You’re currently still in school and think a career as an Accountant is in your future? However, you’ve got to decide which subjects you are going to take in your final years of high school in order to lead to your future career.
In this post I am going to answer several questions which will likely benefit you in your high school years if you wish to become an accountant:
Do you need to pick certain subjects at school to become an Accountant?
Should you aim to go to University if I want to become an Accountant?
What subjects will benefit me most in learning about Accountancy?
Do you need to be good at maths to be an Accountant?
PICKING SCHOOL SUBJECTS LEADING TO A CAREER IN ACCOUNTING
I remember when I was in High School, and I really struggled when it came to choosing which subjects I would continue with. There were some subjects I really enjoyed, but had zero relation to my target career path. However, there were others which I hated, but were almost essential.
For example, I am a guitar player and love music. So, despite my better judgement, I decided to take music as a class. However, this didn’t actually detract from my ability to become an Accountant, in fact, it benefitted it! Often in an interview scenario, you will be asked about your hobbies – showing you’re not boring and that you have a personality is key to landing your dream job (see my post on nailing a Big 4 Accounting interview).
I find that often people focus too much on the academic side of things. While in reality you need to be a pretty balanced and well rounded candidate to really succeed in the accounting world. There’s a stereotype that we’re all boring and don’t have a personality. This isn’t the case at all, and the best Accountants I know are a lot of fun. It is the boring ones who end up in the same job for 30 years and don’t make much progress.
DO YOU NEED TO PICK CERTAIN SUBJECTS IN SCHOOL TO BECOME AN ACCOUNTANT?
Short answer: No, not really.
There are certain subjects which will benefit your learning more when it comes to going to University, or starting yuor career. However, I think it doesn’t matter too much.
The only subjects I would say are essential, are Maths and English. These are two skills that you need to be at least “good” at in order to be a successful accountant. I don’t think you need to be in the top class for Maths, or amazing at it. You just need to be able to solve mathematical equations and not feel out of your depth when doing some relatively basic maths.
Other than English and Maths, I think just choose the subjects you enjoy. You will succeed far more doing subjects that you really enjoy and are passionate about. Getting an A in Music is far more important than getting a C in an Accounting class. Generally Universities will look at grades, not subjects. As I’ve said, the only subjects I generally see as a ‘requirement’ are English and Maths
However, a tip I would give is to go and look at the entry requirements for University Degrees in the subject you want to study, and also the entry requirements for local jobs looking for trainee accountants. Do they expect you to have a degree? Are there certain high school grades/subjects they expect? This will give you certainty over what subjects to pick at school to continue your career path as an accountant.
SHOULD I GO TO UNIVERSITY TO BECOME AN ACCOUNTANT?
There isn’t a simple answer to this. I do not believe that having a degree will drastically improve your ability to be an accountant. However, I do believe it teaches you significant lessons about hard work and social skills. It is those lessons which create a divide between the good trainee, and the average trainee.
If you can’t afford to go to University, or it really isn’t something you want to do, then going straight into a trainee position is possible.
If you go straight into the work place from school, you could be a fully qualified Accountant by the age of 22 – I went to University and didn’t fully qualify until I was 25. That’s an extra 3 or 4 years of salary you will be receiving, and that can be a huge different on your personal life. Those 3 or 4 years mean you could get on the property ladder far sooner.
Let’s also remember the debt of going to University.
Personally, I don’t regret going to University. However, I do believe I would be financially better off if I hadn’t gone. However, I wouldn’t have landed the successful jobs that I have had without going to University. It led me down a path where I was able to get an incredibly prestigious Accounting qualification (ICAS requires a degree), and I moved to a location far from home after graduating. These events wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t go to University.
My advice would be to sit down and think about exactly what you want from your career, and the answer will likely become obvious.
WHAT SUBJECTS WILL BENEFIT ME MOST IN BECOMING AN ACCOUNTANT?
I’ll keep this bit pretty simple, and just state the subjects I think will benefit your learning. Some schools may not have these subjects, which makes it difficult. For example, I know people who studied Accounting in High School, however, my school didn’t have this as a subject.
This one is obvious. If your school offers this as a subject, and you want to be an Accountant, I think you’d be a little silly to turn it down as an option. This will likely give you a great foundation going forwards. You will understand things your peers don’t when taking on your qualifying exams, and this will stand you in good stead for success.
Economics will teach you the power of money, and how it works around the world. This is a key understanding for Accountants, and something that really benefitted my understanding of finance as a whole while at University.
The closest thing I had to an accounting class at school was business management. It was my favourite class. Your future accounting qualification will have a business management style module, so this is very relatable to your future qualification. If your school offers it, I would 100% take it.
Maths is often on the entry requirements for an accounting course at University. I know many people hate it as a subject, and I know a lot of the subject is highly irrelevant to real life. However, it is usually an essential, and you will struggle to get into a University course, or even an entry level trainee role without it.
English just helps your basic understanding of the English language. It will allow you to communicate better, and write better and more concise emails. There’s nothing worse than a colleague who can barely string a sentence together, or regularly makes spelling errors.
DO I NEED TO BE GOOD AT MATHS TO BE AN ACCOUNTANT?
No, but you do need to take it as a subject.
You don’t need to be getting top level A’s in Maths, but you need to at least show you are competent with numbers. I would recommend taking Maths and trying to do as well as possible in it – despite how much you likely dislike the subject.
OVERALL, I WOULD RECOMMEND TAKING A LOOK AT SOME OF THE BELOW LINKS:
We can discuss the differences between an MLM and Pyramid Scheme until the cows come home. However, the principle difference is a Pyramid Scheme is a straight scam where there’s generally no product. While an MLM company will at least be distributing a product, but the general structure is relatively the same.
Nu Skin isn’t a new competitor in the marketplace. In fact, they have been around for quite a while. They were founded in 1984 in the US. So, they definitely know what they’re doing at this point when it comes to structuring an MLM company and how to run it effectively.
Their general motto is that they will help you “achieve financial freedom, and live your best life” or some generic American Dream-esque tagline. Irrespective of their legal practices or ethics, their whole framework hangs on the premise of attracting people who are desperate for easy money and the dream life….
….If you’ve got a solid job which pays well, you’re not going to be leaving it for this “dream” being sold. Once again, you could debate the ethics on preying on individuals in this financial situation all day.
The problem stems from how the lifestyle is marketed. These days it isn’t uncommon to see people peddling products online showing their glamorous lifestyle and selling some course or product which promises you can do the same.
The simple way the model works is that you make money from the products you sell, as well as the number of people under you. So, the more people you attract to join the team, the more money you make. This leads to many glamorizing their lives in order to attract suckers….sorry….”distributors” to their teams.
ETHICAL ISSUES OF NU SKIN
Here’s an interesting quote from the Federal Trade Commission in the US:
“Not all multilevel marketing plans are legitimate. If the money you make is based on your sales to the public, it may be a legitimate multilevel marketing plan. If the money you make is based on the number of people you recruit and your sales to them, it’s not. It’s a pyramid scheme. Pyramid schemes are illegal, and the vast majority of participants lose money”.
See the similarities?
The fact is, you DO make money from products you sell. However, there is nobody within the Nu Skin structure making significant amounts of money solely on the product. They are making money because they have many people signed up in the layers below them.
The way Nu Skin gets around this is by making their structure so complex that it is difficult to get any specific concrete evidence to argue that they are 100% a pyramid scheme. I personally land on the side that believes most MLM companies are just Pyramid Schemes who manage to dance around the law.
According to an actual Ex-Nu Skin Representative, the way Nu Skin gets around the Pyramid claims is by stating that their structure is only 6 levels deep, and therefore they cannot be considered as a Pyramid Scheme (evidence).
STATS AND FACTS
Nu Skin currently operate in 52 marketplaces worldwide and they have over 800,000 distributors worldwide.
All sounds very promising so far, right?
Sandie Tillotson is one of the co-founders of Nu Skin who started her business career by starting the Cambridge Diet, another “multi-level marketing company” who eventually went bankrupt. You can see a 1983 article about the demise of the Cambridge Diet here. But, I’ll give Sandie the benefit of the doubt, she might have changed her marketing strategies and ethics.
During the year ending December 31, 2012, approximately 89% of Nu Skin’s revenue came from its marketplaces outside the US, according to the New York Times.
In fact, Nu Skin has a shrinking market in their native United States. Active distributors AND active customers are diminishing.
On a month-on-month basis, only 14.19% of active US distributors actually earned a commission check, and the average commission paid out amounts to $2,112.05 PER YEAR. Yes, that isn’t a typo, the average commissions being handed out by Nu Skin is barely enough to pay your rent for a few months. So, let’s put that figure beside all the luxurious lifestyles being portrayed on Social Media…
LEGAL HISTORY OF NU SKIN
Nedra Roney is also a co-founder of Nu Skin, however, you won’t find her name listed on the website. Supposedly this is due to Roney being involved in prescription drug fraud in the 90s which Nu Skin would rather avoid being associated with. Further to this, if you search for Nedra on Google, you will find that in 2013, her husband was charged with sexual assault of an 18 year old (article).
DECEPTIVE INSTAGRAM ADVERTISING
I decided to write this whole blog post based upon my experiences of seeing their Instagram Advertising on a daily basis. As someone who used to work in the marketing industry, I find Instagram Marketing interesting. However, there was a girl I went to school with promoting this Nu Skin brand regularly, and some of the claims just didn’t make sense.
I’m not going to claim that all marketing tactics are 100% ethical and truthful. However, some of the claims she was making were just hugely skewed and wrong. This is what led me to do some research on Nu Skin, as I hadn’t really known much about them until I started to notice her chatting about them on her Instagram story.
I worked in marketing for around 7 years, and I currently work in the finance industry. The reason this specific ‘advert’/claim peaked my interest was because it was regarding Nu Skin’s performance on the stock market:
Let’s break down all the different aspects of this screenshot, as there is actually quite a lot going on.
NU SKIN – “LEADING WALL STREET”
The context behind the article she is referencing in the photo is that Nu Skin was the largest ‘gainer’ on a specific day (May 1st 2019). Their share price had gone up by 25%. So, they aren’t “leading wall street”, they just increased by a significant amount that day.
The reason they increased significantly that day is because that day was earnings reporting day. So, all companies on the stock exchange move erratically depending on whether or not their earnings met/exceeded/under-performed compared to expectations. In Nu Skin’s case, they over-delivered.
However, if we look at a graph showing the past year of Nu Skin’s performance, that impressive 25% gain doesn’t seem quite so impressive:
The area highlighted in yellow to the far right is the 1st of May 2019, where this 25% spike occurred. It closed that day at $64.32 per share. What the distributors won’t mention is that $85.46 was their peak share price in 2018, which means that at the top of this 25% spike, their share price is still down by over 32%.
Now, it is the 15th of May today, let’s take a look at the movement in their share price the past month:
So, their share price closed out at $52.42 per share yesterday. This shows that every day since that spike of 25%, the share price has gone downhill.
This is often the case for drastic changes on earnings reporting day. Many company share prices will erratically change, and then return to normal later in the month. So, this marketing method of discussing of how great their company is based on this 25% jump is complete bulls*** to be honest.
This is where my issue with Nu Skin lies. Your average individual who isn’t financially educated would look at that screenshot and think “wow, that’s impressive!”. They’re simply preying upon and manipulating individuals who lack the education to know any better.
UP THERE WITH APPLE!
The final part of the Instagram Story post is that Nu Skin is up there alongside Apple, because they happen to both be on this article’s list. I should also add that this screenshot is from an article written by Seeking Alpha, which isn’t an overly reputable source. However, I’ll ignore that.
Let’s compare Apple and Nu Skin and see how similar they are:
Apple Market Capitalisation: $912.84bn (and this WAS above $1trn at the end of 2018)
Nu Skin Market Capitalisation: $2.91bn
Apple September Quarterly Earnings 2018: $62.9bn
Nu Skin September Quarterly Earnings 2018: $0.675bn
As it is pretty clear to see, comparing these two companies is simply moronic. It is like comparing not even Apples and Oranges, that phrase would be too positive about Nu Skin’s comparisons. However, the marketing ploy here is that EVERYONE knows Apple is huge and successful. Marketing through association. Association through a questionable article source.
LET’S STICK TO STOCK MARKET ANALYSIS
Seeing as we are on the topic of the Stock Market, let’s have a look at some more comparable companies. It is silly to compare Nu Skin to Apple, as they’re in completely different markets, with totally different margins etc. So, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and compare Nu Skin to two skincare companies who are generally received as legitimate skincare companies: Estee Lauder & L’Oreal
Nu Skin (NUS)
Estee Lauder (EL)
I didn’t want to do any deep financial comparison to Apple, as they’re not comparable companies. However, looking at other companies within the same industry, we can see Nu Skin still doesn’t shine. I won’t go into too much detail on the financial comparison. I may do a more in-depth analysis in a later post.
ARE THE PRODUCTS ANY GOOD?
It is perfectly reasonable for Nu Skin to actually have good products. I’m not questioning their actual products, just their marketing structure and ethics. However, I did do some research into this as well, as I’d seen a smattering of posts on Instagram claiming they’d won numerous awards.
ConsumerAffairs.com had an average rating for Nu Skin of 3.5 out of 5 stars. This isn’t horrific, but you’ve always got to take these websites with a pinch of salt, as it is very possible that a portion of the reviews aren’t genuine. Here are some of the more negative reviews:
My galvanic spa just quit working. It’s not worth… I got it for more than $400. I called customer service. They said I need to buy a new one. Wow… The life span is so short. I asked for possible repair but none.
This company is deceptive and immoral. I ordered one thing with a certain price and was charged another and was enrolled in an auto pay/shipment plan without my permission. Sad that a company has to lie to get business. Two different phone reps were rude and hung up on me. Additionally the product that was supposed to last 30 days lasted for two days. Shame on this company.
For Three billing periods, now Nu Skin has double charged our checking account causing several NSF charges. I contacted them when it first started and they assured me it would never happen again. Well, it did and it caused more NSF charges.
The issue generally doesn’t seem to be with their products. They do appear to have won some awards (albeit, not as many as they seem to claim). However, once again it is their ethics and bad business practices coming to the forefront.
HOW THE NU SKIN COMPENSATION SCHEME WORKS
There are certain requirements which must be fulfilled prior to being able to receive a commission check. One of these is managing to complete at least $100 in sales per month.
It should be noted that Nu Skin does not disclose the amount of retail sales made by distributors to actual regular customers. This seems like a questionable piece of information to omit for a direct selling company. This means that their sales figures are highly skewed by stock being sold to distributors.
It would be illegal for Nu Skin to disclose the structure of their distributors, as this would show a shape of a pyramid, and therefore imply that it is likely indeed a pyramid scheme. In fact, it is a part of Nu Skin guidelines to not show any illustrative structures and any illustrations should not extend beyond 2 levels deep.
It seems as though the main way for Nu Skin distributors to make money is simply by signing up more distributors below them, and then selling them products. Despite the figures not being disclosed, I’d bet money that very large portion of Nu Skin products end up being passed down the trail to distributors, as opposed to being sold to customers. In fact, I’d imagine most higher level distributors don’t even promote to customers at all, and simply sell stock to the distributors within their “team” below them.
CONCLUSION ON NU SKIN
In my opinion, Nu Skin is likely indeed a pyramid scheme. They have managed to jump through loopholes in order to avoid this label.
Everyone within the structure is making money by paying someone above them, in order to be eligible to sell stock to someone below them.
As a whole, they have historically used diseptive marketing tactics in order to convince those who may be desperate or unaware to join them. Their income claims are questionable at best, and those are the claims that are actually made public.
Over 85% of ACTIVE distributors do not earn a commission. This alone should be a reason to avoid this company.
Are there any other companies you would like me to do an analysis of? Leave a comment below, and I will start researching! Please Note: The viewpoint displayed within this article is simply my opinion, backed up by facts. I always recommend you do your own research prior to coming to any conclusions.
So, I’m back to add some more to this post, after quite a long time since initially writing it. My viewpoint hasn’t really changed much, but I have been able to gain some more viewpoints from other people.
There is a Reddit community called “AntiMLM” which discusses NuSkin in quite a bit of detail, so I wanted to touch on some of my findings from there.
One of the posts I found quite funny was by a guy who works in the factory which bottles a lot of NuSkin product (and other similar companies), and the sad reality is that him being paid $16/hour is significantly better than the vast majority of NuSkin affiliates. The fact is if you’re a NuSkin affiliate, you’re not an employee of the company. You don’t get official work hours, or time off, or benefits like a pension etc. Because of his position within the factory, he was able to give some insight into some of the products.
One product (which im not aware of the name of) is claimed to be made from dead sea salt. However, in a 5,000 gallon batch of the product, about 1 gram of sea salt ends up in the mix. I mean, I’ve heard of dramatic marketing, but this seems ridiculous!
NuSkin are mostly famous for their “LumiSpa”. I must admit, I’ve actually tried this, as I was intrigued to see if their products were actually good. It is possible the products aren’t terrible, just the practice behind selling them, right?
Well, I have to admit, it isn’t terrible. But have you seen the price!? It costs a small fortune. So, I did some research, and found the following products on Amazon which I found to be equal, or even superior to the LumiSpa!
I found this video with John Oliver quite funny/interesting, in which NuSkin gets a special mention. It is definitely worth a watch!
It seems to me as though the word Pyramid Scheme has been replaced by Multi-Level Marketing, and I’m still unsure as to how they get away with it. In the same way that I’m unsure how the Church of Scientology gets away with what they do. The only logical reasoning for it is legal power, and they must pay a fortune in legal bills.
I mean, in 2016, NuSkin had to settle for $47 MILLION in a lawsuit which claimed that they had a pyramid scheme acting in China. What makes you think their set-up in China is any different to anywhere else in the world? The simple fact is they’ve managed to become so ingrained within the community in the USA and beyond, that they’re a bit like a cockroach you can’t remove.
During the video with John Oliver, you can see a clip of a man from another MLM style company basically admitting the company is a ‘Pyramid’…but it just isn’t illegal. Which roughly translates into the fact that they’re just jumping through loopholes to get around the law.
In other words…these aren’t Pyramid SCHEMES….they’re just Pyramid Shaped….makes sense…right?
Something I get asked quite often about is the validity of a degree in Accounting. You don’t technically need one to be an accountant, so why bother? Is it worth the time and effort?
I would always wholeheartedly recommend a career in which you become a qualified accountant. However, whether or not you precede that with going to University and getting a degree in the subject, is very much dependent on the individual.
Cost of University when Studying Accounting
For me, this is the core factor in deciding whether or not to go to University to study accounting. This will be highly impacted by where in the world you are. To some extent, I think America is more demanding for people to have a University Degree than other countries.
I am located in the UK, and it is quite common to pursue an Accounting Qualification, without having been to University.
But saying that, not all Universities are the same in the UK, and not all are the same cost. The University you decide on is going to determine how much Student Debt you will have to deal with later in your life. Coming from experience, this can be a real pain when you’re trying to progress with your life. For example, I didn’t realise until a couple of years ago how much student debt impacts your mortgage-ability. Despite the fact my student debt payments were not huge (£250-ish per month), it took about £50k off the amount the banks would lend me to buy a property. Luckily for me, I left University with about £15k worth of debt, which is nothing compared to some people. So, in my instance, I just paid off the £7k remaining on my balance, and got the mortgage. However, not all people will be that lucky.
Because I grew up in Scotland, University Education is mostly free. I got a ‘Student Loan’ to help with paying for accommodation etc. This is not the case for those going to University in England, for example.
While I wouldn’t say don’t go to University if it is expensive for you, I do think it is a factor to think about. You could be working for the Big 4 straight out of school for £20-25k a year, instead of getting £25k a year of debt.
Having a degree in Accounting does improve your ability to be hired, and that’s a fact. Many people I’ve worked with who didn’t go the University route have tried to convince me otherwise, but the harsh reality is that if two contenders for a job are relatively equal in most areas, but one has a degree…the employer will pick the individual with the degree most of the time.
Some employers will demand that people applying for jobs have a degree, while some do not care. I do think by the time you have acquired your Chartered Accountant or CPA status, it does become less important to some extent (as these qualifications are infinitely more difficult than University). But, it is still a factor.
Long Term Career Goals
Do you even want to be an Accountant in the long term? For example, I am a qualified Accountant, but my day-to-day job does not directly involve Accounting work. I work with a lot of numbers, and I review some accounting implementation. However, this is mainly more from a ‘review’ point of view, than actually performing Accounting work.
My point being is that I think if you have no wishes to become a fully-fledged Accountant in your career, and just want to benefit from the foundation that becoming a Qualified Accountant gives you in your future career, then having an Accounting Degree is even less important.
Furthermore, you should really consider whether the life of an accountant is really something you want to aspire to. Especially when working for “Big 4” firms, you can expect long hours with little reward in the short term. I wrote a post about the realities of Big 4 busy season.
Accounting Salary Benefits
There can be some slight salary benefits to having a degree, rather than going into the world of Accounting straight from school.
For example, when I landed my first Big-4 job after University, I was paid £25,000 per year. Comparatively, my non-Uni colleagues at the same level were paid £20,000 per year.
Once you become fully qualified (a ‘senior’ in my firm) then you are all on a level playing field. But for the three years leading up to this, you are always paid at least a little bit more than your non-University Degree counterparts.
On top of this, I was also offered a sizeable 0% finance loan (£7,000 I think) by my company when I first joined to go towards my student debt (not that I used it on that, of course…) While those which joined the firm straight from school were not given this.
While you may have a degree in Accounting, it doesn’t mean you need to go into a career in Accounting. But it does give you access to a whole swathe of potential finance careers, which those who didn’t go to university might have to work a little harder to get access to.
Because you can prove you have at least a good understanding of finance due to the fancy piece of paper you got when you graduated from University, employers will be more likely to interview you for finance roles with some element of confidence. As opposed to a School Leaver who says on their CV they’re interested in finance. While technically the school leaver could know just as much as you, the unfortunate reality is that employers take a degree certificate with my certainty than a claim of knowledge on a CV.
Fund operations is an essential component of the financial services industry, particularly in the realm of asset management. This field encompasses a broad range of tasks and responsibilities that ensure the smooth functioning of investment funds, such as mutual funds, hedge funds, and private equity funds. For qualified accountants seeking a dynamic and rewarding career, a role in fund operations offers an excellent opportunity to apply their skills and expertise in a thriving and ever-evolving sector.
Roles and Responsibilities
A career in fund operations involves managing the day-to-day activities of an investment fund, ensuring that all operational aspects run smoothly and efficiently. Responsibilities vary depending on the specific role, but some of the most common tasks for qualified accountants in fund operations include:
Financial Reporting and Regulatory Compliance: Accountants play a crucial role in preparing financial statements, ensuring that they adhere to the relevant accounting standards and regulatory requirements. They also collaborate with internal and external auditors to verify the accuracy of financial data.
Net Asset Value (NAV) Calculation: Accountants are responsible for determining the NAV of an investment fund, which reflects the fund’s total assets minus its liabilities. This involves tracking and reconciling portfolio holdings, valuing investments, and recording income and expenses.
Trade Settlement and Reconciliation: Accountants ensure that executed trades are accurately recorded and settled in a timely manner. This involves reconciling trade confirmations, resolving discrepancies, and monitoring the status of unsettled trades.
Cash Management: Fund operations professionals manage cash flows, including subscriptions, redemptions, and dividend payments. They also monitor cash balances, execute foreign exchange transactions, and ensure that funds have sufficient liquidity to meet operational requirements.
Risk Management: Accountants contribute to the identification and mitigation of operational risks, such as trade errors, pricing inaccuracies, and regulatory breaches. They collaborate with risk management teams to implement robust controls and monitor their effectiveness.
Investor Services: Qualified accountants in fund operations may also be involved in investor relations, responding to inquiries, and providing detailed reports to investors regarding fund performance and other relevant information.
Why Fund Operations is a Great Opportunity for Qualified Accountants
Diverse Learning Opportunities: Fund operations exposes accountants to various asset classes, investment strategies, and financial instruments. As a result, professionals in this field develop a comprehensive understanding of financial markets and the broader investment landscape. This knowledge can be invaluable for career growth and progression, both within and beyond the world of fund operations.
Dynamic and Evolving Industry: The financial services industry is constantly evolving in response to shifting market conditions, technological advancements, and regulatory changes. Qualified accountants working in fund operations have the opportunity to adapt to these changes and continuously refine their skills, ensuring that they remain at the forefront of industry developments.
High Demand for Expertise: The asset management industry is a significant driver of economic growth and wealth creation, and demand for skilled fund operations professionals is consistently high. As a result, qualified accountants with expertise in this field have strong job security and numerous opportunities for career advancement.
Collaboration with Cross-functional Teams: A role in fund operations involves collaborating with various departments, such as portfolio management, compliance, risk management, and investor relations. This provides an excellent opportunity to develop a broad network of industry contacts and refine communication and teamwork skills.
Global Opportunities: Asset management is a global industry, and many fund operations roles offer the chance to work with international clients or even relocate to other financial hubs around the world. This can be an exciting and enriching experience for qualified accountants looking to broaden their horizons and develop a truly global career.
Competitive Compensation: Fund operations professionals are typically well-compensated for their skills and expertise, with many roles offering competitive salaries, bonuses, and benefits packages. As professionals progress in their careers and assume more senior positions, their earning potential can increase significantly.
Opportunity to Make an Impact: Qualified accountants working in fund operations play a vital role in safeguarding the interests of investors and ensuring the efficient operation of investment funds. By contributing to the success and stability of the funds they manage, these professionals can make a meaningful impact on the financial well-being of individuals and institutions alike.
Professional Development and Growth: Fund operations offers ample opportunities for professional development, with many organizations prioritizing ongoing learning and skills enhancement. Qualified accountants can expect to attend industry conferences, participate in training programs, and pursue advanced certifications to further their careers.
Work-Life Balance: While fund operations can be demanding, many roles in this field offer a healthy work-life balance, with organizations recognizing the importance of employee well-being and work satisfaction. Flexible working arrangements, remote work options, and generous vacation policies are increasingly common, allowing professionals to maintain a fulfilling personal life alongside their career.
Transferable Skills: The skills and expertise developed through a career in fund operations are highly transferable, enabling qualified accountants to explore opportunities in other areas of the financial services industry or transition to different sectors altogether. This versatility ensures that professionals have diverse career options and can pursue a path that aligns with their long-term goals and aspirations.
A role in fund operations presents an excellent opportunity for qualified accountants to leverage their skills and expertise in a dynamic, fast-paced, and rewarding environment. With diverse learning opportunities, global exposure, and the potential for significant career growth and advancement, fund operations offers a fulfilling and lucrative career path for those who are up for the challenge.
By embracing the exciting world of fund operations, qualified accountants can look forward to a future of continuous learning, professional development, and the satisfaction of contributing to the financial success of the funds they manage. In a rapidly evolving industry, these professionals are poised to lead the way in navigating the complexities of asset management and forging a successful and rewarding career.
If you’re looking for a book to help get you started with Python automation, “Automate the Boring Stuff” by Al Sweigart is often recommended. But does it live up to the hype? In this review, we’ll take a look at what the book covers and whether or not it’s a good starting point for those new to Python automation.
What is Python?
Python is a programming language with many features, such as an intuitive syntax and powerful data structures, which can lead to efficient code. Automation is simply the process of using a computer to do tasks that would otherwise be done by a human. Automating boring tasks can free up time for people to do more interesting or creative work.
Why is Python used for Automation?
Python is a common coding language used to automate tasks, but why? One big reason is that Python code is often much shorter and simpler than code written in other languages. This can lead to more efficient automation scripts. In addition, the Python standard library has a number of modules (pre-written code that can be used in your own programs) which provide functions for commonly used tasks, such as opening files or connecting to webpages. This means that you don’t have to start from scratch every time you want to automate something.
Who is Al Sweigart?
Al Sweigart is the author of “Automate the Boring Stuff” and several other books on programming. He has also created various courses and tutorials on programming, including an Automate the Boring Stuff course on Udemy.
Sweigart originally wrote “Automate the Boring Stuff” to help people at his office automate their work tasks. Automation can be used for a wide variety of tasks, including:
– Automatically filling out online forms
– Automatically downloading files
– Automatically sending emails
The book covers a wide range of topics and provides clear examples on how to automate various tasks using Python.
“Automate the Boring Stuff” is aimed at beginner programmers who want to learn how to use Python for automation purposes. The book starts with a brief introduction to Python and then moves on to cover various topics related to automating tasks, such as web scraping, working with spreadsheets, and automating email.
What does the book cover?
“Automate the boring stuff” covers a wide variety of python tasks, from basic knowledge to more practical usages. Some of the topics include:
– An introduction to Python
– Automating tasks with Python
– Automating web scraping with Python
– Automating email with Python
– Automating data entry with spreadsheets
Is Automate the Boring Stuff a Good Book?
So, the question is – Should you get this book? If you’re starting from scratch with zero Python knowledge, then yes – Automate the Boring Stuff is a great starting point. The book covers all the basics of Python programming and moves on to more specific automation tasks that you can do with Python. However, if you already have some experience with Python (or another programming language), then you might want to look for a more advanced book on automation. Automate the Boring Stuff is still a great book, but it might be too basic for those with some programming experience.
Best Bits of Automate the Boring Stuff
The best bits of the book are the clear explanations and examples of how to automate various tasks. Automate the Boring Stuff is packed with over 100 practical examples of Python code that you can use for your own automation purposes.
Bad Parts of Automate the Boring Stuff
But there are some bad parts of the book too. One issue is that the book is aimed at those who want to learn Python for automation purposes. This means that some of the more advanced topics, such as object-oriented programming, are not covered in depth. In addition, the book doesn’t always provide the most efficient code for automating tasks. However, this is to be expected – after all, Automate the Boring Stuff is a beginner book.
Overall, Automate the Boring Stuff is a great starting point for those who want to learn Python for automation purposes. The book provides clear explanations and examples of how to automate various tasks using Python. However, if you already have some experience with Python (or another programming language), then you might want to look for a more advanced book on automation. Automate the Boring Stuff is still a great book, but it might be too basic for those with some programming experience.
Have you read Automate the Boring Stuff? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments below!
Do you feel like you are stuck in a rut at work? Are you bored with the tasks that you have to do on a daily basis? If so, it might be time to automate your day job. Automation can help reduce the amount of human error in your job, and it can also help you have more work life balance. In this blog post, I will discuss how automation can help improve your day-to-day routine at work. I will also provide some tips on how to get started!
What Work Tasks can be Automated?
Automation really excels when it comes to repetitive tasks. If you find yourself doing the same thing over and over again at work, chances are that there is a way to automate it. Automation can also be helpful for tasks that are prone to human error. For example, if you often have to enter data into a spreadsheet, you might want to consider using an automation tool to help you with this task.
Recognize your Daily Tasks
The first step in automating your job is to recognize what tasks you complete on a daily basis. Make a list of all of the tasks that you complete in a day, and then identify which ones could potentially be automated. Once you have identified which tasks can be automated, you can begin to look for ways to automate them.
Analyze which Tasks would benefit from Automation
Most tasks can be automated, but not all tasks should be automated. You should only automate tasks that will actually benefit from automation. For example, if you have a task that is very time-consuming but does not require much critical thinking, automating this task might be a good idea. On the other hand, if you have a task that requires creative thinking, automate this task might not be the best idea.
When you are analyzing which tasks would benefit from automation, you should also consider the costs of automation. Automating a task will usually require some upfront investment, such as purchasing software or subscribing to a service. You should only automate a task if the benefits of automation outweigh the costs.
In general, tasks that are repetitive, time-consuming, or prone to human error are good candidates for automation.
Now that we have discussed some of the benefits of automating your job, let’s talk about how you can get started!
What Tools Should you Use for Automation?
There are many tools out there these days when it comes to automation. The one which is best for you depends on two main components. Firstly, whether you have any experience with programming languages such as Python. Secondly, what the exact usage of the automation is. Some tools benefit different requirements.
If you do not have any experience with programming, using a no-code solution might be the best option for you. No-code solutions are usually very user-friendly and require little to no coding knowledge. However, they are often limited in terms of functionality when compared to code-based solutions.
There are many different no-code solutions available, such as IFTTT and Zapier. If you are looking for a no-code solution, I recommend doing some research to find one that best suits your needs.
On the other hand, if you are experienced with programming languages like Python, using a code-based solution might be a better option for you. Code-based solutions usually offer more flexibility and power than no-code solutions. However, they often require some programming knowledge to set up and use.
There are many different code-based solutions/libraries available, such as Selenium and Beautiful Soup. If you are looking for a code-based solution, I recommend doing some research to find one that best suits your needs.
Tips to Succeed at Automating your Day Job
Now that we’ve looked at the ways you might consider automating your job, let’s discuss some tips and advice for automating your tasks.
Define your goals: The first step to automating your job is to define your goals. What exactly do you want to automate? Once you have a clear goal in mind, you can begin to look for ways to automate your task.
Start small: When you are first starting out, it is important to start small. Automating your entire job might be overwhelming, and it is often best to automate one task at a time. This will help you get used to the automation process and give you a better understanding of how automation can benefit your work.
Get feedback: After you have automated a task, it is important to get feedback from others. This will help you improve your automation process and make sure that it is actually benefiting your work.
Automating your job can be a great way to improve your work life balance and reduce the amount of boring tasks in your job. By following the tips above, you can set yourself up for success when automate your day job.
The best No-Code Automation Tools
If you’re not a programmer, then no code automation is what you will be looking for. There are many different no code automation tools out there. Here are some of my favourites:
IFTTT: IFTTT is a popular no code automation tool that allows you to automate various tasks on your computer or phone.
Zapier: Zapier is another popular no code automation tool that offers a wide range of integrations with various services.
Integromat: Integromat is a no code automation tool that offers a wide range of features and integrations.
Bunq: Bunq is a no code automation tool that allows you to automate your finances.
automate.io: automate.io is a no code automation tool that allows you to automate your business processes.
These are just some of the many different no code automation tools available out there. If you’re looking to automate your job, I recommend doing some research to find a tool that best suits your needs. Depending on what your specific needs are, different tools may suit you slightly better.
How to Quantify the Benefit of your Automation
It can be easy to create the automation and stop there. However, I like to create an automation log and measure the performance of my automated tasks. This helps me to understand the benefits of my automation and make sure that it is actually providing a benefit to my work.
To do this, I recommend creating an Excel spreadsheet or Google Sheet and logging the following information:
The task you automate
The date you automate it
How long the task took before automation
How long the task took after automation
Any other benefits or drawbacks of the automation
By logging this information, you can easily see how your automation is benefiting your work. This information can also be helpful when making changes to your automation or troubleshooting problems.
To be clear, you should use automation to fill in all of the data so that you have a fully automated “automation log”. If you inform your colleagues and managers of what you’re doing, you could also turn this into a monthly/quarterly report which shows all of the time saved during the period.
Conclusion on How to Automate your Day Job
In conclusion, automating your day job can be a great way to improve your work life balance and reduce the amount of boring tasks in your job. By following the tips above, you can set yourself up for success when automate your day job.
There are many different no code automation tools available out there. If you’re looking to automate your job, I recommend doing some research to find a tool that best suits your needs. Depending on what your specific needs are, different tools may suit you slightly better.
It can be easy to create the automation and stop there. However, I like to create an automation log and measure the performance of my automated tasks. This helps me to understand the benefits of my automation and make sure that it is actually providing a benefit to my work.
By logging this information, you can easily see how your automation is benefiting your work. This information can also be helpful when making changes to your automation or troubleshooting problems.
What are some of the tasks that you are looking to automate in your job? Let me know
Are you looking for a way to automate your job and have a better work life balance? If so, you’re in luck! There are many different types of jobs which can be easily automated. In this blog post, we will explore the best jobs to automate and why. Keep reading to learn more!
Types of Jobs Suitable for Automation
One of the best types of jobs to automate is data entry. Data entry is a process of inputting data into a computer system. This can be done manually or through automated means. Automating data entry can save you a lot of time and energy, and it can also help to improve accuracy.
Another great type of job to automate is customer service. Customer service can be a very time-consuming and repetitive task. Automating customer service can help you to free up your time so that you can focus on other tasks. Additionally, it can also help to improve the quality of your customer service.
Finally, another great type of job to automate is social media management. Social media management can be very time-consuming, and it can also be difficult to keep up with the latest trends. Automating social media management can help you to free up your time so that you can focus on other tasks. Additionally, it can also help you to stay up-to-date with the latest trends.
How to Automate Data Entry
Python can automate data entry by creating scripts that automate the process of inputting data. This is especially useful for people who work with large amounts of data on a regular basis. Automating data entry can save you a lot of time and effort, and it can also help to improve the accuracy of your data. There are many different ways to automate data entry, and the best method for you will depend on your specific needs.
If you work with a lot of data, automating data entry can be a huge time saver. It can also help to improve the accuracy of your data. There are many different ways to automate data entry, so find the best method for you and your needs. You’ll be glad you did.
How to Automate Customer Service
There are many ways to automate a customer service job. The most common way is to use a chatbot. Chatbots can be used to answer customer questions, take orders, and provide support. They can also be used to upsell and cross-sell products and services. Another way to automate customer service is to use an AI system to handle customer inquiries. AI systems can be used to automate phone calls, emails, and live chat. Finally, you can use a CRM system to automate customer service. CRM systems can be used to track customer interactions, create support tickets, and manage customer data.
Which of these methods you choose will depend on your needs and budget. If you have a small budget, you can use a chatbot. If you have a medium budget, you can use an AI system. And if you have a large budget, you can use a CRM system. Whichever method you choose, automate customer service will save you time and money. It will also improve your customer satisfaction rates and increase your sales. So if you’re looking to automate your job and have a better work life balance, customer service is a great place to start.
How to Automate Social Media Management
If you are in charge of social media for your company, automate as much of the busy work as possible so that you can focus on creating content, engaging with customers, and growing your brand. Automating social media management is easy with the help of a robotic process automator (RPA).
An RPA can automate tasks such as scheduling posts, finding and engaging with customers, monitoring social media for brand mentions, and more.
When you automate social media management with an RPA, you can focus on the tasks that really matter and leave the busy work to the robot.
There are many different types of jobs in the world, and some can be more easily automated than others. If you want to automate your job and have a better work life balance, it is almost always possible, but it may be more complex than you think. The best types of jobs to automate are data entry, customer service and social media management. Automating these jobs can help you to free up your time so that you can focus on other tasks. Additionally, it can also help you to improve the accuracy of your data and stay up-to-date with the latest trends.
There’s no doubt that automation is on the rise. Many people are now able to automate significant parts of their day-to-day lives, from turning lights off and on, to ordering groceries and even performing complex tasks at work. But what about automating your job? Is it ethical to accept a salary for a full-time position, when you’re actually automating your job, and only spending perhaps one hour a day doing work?
Is It Possible to Automate Your Job?
The answer to this question is a resounding “it depends.” It’s possible to automate just about any task, given the right tools and know-how. However, whether or not it’s ethical to do so is another question entirely.
For example, let’s say you’re a software developer. You could write a script that automation testing for your company’s products. This would free up a significant amount of time that you would otherwise spend manually testing the software. However, is it ethical to do this?
On one hand, automation can help improve efficiency and quality at work. On the other hand, automation also has the potential to take away jobs from people who need them. So, ultimately, the decision of whether or not to automate your job comes down to a personal ethical dilemma.
Should You Tell Your Employer?
This is a difficult question to answer. On one hand, if you’re getting paid for a job and only spending an hour doing it, that doesn’t seem fair to your employer. They are essentially paying you for automation, not your time or effort. On the other hand, however, if you don’t tell your employer and they find out, you could be in trouble. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.
There are some cases where it might be better to tell your employer. For example, if you’re doing a job that is dangerous or requires a lot of training, automation might make it safer or easier for you to do your job. In this case, it might be worth telling your employer so they can make changes to the job or automation itself.
At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide whether or not to tell your employer about automation. There is no right or wrong answer, but be sure to think carefully before making a decision. Whichever route you choose, be prepared to defend your decision.
There is also a very strong argument that if the outcome is the same as if you performed the task manually, does it matter? Your employer ultimately pays you for the results you provide, and not the time you put it. Many argue that looking at your job as a time expenditure is actually an unhealthy outlook to have.
Selling Time Not Results
The automation of our work is inevitable. It has already begun to happen and will only continue to increase. We should not be surprised when more and more jobs that can be done by machines are automated. This automation will result in increased free time for many people, but it also raises ethical questions about the value of human labor.
Some may argue that it is not ethical to receive a salary for a full-time job when you are only actually working for a small portion of that time. automation may make our lives more efficient, but does that mean we should be paid less for our work? After all, the automation of jobs could result in mass unemployment and economic instability.
Others may argue that it is ethical to automate because it allows us to have more free time. If we can automate our jobs, we can use that extra time to pursue other interests, spend time with family and friends, or simply relax. We should not be slaves to our jobs; automation can help us achieve a better work-life balance.
We should flip the heading around, and focus on selling results, and not time. We live in a world where everything is paid by the hour, and not on the results it brings.
For example, let’s say two people are working in a factory creating a product. Both are paid the same hourly rate. Person A completes 10 products per hour, and Person B creates 20 products per hour. Despite this obvious outperformance, Person B does not receive any additional remuneration. If Person B were to only create 10 products and then take a break for the rest of the hour, would they be in the wrong?
The way societies pay is set up promotes the usage of time and not the usage of output. There are some variances to this. For example, sales jobs are often remunerated based on how many sales they make. One could argue that if more jobs were paid based on performance rather than time, we would see people strive to improve more, and we would see better output from employees.
To bring this back to the topic of automation. Could we, therefore, argue that the employee who has automated 75% of his/her job is actually more valuable than the employee spending 100% of their time completing the job? The employee who has automated the task opens their time up to more projects, learn more, read more, and socialize more. There are experiences outside the day-to-day work that can significantly benefit our work. Therefore, with more time, the employee who has automated their job may ultimately become a far more valuable asset to the business.
Is it Ethical to Automate your Job?
The automation of jobs is something that has been happening for centuries. The industrial revolution saw machines taking over many manual tasks in factories, for example. This automation has continued and accelerated, with computers now able to do many tasks that used to be done by human beings. This automation can free up significant amounts of time for people, but it also raises ethical questions. Is it right to accept a salary for a full-time job when you are actually only spending perhaps one hour a day doing work?
There is no easy answer to this question. Some people would say that it is perfectly ethical, as you are still providing value to your employer by automating the tasks that you have been assigned. Others would say that it is unethical, as you are not doing the job that you were hired to do.
Benefits of Automation
Automation can help to improve efficiency and productivity in the workplace. It can also help to free up time for employees to focus on more creative tasks or tasks that require human interaction. Additionally, automation can help to reduce costs associated with manual labor. A large benefit in many fields is the reduction in human error. Many manual tasks inherently come with error management. When a task is automated, it is possible to almost eliminate all instances of human error.
In conclusion, there is no solid answer. It somewhat depends on where your ethical line is drawn. Some will find automating your job ethical, others will not. To some extent, I think it depends on whether you are secretive about it. But equally, some of us may have employers who just would not understand how automating the job benefits them.
Therefore, the conclusion really is “it depends”. My personal view is that if you can automate your job, you should. However, there are varying factors to consider. For example, if your job could result in harm to others if it goes wrong, you need to be 110% sure that your automation has no possibility of errors.
My ethical boundaries would lead me to conclude that automating your job is ethical, as long as it has no negative impact on other people. If you are just saving yourself time and effort, then I see no issue. Ultimately, if you can be more efficient at producing the results, then how you get that efficiency is somewhat irrelevant.
There is a lot of talk these days about automation and the impact it will have on the workforce. Some people are worried that automation will lead to mass unemployment, as machines take over the jobs of human workers. But is this really something to be worried about? In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of automation and discuss whether or not it is possible to automate yourself out of a job.
What is Automation?
Automation is the use of technology to perform a task or process without the need for human intervention. Automation can be used in a variety of different contexts, but it is most commonly used in manufacturing and industrial settings. In recent years, automation has also been adopted in office settings as a way to improve efficiency and productivity.
There are many benefits to automation, including increased accuracy, speed, and consistency. When a task is automated, it can be completed more quickly and with fewer errors than if it were done manually. This can free up time for employees to focus on other tasks or projects. In some cases, automation can also lead to cost savings by reducing the need for human labor.
However, there are also some drawbacks to automation. One of the most significant is that it can lead to job loss. When a task is automated, the need for human workers to perform that task is eliminated. This can result in large-scale layoffs and unemployment. Additionally, automation can also cause a decline in wages as businesses seek to cut costs by replacing higher-paid human workers with lower-cost machines.
What Tasks Can Be Automated?
The first step is to determine which tasks can be automated. This will vary from job to job, but some general automation ideas can be applied to many positions. For example, if you work in customer service, you can use automation to handle simple questions or requests. This frees up your time so that you can focus on more complex tasks. Another automation possibility is creating templates for common documents that you have to create on a regular basis. This can save a significant amount of time in the long run.
There are endless possibilities for automation, but it’s important to be strategic about it. You don’t want to automate so much that you end up putting yourself out of a job. Remember, the goal is to save time, not create more work for yourself.
What Are the Risks of Automating Too Much?
There are a few risks associated with automating too much of your job. The first is that you could end up making your job obsolete. If you automate all of the tasks that you are responsible for, there will be no need for someone to do your job. This could lead to layoffs and unemployment. Additionally, automating too much of your job could also make you less marketable. If you are replaced by a machine, it will be difficult to find another job that utilizes your skills. Finally, automating too much of your job could also lead to a decline in wages. As businesses seek to cut costs, they may replace higher-paid human workers with lower-cost machines. This could result in a decrease in your salary or hours.
Despite the risks, automation can be beneficial if it is used strategically. When used correctly, automation can save you time and help you to be more productive. Just be sure not to automate yourself out of a job in the process!
How To Learn Automation
If you’re worried about automating yourself out of a job, the best way to combat that is by learning automation. That way, you can be the one in charge of automation and not have to worry about being replaced by a machine. Here are three ways to learn automation:
– Use an online course: There are plenty of online courses that can teach you automation. Do some research and find one that fits your needs and budget.
– Get a book: If you prefer learning offline, there are several books on automation that can help you get started. Check out your local bookstore or library for some options.
– Find a tutorial: There are tons of tutorials online that can help you learn automation. Do a search on your favorite search engine and see what you can find.
With automation becoming more and more common, it’s important to stay ahead of the curve by learning automation. That way, you can be in control of automation instead of automation controlling you.
Can you Automate Yourself Out of a Job?
The answer to this question depends on a variety of factors, including the nature of your job and the available automation technology. In some cases, it may be possible to automate yourself out of a job. For example, if you are employed as an assembly line worker in a manufacturing setting, it is possible that your job could be replaced by a machine. However, if you are employed in a more creative or service-oriented field, it is less likely that your job will be automated.
The argument FOR automation though, is that if you are the expert who fully understands your field, and how to automate it, you will become incredibly valuable.
Automation technology is constantly evolving, and it is not always clear how new technologies will impact the workforce. For this reason, it is difficult to say definitively whether or not automation will lead to mass unemployment. It is possible that automation could result in some job loss, but it is also possible that it could create new jobs in other sectors. Only time will tell how automation will ultimately impact the workforce. Some also argue that automation will become the next industrial revolution.
In conclusion, it is possible to automate aspects of your job and make yourself more efficient, and in many cases, it is highly beneficial to your role. However, there is a limit to automation, and it is important to understand that limit. The main benefit of learning automation is that if you’re in a role which could be automated, you will be the one completing the automation, and therefore be less likely to become obsolete. Be careful with automation and make sure it is enhancing your career not replacing it.
What do you think? Have you automated any aspects of your job? Are you worried about automation taking over your industry? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear your thoughts
Python has been around for a long time and is considered to be one of the most versatile programming languages available. Python offers many benefits for automation, including its readability, flexibility, and ease of use. However, Python for automation is not the only option when it comes to automating tasks. Some businesses may find that RPA solutions such as UiPath are a better fit for their needs. In this blog post, we will compare Python and RPA in terms of their pros and cons, so that you can make an informed decision about which solution is best for your business!
What is Python?
Python is a high-level, interpreted, general-purpose programming language, created in December 1989 by Guido van Rossum, with a design philosophy entitled, “There’s only one way to do it, and that’s why it works.” Python has a syntax that allows programmers to express concepts in fewer lines of code than would be possible in languages such as C++ or Java. Python is considered to be very readable and thus, it can be easily understood by beginners and experienced developers alike. Python is also versatile – it can be used for web development, scientific computing, artificial intelligence, automation, and more. Python is an interpreted language, meaning that it doesn’t need to be compiled before it is run. This makes Python very portable, as Python code can be run on any platform that has a Python interpreter. Python is open source and free to use, even for commercial purposes. Python is constantly being improved by a large and active community of developers. Python’s popularity has been growing steadily over the past few years – it is now the fourth most popular programming language in the world, and it is used by major companies such as Google, Facebook, Instagram, Netflix, and more. Python’s popularity only continues to grow in the coming years.
What is RPA?
RPA or Robotic Process Automation is a technology that enables the automation of business processes through the use of software robots. RPA software bots can mimic human actions to carry out tasks such as data entry, process workflow, and managing online applications. RPA is often used to automate repetitive and rule-based tasks that are traditionally carried out by humans. RPA can help businesses improve efficiency and accuracy, and free up employees to focus on more value-added tasks. RPA is a relatively new technology – it only emerged in the past few years – but it has been growing in popularity rapidly. RPA is used by major companies such as IBM, Deloitte, and Infosys.
Let’s, first of all, discuss some of the use cases for Python Automation using a variety of Python libraries.
Web Scraping with Python
Python can be used for web scrapingin severalf ways. One popular Python library for web scraping is Beautiful Soup. Beautiful Soup allows you to extract data from HTML and XML files. Python can also be used to make API calls to websites and scrape data from the resulting JSON file. Another popular Python library for web scraping is Scrapy. Scrapy is a Python framework for creating web spiders, which are programs that can extract data from websites. Python can also be used to create Selenium scripts, which are programs that can automate web browser interactions. All of these Python libraries can be used to scrape data from websites in a variety of ways.
Data Analysis with Python
Python can also be used for data analysis. Python libraries such as pandas and NumPy can be used to clean and process data. Python can also be used to perform statistical analysis and machine learning. Python libraries such as scikit-learn make it easy to build machine learning models. Python is a versatile language that can be used for a variety of tasks, including web scraping and data analysis.
Browser Automation with Python
Python can also be used for browser automation. Python libraries such as Selenium can be used to automate web browser interactions. Python can also be used to create web spiders, which are programs that can extract data from websites. Python is a versatile language that can be used for a variety of tasks, including web scraping and browser automation.
Browser Automation and Web Scraping are actually where my bread and butter of automation began. The majority of challenges to automating tasks surrounded browser automation. Whether that be extracting data from the web, or logging into platforms to extract reports daily. The Python programming language provided me with the flexibility to easily do this.
To some extent, you could argue that my slight bias towards Python in this regard comes from the fact I have the most experience with it for Browser Automation and Web Scraping. However, I do believe it is a little more flexible than RPA solutions for this.
Excel Spreadsheet Automation with Python
Python can be used to automate tasks in Excel spreadsheets. Python can read and write data in cells, format cells, and perform many other spreadsheet tasks. Python is more versatile than RPA solutions such as UiPath because it can be used for a wide variety of automation tasks, not just Excel spreadsheets. Python is also less expensive than UiPath. Python is a good solution for automating Excel spreadsheets if you are looking for a versatile and less expensive option.
Report Creation with Python
Python can be used to automate the creation of reports. This is done by first creating a Python script that will generate the report. The Python script can then be run on a schedule so that the report is automatically generated and emailed to the relevant stakeholders. This can save a lot of time and effort, as well as ensure that reports are always up-to-date. Python can also be used to automate the creation of charts and graphs, which can be included in the report. This can make the report more visually appealing and easier to understand. Python is a powerful tool that can be used to create high-quality reports with minimal effort.
Overall, Python is a great solution for automating report creation. It is easy to use and can save a lot of time and effort. I also like the flexibility in terms of the design of a report. As someone with a background in website design, I like being able to design the report in HTML, and the send emails with the report as the basis of the HTML email.
The main argument against Python here rather than RPA is that they can both complete the tasks noted so far. I would argue that Python is a little more flexible for the most part, and I believe Python is a great option for Browser Automation utilizing Selenium.
Instances where RPA is better than Python
There are some instances where RPA is a better solution than Python. One example is if you need to automate tasks in a legacy system that does not have an API. In this case, Python would not be able to interact with the system, and RPA would be the only option. It depends on the specific scenario, as sometimes there are workarounds. But generally, an RPA solution such as UiPath would be better in this example.
If you need to automate tasks that are very complex and require a lot of different steps. In this case, Python can usually automate most things. However, a process with many different steps may also encounter aspects that Python either cannot do or is not efficient at handling. Alternatively, other programming languages may also handle these processes better than Python.
Python is also not as good as RPA for automating tasks that require human input, such as filling out forms.
When it comes to the monitoring of errors, Python can do it. However, I generally find the RPA solutions are already set up for error monitoring, and it is generally a more seamless implementation. On the other hand, you need to build your error reporting and monitoring with Python. Therefore for vast corporate solutions, RPA is a better option. The level of monitoring required would, in my view, just be too complex for a suite for Python automation solutions.
Python Machine Learning vs RPA Machine Learning
Python is a great solution for machine learning tasks. Python has many libraries that can be used for machine learning, such as TensorFlow and Keras. Python is also easy to use, which makes it a good choice for people who are new to machine learning. Although, it should be noted that machine learning is not a simple task as a whole. Arguably, if you don’t know that Python is a better machine learning solution than RPA, then you probably shouldn’t attempt to use Machine Learning in a production environment at work. RPA solutions such as UiPath also have machine learning capabilities. However, Python is generally more flexible and easier to use for machine learning tasks. Therefore, Python is a better solution for automating machine learning tasks.
Automate the Boring Stuff with Python
“Automate the Boring Stuff” is a well-loved book written by Al Sweigart. The book is aimed at beginner Python programmers, and it covers a wide range of topics such as web scraping, automating tasks, and working with Excel spreadsheets. The book is well written and easy to follow. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn how to use Python for automation. It is also a great book for those who are adept pythoneers/pythonistas.
Alternatives to Python for Automation
Choosing the Right Automation Solution
The best automation solution is the one that meets your specific needs. There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to automation. Python is a great choice for many people, but it may not be the right solution for you. Consider your specific needs and choose the automation solution that is right for you.
Automating Data Science with Automation
Python is a versatile scripting language that automates tasks. Python is easy to use and learn for beginners, yet powerful enough for experienced programmers. Python code can be written once and run on any operating system. Python also has a rich set of libraries and tools for data science, making it an ideal choice for automating data science tasks. RPA solutions such as UiPath are designed for specific tasks and do not offer the flexibility or power of Python when it comes to data analytics. Python is the better choice for automating data science tasks.
Python Automation Ideas
Sending out, replying to, and sorting emails
Filling out PDFs and Excel files
Sending HTTP requests
Converting image files
Performing quick math equations
Calculating exchange rates
Scraping data from web pages and saving it on the harddrive
The Best Python Library for Automation
There is no best Python Library for Automation, as it depends on your requirements. The real benefit of Python is just the flexibility that it has. You will be able to find libraries to help with your tedious tasks depending on what you need. Whether that be parsing HTML or looking into XML documents. Google is your friend when it comes to finding the right python package for your repetitive tasks use case.
In Conclusion, Python is a great toolkit to have in anyone’s coding arsenal. It’s simple enough for beginners yet robust enough for more experienced coders. If you’re looking for an all-around solution, Python is the way to go. However, if you need something more specific like web scraping or dealing with PDFs, there are other Python libraries out there that can help with that as well.