Automation is a hot topic in the world of work, with many experts predicting that it will replace millions of jobs in the coming years. However, in light of our recently released Salary and Market Report, Sydney Accounting professionals are mostly unconcerned about the impact of technology on their careers.
When asked whether they were concerned about the prospect of technology advancing to a point where it replaces people in their jobs, the general consensus was that most Sydney Accounting professionals were unfazed by automation. Overall, 72.86% stated they were not concerned, whilst 13.98% indicated that they were yet to think about it.
What’s interesting is that amongst those who are concerned, there are a few clear trends around role level, function and generation.
The 13.16% of people who were concerned were mostly in support roles, suggesting that those who carry out more transactional functions were more worried about being replaced by technology. In contrast, just 4.50% of those in Senior Management roles saw automation as a problem. They also tended to be younger, with 18.10% of all Millennials being concerned about automation – significantly higher than the other generations.
The trend towards those who are younger, or potentially at the start of their career, could speak to a number of things. Those who are considered indispensable, or who are closer to the end of their careers, will naturally be less concerned, while those at the start are going to have to contend with these issues throughout their careers.
Then you’ve got the people who are younger, and typically more aware of the rate of change that new technology can bring, compared to those who are older and who have seen major changes come and go.
According to the Australian Committee for Economic Development, automation is expected to replace over five million jobs throughout Australia, and many experts predict that AI is central to the future of Accounting.
It’s an interesting dynamic that employers will need to pay attention to as we see technology continue to develop. The key thing for employers is to ensure that they have a strategy to manage this change, and that it is communicated clearly and transparently to their employees.
Considering the level of discourse around automation and AI, the strong response was certainly surprising. The impact of automation is something that will continue to be scrutinised, and while most Sydney Accounting professionals are undaunted, younger employees do have concerns.
For more insights into this topic, click here to request a copy of the 2018 Richard Lloyd Sydney Accounting Salary Report. Inside you’ll find a deeper investigation into the impact of automation, as well as a range of other Sydney-specific Accounting sector insights.