Perceptions of Robotic Process Automation in Public Accounting
34 Pages Posted: 5 Sep 2019
Date Written: August 29, 2019
We examine how the adoption and use of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is affecting the work experience of employees in the public accounting industry. Specifically, we compare how top and bottom-level employees perceive RPA. To do so, we interview 14 RPA leaders and survey 139 lower-level employees from Big 4 accounting firms. Unlike other situations where an expectation gap exists between executives and lower-level employees, we find that the two groups generally agree that RPA is having a positive influence on the profession. Specifically, both groups believe that RPA is positively changing the work employees perform and improves employee career prospects. However, while firm leaders believe RPA will improve work satisfaction, lower-level employees report no such improvements. These insights will assist the profession as it increases the use of RPA and provide direction for future research studies examining related issues.
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