Small business accounting has been evolving through my whole career. It has been (and continues to be) truly amazing.
I am fortunate. I started my career in the mid-1980s at the beginning of the PC revolution. Before this time, accountants controlled the general ledger (“the books”). The PC revolution introduced the model where everyone did their own accounting and bookkeeping on their own PCs in their offices. Accountants started to lose control of the general ledger because they could no longer be the gatekeepers of entries to the general ledger. Unfortunately, quality decreased and as client-based accounting software became more common place, accountants spent more time cleaning up messes than we did in the “old shoe-box days”.
The good news is that we are at the beginning stages of yet another shift in the tides. This is being lead by “cloud computing”. Whether or not this is a sustainable technology model, this shift is significant. In this new model (we call it the”collaborative” model), instead of the general ledger being owned by either the accountants or the client it has shared ownership. The applications being build allow us to significantly re-engineer the accounting process, leverage technologies and implement adequate controls. In addition, this new model allow us to leverage both our expertise as accountants and that of our clients.
There are significant changes and new tools being introduced everyday. Look for our future blog posts on what trends and tools we seeing coming down the pipe and how you can leverage these efficiencies to improve your accounting function.