Is there a future for careers in accounting and finance?

In September 2015 there was an article in Helsingin Sanomat, which dealt with the likelihood of different professions disappearing or being replaced by machines. I had just a year ago started studying accounting and finance and was very sure that I would get a good job since this field of business was doing well. I read the article and became concerned.

In Helsingin Sanomat, Tanja Vasama wrote that digitalisation would revolutionize the working life as much as the industrial revolution did at its time. The most threatened professions according to Vasama were not only the low-income and less educated workers and industrial workers but also professions that are routine-like, such as accounting. The least threatened would be most of the social services and health care –professions. Petri Rouvinen, The CEO of the Research Institute of the Finnish Economy (Etla), stated that when discussing promising future professions you should consider which jobs would be difficult for a machine to replace now and still after 20 years. The article also included a calculator, in which you could calculate the likelihood of your profession disappearing in 10-20 years of time. According to the calculator, accounting professionals and auditors were to disappear or be replaced by machines with a likelihood of 95.7 %. (Vasama 2015.)

There was another article in Talouselämä by Outi Lähteenmäki-Lindman, who also said that digitalisation has already come a long way and there are no signs of it slowing down. Many routines are moved from people to machines. According to Lähteenmäki-Lindman, this is a good thing since effectiveness is something to strive for. Lähteenmäki-Lindman also wrote that digitalisation doesn’t necessarily mean the extinct of the accounting profession. The profession is more changing than disappearing. In the near future accounting professionals are, above all, service professionals and business consultants. This means that the professionals need to understand their fields of business even better and more thoroughly. This also means some changes for the education of these professionals. The new professionals need to know the fundamentals of business even more widely and acknowledge the possibilities provided by their role as a professional. The future careers in accounting and finance offer a wide spread of opportunities. These opportunities also come with great responsibility and challenges and the need to be able to change. (Lähteenmäki-Lindman 2015.)

At first I was concerned. Then a sense of relief took over. There is hope for us, the future professionals of accounting and finance! It is a fact that many professions will change in the nearby future. As Juha Ahvenniemi (2014) said in his leading article in Tilisanomat: a quiet bookkeeper will transform into a strong corporate financial expert. We should keep that in mind as we make decisions on which courses to participate during the rest of our studies. We need a wider knowledge and understanding in accounting and finance. Be sure to choose your path wisely; don’t focus only on one narrow section. This way you will ensure a career for yourself in accounting and finance.

 

Sources:

Ahvenniemi Juha 2014. Uusi taloushallinto 2025. Tilisanomat. Updated 22.1.2014. Http://tilisanomat.fi/kolumni/uusi-taloushallinto-2025. Read 12.10.2016.

Lähteenmäki-Lindman Outi 2015. Taloushallinto tarvitsee uudenlaisia osaajia. Talouselämä. Updated 27.8.2015. http://www.talouselama.fi/tebatti/taloushallinto-tarvitsee-uudenlaisia-osaajia-3475538. Read 12.10.2016.

Vasama Tanja 2015. Kuinka uhattu on ammattisi? Katso, millä todennäköisyydellä työsi häviää 10–20 vuodessa. Helsingin Sanomat. Updated 28.9.2015. http://www.hs.fi/ura/a1443145116938. Read 12.10.2016.

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