Who’s really your competition?
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We can chuckle at the cartoon, but its message is profound.

During my recent speech to the Dallas-Fort Worth Institute of Management Accountants, I alerted them that their career competitors are no longer accountants that you can outrun or outwork. Robots, Siri-type Artificial Intelligence (AI) devices and computer algorithms have entered the accounting profession. They are the three bears who want to eat your career for lunch.

The movement away from people and towards the use of robots, AI and algorithms is already taking place in several professions:

  • Robots … called ATM’s … have eliminated thousands of entry level bank teller jobs.
  • Salesforce announced September 19, 2016, they are embedding Artificial Intelligence into their software at a cost of $700 million. AI will enable Salesforce to guide sales staff to the most likely customers. AI will enable companies to simultaneously increase sales while reducing the size of their sales force through AI-enabled productivity improvements.
  • QuickBooks software has eliminated thousands of bookkeeping jobs in the past ten years.
  • Law firms have eliminated lawyers by using algorithms to search pretrial documents scanned into the firm’s computer. Deloitte-Touche shared with the audience at my speech that they are using algorithms instead of accountants to search energy law documents and legislation.

What competitor is the bear chasing your business or career? Who should you be focusing on to beat in 2017? What’s your strategy and plan to outrun the bears.

If you need someone to help you identify your competition and a strategy to beat them, email TomPryor@icms.net .

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