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How New Technology is Changing the Role of The Business Owner & Bookkeeper

Posted by   |   September 08th, 2014   |   Categories: Business Fundamentals

How New Technology is Changing the Role of the Business Owner & Bookkeeper

Technology is changing what bookkeepers do for their clients, along with HOW they do it.

As online bookkeeping is rapidly becoming the norm, working with business owners in the virtual world… or headed in that direction, the role of the bookkeeper and business owner is in the process of some major changes.

A large part of bookkeeping has been to do “intelligent” data entry so that financial records are accurate. But with the improvements in electronic information processing, much of this is being done by computer programs via the web instead.

Think about how banking transactions can be downloaded directly to your accounting software. Or services like ShoeBoxed can scan paper receipts and categorize expenses for you.

And finally, there are new programs emerging that bring all the financial data together, using the Internet, to feed into the bookkeeping records automatically… from banks, suppliers and client sales, using online accounting programs like Xero.

What does this mean?

Entering data into bookkeeping software is something that will eventually be nearly eliminated (or at least greatly reduced). Does that mean the role of the bookkeeper will also be eliminated?

No. But WHAT bookkeepers can actually do for their clients… and the value they provide… is starting to shift dramatically. They are moving from entering financial information efficiently and intelligently to get it into the bookkeeping records to managing the financial data flow and interpretation of it. They are facing a unique opportunity to assist their clients with getting the real VALUE from what their financial information means for their business. This prepares them for more productive meetings with their accountants for tax and business planning.

In other words, they are growing into the role of assistant / consultant with their clients to help them get the BENEFIT of their financial information for managing business. This is MUCH more valuable than simply doing the clerical work of keeping records updated after the fact so taxes can be filed. Their services are becoming more present and future focused.

And THAT is a VERY good thing for both the bookkeeper and their clients… Be aware that they are coming, and they are taking hold rapidly. Bookkeepers need to pay attention to how their existing clients are reacting to and embracing new mobile / online technology. Small business owners are changing HOW they operate because of the major advancements in mobile and online technology coupled with affordable applications… this includes how they get their bookkeeping done.

So the question is, if these changes are coming – whether we like them or not – what will the bookkeeper do to prepare for it now, and how will it affect the way they provide YOUR bookkeeping services in the near future?

As for the BUSINESS OWNER having control over some or all the entering of transaction, how will this affect their understanding of what is happening in their business from a management reporting perspective. There is a great opportunity for business owners to obtain a much deeper understanding of what their management reports are saying because their bookkeeper has now become a trusted advisor or consultant to your business.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, complaints, excitement, or any other reactions you have to where bookkeeping is headed and how it is changing the roles of bookkeepers and their clients in the months and years ahead.

Please leave your thoughts and comments below.

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