Recently I saw a rather lengthy thread on Facebook about bookkeeping and how the computer programs and the cloud make it so easy that a 14 year old could do the lot. The business had sacked their bookkeeper and got their daughter to do the work in Xero! The discussion was also around the marketing of businesses like MYOB and Xero and others who pitch their products as a magic solution where the business owner can do their own books. A lot get sucked in by the marketing pitches but then when it comes to the crunch of doing it, they can’t.
It was an interesting discussion, and yes, to a point there is some sense in allowing another person to do some of the bookkeeping, using the bank feeds and all the wiz bang add-ons that make life so much easier than previously. But sacking the bookkeeper? Sure I might be beating the drum of my own profession here but I also know from experience that when people who think they know what they are doing – age 14, 34 or 54 – stuff things up or it gets too hard for them, that’s when we as bookkeepers have to work our magic.
Technology has definitely changed our profession, and most would say it is for the better. It has taken away some of the work bookkeepers used to do, but has added another element, that of the business advisory role. This is where people like myself and other professionals can advise on the best practices for the bookkeeping within a business once it gets into a mess. Here’s what to do with this problem, here’s the best solution for that issue etc. And that’s the part that no computer program can teach or do for you!