Will Accountancy be fully automated within 5 years?

According to AAT research, 60% of accountants think basic accounting practices will be fully automated within the next few years. An understanding and ability to use technology will be an essential skill for all up and coming accountants.

The AAT’s Future Accountant report – available to download here – surveyed over 250 Professional Accountants to measure perceptions regarding the technological impact on changes to the accounting industry.

89% of those who were asked agreed that advances in technology are positive for the profession and industry on a whole. The majority also stated that the development of technology has made their role easier, giving them more time to concentrate on other aspects of their jobs.

In the AAT’s survey, professionals also suggested that the biggest impact on their profession will be with regards to automation, software developments, and the cloud. Meaning that in the future, accountancy will likely progress into real-time analyses and reporting.

Due to the advancement of technology, client expectations are also changing. Business decision makers want key data available almost immediately, with explanations and recommendations. As such, Accounting will need to become much more IT based. Professionals will need to develop their trainees – and their own – skills, to include software development and analysis, advancing as time goes on.

Our Programme Director Sam Hannigan gave her insight:

“Although many feel technology is impacting on the profession, the role of accountants and bookkeepers is still vital to businesses, and the professionals of today need to embrace the changes in technology to deliver a smooth, efficient and reliable service. Accountants and bookkeepers are necessary to show businesses the way forward and help develop methods that will allow them to run efficiently and have up to date information at their finger tips.

Without guidance from the professionals, the introduction of technology could hinder the business, especially with tax becoming digital and the changes made to the way financial transactions are recorded. Technology does not have to be feared. It needs to be used to its full potential with the guidance and support from professionals in the industry, which, in the long run, will save the business time and money.”

AAT’s Chief Executive Mark Farrar also remarked on the research:

“Technology is taking us on an exciting journey and accountants are already feeling the benefit of these changes. Roles are becoming more strategic as a lot of the more manual processes can be done by automation, which is freeing up time for more challenging work.”

Fortunately for our Accounting students, the AAT Future Accountant research shows that although technology is automating certain areas of the profession, it is only in a way that is helpful to everyone involved. Processes are being sped up, but clients will still need the data interpreted and unpacked. Consequently, Accounting professionals’ skills will evolve, but they will still always be needed.


To start your Accountancy career today, give our Course Advisors a call on 01469 515444, or enrol online now.