Cloud-based technology vendors are producing more time-saving apps that automate everything from data entry to expense management -- tasks that used to fall in the laps of bookkeepers and accountants – at a pace that is making most professionals feel overwhelmed.
In the not-so-distant past, bookkeepers were expected to perform data entry, reconciliation, compliance and other similar tasks. Accountants would come in to do reporting and analytics, though generally either quarterly or at the end of the year, meaning the reports functioned more historical documents than actionable insights.
Now, many basic functions of bookkeeping and accounting have been automated and that trend is on the rise. According to the 2017 AICPA Business and Industry Economic Outlook Survey, accounting technology and IT is the strongest category of planned spending for businesses over the next 12 months, with an expected rate increase of 3.5 percent.
Are all these new technologies replacing the jobs of bookkeepers? Not at all, in fact I’d argue they’re freeing up bookkeepers to become even more valuable partners to their clients’ businesses.
How Bookkeepers are Adding Value
Technology has created a paradigm shift in the way organizations approach their financial information, and it is affecting what organizations want out of their accounting professionals. Now that bookkeeping is no longer about recording and reconciling data after the fact, today’s bookkeepers have access to real-time business transactions processed daily. This data, combined with industry experience and expertise, means the bookkeeper’s value is increasingly in consulting with their clients.