The digitization of processes can be seen everywhere in many daily tasks – from self-serve checkouts at the grocery store to self-driving cars. Technological advancements have rapidly changed how we live, and the accounting industry is no different.
Accounting is the backbone of all businesses. One of the fastest ways a company fails is to keep operating without a system that efficiently keeps track of finances and business performance. The digitization of accounting processes doesn’t mean that bookkeepers will be replaced by robots, however. It simply means that the scope of their job and their role in the accounting world is shifting.
Modern bookkeepers spend less time performing repetitive tasks such as data entry and filing documents and invest more time into developing a new set of skills that add value to clients. There’s now a growing demand to incorporate automation and cloud accounting for all industries, which offer faster and more accurate results.
It’s easy to see the benefits of bookkeeping in the digital world. With how efficient modern accounting practices are, it’s hard to believe that it was done any other way. This article focuses on the history of bookkeepers and their changing roles in the digital world.
The history of accounting
The first ‘record’ of accounting dates back as early as the Mesopotamian civilization, where simple documentation was maintained in the books. Around the 15th century, an Italian monk named Luca Pacioli, considered the father of accounting, developed the double-entry bookkeeping system, which changed the accounting landscape completely.
The history of digital accounting
As bookkeeping processes continued to improve, innovation allowed for machines to make numerical counts, such as the first calculators. Although the first calculator did not have internal memory or the basic working of a computer, bookkeepers were able to do math with better accuracy and efficiency. In 1955, an organization purchased a computer solely for the purpose of bookkeeping, which opened the doors for advancements in accounting.
The first spreadsheet program
In 1978, the first spreadsheet program for PC called Visicalc was created. In the same year, Peachtree Programming presented a bookkeeping programming bundle for the first PC, which allowed organizations to automate their bookkeeping.
In 1998, Quickbooks was born and quickly took over the market for everyday bookkeeping.
The rise of professional bookkeepers
The creation of computers and accounting software changed the industry forever. Capitalism and the stock exchange led to more intricate calculations that required a trained hand. Making a bookkeeping mistake has the potential to cripple an entire organization, highlighting the importance of a knowledgeable bookkeeper to get the job done accurately.
One of the most significant benefits of accounting in the digital age is productivity and the ability to interpret and report financial data faster and efficiently. Another emergence of the digital era is cloud accounting. It allows business owners and bookkeepers to access the books from anywhere in the world, right on their mobile device.
Real-time reporting and easy accessibility enable companies to make financial decisions quicker, right on the spot if needed. Modern accounting practices are less about simply creating financial reports and more about developing long-term strategies, reducing risk, and creating a better business development forecast.
The evolution of the bookkeeper and their changing job scope is undeniable. With the rapid changes in the digital world, their role will continue to shift and transform. This is what makes the accounting world so fascinating!