Recent studies by Oxford University and Deloitte (2015) suggest that about 96% of what bookkeepers currently do will - in the not-too-distant future - become automated.
It's been suggested by some that bookkeepers will soon become redundant.
Actually, we don't think that's true, but let's look at what is happening...
The death of the bookkeeper
Technology is moving at a rapid rate and this is impacting on the financial professions in a big way. Data processing – that's the process of entering your sales invoices, your purchases, posting your bank transactions – is becoming automated.
Did you know you can now photograph your cash receipts with your smart phone, have the details automatically posted to the correct place in your financial accounting system, and then throw away (responsibly I hope) the useless bit of paper.
This saves a ton of time. It also improves the accuracy of your financial records because the technology learns over time where to post your transactions. This means your reports are more meaningful and you make better business decisions. And it means you can access your critical business information at any time from any device.
Every quarter you can file your sales tax returns at the touch of a button. At the end of the year, one click and your end of year financial statements are almost done.
So do you really need a bookkeeper any more?
What does this really mean for you?
The technology is called cloud accounting. It is a much better way to control your business finances. It gives you 24/7 access to up-to-date financial information and reports and it saves you a very significant amount of time.
Research shows a full-time employed bookkeeper for a business costs £22,000. Plus of course, there are all the other employment costs and hassles.
And even if you don't employ a full-time bookkeeper, you either have the cost of someone doing your books for you, or the value of your time spent doing it.
The bottom line is this
A cloud accounting system will save you serious amounts of time (many people estimate it more than halves the amount of time spent keeping the business financial transactions correctly documented).
And does it mean the death of a bookkeeper?
Perhaps. For those bookkeepers who don't want to change. For those bookkeepers who only want to record the transactions, technology will soon replace them.
But some bookkeepers see this as a big opportunity. The opportunity to use their skills with numbers and help business owners at a deeper level. Helping businesses improve their profits and cash flow.