The Robots are coming for Phil in Accounting

Supriti Tripathy

18th Mar'21

The once desk jobs handled by white-collar men with degrees are now on the verge of automation. As we all know, Artificial Intelligence has opened the gates for innovation and is capable of outperforming doctors, bankers, and other professionals at a specific part of their jobs. 

Robotic Process Automation(RPA) is growing at a fast pace and is getting into the more sophisticated core of businesses. The best part is that companies are already welcoming such changes with open hands. Why wouldn’t they? After all, human factors have a lot of dependencies and could be doubted over their potential, but with the bots, they will operate as per their feed. 




How Is It Evolving?

Based on the current scenario, automation seems to be stretching its way to the future. It is a kind of a revelation. Even though the cost to design and operate bots is significantly expensive, many companies are willing to invest in them. So apart from being your opposition in digital chess or driving you around in a driverless Uber, robots are routing for the corporate ladder. They are aiming to replace Phil from Accounting and take up all the critical tasks. 

Most of the automation is being done by companies that are low-key or private setups. UiPath, a company valued at $35 billion and is the size of e-bay, is the largest standalone automation firm. Other companies like Automation Anywhere and Blue Prism, which have some of the Fortune 500 companies as clients, are investing in bots. Even Tech giant Microsoft has not been anywhere behind and has recently introduced its automation products.


Do they have a Type?

Yes, Robots do have types like Humanoid robots, Pre-programmed, Teleoperated, Autonomous, and so on. But the bots taking over the business world are mostly apps and software downloaded from online stores and installed by IT departments. Some of them also have names like Auxiliobits, DataTable, JSON String, and so on.

The Robotic Process Automation(RPA) process is on the rise because of many factors like affordability, convenience, ease of use, and compatibility factors. About 8-10 percent of executives implement RPA at some point or other. However, this is as good news as bad one.




What’s the Bad News?

As companies march onto automation and invest long term in such robots on the pretext of streamlining operations and liberating workers, they are also replacing workers. RPA initiatives have been followed by a round of layoffs, and the driving factors to decide to automate are mostly cost-cutting and common complaints from employees.

The pandemic has opened the doors of automation to deal with closed offices, growing demands, and budget constraints. For some ambitious companies, it acted as the fuel to their dreams to automate. With the rise in companies taking on automation, some businesses are finding it hard to cope up. After all, letting go of the traditional processes is not so easy! A wake-up call indeed.

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A Tool, Not a Threat

Of course, a transformation comes with its own set of challenges. However, the important thing to remember is automation mostly makes workers’ jobs better and more interesting. It allows companies to lift all boats and get things done with fewer resources. It surely demands adaptation by humans, but in long term, it’s here to turn the tables.

The real danger for labor may come from the so- so automation techniques that are just productive enough to be adopted and cause displacement. An example of this is the self-checkout machine at a grocery store- it’s smart enough to help in billing but not quite to help customers to shop more or faster.

It is a challenge for the human workforce as their jobs are being handled by machines. Yet automation has never created mass unemployment because technology has always generated new jobs to replace the ones destroyed. In today’s date, when the future is Artificial intelligence, optimists believe that in the long run, automation will spur economic growth and create more fulfilling jobs just as it has in the past. 


The Right Way

A technology manager at State Auto Insurance Companies, Holly Uhl, has said that her firm used automation to do 173,000 hours’ worth of work in areas like underwriting and human resources without laying anyone off. What’s important is how we employ bots and if we want to host a race because Technology is a useful servant but a dangerous master.


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A believer of good things and pursuer of diverse avocation, she is a fiction lover and a simple writer. Supriti has a number of professions to her list and she feels challenges are the only answers to failures.


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