At the onset of Industry 4.0, we see professionals scrambling to future-proof themselves and remain relevant as workers of the future. The world of work has already changed significantly. In many sectors of industry, we have seen substantial changes – tellers are being replaced by automated kiosks and even pharmacies dispensaries are being manned by machines.
If history has taught us anything, it is that such monumental paradigm shifts need to be embraced and opportunities need to be sought to create new roles for everyone affected. As it pertains to the professional services, the effects of artificial intelligence (AI) era include changing job tasks roles and tasks. Some very basic skills will become redundant and CAs will need to redefine themselves in order to remain valuable contributors within their profession.
It should, therefore, be comforting to know that CAs will never be fully replaced due to their ability to provide advisory services. AI already plays a major role in the day-to-day functions of CAs. The key to staying relevant lies is one’s ability to be, well, relevant.
Bringing it all together
Savvy professionals need to invest in innovative, knowledge-based activities relevant to their trade, which will keep them relevant. Driving new and innovative business and add value: advise clients not to purchase redundant software and services that can otherwise be purchased from third parties.
Adapt to new job requirements – For starters, professionals need to consider developing the types of skills that are not replicable by AI. These include developing cognitive flexibility, decision-making, problem-solving, creativity and people management skills. Job roles will evolve to become more mentally demanding and professionals need to consider leveraging their thinking and reasoning skills to deliver the best results in their work.
Up the tech skills – New technologies will require professionals to become adept in the operation of emerging software. Data analytics will become a basic skill for professionals to possess. Understanding and translating sizable amounts of data and knowing how to effectively use information realistically and accurately will require deep knowledge of software. To this end, familiarity with emerging technologies is essential.
On the positive side, job roles cannot be reduced to simplistic functions. While AI will redefine the world of work for many professionals, most of us will escape the complete redundancy. Decision-making and consulting functions will never be delegated to machines. Whether you are as old as the hills, or fairly new to the accounting game, it is important to embrace the idea of life-long learning in order to stay relevant within the profession.