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Automation in Accounting for Future Workplaces

Annotated bibliography

Griffin, G. (2019). How artificial intelligence will impact accounting. ICAEW. Web.

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This reporting article from the respected publisher ICAEW extensively examines the issue of accounting automation and the consequences it will lead to. At the heart of the report is the recognition that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is spreading everywhere, and the field of accounting is not unaffected. On the contrary, Griffin cites Oxford University, which predicted that in the future, employees in the sector have a 95% chance of losing their jobs because of AI. However, the author cites an alternative view, according to which job cuts due to accounting automation will have a short-term effect. More specifically, it is recognized that the total number of processes and cases to be processed will increase in the future, so the need for qualified personnel will either be the same or increase. Furthermore, the author acknowledges that the introduction of AI will increase the efficiency of accountants and increase the speed of data processing, thus making the entire accounting procedure more streamlined and automated. Griffin also discusses several key trends that could be both beneficial to accounting and provide a threat: escalating geopolitical relations, the trend toward remote working, and the profound digitalization of all spheres.

The source chosen is credible because the authors discuss several different and dissimilar points of view, which give the report the hallmarks of a critical document. Furthermore, the author does not delve into one paradigm but instead seeks a comprehensive look at the impact of automation on accounting. In addition, the paper makes extensive use of statistics and opinions, which gives the text more cogency and scholarship. Finally, the use of this source in future work will focus on citing key statistics.

Jones, N. (2020). Will robots take our jobs if accounting is automated? FloQast. Web.

The key message is that the accounting sector is more susceptible to digitalization because basic financial accounting procedures are easily automated. The material should be seen as a background summary of the trend toward automation. Thus, Jones explores some of the historical contexts of the problem and shows that it is only natural for the accounting services sector to modify in the spirit of the times. The advent of Excel, Expensify, and ReceiptBank, along with online cash registers, have already partially automated the work of accountants, so future transformations cannot be somehow prevented or stopped. On the contrary, the author cites statistics from the respected McKinsey agency showing that basic accounting procedures can already be automated today. Moreover, Jones even provides some instruction on how to digitalize accounting competently. It is especially emphasized that the author does not answer the question of completely replacing humans with robots but instead points to a future increase in the value of intellectual labor. The fundamental thesis of the entire article can be boiled down to the fact that accounting automation is real, but it will make the work of sector employees more exciting.

The choice of this article is due to its high reference value. A careful reading of the material explains the critical trends for automation and their reasons. At the same time, the author is not unsubstantiated: any arguments are supported by relevant research and authoritative sources. Finally, citing instructions for accounting automation allows for a closer and more substantive examination of the issue. For these reasons, using this source in a future research project will focus on using generalities to recognize the high potential for trend compliance.

Bowles, M., Ghosh, S., & Thomas, L. (2020). Future-proofing Accounting Professionals: Ensuring Graduate Employability and Future Readiness. Journal of Teaching and Learning for Graduate Employability, 11(1), 1-21.

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This study in the authoritative ERIC describes the accounting profession as vulnerable and prone to extinction in the coming decades. In particular, the authors acknowledge that a general change will follow the profound introduction of automation of accounting processes in business models. For example, an essential thesis of the study recognizes the relatively easy replacement of crucial accounting functions, with the remaining tasks and responsibilities that cannot yet be performed by robots being transferred to related departments. The study provides unique empirical evidence that opportunities for future graduates are not shrinking, as previously thought, but rather are expanding and modifying. As a result, according to Bowles et al. (2020), this will make accounting a more sustainable profession of the future. The authors of the publication also provide a list of the recommendations, which will make the educational program more relevant to the agenda.

The choice of the publication was justified for several reasons at once. First, it is a scientific study that uses a quantitative approach to study the problem. Second, the high standard of reliability is confirmed by references to academic papers and the total number of citations. Third, the material illuminates the relevance of the trend for future graduates and is therefore extremely important for predictive study. Finally, the authors take it upon themselves to create recommendations for educational programs, which makes the material relevant and unique. The use of this source in the research paper will focus on discussing the applicability of the automation trend to the educational purposes of today’s agenda.

Whatman, P. (2020). 8 excellent benefits of accounting automation. Spend Journal. Web.

This online journal article is based on the recognition of the positive effects of accounting automation. First, Whatman describes the ideology of automation and shows precisely what is behind the term in the context of the accountant’s work. Second, the journalist discusses seven retrospective stages in the evolution of accounting: this is an essential summary within the study of the evolution of automation. Third, Whatman provides a detailed list of eight benefits that will one day affect every accountant. More specifically, the key benefits discussed by Whatman are time savings, higher productivity, increased accuracy in processing, and speed of data retrieval. In addition, the benefits also include increased cybersecurity, the use of cloud services, the ability to process data in real-time, and the potential for professional development for employees. As a generalization, Whatman argues that automation has severe benefits for accounting, and therefore should be encouraged to adopt it.

The choice of the journal article was justified by the strategy of recognizing only the positive effects of computerization. Whereas other sources were critical of automation, Whatman discussed only the positives: this allowed the author to delve more deeply into the benefits of automation. In addition, the author provided a brief history of the evolution of accounting, which is undoubtedly an essential factor in the discussion of automation as the next branch of development. The chosen research question implies that several stakeholders can influence the facilitation or inhibition of this process. Since Whatman’s text discusses the benefits of automation very convincingly, it is to be expected that this material may encourage managers and organizational leaders to encourage operational automation. The current source will be used for the research paper to discuss the positives of the trend.

Holmlund, P. (2020). The pros and cons of RPA: Is it the best choice for your business? Qvalia. Web.

This article is a critical evaluation of two opposing views on accounting automation. First, Holmlund introduces the reader to the essence of automation and briefly summarizes the key points of this evolution. The author then lists four significant advantages and five disadvantages. Thus, the key advantages, according to Holmlund, are long-term performance, freeing up employees, reducing errors, and increasing speed. In contrast, the negatives of automation are misdirection of the business, technical difficulty in orientation, accumulation of errors, the complexity of maintenance, and overall risks. A detailed reading of all nine points most likely leads the reader to conclude that the decision to automate accounting must be critically weighed and justified by significant efficiency gains over the risk of extreme overwork of the department.

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Although this material is mainly promotional, Holmlund consistently summarizes both sides of accounting automation. Thus, the author’s work can be characterized as critical appraisal, and thus the choice of this text is consistent with academic standards. In addition, Holmlund summarizes critical findings for department managers, so the work simultaneously covers the need to study the target audience of automation. The use of this source in the research paper will aim to confirm the ambiguity of this trend.

Luo, J., Meng, Q. and Cai, Y. (2018). Analysis of the Impact of artificial intelligence application on the development of accounting industry. Open Journal of Business and Management, 6(4), 850-856.

This academic study was published in the OJBM journal, a well-known journal among the subject community. In the publication, the authors held the idea that computerization will have an invariant effect on accounting, and they acknowledged that this effect would be significant. In other words, accounting is facing significant reforms and innovations shortly that have the potential to change the familiar image of financial accounting procedures. According to the authors, accounting will have many new digital opportunities to make the discipline more streamlined and sustainable. Central to the entire paper is discussing the critical challenges of implementing digitalization now and proposing preventive measures to address these challenges. More specifically, the authors refer to low return on investment, lack of experience for smoother implementation, the need for staff development, and changes in academic standards as key challenges. In turn, the primary vectors for solving the problems lie in the planes of state and commercial modification of the current economic agenda, including through training.

The choice of this publication is due not only to the academic nature of the research but also to the consistency of the presentation. The paper’s authors provide a list of four problems, and each problem is answered in a unique, research-validated way. This increases the attractiveness of the study, and the overall abundance of citations adds to the persuasiveness of the paper. For the research project, this publication will help discuss the issue’s relevance under study to the present moment.

Morrison, M. (2019). Risk management in automation of the accounting process. In Linsley, P., Shrives, P., and Wieczorek-Kosmala, M. (Eds.), Multiple Perspectives in Risk and Risk Management (pp. 231-239). Springer.

This journal publication is distinguished by its comprehensiveness and its use of a serious academic approach to address the risks of implementing robotization for accounting. The authors of the study recognize why managers seek to digitize production: to reduce the cost of manual labor and increase productivity and accuracy. However, the work’s uniqueness lies in the discussion of the risks of such an introduction through a critical examination of the manifestations. Thus, the authors confirm the overall savings of using automated systems for businesses of even a medium size and, in addition, an increase in operational security. In addition, the possibility of standardization and increased accuracy are cited as essential benefits. The work is also precious because it discusses the conceptual basis of process automation extensively and provides several examples of platforms already in use.

This source is highly relevant to the research project because it summarizes the theoretical framework and discusses its practical applicability. In addition, the study raises important issues of risk management and shows the negative side of automation, which is very rare for similar works. As a result, the material presents a critical perspective, and therefore its use in the project is appropriate. Specifically, this publication will be cited to demonstrate the importance of a comprehensive approach to implementing automation and avoiding frivolity in organizational transformations.

Synthesis of Sources

Business and Economics

How does automation in accounting affect jobs in this field in the future?

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The set of seven materials selected for the research project is a valuable collection of sources that show different approaches to the question and different opinions about it. For example, Whatman (2020) shows only the positive aspects of accounting automation, while Holmlund (2020) tends to assess the negative aspects. The prognosis for the preservation of the profession also differs: Griffin (2019), like most other authors, acknowledges the possibility of accounting adapting to future changes, while Bowles (2020) discusses the disappearance of the profession altogether. Nevertheless, although the published paradigms differ, all papers have in common the recognition that accounting is highly susceptible to the trend toward automation.

As a consequence, several micro-themes can be differentiated when writing a research project. First, it will be essential to discuss the historical validity of the change in the profession. Second, it is necessary to show possible ways of symbiotic development, that is, to answer the question of how exactly automation will be introduced in accounting. Third, a discussion of the positives and negatives also plays a significant role. Finally, it will be possible to assess significant risks and provide some recommendations to support automation. To date, the study lacks real-world implementation examples, so it is suggested that additional case studies of real company scenarios be conducted. This will allow executives and leaders to make a more informed decision when investing in digital accounting.

In order to find materials relevant to the research objectives, a strategy was chosen to explore digital literature databases by keywords. Specifically, queries — and combinations thereof — such as “automation,” “accounting,” and “computerization” were used. Searching for materials was not tricky, but filtering the primary output was necessary because about 4 out of 5 papers were not helpful for the project. Google and Google Scholar were used as the platform, with material not older than 2017. As a result, this helped create a well-formed collection of seven valuable sources reflecting different but united opinions on a common theme. The synthesis was also valuable as a preliminary literature review. With this synthesis, the target audience was clarified: executives and company leaders who have yet to address the relevance of automation.

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