Profession thinks basic accountancy processes will be fully automated within five years

7 June 2018

image: person typing at laptop on desk

60% of accountants think basic accountancy processes will be fully automated within the next five years, according to future gazing research from AAT.

Understanding and using technology will be the most needed additional skill for the accountant of the future. 

A survey of over 250 accounting professionals looked at the impact technology will have on the profession and how job roles will develop in the future.

Far from being concerned about automation, 89% think advances in technology are a real positive for the accountancy profession. Three-quarters also said it has either made their job easier or freed up time to concentrate on more interesting things.

The changes respondents thought would have the biggest impact on the profession are automation, the cloud and software developments. Accountants in the future will have evolved into reporting in real time and providing information analysis and business advice.

Technology has also changed clients and colleagues expectations too. They want information to be provided much faster and need more help in understanding it. 

The profession will become much more IT based with a growth in software development roles and the skillset of new recruits into the profession needing to change accordingly.

Commenting on the research, AAT’s Chief Executive Mark Farrar said:

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. 


There will always be a need for human intervention, particularly around the interpretation of data and as a result skillsets of accountants will evolve.

See the results of The Future Accountant research here