Is Technology making accountants redundant?

A recent post on Accountingweb.co.uk pressed one of my buttons.

It was from a business owner who asked if technology was making his accountant redundant. He pointed out that much of what his accountant offered to do for him was now handled quite well by software. He finished up by asking does he need his accountant and does his accountant need him.

I have been thinking about this lately. A lot depends on what the client wants the accountant to do for him. There’s a range of activities that accountants offer from doing the whole book-keeping work to finalising annual accounts and providing business and taxation advice. In my view, the amount of clients who will want basic book-keeping, the number crunching work, will fall off and the accountants will find themselves providing analysis and advice.

It’s more than likely, that once the clients start to take control of their own accounting records, they will start to look for more help with analysis and advice. Their accounting systems will generate information that they simply didn’t have in the past. This information will prompt questions that they will want answers to. So I think that rather than make the accountant redundant, they will simply change the type of work accountants do.

And, I know which work I get most satisfaction from. It’s helping the business owner by providing analysis and advice.

As always, feel free to leave a comment and if you have any questions, email me at jim (at) accountsplus (dot) ie.

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