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‘Over a third’ of accountancy tasks could be automated by AI


Generative AI could contribute $13 billion to Australia’s professional and financial services sector by 2030, enabling accountants to shift towards a more advisory role.

By Josh Needs 12 minute read

Over a third (36 per cent) of accountants’ tasks could be automated by generative AI, according to a report by Microsoft and the Tech Council of Australia. 

The report, Australia’s Generative AI Opportunity, found that generative AI could improve several industries and contribute between $45 billion and $115 billion a year to Australia’s economy by 2030.

The research identified the professional and financial services sector as one of the key industries within the economy poised to benefit from the technology advancement with generative AI to contribute between $5 billion and $13 billion annually to the sector by 2030. 


Microsoft and the Tech Council of Australia’s report found the key driver of value for generative AI in the sector is its ability to automate routine tasks, which lead to more time invested in higher-value thinking. 

Along with the automation of 36 per cent of accountants’ tasks, the research said generative AI could also assist with a further 26 per cent of functions, which it said would enable accountants to shift to a more advisory and strategic role. 

NAB executive of innovation and partnerships Howard Silby said embracing generative AI would advance the financial industry. 

“AI technology has been around for a while, but we’re at a real inflection point with the widespread popularity and adoption of gen AI tools,” said Mr Silby. 

“Whilst we’ve been using AI tools for some time in areas including digital customer service, cyber security and financial crime, the opportunities for gen AI to move our organisation - and our industry – forward are significant.” 

“As a bank, it’s critical that we use AI for the benefit of our customers, and protecting their data has to be our first priority. That’s a key foundation for all the development around gen AI that we put in place.” 

The report also said generative AI would be able to automate 10 per cent of solicitors’ tasks and augment a further 32 per cent, which would enable lawyers to spend more of their time and expertise on complex legal matters. 

Tech Council of Australia chief executive officer Kate Pounder said the report revealed the significant opportunity that the technology posed for the professional and financial services industry. 

“The time is now for the professional services industry to transform how it fundamentally operates, and generative AI presents an enormous opportunity,” said Ms Pounder. 

“This sector has also helped build Australia’s reputation as a strong knowledge economy.” 

“It needs to leverage new technologies to maintain and advance our competitive position on the world stage.” 


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Josh Needs

Josh Needs


Josh Needs is a journalist at Accountants Daily and SMSF Adviser, which are the leading sources of news, strategy, and educational content for professionals in the accounting and SMSF sectors.

Josh studied journalism at the University of NSW and previously wrote news, feature articles and video reviews for Unsealed 4x4, a specialist offroad motoring website. Since joining the Momentum Media Team in 2022, Josh has written for Accountants Daily and SMSF Adviser.

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