What’s Obsolete About Bookkeeping? Nothing.

Before answering the question about where bookkeeping is going, let’s look at where it’s been.  In the world of assets and liabilities, bookkeeping has long been more than keeping a list of credits and debits.  As a result of machines, technology, and the overwhelming software options, many have speculated that the art of people managing the financials may become lost.  Luckily, despite the myriad of modern-day advancements, very little about actual bookkeeping is out of fashion.

“Bookkeepers” and “accountants” have been tracking and interpreting the complexities of finance into understandable information for thousands of years. In fact, methodologies supporting journal entries and general ledgers dates to the 15th century, or earlier depending on the popular opinion.  Historical archives date back to 8000 B.C. with signs of numbers, monetary exchange, and rudimentary record keeping tracking the trading of livestock, goods, and property. 

Fast forward to accounting before computers… May be hard to imagine now, but prior to electronic spreadsheets and accounting formulas, all accounting records were handwritten and sometimes with the support of an adding machine or calculator.  Humans did the actual mathematics, ledgers were maintained on paper, and filing cabinets were a bookkeeper’s necessity.  During this stage, bookkeepers were in very high demand, along with scrupulous attention to detail and number crunching ability.

As technology advanced, as did accounting systems.  Computers revolutionized various accounting professions including the necessary skillsets required to be a successful bookkeeper. 

An obvious advantage to electronic financial record keeping is the pace at which the monthly, quarterly, or annual cash flow statements, profit and loss, and income statements can be completed.  With the aid of accounting software as a reliable tool, the volume of financial records that can be completed by a single bookkeeper increases dramatically.

Since the internet is here to stay, interconnectivity catapults the opportunities for seamless, secure, and readily available financial records.  In today’s world, business owners have a refined set of expectations for “here and now” financial information.  With technology supporting the accounting processes, bookkeepers are becoming smarter, expanding their skillsets, and finessing their foundational accounting skills by remaining current on the available technology and software.  Working smarter, not harder, never replaces the bookkeeper.  In fact, it keeps them in the irreplaceable.

By Susan Amsler

February 23, 2021

Randolph Business Resources, LLC.
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