Is bookkeeping a dying profession?

Interesting question.

Some would say yes, some would say no. Predictably as a bookkeeper, given that that is where I make my livelihood, I would say no. But let’s look into the reasons why.

With any of the software packages these days, whether it be MYOB, XERO, QBO or something else, they all have the capacity to work on a very simple level – data entry.

Some data entry is often done by the business owners and that’s fair enough. Where it gets tricky, that’s where we bookkeepers come in. Where it gets even more difficult, that’s where we really earn our money. I know that for myself and several other bookkeepers we will all say very similar things because we all have very similar clients in those situations. But there’s another side to it and that’s the business advisory side. What’s business advisory? Loosely, it’s around the function of not only being able to put together the profit and losses and the balance sheets (the number crunching side as people know it), but to be able to interpret the reports that come out of the number crunching and also being able to make sense of them in the context of the business. For example, a business owner I dealt with who saw that the business wasn’t making a great deal of profit and realised the only way she could make more money was to increase her prices for her services. That was the final outcome of putting together the financial records. Business advisory is an area that is rapidly, rapidly growing. It was estimated that last financial year, the revenue in the advisor industry space was $6.47 billion and that it had a 260% growth in the last two years.

So, is bookkeeping a dying art? Well, maybe. But then, with the advent of modern technology, we’ve been able to replace it with something else.