There has been a recent trend of people viewing new technologies and software as a threat to the bookkeeping profession. Can we say that this is a dying profession without much future?
Transformation of the bookkeeping profession
The level of automation of bookkeeping continues to grow. Bookkeeping and accounting systems are becoming more intelligent. Although digitalization and modern information technology will continue to transform the bookkeeping profession, at this time, we cannot say that bookkeeping is a dying profession.
It is important to be able to work with modern software, to know technologies, to understand the meaning behind one or another automatically calculated indicator. This way, the specialists can bring the most value to their client or organization.
Not threats, but opportunities
It should be said that for many decades the development of bookkeeping practice, in particular, reflects the development of information technology. The typewriter, calculator, phone, large and small computers, and automated control systems based on them – all of these phenomena in one way or another influenced the bookkeeping functions in an organization and the economic life of society.
Yet, we can say nothing has changed – most of the accounting concepts and principles stay the same. We still have financial statements that look and serve practically the same purpose they did ten or twenty years ago. What has really changed, and what role did technology play in this?
First of all, computerization has largely relieved the bookkeeper of the routine side of bookkeeping. The process of posting the data from primary documents to the registers and generating reports is almost completely performed by the software and minimizes the need for a frequent accuracy audit. The input method of primary documents began to change the content of accounting data from analytical registers to real-time reports.
Freed from routine work, bookkeepers are now able to expand their functions in the organization. Specialists who can apply modern digital software and automation systems, analyze the situation, make decisions and set tasks, who can work in a team will be in demand for many years to come. The role of the bookkeeper as a support for the manager in making management decisions will grow.
When we see forecasts about changes in the labor market in the foreseeable future due to automation and robotization, it is important to understand that we are not necessarily talking about the disappearance of a particular profession, but about a change in the functions of specialists, including a change in key tasks performed by a bookkeeper. Full automation of an increasing volume of routine bookkeeping functions opens up a potential for people to develop professionally, search, and take on new and exciting tasks that will bring benefit to the organization.
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Author: Charles Lutwidge