With the advancement of technology and the existence of dozens of apps that provide do-it-yourself bookkeeping and accounting services, are bookkeepers becoming obsolete? In today’s world, does the bookkeeper still offer value?
The Role of a Bookkeeper
First, it is important to understand the various tasks that the average bookkeeper performs on a day-to-day basis, although it is essential to keep in mind that all businesses have unique needs, and therefore the role of a bookkeeper may be different from business-to-business or industry-to-industry.
Most of the time, the role of bookkeeper includes:
Sometimes, the role of a bookkeeper will overlap with the role of an accountant, and the bookkeeper may be able to provide additional insights for the business regarding its financial operations, assist the business reporting, and more.
Manual vs. Automatic and Man vs. Machine
So, the question is this: Do bookkeepers still offer value, even though apps exist that can do many of the activities above? Are bookkeepers still important, or can we rely on apps to thoroughly document all a business’s transaction, do so accurately, and save time and money in the process?
A great article published in Chron seeks to answer this question, listing three primary considerations: speed and accuracy, end-of-period reports, and data manipulation. The article delves into these issues, drawing some of the following conclusions related to pros and cons:
Computerized Options (Apps)
Getting the Best of Both Worlds
The best solution for businesses today is to use a combination of a bookkeeping apps and a real live bookkeeper; after all, keeping journals and ledgers by paper and pencil is a bit antiquated in today’s world.
However, hiring a bookkeeper who can manually enter information into an app, or who can manually enter information into an Excel document and then cross-reference it with the information recorded in an app, or who can provide insights into financial information recorded by an app, may not be a bad idea.
In fact, “cloud bookkeepers,” referring to bookkeepers who perform bookkeeping services with help of accounting software and add-on tools, are very relevant today. These bookkeepers not only have a solid understanding of accounting and business operations, but are also well-versed in cloud accounting tools like Xero, ZenPayroll, and Bill.com. Another must-use tool in the digital age that many bookkeepers turn to is QuickBooks, and yet another app that businesses can use in conjunction with their accountants and bookkeepers is Hubdoc.
The Days of the Bookkeeper Are Still Here
While technology has evolved, bookkeepers are still very relevant in today’s world, even if their jobs are performed with the assistance of apps and computerized programs vs. paper notebooks.
To be sure, the best bookkeepers know that to stay competitive and efficient, embracing onsite and cloud solutions for businesses’ accounting and bookkeeping needs is critical.
For business owners who aren’t confident in performing their own bookkeeping services or do not have the time to do so, hiring a professional bookkeeping service provider is recommended.
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