology and profession matures, and they will automate more and more of what we do, but bots can only work if the processes you want automated are already super tight.
While we wait for bots to hit the market in a bigger way, my advice is to:
1) Analyze processes in your firm that are repetitive and nail down the tightest processes possible in anticipation of automating them with software
2) Familiarize yourself with the different kinds of use-cases available with bots and how they may be applicable to your repetitive processes
The bottom line is that bots will likely automate more of what we’re doing and therefore they will create opportunities for those ready to adopt and implement.