Technology has come a long way in the past few years.

First we had Cloud Accounting, then machine learning, then artificial intelligence and now Accountants are introducing Robotics and Chat Bots. See Sage’s attempt at the World’s first Accounting Robot.

An Accounting Robot for goodness sake!! What’s happening next? Who knows exactly but the Blockchain and Crypto currencies will probably have a lot to do with it.

Think about what Accountants do all day. Whenever I coach a team of Accountants or give a speech I ask the question “so what do you do all day”? The answer is the same all over the world. Accountants spend 80% of their day checking and processing redundant data!

Why do they spend 80% of the time checking and processing redundant data? Because the data is wrong, it’s incomplete, it’s inaccurate and the humans who give the data to Accountants (aka client) don’t know what they’re doing.

If the incoming data is wrong then Accountants spend 80% of their day fixing it up and making it so. Over and over and over again they do this. Rinse & Repeat. Here we go again, another year of sorting client data out, not adding value and spending 80% of time on low level mundane work checking and processing redundant data. Yawn. Stretch.


Accountants are better than that. They shouldn’t be doing (effectively) administration work. They should be using the data to ADD VALUE to the clients situation. This waste of human talent has to stop!

Let’s look at what Ernst & Young are doing. In an article published on March 24 in The Australian newspaper (attached) it says “Since January 2017, EY has deployed about 700 software bots internally”….. “they expect to save 2.1million hours of employees time spent on repetitive tasks during the companies last fiscal year”…..“A Bot named ‘Goldie’ has answered nearly 1 millions questions for EY employees in human resources”.

This all in the first year of deployment. WOW. WOW and more WOW.

What happens when the Bot starts checking the incoming data from the clients and automatically goes back to the client for fresh, new more accurate information? Hello, that’s what the human does right now. Human checking and processing time plummets when the Bots are deployed. AWESOME. Finally we can get the humans to do something more useful.

Then that raises another question. If the Bot does the work that the human did what exactly will the human do?

Well firstly the Accounting profession probably has too many humans employed – circa 6M right now globally. So maybe 20% need to go. Let’s say with 20% gone and let’s say the Bot can do 50% of what the remaining human’s can do. If my math is correct then that equates to approximately 50% of capacity of your current team. That means you have 50% more time to add value to the clients. Adding value with planning, management accounting, cashflow forecasting, added value services. Services that really help the client.

The time for the Bot is not ‘in the future’ – it’s now. The Large technology companies who service the profession (Intuit, Xero, Sage, MYOB, Microsoft, VISMA etc) all have deep pockets to make this happen. And they are and they will.

Bring on the Bot’s. It’s going to be a bumpy ride!