Is There A Need For Bookkeepers Any Longer?

As an accounting and finance student my future employment concerns me.

Therehealthcare-employment are articles that have shocking headlines of jobs of financial administration being outsourced to India and other third world countries and claims that jobs among financial administration, such as bookkeeping and payroll clerk duties, are disappearing because of automation. Good example of this kind of affirmation is Taru Paavoseppä’s column, where she claims that software is going to replace the workers. The signs seemed so threatening that I had to check out the facts. It’s true that there is a structural transformation of business underway forged by digitization and globalization. To give an example electronic invoicing improves efficiencies, reduces costs and reduces environmental impact, not to mention that it needs lot less employees. Is there room for bookkeepers any longer?

I found out that ETLA, the Research Institute of the Finnish Economy, published a report in January that is based on a research made by the Oxford University. It takes a stance on misleading articles that think for example bookkeeping as a dying job, and emphasizes that jobs in financial administration are changing, not necessarily disappearing. Basically this change means that services of financial administration are more and more centralized in specific companies that provide digitized services. Customer research also show, that people need more guidance with financial administration, which has bought new content to for example to bookkeepers job. This is why research made by Oxford University highlights that finance occupations, which require social intelligence, are at low risk category.

Link to ETLA:s research

Even though digitization doesn’t mean that all jobs are gone, there are still some challenges. Old employees of digitized financial administration have to be trained to use the programs and they have to forget the old habits, so that the change would be effective. For a student like me digitization doesn’t seem so bad, because I can be trained straight to the new operational model. However the technology is constantly developing, which means that there always will be need for retraining.



Computerization Threatens One Third Of Finnish Employment. Read 8.3.2014.

Eivät kaoamassa, mutta muuttumassa. Read 8.3.2014.

Are You Digitizing? Read 8.3.2014.

Varo, nämäkin työt katoavat halpamaihin. Read 8.3.2014.

Jones, Frederick & Rama, Dasaratha. 2006. Using Technology to enhance Business process. Accounting information systetems. Thomson South-Western.

C.K. Rahalad & M.S. Krishnan. 2011. It uuteen aikaan. Innovaation uusi aika. Helsinki: Tietosanoma.

Järvenpää, Partanen, Tuomela. 2001. Moderni taloushallinto, haasteet ja mahdollisuudet. Helsinki: Edita Oyj.


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One Response to Is There A Need For Bookkeepers Any Longer?

  1. seijamikkonen says:

    I think you made a very important point about finance occupations requiring social intelligence; as a result these professions will most likely be in the low risk category.

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