Recent studies by Oxford University and Deloitte (2015) suggest that about 96% of what accounting firms currently do will - in the not-too-distant future - become automated.
Surely that means the accountant is soon to be redundant.
Why is that?
In recent years advances in technology are automating much of the data processing. Your bank transactions (income and expenses) can now be automatically entered into your financial records with greater accuracy. Invoices can now be scanned (or photographed with your smart phone) and put in the right place.
Not only does this save you a significant amount of time. Its accurate.
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 an accountant 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.
But will it really make the accountant redundant?
Certainly a cloud accounting system will make your life much easier. It also makes the accountants life much easier too. And that means you can expect slightly reduced accountancy fees when you operate your business on a cloud accounting system.
What it really means is accountants need to change. They will no longer be paid for just adding up the numbers. Technology will do that. Instead they need to spend more time, using their skills with numbers, working closer with businesses and helping them to interpret and improve their numbers.
Some accountants will make that change. Some wont. Either way, its a good thing for business owners.