Like any business, bookkeeping needs to adapt to a changing digital landscape. Technological advances are frequent and bookkeepers must adapt in order to be successful. Back in the day, the introduction of personal computers and digital data would have been life changing. Now, we’re moving from desktops to cloud storage. Software is becoming increasingly mobile optimised, with many apps aimed at business owners. More than ever, we have constant access to our business and data. New tech forces us to change the way we think and act in our work. The digital age is paperless, borderless, and connected. Long distance video communication is possible, breaking news is instant, and finances are quickly moving online.
It is important bookkeepers work with these changes, rather than against them.
The Rise of Cloud Software
At BYBB, we use Quickbooks Online, a cloud bookkeeping service. However, we also offer business advice and Quickbooks Online training, and that cannot be automated. Every business owner has their own needs, motivations and goals. A human understands the individuality of each business; automated software does not. Bookkeepers will never truly be replaced, much like TV never replaced radio. Automated bookkeeping software still requires someone with the know-how to set it up and keep it running.
Connecting with businesses has never been easier. Now, we have electronic connections and real-time data at any given moment. It allows us to create, share, and review work for clients. However, automated software has adopted a lot of the tasks traditional bookkeepers would do. Instead of crying the end of bookkeepers, we need to become more diverse. This may include taking on consulting roles and catering software to a client’s individual needs.
Moving to the cloud can seem like a giant hurdle, which is why we offer Quickbooks Online services, ensuring your business transitions smoothly.
SBR and STP — What does it mean?
Standard Business Reporting (SBR) and Single Touch Payroll (STP) are government initiatives aimed at streamlining the business reporting process. Ultimately, this would save businesses the time spent collating and reporting financial data. It would allow government forms to be pre-filled and completed through accounting software. Overall, it will make current and past information accessible, including BAS lodgements and PAYG withholdings. These initiatives have been in the works for some time now, but are starting to gain momentum. Single Touch Payroll will be available as soon as 2017.
So, if SBR and STP make it easier for businesses to do their own reports, and manage their own PAYG withholding, then what does it mean for bookkeepers and accountants?
Whenever new technology is released, it can be intimidating. It may appear to have a steep learning curve to people with little experience. The introduction of SBR and STP creates an opportunity for bookkeepers to manage the programs for businesses, or offer coaching in it. Not surprisingly, a bookkeeper is the best person to teach a business owner how to use bookkeeping software. If the business owner is pressed for time and has other obligations, they may outsource the role to a trained bookkeeper. They are better equipped to understand the data and make suggestions for improvements.