Accounting is far from dead

29 April 2021

With many questioning the future of work, it is encouraging to see jobs in both professional services and the public sector in high demand.

  • Accounting - woman's hand and calculator

The top 10 most popular jobs for 2020 released by the Tertiary Education Commission shows that policing, teaching and health sector jobs remain the most-searched-for professions but real estate agent makes it into the top ten for the first time.

As reported by the NZ Herald last month, most other jobs in the top 10 have also featured in previous lists including nurses, psychologists, teachers and accountants.

For University of Canterbury Business School accounting specialist and senior lecturer, Rob Vosslamber, this is a very encouraging sign and signals that despite the cries of the doomsayers, accounting is far from dead.

“An accounting degree opens doors for a wide range of career options and is an essential skill for any business or not-for-profit activity”, said Vosslamber.

“Back in 2013, Oxford researchers Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne, estimated that 94% of the work done by accountants and auditors would be performed by smart technology in the next two decades. This triggered sensationalised headlines around the world.

“But Accounting is a social science, it deals with people and with human behaviour. The shifts with the introduction of machines and artificial intelligence has automated simple and repetitive tasks, meaning accountants are now able to focus their expertise on the role of creative problem solving,” adds Vosslamber.

In addition, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Occupation Outlook also rates Accountants as in demand with high income potential and the growing need for accountancy services and financial advice.

With student interest high and increasing demand for these services, accounting has a secure future.