The world is going to change drastically in the next 5 years for bookkeepers and accountants. Artificial Intelligence, the use Automation, and other factors are coming into play. The bookkeeper and accountant of today will not even look the same in five years. No longer will they be pounding numbers into accounting systems and spreadsheets. They will really be shifting focus into more consultative roles.
As this relates to Quickbooks, in North America this well-known accounting software has an 80% market share in the small to medium business sector according to Intuit. 90% of these users are Quickbooks desktop users. A 5 year trend they are expecting is almost half of those users to move to Quickbooks Online. Why is this important?
Intuit has a huge app partner network. Through A.I., the use of Robotics Process Automation and just doing things better and smarter, these apps are reducing the hours needed for bookkeeping. The short story is this: those not willing to embrace these changes will see their competitors offer better services at a higher profit and for less cost.
Another trend gaining steam in the accounting department is outsourcing of accounting and tax departments. The largest example is GE outsourcing their tax department to PriceWaterhouseCoopers. PwC didn’t just hire GE employees, they essentially hired them and then used them for all of GE’s tax obligations. In PwC’s official release they said the acquisition will help them focus on their “Tax Function of the Future”. PwC also acquired the tax technologies of the GE tax department in the move. This is a trend that is poised to only get bigger in the very near future.
Robotics Process Automation (RPA) is another growing trend. RPA automates very manual processes that are repetitive. For example, let’s take a typical accounting cycle. After a cycle closes, accounts pull and analyze a bunch of reports. Then they start taking the data and manipulating it. They put it into excel and reformat it, and then they put the data into another spreadsheet and make a journal entry. They then provide summary reports for management and executives. By the time the final numbers are presented the data has been massaged and handed off many times. RPA can take all these tasks and record them and replicate them. It can work around the clock while employees aren’t working.
Companies are discovering that RPA is a cheap and fast way of applying superior performance to the problem of compliance. Customer service also improves because you’ve got more computing power dedicated to the robotics. Automation and its implementation also can function as stress relief, and that can be measured in pure numbers as real hours given back to the business. In this way, the customers, senior managers, and owners as well as lower level employees all benefit.
Quickbooks and RPA are changing bookkeeping for the better. Companies can utilize these new trends apply superior performance to quickly enter data and improve customer service.