Why we’ll always need human bookkeepers
Having recently returned from Xerocon in Brisbane it made me realise that the more technology we have the more we need good people to be able to use it effectively. There are so many different applications available it can be very daunting for a business owner to know the best one to go for, and consequently, some do nothing! This is where a good bookkeeper can really help as we are often familiar with a larger scope of these apps. Not so much in actually installing a new application as we feel that should still be done by specialists but more in regard to working together with these specialists as well as the business owner and their advisors to ensure everything is installed correctly and all the applications are talking and trading information correctly. This ensures you get the sort of reporting that makes running your business easier (as the ads associated with these platforms and applications so often say!). This requires a lot of communication between parties and problem solving when it arises. This is not something computers can do. Will they ever? Maybe they will, but I don’t think that will happen anytime soon.
One of the things we are always asking our bookkeepers to do is to look for ways in which they can be more efficient in their jobs with our clients. With the fast pace of change in the bookkeeping area it is important for us to keep up with new updates within the platforms we work on and the vast array of applications available in the market that might be able to automate things for us. However, for us to identify where we think we can make improvements takes initiative and good judgement by our bookkeepers and this is another area where computers are not quite up to speed and what we are constantly training and encouraging our bookkeepers to do.
Technology has certainly helped bookkeepers be more efficient and it will continue to do so but the old adage is still very true of garbage in, garbage out. What is still needed is people with good initiative to know what is important and what isn’t; the curiosity to ask questions and the need to solve a problem when it arises through good communication. I believe these are just some of the attributes that set us apart from computers and probably always will.