Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Role of Bookkeepers in Today’s World

Will machines eventually completely replace people? And now with the proliferation of cloud accounting software, our industry is asking, “What is happening to the role of the bookkeeper? Will cloud accounting automation make bookkeepers obsolete?”

The traditional bookkeeper role went something like this: client gives bookkeeper a stack of receipts and paper bank statements at some point after the close of the month. At best, this would be about two weeks after the close of the period.

Then the information all had to be keyed into the accounting software. Depending on the volume of activity and the bookkeeper’s schedule, this could take another couple of weeks, so by the time the information was returned to the business owner, the financial information was, at best, already a month out of date.

Now that people are use to real-time information anytime and anywhere, business owners’ expectations have changed, and if bookkeepers don’t adapt their methods and tools, they will soon find themselves with a dwindling client list.

In today’s world, information is provided real-time through automatic bank feeds and simply by logging into a various financial websites. It’s not unrealistic to have the information necessary to keep most accounts reconciled every single day and have the books closed within a day or two after the close of the month.

However, the improvements everyone sees in efficiency and being able to provide real-time information is just the beginning. Many would argue that the role is changing even more than that. Traditional bookkeepers as we’ve known them are going away entirely. It used to be that a good bookkeeper had solid accounting knowledge combined with quick data entry skills, and the best were also very knowledgeable about accounting software as well.

Today’s cloud bookkeepers must be knowledgeable not only about accounting software but also about many other add-on tools that could connect with that accounting software to improve productivity, eliminate data entry, and provide good results for the clients. They need to know how to evaluate them, use them, and train their clients on them. They need to provide more customer support for their clients and be able to oversee the process of data flow. They need such a strong fundamental understanding of both accounting and technology that when exceptions do pop up (as they invariably do), they need to know how to deal with them and fix the system going forward.

And then, when all the information is into the system and clean and reconciled, the accountant needs to be able to interpret the information for the client. Long gone are the days when the business owner would receive a set of financial statements (that they didn’t know how to read) as proof of a job well done. More and more they expect to understand what their numbers are telling them about their business. And if you can’t do that, someone else will.

urBook$ is committed to stay up-to-date with the latest technology available in the bookkeeping world. Our SmartVault and software allows our clients to access their data in real time, and we train our clients to maximize their services provided by urBook$ in order to provide them with more time to focus on their passion - THEIR BUSINESS!

If you have not experienced the urBook$ difference today, contact us at 469.304.0036 and experience The urBook$ difference today!