Tuesday, June 18, 2024

AI Is Taking Over Accounting Jobs As People Leave The Profession

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The accounting profession is hemorrhaging talent and failing to see growth as young college graduates are not gravitating toward this once-buoyant sector. The shift in attitudes regarding the occupation presents an existential threat. How can accounting firms survive and serve their clients if there aren’t enough trained professionals?

For white-collar workers, there is a looming fear that artificial intelligence will steal their jobs. In an interesting plot twist, Puzzle, an accounting startup, is leveraging AI and automation to streamline accounting and financial management where there is currently a talent shortage.

Accountants Are Fleeing The Sector

Both the pipeline of new accounting graduates, as well as retention of existing professionals in the field, are major challenges facing the accounting sector in the United States. Experienced accountants are leaving for careers in finance, human resources and banking, exacerbating the staffing shortage caused by fewer students pursuing accounting degrees, the Wall Street Journal reported.

More than 300,000 U.S. accountants and auditors left their jobs between 2019 and 2021. The number of accountants in the U.S. has fallen 15.9% since 2019, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The exodus is happening across age groups. It’s not just retirees; younger accountants aged 25 to 34 and mid-career professionals aged 45 to 54 are leaving the profession.

Factors, like long working hours, relatively modest pay, lack of work-life balance and the threat of being replaced by automation, are pushing accountants to explore non-accounting roles.

The talent shortage in this industry magnifies the need for next-generation accounting software so companies, specifically startups, can be confident in their financial decisions, develop their business acumen and scale responsibly.

Finding The Missing Puzzle Piece

Puzzle, founded by Sasha Orloff, is building a modern accounting software package, initially focused on startups. Puzzle aims to create a comprehensive financial intelligence platform that integrates with the various fintech tools startups use, like Stripe, Brex and Gusto. It combines a streaming financial data platform with a general accounting ledger, allowing startups to have real-time visibility into their financial health.

Puzzle’s mission is to support founders in their success and prevent ideas from failing due to inadequate financial practices or a founder’s lack of accounting and finance expertise when making critical financial decisions.

The AI-powered accounting software for startups takes the best of Quickbooks, OpenAI and Stripe. By automating core tasks, like transaction entry, reconciliation and categorization with AI, Puzzle reduces human error and delivers real-time financial statements, along with modern finance metrics suited toward technology startups.

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