Technology in the Accounting Profession: Perceptions about automation of accounting tasks and implications for responsibilities.

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Current academic literature does not provide a uniform answer on what the impact of automation is for the accounting profession. Two contradicting streams of research could be distinguished with competing views on the automation of accounting/auditing tasks and its implications for the responsibility of the accountant. Therefore, this study focusses on the perceptions of accountants towards both aspects. The perceptions of accountants are studied using an online survey. The results show that, based on the levels of automation, accountants perceive that the accounting/auditing tasks could currently be automated to the low and intermediate degree of automation. The demographic characteristics of accountants does not play a role in there, even though this was expected by academic literature. When comparing the perceptions with the future, the accountants assume that all the accounting/auditing tasks could be automated to a higher degree within 10 years. Regarding the responsibility of the accountant, the degree of automation does not have an influence on it. The responsibility of the accountant does not depend on the degree of automation. Overall, the results support the second stream of research, indicating that not all the accounting/auditing tasks could be automatable, which does not make the ‘human’ as accountant redundant.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen