Technological Unemployment: Implications of automation in Retail Banking and Small Accounting Firms
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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This dissertation explores whether automation poses significant risks to future job practices and employment in accounting and retail banking within 10 years, and whether any measures exist to limit the negative impact and benefit from a technological shift in labour. Using a questionnaire to survey 54 participants distributed between two small accounting firms and two bank branches, statistical analysis and ground theory found that jobs most susceptible to automation were repetitive in nature, with accountants and retail bank employees expected to gain exceptional soft skills and widespread versatility. Marketing, customer service, human resources and high skill managerial roles were deemed least susceptible, while bank tellers, accountants and auditors face the most probability of automation. Established literature in the field was used to validate the findings of this study. Emphasis on education will be a necessary factor in preparing employees to find suitable positions. Within a decade, advancing technology will force bank branches to adopt an approach which cuts operational costs by automating repetitive tasks, and also encourages development of a sustainable competitive advantage of dedicated customer service. Small accounting firms will be expected to demonstrate their comparative advantage over software by broadening their expertise to include u impactful technologies such as big data and cloud services. The progressive movement towards efficient banking means that failure to adopt new technology will limit an organisation’s success. The information detailed will be useful because it gives an insight into future prospects for different jobs within retain banking and accounting, with an indication of skills that will be in demand. Those who may benefit from this study include making career decisions in finance and accounting, but also individuals who shape the labour market including educators, governments, policy makers and employers.
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