Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Three-quarters of accounting graduates are worried about automation threat

Three in four graduates looking to pursue a career in accounting are concerned that automation could make their role redundant within two decades, new research suggests.

Graduate jobs forum WikiJob surveyed its members who had previously expressed an interest in an accounting career, and discovered that three-quarters of them (74%) were ‘concerned’ or ‘very concerned’ that robots might replace the accounting roles they were considering.

Graduates overwhelmingly cited bookkeeping as the area of accounting most under threat, with over 50% of those polled saying this was the function most at risk of being replaced in the medium- to long-term by machines.

Surprisingly, given that the survey group was comprised of graduates looking for a possible career in accounting, fewer than half believed accounting made for a good career choice at the moment. Almost 40% said that they were unsure about the prospects for an accounting career - and two-thirds of respondents were considering a career in an alternative industry to accounting (the most popular being management consulting).

Commenting on the findings, James Rice, Head of Digital Marketing at WikiJob, said: “This survey demonstrates the nervousness that many graduates are feeling when they look longer term at possible careers in accountancy. The profession is in good health currently, but it must do all it can to persuade new recruits that their roles are ones that can’t easily be automated in the future. Otherwise accounting could find itself facing a recruitment crisis in years to come.”

Survey source: