Accounting Recruitment – A disappearing future?

Accounting Recruitment – A disappearing future?

With the 4th Industrial Revolution well under way and Automation, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence potentially set to displace 7.2 m UK jobs over the next 20 years, many of our clients have started to evaluate the impact on the sectors in which they are operating.

It is not all gloom as it is also anticipated that 7.2m jobs are set to be created according to PWC UK economic Outlook Report .

The challenge is that some sectors are set to fair better than others.

Accounting and Finance is one that some commentators like Frey and Osborne from Oxford Martin University predict will be extensively automated.


This interactive graphic from Bloomberg (available on their website) indicates that the following accounting careers are high on the risk of automation


But how is this so?

Well the first thing to say is that few commentators are predicting that technology will replace whole jobs, merely automate large numbers of activities that are typically performed by people in these roles. In accounting however a high percentage of the tasks performed by people in these roles are likely to be automated.

If you consider the accounting tools now available from Sage they can now accept direct feeds from business bank accounts and for regular transactions “rules” can be created on how the transactions are to be posted and handled.

Once the rules are created the user merely has to click “ok” to post a transaction. With Sage’s chatbot Pegg, receipts can also be logged, balances checked and notifications set up as simply as texting a friend.

In addition with the governments initiative to “Make Tax Digital” and the accounting software providers responding with automated processes to do this the role of simple and basic accounting is being “de-skilled”.

Where does this leave the Accounting Profession?

44713915 – happy young businessman calculating financial data at desk


Well the more senior roles such as Finance Director, Financial Controller, Tax Advisor and Management Accountant that involve the interpretation of accounts or the management of complex financial businesses where critical thinking, risk management and the rationalisation of conflicting issues are all required, these roles are at a low risk of automation. That is because they are performing tasks that are harder to automate and are less rule based.

In addition these roles typically command higher levels of status and responsibility as well as salaries and earnings

One option for displaced workers is simple. Displaced professionals will benefit from training-up and re-skilling themselves into these more demanding and challenging roles.

In fact it is safe to say this is true of most of the 7m workers that are likely to be displaced across the whole of the UK economy. The new roles that will be created will require people to re-skill and retrain themselves and are likely to command higher incomes and will be more interesting and challenging as it is the more mundane and routine tasks that are set to be automated.

For all of us “Life-Long Learning” will be a pre-requisite in the next 10-20 years.

If you are interested to see the wider implications on the rest of employment and recruitment sector then you might wish to read our blog:


Future of Recruitment – A Shifting Paradigm for Recruiters








Ian Knowlson named in Top 100 Global Business Influencers by Sage UK

Sage UK recently announced their Top 100 Global Influencers “that highlights those individuals whose commentary and social influence help to drive ideas and change within the small business sector.”

Selling Success’s, Co-Founder Ian Knowlson, has been listed at number 50 based upon Ian’s Social Media presence.

Sage UK argue “These individuals are both knowledgeable and, often, highly influential within the SME sector. Their views help to inform the decisions of thousands of business owners across the globe.”

The Top 100 list is based on three key metrics sourced from Twitter data:

  • Impressions: how many times their posts appeared in social streams.
  • Relevance: how closely the influencer is associated with an agreed list of keywords.
  • Resonance: the number of engagements the influencer’s posts receive.
  • Reach: the number of people the influencer’s posts reach.

Ian’s resonance was 6.32, his reach was 18,684 and his relevance 494.

Commenting upon the announcement Ian said “It is quite humbling to think that my passion for writing and sharing articles, blogs and information on the UK Recruitment Industry, leadership, the skills gaps and the future of the world of work  across our various social media platforms has been recognised publicly by a business as prestigious as Sage UK. I feel very honoured and look forward to attending the “Influence the Future of Business – Networking Event” at the Shard in November where I hope to meet the other 99 members of the Top 100.