Technology and automation are revolutionizing most industries, and accounting and finance are no exception. Technology has changed the way businesses invoice, manage receipts, enter data, and completely transformed the old ways of manual Bookkeeping.
With the modern technologies, accountants are now balancing the books and helping business owners with financial difficulties, cash flow, and taxes.
Is business accounting becoming obsolete and disappearing? The answer is yes and no. Bookkeepers will remain a crucial part of business, but their role should change and expand. Finance management is still and will remain fundamental to any business.
Although business owners tend to be entrepreneurs by nature, many are not qualified or interested in their business’s financial side.
Where the books are compiled and what software is used, understanding and monitoring finances are critical to every business.
It is critical that as a business owner, you understand new accounting trends so you can adapt and ensure a better bottom line in 2021.
The Books Are Changing
Bookkeepers should not fear the impact of cloud technology but rather embrace it. Cloud-based accounting makes accounting much more efficient. It can be an effective tool you can use to improve your system. With it, you’ll have access to all the information you need 24 hours a day.
Neither you nor your client has to print out screeds of paper or drive around town to deliver files. You can run your accounting business from anywhere and work with clients from all ends of the world.
There are many programs for accountants and bookkeepers, and you don’t have to worry about renewing your license every time something changes – it all takes care of you as part of your subscription. With such software your software costs would be significantly reduced.
Cloud-based accounting opens the door for accountants to expand their roles. As long as the accountant stays within the parameters imposed on his business by the relevant legislation, he can add many new services to his repertoire and be more efficient.
Probably, accounting software will never eliminate the need for accountants because people need financial knowledge to understand what’s going on with these programs. Many business owners would rather outsource this to someone with the know-how than learn it themselves.
However, there are solutions for the businesses that yet cannot afford in-house bookkeepers. For example, there is an online bookkeeping service called Bench that small businesses use to manage bookkeeping efficiently. You may learn more about it and about how this software can help your business.
Data Analytics And Integration
Data analytics’s impact on the accounting sector will be enormous, and the demand for data scientists will rocket along with cloud technology and AI.
As data analytics help identify operational inefficiencies and better manage risk, more companies will invest in data analytics and help themselves make data-driven decisions.
Integration with all other business management applications is crucial that technology has added to the accounting process.
You can get financial reports, manage invoices, pay vendor invoices and still keep track of them on your books using your cell phone.
Accounting in the cloud not only provides mobility but seamless integration that eliminates many workflow issues.
Collaboration Between Bookkeepers And Accountants
Sometimes there can be tension between the two camps, as accountants and bookkeepers can sometimes view their services as competitive rather than complementary.
By building a collaborative relationship with an accounting firm, you can offer your clients the best of both worlds.
There was always a disconnect between the accountant and the bookkeeper’s work in the old desktop accounting systems, which often caused friction. Each saw their role as separate and did not communicate with each other.
So how should this relationship work? Typically, the bookkeeper’s day-to-day functions will be controlled by the accountant, who can defer the bookkeeper if any tricky issues arise.
Accountants will usually work on company formation, depreciation, and getting the best result at tax time. Accountants can take care of any overworked bookkeeper, and they can report any problems they notice to the accountant before the end of the year.
Accountants and bookkeepers can also pool their resources when generating orders, find new business, and refer clients to each other, enhancing all concerning well-being.
Bookkeepers And Change
No one is forcing accountants and bookkeepers into cloud-based accounting. The truth is, not all accountants and bookkeepers are interested in using the cloud. And many clients feel the same way.
Many business owners can resist change even more than you and will want to continue using the same systems they have been using for decades. If you don’t like to learn new technology, focus on providing accounting solutions.
However, keep in mind that these non-cloud adapters are a rapidly shrinking market, and their business profits are often shrinking as well.
Perhaps it might be time to think about the reasons for your resistance to change? Do you feel too old to change your business? Are you afraid of being taken out of your comfort zone? Do you feel overwhelmed by technology?
Perhaps if you learn more about what the cloud can do, you might change your mind.
Action Steps For Bookkeepers
Here are some simple steps that accountants and bookkeepers should consider if they want to grow and thrive in the future.
Get Familiar With The Technology
It means getting to know all the software features and learning about add-on modules and the value they can provide to your customers.
It means using the various technologies available, attending all local training sessions, using online training tools, and attending events.
Learn From Thought-Leaders In The Bookkeeping Space
One of the best ways to know more about your accounting business’s future direction is to see what others have already done and learn how they have done it. You can start by attending industry conferences such as The Bookkeepers Summit.
Figure Out Your New Offerings
The bookkeeper’s role can shift from data entry to data management. Explore the types of services and packages you can offer clients. You should consider where your skills and interests lie and talk to your clients about where they feel stuck in business.
You can add value by offering software solutions that help clients manage payroll, e-commerce, and point-of-sale, or help clients who want to run their accounts with monitoring services.
Learn New Skills
Look for gaps in your skillset that may prevent you from providing new suggestions. Now is the time to start self-studying to give business advice and develop your IT skills.
Learn more about solutions – focus, networking, and marketing your business can also be extremely helpful at this crucial stage of your business.
New Collaborative Business Relationships
Many people and companies offer free services, such as accountants, tax agents, and cloud computing business consultants.
You should connect with these people to share resources, offer referrals, and advise each other. A robust network will help your business thrive.
Work With The Technology Providers
Make sure they continue to provide the best software solutions for your customers. Bookkeepers are often the people closest to the day-to-day operations and provide valuable information on what they need.
It is a brave new world for accountants and bookkeepers, but that doesn’t mean the accountant’s role is over.
On the contrary, accountants are more critical than ever, but technology changes their data entry position to data management.
Using the new cloud technology available from various companies, accountants and bookkeepers can increase their efficiency and can be more productive and profitable than ever.
The information that bookkeepers can pass on to business owners makes them a valuable advice source.
Bookkeepers with an entrepreneurial spirit expand their services to include more consulting and partnering with accountants and other B2B services to achieve better results for everyone.
To Sum Up
There is a perfect storm of problems that have a profound effect on the world of bookkeeping that we have not seen in decades. Indeed, perhaps we have just never seen anything like it before.
In 2021, bookkeepers are under pressure to adapt and evolve. This could entail radical change. It will almost certainly involve evaluating your processes and attitudes.
However, as our research shows, there is simply no choice if you want your practice to be ready for the next decade.
Accounting and Bookkeeping as a profession are far from dead. It is just evolving. Businesses that find bookkeepers willing to embrace change, collaborate, and move forward will be successful in the days ahead.